Recognition and celebrating successes both in our personal and professional life, is a large piece of building and maintaining important relationships we need to succeed in life. But that’s not the only benefit. Research shows us that if we continuously focus on even the smallest things that lead to a positive feeling, it broadens our mindset and over time builds our resourcefulness, resiliency and connectedness. How would you rate the recognition you’ve been given by your boss, partner or friends on a scale of 0-10? Such an important thing and yet why do we do it so poorly? Here are some pointers to help you keep recognition and celebration simple:

1. To start, don’t wait for the right time. Recognize someone as soon as possible, making the effect much more impactful. If you see or hear something that you want to acknowledge, a simple phone call, sticky note or email can be all that’s needed. There’s never enough time to get to the small things we know make a difference, so keep it simple and just do something.

2. Make sure it has value for them. Whether it’s for employee recognition or a significant life event like a birthday, giving a gift card seems simple and easy. But, even this can be fraught with danger. They may not shop at that particular store on, preferring to shop more local depending on where they live. We’ve found that most people prefer kind words over a gift, ideally something in writing and given to them by someone important to them. The acknowledgement should be specific to the individual and their contributions.

3. Make it something unexpected. It could be as simple as a coffee, or dropping by when no one expects it. Think about what it would be like to show up to a meeting or your child’s extracurricular with treats, or if someone showed up unexpectedly at your home with supper on a busy week night. A simple flower delivered to your work or home, whether it’s from your garden or the local florist can have a profound effect, particularly if others are witness to it, an invitation to be part of the celebration.

4. Take the time to find what’s good or right. Our brains are naturally wired to focus on the negative regarding ourselves and others. Spend time catching people doing good things and find ways to spread the wealth. You might have to work hard to find reasons to recognize some people, but that’s okay. A little encouragement may be all someone needs.

Think of how many things people have done for you to make your life a little richer this week. Be grateful for those people and try to take the time to acknowledge them in some small but meaningful way. And remember, the more we give to others the more it comes right back.