The reason to keep a gratitude journal is to instill a sense of gratefulness in yourself. The Law of Attraction says that we attract what we think about. So if you want to have more in your life to be grateful for, start being grateful today!
1. Get a journal
To keep a gratitude journal, you will obviously need a notebook. You could also use the electronic sort, like your laptop or PDA. I prefer a paper and pen approach to writing a journal as I’ve found it to be more therapeutic. You may want to start with a simple, cheap exercise book.
My journals used to be basic, black, unromantic things. Now I spoil myself with fabric-bound, high quality books. I also write with a fountain pen as it feels good. If you’re new to journalling, just get something basic or something you like.
If you need some structure and discipline, you can try this 90-day gratitude journal. After the first 90 days, you should have formed a habit which can be continued in any ordinary notebook. So you will only have to purchase this once just for a starting boost.
2. Set aside a few minutes a day
A good time to keep a gratitude journal is just before you go to bed at night. By this time the events of the day would have unfolded and you can look back on the day to pick out things you are grateful for. It helps to sit by yourself in a quiet place so you can think in peace. Spend a few minutes just thinking about your day and all the things that went well.
Alternatively, you could journal first thing in the morning, before your busy day starts. While you may have to make more effort to remember events of the previous day, it is a good way to start your day.
Sometimes I skip journaling at night because of sleepiness or other reasons. In that case I simply do it the next morning. The thing is not to beat yourself up if you miss a day or a week or even a month. Just start again when you remember. Once you’ve journalled consistently for 30 days, it will become a habit and you won’t have to make a big effort to remember anymore.
3. Write five things you are grateful for each day
Here are some samples from people who keep a gratitude journal:
“Today I am grateful:
1. For a wise and loving Mum who takes an interest in my life, listens to me when I need to talk, and shares her wisdom.
2. To have spent time with my two nephews watching Tarzan together, with them leaning against me affectionately.
3. That I resisted the temptation to buy a chocolate ice-cream at the 7-11 nearby, and came home to munch on an apple instead.
4. For a good day at work, where my talents are put to good use, and my time is used meaningfully to benefit other people.
5. For R’s friendship, keeping in touch with me through text messages just to ask how things are with me and make sure I’m ok.”
Your five points may each be a word long, or a whole paragraph long, or a mix of the two. There are no hard and fast rules. Write anything that comes to mind.
Some days I write more than five points, but I keep to a minimum of five because no matter how badly a day goes, I can always find five things, even if it’s just “I’m alive” or “I have a job.” Five is a small enough number to do daily, but a large enough number for your mind to understand that there are many things to be grateful for.
4. Count your blessings often
I heard a recommendation that you should review each day’s entry the next morning, to start the day on a good note. Personally I don’t have the discipline to open my journal in the morning just to read it. I usually open it only when I have something to write.
Sometimes when I’m writing in my journal, I flip back through the pages. I do this perhaps once a fortnight, and more often if I’m experiencing emptiness in my life. The uplifting effect of reading so many things in your life that you are grateful for can be understood only if you do this yourself.
5. Show others your journal
My journal is very private because I write all my thoughts in it, not just the five daily things. So I don’t actually allow anyone to read the journal. But I do take it out and show friends the pages with my daily gratitude lists. Sometimes I read out the specific points that include them, so they know I am grateful for them.
The reason for showing others is to bring some joy into their lives from knowing that they are appreciated. It also makes your gratitude ‘real’ by sending these lists out into the universe. When the universe (or God) knows you value your blessings, it will send you even more.
Sounds esoteric, but it works. Keep a gratitude journal and see for youself!
18 replies on “Keep A Gratitude Journal”
[…] on itself and before you know it, you will be living life large! Along the way, be sure to keep a gratitude journal. This will help you keep track of all of the progress you are about to […]
[…] Probably the second best thing I did on my path to happiness was to start a gratitude journal. Write down five things you are grateful for each day, either at the end of the day or first thing […]
Bill, thanks very much for your comment!
Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂
[…] – We overlook and forget about hundreds of good things that happen to us every single day. Keeping a gratitude journal will help you stay positive because it reminds you of all the good things you having going for […]
Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.
Sometimes things are simple but not easy. I’d feel stupid half the time if I let myself, because life really is simple when we strip away all the frills. Still, we learn every day, and that’s the fun part!
tks for the effort you put in here I appreciate it!
Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
that I have really liked reading your blog posts. Anyway
I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!
Great post! I’ll subscribe right now wth my feedreader software!
Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
Your, Raiul Baztepo
That’s a wonderful idea actually. Giving thanks at the end of each month would be a super way to end the month, and if you do so on your blog, maybe you will spread the practice to those who read your blog. This simple practice can change lives!
This is a really great idea, I’m thinking to incorporate this in my blog, like a series or something. Perhaps monthly or so, it could be a great way to end a month.
Several times I have actually given Gratitude Journals to family and friends for Christmas with the instructions to write down 5 things each day that they were grateful for. I love doing a Gratitude Journal myself. Life seems sweeter when I do that small practice. It is a beautiful way to feel connected to the Divine.
Hi Linda, yes I find that it’s so easy to lapse into negative thinking. Try the journal for a month and see if you become happier and appreciate life more!
Hi Daphne,i am going to start keeping a gratitude journal!It is important to count our blessings as sometimes in life we tend to become too cynical…