Dear Reader,

How can you end your year with gratitude? As 2013 draws to a close in a few weeks time I wanted to share with you my experience of how gratitude can greatly enhance your life, so you can end the year on a high whatever the year has been like.

More morsels of information at the end of this Inspire about ….

  • FREE Set Your Goals For 2014 webinar Friday 10 January 3 – 4pm GMT, open to all.
  • The 66 Day Challenge - transform difficult interactions into
  • productive working relationships click here for details.
  • How could coaching help you to achieve your goals? Take one of my free Coaching Audits.

If you enjoy today’s edition of Inspire, please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues. They can sign up for free at

Best wishes

Melanie Greene

How can you end your year with gratitude?

Are you a glass half full or half empty person? If you are a glass half full person when you look back on 2013, your mind probably focuses on all the positive things that happened, all the fun things you did, people you saw, places you went, what you achieved. If you are a glass half empty person, you might focus on the work or holidays that didn’t go as planned, the health problems or the things you didn’t achieve. As a recovering pessimistic, ‘glass half empty’ person I have to work hard at staying positive and optimistic, and this is where gratitude has come in this year.

What do I mean by gratitude? When I spoke to one client about writing down your ‘gratitudes’, he said, ‘Who am I meant to be grateful to?’. I think this is a common mis-conception, a leftover from any religious backgrounds we might have grown up in, that we are supposed to be grateful for our lot or grateful to something outside us.

My experience of writing gratitudes is that they might be about people in my life, a lovely sunny day, having a lovely warm home, a kind gesture from a friend and sometimes something from the past.

Research in Positive Psychology has shown that if people write down three things they are grateful for each day it has a significant impact on their levels of happiness, even for people who are mildly depressed.

How often will you write your gratitudes? Over the years, from time to time, if I find myself slipping into complaint I start to write down my three gratitudes. I do it for maybe a week and it changes around my thought processes. In June this year I decided to write my three gratitudes every day (or most days, I don’t beat myself up if I don’t!). And the impact has been huge. I’ve noticed that even on days when I have felt low, sad or fed up, by writing down three things I am grateful for has helped me considerably. I have decided to continue to do it for as long as it works for me, as I enjoy the process and how good it makes me feel.

What might you be grateful for? It has been interesting reflect on my gratitudes:

  • Most have been about the previous 24 hours, which makes me focus on my current situation and what I am grateful for right now.
  • About two thirds have been about people, which has surprised me but has made me so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life. I have on occasions shared my gratitude with them, which has been a nice process.
  • Gratitudes for small things like when it eventually rained after such a long hot summer or when we have a sunny day after lots of rain!
  • Gratitude for the flowers someone left on my doorstep as a thank you for something I did for them.
  • Gratitude for my circumstances, my lovely home, my reliable car, my trusty bike, etc., etc.
As you can see, it doesn’t have to be grand happenings in your life, being grateful for the simple things is where deep contentment can be found. It is also a great way of turning the glass is half empty to a glass is half full.

F**k it – the antidote to gratitude? Back in 2010 I wrote an Inspire about the downsides to positive thinking (click here) and I still believe that the way to being positive is to be authentic and honest about how we feel and, if we are experiencing negative feelings, that we need to care and nurture ourselves, process those emotions and eventually move towards a more positive place. I think that saying to yourself or others, to just ‘think positively’ when you are low, sad, angry, upset, etc. is not always the answer, and can in fact make you feel even worse, especially if you end up beating yourself up for feeling low.

This is where the F**k it exercise comes in…. In September I was due to go on holiday and my back went and I couldn’t go, and for various reasons this was the only holiday I was having this year (quite unusual for me). The next day I heard some tragic news about a young friend of a friend whom I’ve known for years who was dying of CJD, which put my back problems in perspective, and my thoughts and Buddhist chanting went to supporting her. It also made me very grateful for my situation despite the very bad back.

