Wednesday, June 13, 2012

my little guide to keeping a gratitude journal

Listing 3-5 things in my gratitude journal, every night before I go to bed, has really opened my eyes to everything that I can be thankful for. I can absolutely say that I already feel more grateful (and hence happier) during my everyday life than I did before. However, writing in a gratitude journal every day can easily become stale and feel forced after a short while. Here is how I have kept it a pleasant habit, which I intend to keep for at least few more weeks:
  • keep it pretty: if you are a visual person, it helps to have a nice pretty-looking notebook dedicated to your gratitude.
  • keep it simple: I try not to write too much. Usually I just list 3 words. Otherwise I think this habit might become more arduous and difficult to maintain.
  • keep it fresh: in order to benefit from writing in your journal it is necessary to keep it fresh. i.e. not just thoughtlessly write: mom, dad, house, dog...night after night. Take a couple of minutes to think about the things you listed and relive the joy and happiness you associate with the words you wrote down.
  • keep it constant: it is my happy habit. I keep my journal and a pen next to bed and writing in the journal is the last thing I do before I turn off the lights. It reminds of my happiness project, of my progress, and of my goals.
  • alternatively: if keeping a journal still feels tedious, find alternative ways to think about gratitude. Find a person in your life, that you can talk to on regular basis about what you are grateful for. I've started to do this with my four year old daughter every now and then. Just before she goes to sleep we talk about our day, and what we are grateful for. So at the same time as I remind myself to be grateful, I am forwarding this great habit to my daughter. Two birds, one stone (is there a nicer idiom in the English language with the same meaning?)

happy journal writing!


  1. Have you ever heard of a gratitude rock? I have one that I carry with me in my purse. It didn't cost me anything - I found a rock I liked while I was walking on the beach and drew a big "G" on it. The idea behind the rock, is every time you touch it, you're supposed to think of the things you're grateful for. I need to be more diligent with mine, but the rock serves as a great reminder of everything that is going great in my life.