Gratitude Challenge Day 3: Write a Gratitude Note to Someone

This is Day 3 of the 14-Day Gratitude Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world gathered to practice gratitude for 14 days. This challenge was conducted in Aug 2013 and is now over–however, you can still do the tasks in your own time! Visit the overview page for all Gratitude Challenge tasks and posts.

Gratitude Challenge

 Hey everyone, welcome to Day 3 of our 14-day gratitude challenge! :D Let’s get started, shall we?

Day 3: Gratitude Note

Thank You Letter

I love gratitude notes. I think they are one of the simplest yet most powerful ways to express your gratitude to someone.

With gratitude notes, you write a thank-you letter or a short note to the person (I prefer letters, really, because of they represent depth and sincerity) of your choice. Through the note, you tell the person how much he/she means to you, your recognition of what he/she has done for you, and how appreciative you are of his/her existence and actions. This note can be a handwritten one, an e-mail, a message on your favorite social media platform (I’m guessing Facebook for most of you :) ), or even mobile messages (Whatsapp, anyone?).

To me, the power of the gratitude note comes from expressing appreciation in words (be it written or verbal), as it brings clarity to emotions and gratitude which may have been unspoken (and hence unknown) to date.

Often times we may think that someone knows our gratitude to him/her either because we often say thank you or because we are receiving of his/her kindness. To be fair, they probably do, to a certain level. However, it’s a whole different thing when you actually write a note saying thanks along with specific examples of how he/she has touched you.

Take for example, a simple comment like:

“Hey, thanks for always being there for me. I really appreciate our friendship.”

Compared to a handwritten note or e-mail which you send out of the blue to your friend/loved one one day:

“Hey Jen, thanks for always being there for me. I never got to tell you this, but even though we have known each other for only a year, our friendship holds a special place in my heart.

Remember the time when I called you in the wee hours of the morning and we chatted for, what, two hours after that? I didn’t get to say this, but it really meant a lot, what you did for me. Even though you were sleeping, you still woke up to answer the call and listen to me brawl for two hours about the sick relationship which you told me to get out of ages ago. You could have said, “See, I told you so,” but you never did–not once. Thanks to you, I was able to pull out of the dark period and finally break up with that jerk.

You are an awesome friend and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to meet someone like you anywhere. I hope we’ll always be friends forever. You know that if you ever need a listening ear or a shoulder, you’ll always have me.

Dinner tomorrow at Shake and Box as always. I can’t wait to meet again and catch up on what you’ve been up to.

Much Peace and Joy,

Which one do you think expresses your gratitude and intent more, and hence creates more impact to your recipient? I would think the latter.

The power of gratitude and gratitude notes is why I consistently set it as a challenge task, be it in last year’s Kindness Challenge (Day 3: Write 3 Thank-You Notes to 3 People You Appreciate and Day 9: Write a Letter to Someone Who Has Made a Difference in Your Life) or in our premium 30-day “Be a Better Me in 30 Days” character transformation program. Whether you have participated in either challenge or both challenges, there is never an end to the people you can express gratitude to nor the number of times to express your gratitude.

So today, your task is to write a gratitude note to someone! :)

Your Task: Write a Gratitude Note to Someone

  1. Identify the person whom you want to send your gratitude message to. It can be your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, family member, sibling, friend, romantic date, or even acquaintance who has touched your heart! :)
  2. Write your gratitude note! Like I mentioned above, your message can be a handwritten one, an e-mail, a message on social media, 
  3. Take a picture (if it’s a handwritten note) or a screenshot, to put in your gratitude journal and to share with the challenge participants in the comments section.
  4. Send the note, and wait for the person’s reply! ;)

Daily Journaling: Write 3 Things You Are Grateful for Today

On top of today’s task, identify 3 things you are grateful for today. These 3 things can be events that occurred today, mishaps which could have happened but didn’t happen, or simply things which have always been in your life but which you suddenly came to feel grateful for today.

