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The 21-Day Gratitude Challenge For Athletes, Coaches, Parents, And Leaders

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Steve Foster is a PCA National Advisory Board Member and current Pitching Coach for the Colorado Rockies (@Rockies). Foster played 7 years with the Cincinatti Reds, and has been blessed to receive awards along the way including Manager and Coach of the year as well as Topps Scout of the Month. He co-authored and self published a book with his father titled Lessons From Little League and Life. He is married to Cori Foster and has two children.

Professional baseball is hard, Foster says; the travel, the competition, the failure, the trades, the demotions, the releases, the firings, the injuries, and the time away from home can all combine to rob us of our grateful spirit if we allow it to. This is a problem, because being grateful is what keeps us from becoming bitter. People who are grateful live in the moment. People who are bitter are stuck in the past. A grateful spirit is what allows us to Embrace The Suck.

Understand that gratefulness is a work ethic. Being grateful is not a mystery. We have to train our brains to be grateful just like we work out our bodies. We not only need to be grateful, we need to work at being grateful.

Try an experiment right now called the 21-Day Challenge. Combine each of the five researched habits and try it out for 21 days in a row to create or improve upon a grateful mind-set.

  1. Send three text messages each day to friends and family that you don’t see enough of. Thank them for being in your life and helping you along the way. Let them know that you still think about them even though you don’t see them on a regular basis.
  2. Write for 2 minutes each day describing one experience (experiences are not things) that you are grateful for that you had over the past 24 hours.
  3. Exercise for 10 minutes a day.

To see all the steps for the 21 Day Gratitude challenge and how it makes you better at whatever you’re doing, download the PDF below.

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The 21-Day Gratitude Challenge
Professional baseball is hard; the travel, the competition, the failure, the trades, the demotions, the releases, the firings, the injuries, and the time away from home can all combine to rob us of our grateful spirit if we allow it to. This is a problem, because being grateful is what keeps us from becoming bitter. People who are grateful live in the moment. People who are bitter are stuck in the past. A grateful spirit is what allows us to Embrace The Suck.
Understand that gratefulness is a work ethic. Being grateful is not a mystery. We have to train our brains to be grateful just like we work out our bodies. We not only need to be grateful, we need to work at being grateful. Try an experiment right now called the 21-Day Challenge. Combine each of the five researched habits and try it out for 21 days in a row to create or improve upon a grateful mind-set.
1. Send three text messages each day to friends and family that you don’t see enough of. Thank them for being in your life and helping you along the way. Let them know that you still think about them even though you don’t see them on a regular basis.
2. Write for 2 minutes each day describing one experience (experiences are not things) that you are grateful for that you had over the past 24 hours.
3. Exercise for 10 minutes a day.
4. Meditate twice a day for two minutes each time, focusing on your breath going in and out. Do this first thing in the morning while you are still in bed and last thing at night when you get into bed. (Is there anything to be grateful for more than oxygen filling our lungs?)
5. Write one email each day thanking or praising someone in your immediate life.
All of these activities combined will take you less than 15 minutes per day, since most of the people reading this are already exercising for 10 minutes a day.
The research on gratefulness is clear; it makes you better at whatever you are doing.
Take the challenge. You don’t have to announce to the world through Facebook or Twitter that you are taking the challenge, just take the challenge and see what happens to your overall mind-set.
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