Then about two months on with my back (although not in crisis) still playing up, and having spent money on treatment, a monitor for my laptop and a new office chair, money which I would rather have spent on something more fun, I found myself very tired after bad allergies, a very early start and in pain and I thought F**k it. So instead of my gratitudes I wrote in my diary F**king this, F**king that, there were a long list of things I was F**ked off with, and the last one was F**k gratitude!!! And you know what, I felt so good at the end of it, it was really cathartic – so I have been recommending it to my clients, some of whom are facing really challenging situations and where, not surprisingly, they have been finding it hard to stay positive. You’ll find that once you have got all the things off your chest, then you can start to move to a more positive place.

If there are things you need to get off your chest about 2013 or about your current situation, then list them out, swear if necessary or just go aagghh!! Then later you can move onto your gratitudes.

End the year with gratitude What are your top ten gratitudes for 2013? Think about sharing these with others and encouraging your family and friends to share theirs over the festive season. Sarah, my PA, suggested we share them on Twitter, so tweet me your top gratitudes at MelanieInspires, #inspiregratitude.

What will 2014 hold for you? On Friday 10 January 3 – 4pm GMT I will be hosting a FREE ‘Set Your Goals For 2014’ webinar to help you to clarify what you really want from 2014 and how you can manage your mind and mood to achieve your goals. Email to book your free space.

The 66 Day Challenge

Transform difficult interactions into productive working relationships see here for details.

If you say ‘Yes’ to one or more of the following questions ….

  • Are you dealing with clients or colleagues who run rings around you?
  • When you communicate with some people do you feel like you’re speaking a different language?
  • Do you wonder how to handle sales conversations for fear of losing sales?
  • Are you struggling to manage staff or associates’ performance?
  • Do you deal with suppliers who do not seem to understand your needs?

…. then The 66 Day Challenge is for you. It will support you in transforming the difficult interactions you have in your life into more productive, constructive working relationships.


Moody Blues Vs. Mighty Motivation Talk in December

I was called Moody Melanie when I was growing up in my family and was at the mercy of my moods for much of the first three decades of life. Come along to hear my talk, and network, to find out how you can master your mind, manage your mood, and lead a happier and more productive life:

4N Breakfast Thursday 12th December 8 - 10am

Click here for details.

4N Abingdon Breakfast Friday 20th December 8 – 10am 

Click here for details. 

Do you want speakers for your business network event? 

I speak at a range of events, and always make sure that the talks are interactive and practical, with people learning something that they can directly apply back at work. Recent talks have included:

  • Managing Challenging Interactions
  • Mastering Your Inner Critic (based on my book)
  • Changing Habits of a Lifetime
  • Learning From Your Mistakes
  • Managing Your Mood and Motivation
  • Your Brain At Work


Free Coaching and Training Audits – helping you to decide what development you need

Free Coaching Audit If you are running your own business, working on your own, or struggling with working within an organisation, then coaching can support you in tackling the day to day issues you face. The free Coaching Audit is designed for individuals who are wondering whether coaching will benefit them and wanting to think through what they want to focus on during a coaching programme. The Coaching Audit involves the following:

  • You complete a pre-coaching questionnaire and return it to me.
  • We have a 45 minute telephone conversation to discuss your needs and what coaching might be necessary to meet your needs. I make sure that you get something practical from the free audit.
  • I send a proposal of what training, coaching or counselling might be suitable.
  • You make the decision as to whether you wish to proceed.

Free Team Development Audit If you are a manager of a team, this is a new service to help you to review your team’s performance and think through what development they might need. The Team Development Audit works in the same way as the Coaching Audit above but with a questionnaire which is focused on you, as the manager, and your team.

Email or call me on 01865 377334 to discuss your coaching or team development needs.

‘You cannot teach people anything.

You can only help them to discover it within themselves’.



Why not share Inspire with colleagues and friends? 
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Melanie Greene
01865 377334