New This Month

An Inspiring Resolution: This Man Writes 5 Thank-You Notes Every Day

And maybe you should too.

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

If you're having trouble keeping that stay-healthy-by-going-to-the-gym-five-times-a-week new year resolution, may we humbly suggest an alternative? (You wouldn't be alone, by the way, we gave up ours on day three.) How about you make this year #TheYearofThankYou?

 

Don't worry, this is not some unrealistic challenge or tough commitment — on the contrary. Meet John Israel, the person who came up with said challenge and whose goal is to "elevate the level of gratitude on the planet." To do that, Israel decided to write five thank-you notes to different people every single day. He actually kicked off with this idea last October, and in a year, he should have 1,825 handwritten notes.

 

 

[MAKE THIS: A Thank-You Card Decorated with a Pretty Paper Garland]

Why cards, you may ask? "They mean so much more to an individual than a text, or an email, or a Facebook comment," he says. "It takes time to #1) Buy a card, #2) Write something thoughtful #3) Buy a stamp and mail it."

 


He's also set up some pretty strict rules: If he misses a day, he has to donate $1,000 for charity. For another, all of the notes must be handwritten and today's notes are not transferable to tomorrow — in other words, he can't just write 35 for the week in one day. His goal is to actually sit down and write thoughtful cards every day — no exceptions.

 

 

[FIND INSPIRATION: Join Us For "31 Days of Gratitude," Our Daily Calligraphy Project]

He writes that one of the reasons why he's doing it is to "inspire others to start their own journey of appreciating the people and world around them" and "to just be more open to the inspiration to appreciate something or someone in the moment. That's how we are going to reach the 74 million." If you are wondering where that number came from, that's how much 1 percent of the world's population is. That's how many people he needs to inspire to reach his goal.

 

So if you want to help Israel and show people you appreciate them, it will only take about an hour of your day to write those five cards. Why not start today?

 

And you know, it's not too early to start thinking about Valentine's Day cards: