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The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving
    Photo credit: jdolenga (CC BY 2.0)

    Nordstom’s is getting a lot of publicity this year for their stance on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Namely, they are going against the decorations trend and are choosing to wait on Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving is over. People everywhere are enjoying this and re-posting their signs.

    This past year, I saw Christmas decorations in WalMart before Halloween was over! It seems the New Deal stimulus idea of extending the Christmas buying season has worked all too well, and like many others, I feel it is time to fight back.

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    But how will we fight back?

    With gratitude, thanks and remembering why Thanksgiving comes before Christmas:

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    The Proposal – The 12 Days Of Thanksgiving

    Starting on Thanksgiving, post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. something you are thankful for. For the next twelve days, continue to do this every day!

    The Concept:

    Every Thanksgiving families give thanks and show gratitude for something in their lives. There are many families who will even go around the table and have everyone name something. Then the day after Thanksgiving, they wait in long lines for those black Friday deals. They clamor to buy. They spend time worrying about costs, decorations and tinsel; they forget what they did at the start of the holiday season – give thanks.

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    I believe people see the nonsense in this insanity. I believe people truly are grateful that they can even stand in line for an hour for a gift. I think people are even more grateful when they don’t stand in line, and instead make hot chocolate with their families and loved ones at home. Let us all work together to remind each other of the small things in life and the big things. By spending 12 of the holiday season days giving thanks, we may find it is a habit to continue well past the 12 days of Christmas. We may find it isn’t the gifts, the lines, the perfection that matters. We may find it is OK to smile, and let someone go before you or maybe hold open a door for someone else. We may find the truly great thing about the holidays is the reminder of gratitude and love all humans are capable of showing.

    Some Ideas:

    Here are some ideas of what to look for and post about in your feeds. They are all things I am thankful for, though not in any particular order.

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    • I thank the farmers and ranchers who work to provide food for our nation. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank my wonderful family for putting up with me. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the roof over my head. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank the person who smiled back and said thank you. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank the teachers who teach my children. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank the bagger who bags my food at the store. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the air I breathe. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the sun at my back. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for a cheerful smile. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the ability to share these gratitudes. #12daysofthanksgiving

    Needless to say, there are many things in the world to be thankful over, and I encourage us all to find one thing – every day – for twelve days.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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