3 things I’m grateful for today:

  1. After much anticipation, finally completed my first engagement photoshoot today (with Neil Douglas at Glasgow)!! It went well, though it’s really a matter of how the photos turn out at this point! (*Fingers crossed; will be getting the photos in two weeks’ time. Will share them on PE when they are out! ;) *) Looking forward to my next two shoots (with Orange Lemur) at Edinburgh on Sunday and Monday! :)
  2. I’ve been approached by a very large MNC to create a workshop for their latest campaign. The campaign has a very meaningful message and is something that resonates with me, so I look forward to working with them on it if the deal pulls through.
  3. The healthy soups and salads I get to eat in Scotland every day. These food options are in abundance here, unlike in Singapore, where fried food is the norm in neighborhoods. Back home, I usually get my fill of healthy food through home-prepared meals or visiting specific eateries like The Soup Spoon where I know they have healthy veggie options.

Share Your Results!

Who did you write your gratitude note to? What did you write in your gratitude note? (Share your picture of it! :) Simply blank out sensitive / private portions via MS Paint/GIMP/Photoshop, if any.)

(Do add an update to your original comment (by replying to it) if/when your recipient responds to your gratitude note. We would love to hear how he/she responded to it! :) )

What are 3 things you are grateful for today?

Share them in the comments section! :)

Once you’re done, proceed to Gratitude Challenge Day 4: Reflect on the Meaning of Gratitude.

Images: Gratitude, Thank You Letter

  • The Maths Magpie

    I’m going to find this one difficult …. I always try to remember to say thank you but this feels a little uncomfortable for some reason. I’ll do it though because I like a challenge, hopefully someone will like receiving it and it’s good to get out of my comfort zone!

    • Spešl Pavrs

      Maybe, for a start, you should just try to write thank you note and not sending it – and you will see how will that be for you, how will you feel. Once it is wriitten, you can decide to send it or not (if it is too big step out of yout comfort zone for you).
      I remember I few times, when I wrote someone a thank you note, I cried :) I dont know why, maybe because I was really honest and sincere and because of that more vunerable… One time I thanked someone in person (verbally) and my voice started shaking.

      • The Maths Magpie

        Thanks for your support – I have been brave and written it in my journal and then sent a link. Hope he likes it. :D

        • Spešl Pavrs

          I like the qoute by Paolo Coelho that says: An act of courage is ALWAYS an act of love.
          Hurray for writing the gratitude note, posting it online (I find that very brave btw) and sending a link to your friend :)

    • 家梅 李

      I received thank you notes from my best friend before during high school. It was simple but I was so touched with the note received. Both of us used to say “thank you” quite often in our daily life too. But writing it out to the person is to show our sincere appreciation to him / her although we have shown in our actions. :)

      As what Spešl Pavrs said, you may write it out, then you decide whether to send it out. Wish you could step out of your comfort zone. ^^ Cheers!

      • The Maths Magpie

        Have written it and it wasn’t too bad – like you said, saying it and writing it feel different. Thanks for taking time out to reply to me. :D

  • 家梅 李

    It is so co-incident!! I just wrote a gratitude note to my students while sending the photo taken with them yesterday! (As attached below ^^)

    Yeah, I’m feeling sad to leave them after one year and four months being with them. We teach each other (Yes, they teach me some new technology which I’m not into it), laugh at each other (And yes, they always make me do some silly things so that they got the chance to laugh at me…), joke with each other, etc. They used to call me “mummy”, because of my long winded nagging to them, until the level that they are able to know what / when I’m going to nag them again. XD

    3 things I feel grateful today:

    1. I have just finished marking my paper. Guess what? 72% of them got “A” / “A-” !! I’m so so so happy to see this result!! Most of them scored above 80!! I promised them, if and only if the whole class of them pass in my paper, I’m going to treat them a good meal. And now, I’m going to count my money for the meal… Haha, but I’m more than happy to give them the treat of meal!! Also, they will be coming to my house for a celebration on the end of this month. :)

    2. I have a bad habit of crashing my finger nails when my hands are free. Started from yesterday, I promised to myself, I’m going to eliminate this bad habit in one-month time. Today, I have successfully avoided from this habit. I really hope that I manage to make it!

