Today, I’m excited to share with you how I keep my daily gratitude journal as well as a template you can download and use to begin your very own gratitude journal!
The importance of gratitude
I don’t know where I first read about the importance of gratitude, but it really stuck with me. It used to be that I only thought about what I was grateful for when Thanksgiving rolled around, but somebody told me that your life would improve drastically if you made time to each day to count your blessings. I was skeptical at first, but I tried the whole gratitude journal thing anyway and believe it or not, it made a huge difference! Not only did I make myself more aware of the positive things I had going for me when I actually wrote in my journal, but I also found myself thinking about the good things in life as I was going through my day.
I mentioned my journaling here, and in this post I asked if you’d be interested in learning more about the format I use. I got a positive response, so I figured I would write a post detailing my personal gratitude journal method.
How I use my gratitude journal
Because this process is so personal, it’s important to have a journal format that works for you individually. I’ve tweaked mine a bit since I started and I’ve been really happy with it lately. I write in my journal twice every day, once in the morning and once before I sleep. Below is the format I follow.
• 3 things I’m grateful for
• What I can do to make the day awesome
• A positive affirmation
• 3 awesome things that happened today
It’s a pretty simple format and it’s easy for me to remember as well as being highly effective in getting me to focus on positivity. It’s important to me that I use specific, concrete examples for each point because that grounds me in that particular day and helps me stay focused. Below is an example of a typical day in my gratitude journal:
• I’m grateful for warm blankets, yummy snacks, and natural light in my room.
• I can make today awesome by staying focused in the library and checking all my homework off my to-do list.
• I am a hard worker and people appreciate what I do.
• I finished all of my homework before 10 p.m.
• I spent time in the sun.
• I got to pet a dog!
The key here is that NOTHING you write in your journal has to be big or important. You don’t have to write about how it was so awesome that you got accepted to your dream internship and aced all your classes, because maybe that didn’t happen. It’s okay if the awesome thing that happened is that a baby smiled at you or if the thing you’re grateful for is the extra five minutes of sleep you got this morning. The point of gratitude journals is to help you celebrate the everyday joys and to let you realize that there are awesome things in your life, even when it seems like nothing is going your way.
Do you want to make gratitude a more important part of your everyday life but you’re not sure how? Enter your email below to check out my FREE ebook all about setting and achieving your goals. This goal setting method is the one I used to learn to stick to my gratitude journal!
While I don’t remember where I first heard about gratitude journaling, I DO remember that the inspiration for my personal format came from: The Five Minute Journal. I saw some YouTubers talking about it and it seemed pretty awesome, but I didn’t have the cash to shell out for one of them. Instead, I adapted the question that journal asks to create my own custom journal that works even better for my needs.
How you can get started
You don’t need any special tools to get started with your very own gratitude journal. I just use a regular little notebook and journal on a new page each day. I know some people that track their daily gratitudes in their planner or on their phone. The point isn’t how you do it, it’s that you’re doing it in the first place.
That being said, if you’re the type of person who needs a bit of help getting started, I created a template for you to print out and fill in as part of your journaling every day. It follows the format of my journal and it’s meant to be a starting off point for you to learn the basics of gratitude journaling before you develop your own system that’s unique to your needs.
I hope this post and my journal template has been helpful and has inspired you to embrace gratitude in your everyday life. Are you starting a gratitude journal? What are some things you’re grateful for?