I like to say I'm masquerading as a thoughtful person.
In truth, it's just not in my make-up to be instinctively thoughtful. Saying that makes me cringe, but those are the sad facts. Unfortunately for me, being thoughtful is something I deeply desire, because I want to make the people I love feel seen, known, encouraged, and loved. Don't we all?
So, over the years, I've found ways to compensate for my lack of innate thoughtfulness, and these little tips and tricks have added up. As Aristotle said, "we are what we repeatedly do." In that case, maybe I can call myself a thoughtful person after all...
If you, too, have a life goal to be a more thoughtful friend, partner, daughter, or mama, here are some of my favorite easy hacks!
1. Set reminders in your phone. Every month, I use my perpetual calendar to set reminders in my phone for upcoming birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones. (You can also set the reminders to repeat yearly!) This makes it so easy to remember to send a quick text, send a note card, or make the phone call to connect on the big day.
2. Keep a happy mail station at the ready. Gather pretty blank note cards, encouraging postcards, stamps, a return address stamp (if you'd like), your favorite pen, and fun extras like washi tape and stickers and keep them in a central spot. That way, dashing off a quick note of encouragement or thanks won't seem like an inconvenience - when the supplies are within arm's reach, they're hard to ignore!
3. Take notes. My preferred way is via the iPhone Notes app, because I can access it on the go, but any old notebook will do! Keep lists of gift ideas (jot a reminder when someone mentions a product or store they love!), favorite foods/meals/treats/coffee orders, or personal preferences. That way, you'll be ready to spring into action on special days or those just because situations.
4. Take cues from their Enneagram type or love language. Part of being a thoughtful person is thinking more about them than you, and really studying what lights them up. For your closest loved ones, it's worth putting the time in to understand their love languages, their Enneagram type, or your personality framework of choice. Think of it as a shortcut to speaking right to their heart with whatever gesture you're putting your effort into! We like following the Nine Types Co. for Enneagram insight.
5. Make it a goal. If we really want to get better at something or do something consistently, writing it down as a goal is a great first step. Last year, I wrote "make plans or connect with two friends" every single month in my PowerSheets® goal planner, and wouldn't you know, not only had I had more meaningful moments with my friends than any year in recent memory by December, but reaching out and making plans had become much more instinctual.
6. Repeat after me: "I have the power to make someone's day." A final barrier to being a thoughtful person? Worrying that the recipient will think you're too much, or too forward. "Are we good enough friends for that?" has definitely crossed my mind before reaching out to offer a meal.
In the end, might they be surprised? Sure. Offended? Never. And besides, wouldn't you rather someone think you're weird because you're overly thoughtful rather than overly standoffish? :) YOU have the power to make someone's day - never be afraid to use it!
I'd love to hear: what hacks do you use to be a more thoughtful person? How have you used your PowerSheets to deepen or tend to your relationships?