15 minute Easy, Meaningful Appreciation

We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference.  Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.


Recently, I was feeling very unmotivated.  I’d committed to too many things and I was feeling the pressure.  And then a wonderful student came in with just what I needed.  A heartfelt thank you card.  It’s been weeks and I still have the card on my desk.  In fact, I save most of the thank you cards I receive.  Why? Because these meaningful notes remind me that what I’m doing makes a difference and re-energizes me to keep going.

I’m encouraging you to spend your time today to write a thank you note for someone in your life.  And here is the strategy to get it done in 15 minutes.


Find the right card.

I like unique cards that are blank inside because they can be used for multiple occasions.  Save time and money–buy these in bulk. I also really like homemade cards.  When my kids send thank yous for gifts, I give them a blank piece of paper and they draw a special message for their card. (yes, some are ridiculous–but isn’t that what makes them great?)  I’ve seen these cards displayed or saved in friends and family homes, because it’s a personal card that has meaning for the recipient.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy, just heartfelt and sincere.

Write a great message.

You’re not going for Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech.  Sure, it can be great, but you don’t need to spend more than 15 minutes to make it happen.  Here is a basic strategy that works every time:

“Dear (name here),

Thank you for (whatever they did or are doing).  I appreciate (what they’re doing) because (why you appreciate it) or You’ve made a difference because (why it matters what they’re doing).  You are (awesome, great, helpful)! 

Keep up the good work! (or something to motivate them to keep up the good work)


(Your Name)


Consider Extras.

A heartfelt note is certainly more than enough to make someone’s day.  But guess what else works too, presents.  Especially good presents.  Gift cards are a Wow! addition, but homemade cookies or treats will most certainly do the trick.  Think about the level of “Thanks” needed and provide extras appropriately.  And save yourself time; keep your gifts organized in advance, so you can just grab one and go.


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