    3. During the final exam invigilation, my partner has helped me out a lot. I thank him for his help, although he was the invigilator in-charge and I was his helper. ^^ I’m going to be his helper for the next 2 weeks, throughout the final exam invigilation period of time. :)

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Good idea Celes! Express gratitude through notes to improve your attitude and emit a heartfelt, warm message to people who otherwise might miss your feelings. Yep saying TY works well but writing a letter displays the depth of your gratefulness.

    I know who I want to send a letter too; secret time though lol…..I really believe gratitude is a conduit to good. You see good, you express your grateful feelings for the good and naturally attract more good things to you.

    This law of life can change your circumstances in a split second. Practice expressing gratitude to see what I mean ;)

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Aysha .

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts!

  • Spešl Pavrs

    I wrote a gratutude note to my boyfriend and send it to him via mobile message (anyone? yes, me :) ). I thanked him for: being there for me, for being such a great person, for loving me, for taking my dog for a walk, for cooking, for not leaving his underwear and socks all over the apartment, for letting me to be a part of his life.

    Today, I am grateful for:
    - getting up early (yes, again) and not going back to sleep,
    - a delicious pumpkin-potato soup,
    - my boyfriend loving me the way I am (he does not want to change me and has no expectations of what or who I should be),
    - hazelnuts,
    - for this challenge (it already brings me joy and it is only day 3!).

    • The Maths Magpie

      That’s a lovely note – I bet he really liked it! :D

  • Anusooya Gosai

    Hi! This is such a perfect opportunity for me to write my hubby a letter. I have been meaning to do something like this for a while! I took a screen shoot of the letter that I sent via email. We used to send a lot of emails when we were dating, so that reminded me of our dating times!

    Today I am grateful for the following:
    1. Aunty Roshnee (one of my best friend’s family who resides in a town where I am working) assisted me with my washing today.
    2. Aunty Roshnee invited me to have supper with her husband and her tonight. She cooks delicious indian meals!
    3. I bought some nice summer dresses today while shopping in a shop that I do not usually shop in!

    • Aysha .

      Awh that was so cute! :)

      • Anusooya Gosai

        Thank you Aysha!

  • Aysha .

    Hi everyone! :)

    I was thinking hard about who to send this note to.. and I also felt a bit uncomfortable because I’m not such an open person when it comes to feelings.. at the end I decided to send a note to my Quran teacher who is a very warm person and because she often shares her appreciation for me I’m less shy to do the same thing. I decided to send a big envelope with a card, a bookmark which has a saying of prophet Muhammad “The best of you are those who have the best manners and character” and a little book. I love doing things the old way because it feels much more real.. it felt special to spend some time on preparing the envelope and do something just to show gratitude without expecting anything in return.

    • The Maths Magpie

      That’s very thoughtful – I’m sure she will treasure it. :)

      • Aysha .

        Thank you :)

  • Gladys Cruz

    Grateful for my friend Brenton. He is a God sent

  • Calae

    Oi, this task. xD I love it but I do this naturally on my own time, so it always feels forced or like I’m being clingy when I do it for a challenge, so I need to be careful with who I choose and how much I send my thanks. Nevertheless, I sent one to my best friend via text:

    Hey ___! I just wanted to say that I love you and I miss you. I know a lot is happening for you all at once and I really hope it all works out for the best for you. I know we don’t always get the chance to talk but I’m always here if you need me. You’re one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and I hope you never think any less of yourself. Thank you for being who you are and a part of my life for all these years. I hope it continues for many more. =)

    Six things I’m thankful for today:

    1. I am so thankful that my sister took care of the parking permit for our car this year, as I’ve done it for the past two years and it was great to receive a break!
    2. I am thankful for my delayed order online finally being shipped, as I can’t wait to get my new things!
    3. I am thankful to see at least some of my friends one more time before moving back to school…though many of them will be at school with us this year!
    4. I am thankful for my dad returning home safely from work today.
    5. I am thankful to have such a nice room to call my own at home.
    6. I am thankful for the fact that my mom will trim my hair to even out my now grown-out asymmetrical haircut.

