Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.

Daily habits of gratitude and appreciation are one of the highest emotional states you can experience. When you cultivate gratitude, you’re able to feel true joy and contentment, no matter what you have or don’t have in your life. And since the Law of Attraction states that like attracts like, when you’re grateful for what you already have, you will naturally attract more for which you can be grateful.

However, many people find that it requires great diligence to cultivate a persistent attitude of appreciation. That’s because we’ve been culturally conditioned to focus on what we don’t have, rather than appreciating what we’ve already received or achieved.

Here are 7 simple habits on how to make gratitude a natural daily habit, so you can attract more joy and abundance into your life all year long:

  1. Take 7 minutes each morning to write down everything you appreciate in life

Starting your day this way primes you to be receptive and grateful for everything your day will bring. It also helps you cultivate an air of positivity that makes you naturally more attractive to other positive people – and inspires them to want to help you achieve your goals.

  1. Make a conscious effort to appreciate at least 3 people every day

By letting people know how much you appreciate them, you increase their own sense of appreciation and self-worth and encourage them to pay this positive energy forward to other people.  While most people enjoy receiving verbal appreciation, written notes are also nice because they can be saved and re-read.

  1. Play the appreciation game

Set a specific time each day to consciously appreciate everything you encounter. An ideal time to do this is on your way to or from work. Appreciate the people you pass, the road you walk on, the cars that let you merge into a different lane, the street signs that make it easy for you to know where you’re going, the rain that’s nourishing the plants and trees, and so on.  Look for the good in all situations – even those you would normally view as negative.

  1. Carry a physical token of gratitude

A physical reminder such as a heart-shaped stone, crystal, or some other small item can bring you back to your daily habit practice of gratitude when your mind has drifted elsewhere. As you reach into your pocket throughout the day and feel the token, use it as a reminder to stop, breathe and take a moment to fully experience the emotion of gratitude. The more conscious effort you put into seeking it out, the easier it will be to find it – and the more powerful your experience will be.

  1. Appreciate even the smallest blessings

The best way to activate your gratitude is by acknowledging the gifts most people take for granted. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes in your closet and a roof over your head, you are better off than 75 percent of the world’s population.  If you eat three meals a day, you are far better off than the 1 billion people on the planet who eat once a day at most.  Do you have a phone?  How about a car that allows you to travel to work or to explore the country? Is your family healthy? Do you have a computer and Internet access to stay in touch with the world, get access to education, and perform work for which you are paid? Do you have clean water to drink.  Celebrate these simple blessings. These daily conveniences are gifts that most people in the world do not enjoy.

  1. Appreciate yourself

Finally, don’t forget to appreciate your own positive qualities and accomplishments. In addition to celebrating your big successes, acknowledge your small daily successes too. We all need acknowledgement, but the most important acknowledgement is that which we give ourselves. It may not feel natural at first to focus on appreciating what you already have, but by faithfully practicing the daily habits of gratitude outlined in this article, you’ll begin to change your conditioning.

  1. The gratitude snooze

I still set my alarm clock five minutes early and hit the snooze button, but rather than dreading my day, my alarm is now my signal to go to gratitude. I think of all the things that I am grateful for in my world. I think of all the things I am grateful for from the day before and all that I will get to experience that day. I will live my day in my mind in a state of gratitude before I actually live my day. I call it the “gratitude snooze”.  It isn’t a rote routine, but rather a daily inventory of those things that make my life great. My day feels a lot different when I start with the gratitude snooze.

Here is my challenge for you: try it for 30 days. Then pay attention. The late Wayne Dyer said, “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Success begins with your attitude. Don’t let anyone else dictate that attitude for you.