Thanksgiving week is my absolute favorite week of the year, as offices close for a few days and families and friends gather just for the purpose of being thankful. Dating back to the Pilgrims, and whether in times of abundance or struggle, the importance of reflection and gratitude has been a centerpiece of American culture.
When a global pandemic sent the world home to hunker down in 2020, our team searched for ways to stay connected to each other as people instead of just as co-workers on screens. Our daily online meetings each had a theme to keep us focused on the work that was most important for that day. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday all had clear mandates as we prepared for client meetings and executed projects throughout the week. We chose to leave Thursday open-ended for goals to accomplish before the end of the week. At the time - when the world felt pretty desperate - we also needed a moment in each week to recognize that positive things were still happening. Thankful Thursday was born, giving each of us an opportunity to express gratitude for someone or something in our lives over the past week.
It became a way for us to say thanks out loud for big and small sources of joy, happiness, or just relief. But it has also served as a touchpoint for all of us with each other - a glimpse into our teammates’ lives and what makes them who they are. Thankful Thursday topics have included once in a lifetime experiences, concerts, the turn of a season, family members coming to visit, family members going back home, the appreciation of a teammate, an upcoming vacation, the accomplishments of a loved one, weddings, babies, the start of college football, improved health, a new hobby, personal achievements, tests passed, a recognition that we live in a great country despite her current challenges.
More than three years later, Thankful Thursday is still a part of our weekly ritual. If the team meeting is ever canceled, we share our gratitude via our chat. Even in moments of great personal or professional challenge, the opportunity to call out a reason to be grateful is a very positive experience. We have felt firsthand what research shows - that expressing gratitude is good for you, creates optimism, and helps you feel connected. As you spend time with friends, family, and even yourself this week, we encourage you to try it out - celebrate Thankful Thursday by telling someone else what you are thankful for.
We are incredibly grateful to be part of the thriving North Texas community which has given us the opportunity to grow our firm, actively participate in philanthropy, and help so many families achieve financial independence. From the BFS Advisory Group team to you, your family, and friends, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.
Debra Brennan Tagg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and the creator of the DBT360 Financial Plan, a proprietary program that helps her clients prioritize their goals, leverage their resources, and address their risks. She is the president of BFS Advisory Group and teaches the public and the financial services industry about the importance of values-based financial planning and investor education.