  • The Maths Magpie

    He loved it! Yay! x

  • Eli

    First I would like to thank to every body that has posted today. I have enjoyed reading all your posts but especially I liked Jaleen’s post about thanking her students. I have taught a course years ago and see teaching as one of the most difficult and yet also rewarding professions. You give yourself to your students. And I am very happy for Jaleen’s students to have such a good teacher and also for Jaleen to have such good students :-)

    3 Things I am grateful for today
    1. A long an interesting chat I had with a friend at the other end of the world.
    2. Letting go mentally of a person that has left my life already quite a while ago. This was combined with or maybe a consequence of a new insight into my life situation and my relations with people. It was one of those aha moments when I realised: “Why should people live their lives according to your expectations.” It’s not really a question, it’s a statement reminding me that I have no right to expect things from people, it’s their own life and they have never commited to doing things in a certain way so I have no right to feel upset if they don’t do something. Sort of an important revelation for me. Hope it sticks.
    3. A nice, warm hike with beautiful views.

    Wow, writing a gratitude letter to somebody, this was a perfect challenge for me. For me there was absolutely no doubt who to write to. My best friend has always been there for me my whole life trying to help me even when I didn’t realise I needed help. And I have never properly thanked her for that. There have been several times, I had been thinking of writing a thank you note to her but I always felt silly about it because thank you notes are very unusual in our culture. However this challenge has given me the final push that I have needed. Thank you Celes. I am sorry for not sharing the letter – it’s very personal and mentioning events from my life, I would prefer to keep private :-(

  • Annamarika

    Three reasons to be grateful today:

    1. The wedding: I just got home from my friends’ wedding. It was wonderful to spend time with friends; to dance, laugh and celebrate love. (It’s already 3 am here :))
    2. My husband: He is super-patient and our communication is amazing. That’s something I’m grateful every day but especially today after our conversations.
    3. My friends: I’m so blessed to be surrounded with people who love me for who I am, support me and accept me. I didn’t grow in such environment so I really appreciate the love my friends give me.

    I just now sent a long text to a friend. We have only known each other for a little over a year but we’ve grown closer to each other lately. I told her how happy I am to have her in my life. She is a non-judgemental, sweet person and deserves to hear that.

    Thank you so much Celes for this assignement. I think I will continue sending letters, e-mails and such for important people in my life.

  • Annette Hatley

    Today, I am grateful for:
    1. Spending the day with my sister and her best friend.
    2. Telling funny stories.
    3. Feeling comfortable enough to say anything without fear.

    My email of gratitude is below:

  • Cary

    I am going to write a note to my sister, I think! She’s going through a lot but she’s been really nice to me and we’ve been getting along great lately :) I’ll report her reaction when I get it.

    3 things I’m grateful for today:
    1) I’m almost completely moved in to my new apartment for school! Just a few more things and I’ll be set :)
    2) My classes all worked out so I shouldn’t have to worry about my schedule at all; I’m really grateful for this because it’ll be one less thing to worry about as I get back into the routine of school.
    3) I got to spend an extra night at home hanging out with my sister before moving in for real ^_^

    • Cary

      She hugged me and said she would miss me :)

  • Madalina Sraier

    This year I got really close to someone who eventually became a great friend of mine, and the great thing is that we both like reading. So I’m going to write my note on a novel which I want to give to her as a “Thank you”-gift for everything she has helped me with. This is actually perfect timing, because I was thinking of something to write on the book. :)

    3 things I’m grateful for today:
    -I went out with two friends whom I haven’t seen in 2 months
    -my tumblr blog got a lot of new followers
    -I’ve managed to set a “featured posts”-slide on my book-review-blog.

