The power of gratitude to achieve goals

The power of gratitude is often overlooked, especially in coaching. We tend to focus on achieving more, but gratitude can help us recognise the good things we already have and build on them. It helps us approach life from a place of abundance and strength, rather than lack.


Striving for self-improvement is how we have evolved as human beings, but we must be aware of the transactional mindset that often drives us. We tend to think that achieving a certain goal will make us happy, popular, or confident. However, sometimes that goal might not bring us the lasting satisfaction or self-esteem we crave. Our brains are wired to achieve and acquire things, as part of our "driver system" designed to meet our core needs and make us feel satisfied and survive! 
Advertisers and promoters take advantage of this biological tendency by disguising our wants as needs and getting us hooked to buy more things. Although achieving more feels good in the short term, it does not necessarily lead to lasting happiness. 
Gratitude partners with the benefits of mindfulness and self-compassion, which helps us build resilience and a new perspective. Together, they help us shift our attitude and mindset so we can see the good in every situation, no matter how small. When we focus on gratitude, we start to realise that we already have enough to do what we need to do.
Research has shown that gratitude cultivates positive emotions and can impact our health and wellness by lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, and boosting our immune system. Gratitude can also help our relationships, as it has been associated with social bonding, appreciating others and appreciating ourselves, which taps into our brain's motivation for safety and connection. Allowing others to appreciate us can create a virtuous cycle that positively impacts our health and well-being, as well as those we care about.

How do we translate this into practice? Take a moment to read Lemon Sissay's poem, Let light pour in.

“How do you do it?” Said night

“How do you wake up and shine?”

“I keep it simple,” said light

“One day at a time”

It's important to focus on the positive things in life, instead of getting upset over negative things. We need to stop overthinking and pay attention to the good things around us. Try to notice and feel the positive emotions in your body, take a deep breath and savour the experience for a few seconds. Name the emotion you're feeling and enjoy it, like joy, contentment, pride, happiness, or tingling. It's called taking in the good. 

There are different ways to experience gratitude. Some people like to write in a journal and reflect on the people, places, things, and experiences that make their lives better. Others prefer to talk about the things they are grateful for to make them more real.

A simple practice is to walk with a friend or partner and take turns saying what you're grateful for, e.g. I am grateful for my health...,  I am grateful for the sound of the bird... Listen carefully to the other person and be present in the moment. This might seem strange at first, but with practice, it can be enjoyable, especially when you're surrounded by nature and the simple joys of life. Cultivating gratitude can change our perspective and help us appreciate what we already have. This can give us more energy and motivation to pursue our goals.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Preston PR2 & Hove BN3
Written by Lou Booth, Life & Business Coach (ILM) Mindfulness (MSc) Business (BA)
Preston PR2 & Hove BN3

Lou helps clients to transform, and find their authenticity igniting their passion and inner wisdom to live well - in work, life and play. Combining new and traditional ideas, she is a qualified ILM Executive Coach business and wellness coach, and a member of with a Master's in Studies in Mindfulness from Aberdeen University.

Show comments

Find a coach dealing with Motivation

All coaches are verified professionals

All coaches are verified professionals