  • Melody K

    Today I’m grateful for: 1)time spent with extended family, 2) helpful people, 3) sunshiny days. The person I chose to write to was my husband.

  • Jackson Nyarko

    Today I am grateful

    1. that I discovered this challenge in my mail this dawn and I’ve been able to sign up
    2. it has kept me awake else I would even oversleep and miss “Mass” cuz I got over exhausted yesterday.
    3. that I have an opportunity to be a blessing to people’s lives at Mass today

    GRATITUDE NOTE for Day 3
    This is to My responsible dad who my younger sister and I had when I was 15 years old.

    • Jackson Nyarko

      …. the Gratitude Note..

  • Donetta Sifford

    This is a photo of a Muzy design I used to write my friend, April, a gratitude note, just to let her know I appreciate her friendship.

  • Karin Heimel-Heck

    This is the gratitude note that I wrote yesterday to my dad

    Hi Dad,

    I am currently doing a gratitude journal and today assignment was to write a letter to someone you are grateful for and i picked you.

    I remember the first time we met in the hospital. You and mom were so nice to me and were genuinely concerned about me even though you had your concerns about Liz getting hurt. You trusted myself and Liz to get through the tough patches and make it out better people and a better couple. Thank you so much for your love and support.

    I never had a father who was loving and caring – or one that really cared about what I did or didn’t do. I was amazed when you and Marilyn came to my graduation. You will never know how much that meant to me.

    Every time something bad happens and we have to reach out to you for support I am always scared of the “big” explosion because that is always what happened in my family. Instead you are loving and supportive even when you have every reason to say No. Hopefully in the future we will not need to reach out to you.

    Thank you for being you dad. You are best and greatest gift I have ever gotten. I love the support you and Marilyn so freely give to me. I know you probably don’t know completely what has been going on the past couple of years but I know you have an idea and are supportive. I have never, ever been so open to parents before and I love the fact that I have you guys and that I feel always that I can trust and depend on you.

    So dad I have a ton of gratitude for you. You are my rock that I lean on and I would be lost without you. Thank you for all you have given me.

    1 hour ago

    Gratitude Challenge Day 4: Reflect on “Gratitude” and its Place in Your Life

    When I think of the word Gratitude my initial reaction is to say that I am giving thanks for something someone has done for me. I am saying that I appreciate what they have done and acknowledge the sacrifice they have made for me. I am one that likes to look words up because I always learn new things that way. In the dictionary they used the word indebtedness to describe gratitude. So in this way I see it as meaning that I have owe the other person something for what they have done for me. I have an obligation to live up to what I have done and an obligation to that person, situation, etc. They also used the word tribute. So in my gratitude I am giving a tribute for the sacrifice the other person has made for me.

    • Ffion

      That’s so beautiful. I’m sure your dad’ll be very touched.

  • Ffion

    Wrote a little note to my boyfriend on A6 paper, stamped a little heart in the centre and then wrote my letter to him around it in a circular motion. Thanking him for big and little things in our relationship <3 (I'll be giving it to him later)

    3 Things I'm grateful for Today
    1) Getting home just in time to celebrate into my brother's 17th birthday (we were stuck at another party with a flat tire :( )
    2) The people who changed our tire for us when we couldn't loosen the screws ourselves.
    3) Having the puff-pastry salmon rolls we made for the party turn out a success :)

  • Carol

    Today I’m grateful for 1) the great walk I had in the forest with my dog this morning; 2) another beautiful, humid-free, sunny day; 3) feeling relaxed and happy.

    I chose to write to my friend Marti as she understands me the most and I feel very lucky to have her as one of my friends.

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