Gratitude Journal: 30 Days To Happiness
What’s there to be grateful for? If you can only list off 10-20 things off the top of your head then perhaps you haven’t given much thought to how lucky you really are. What’s there to be grateful for? Lots of things like: your job, your health, your family, the air you breathe, the roof over your head, your mind, your vision. We can all list the obvious ones but it’s the everyday subtleties that we may be taking for granted.
To gain awareness of all the things that make life great you can join me in starting a gratitude journal. The first time I heard of the gratitude journal I thought “Wow that sounds like a nice idea” and really just left it at that. However, the more I focus on developing myself – wanting to live a simpler and more enjoyable life – I’m now finding that I look for what there is to be grateful for. This has been important in changing the way I see life and circumstances. Obstacles can be seen as opportunities. Opportunities to build character or to reaffirm how much you really want what’s on the other side. Looking for and seeing the good in every situation creates a shift in thinking to the positive.
So with that in mind, I started my first gratitude journal yesterday. OK it’s actually on a piece of paper tucked inside my other journal that I write in nightly, but it’s a start and I will make it more formal very soon. You may already be keeping one for yourself and that’s great! But if not I hope you will consider starting one with me today.
What is a gratitude journal?
The gratitude journal is simply a journal you use to capture gratitude. It can be sexy and luxurious or as plain and simple as you want it to be. You can use a simple notebook, some white paper or a diary.
Once you have something to write in you will write 5 things that you are grateful for that day. You can do this right before bed or in the evening sometime. These don’t have to be big earth shattering revelations, as most things you are grateful for are not. These entries are what matter to you and what you are grateful for. This is a very personal venture. The only 2 rules with the gratitude journal are:
- Everything in it must be positive and;
- You can only list something you’re grateful for once – no repeating entries.
Ideas behind the gratitude journal
By looking for things that you are grateful for each day you automatically start seeing the positive side of everything. You begin to focus on what you have rather than what you don’t.
The idea is not to write the same 5 things every night. In fact, every entry should be unique from the ones before. I’m anticipating that this will be fairly easy in the first week or two, then become a little more difficult. After a bit more practice my mind will be trained to look for the good and finding things to be grateful for will become a little easier again. I also foresee gratitude being easier to find on good days however, on bad days it may be a bit more difficult. However, it’s on these bad days that positive thinking will be most so it’s important to keep going!
My 30 day challenge to you
So this all sounds good right? Ready to put it into action? These journals are very personal, so I won’t ask that you make your entries public. By making them public it may discourage you from being completely honest and you will likely hold back on what you are truly grateful for.
But I would like to know if you will join me on keeping a gratitude journal for at least 30 days. That’s it. If, at the end of 30 days (April 9) you don’t find it useful, it hasn’t changed your outlook on life or it hasn’t added value to your life then feel free to stop. There’s no one forcing you to continue.
Steps to starting the challenge today
1. Make it public. Visit this page and submit a comment and let me know that you are up for the challenge. I’ll be asking you half way through how it’s going – Is it easier or harder than you thought? Have you kept up with it? Is it adding value? Again at the end I will touch base again and ask the same questions as well as if you intend to keep it going beyond the 30 day trial and what impact it has had on your life.
2. Get a notebook. You should choose something that you will enjoy writing in. If you like a particular color, feel of the paper, or fabric covering the notebook go with that. If you like things simple with no distractions go for a plain covered book with unlined paper. It’s totally up to you. You can even personalize it if you like with doodles or photographs. Alternatively you can use the resource I put together specifically for you, Gratitude Journal.
3. Get a nice pen. Choose a pen that you enjoy writing with and leave it near your journal so you have everything you need ready to go.
4. Choose a location. I suggest keeping your journal on your bedside table. If you don’t want to write just as you’re going to bed keep it somewhere that will encourage you to write in it regularly. I suggest at night right before bed as you can reflect on what you’re grateful for that day, but really you can write in it any time that suits you.
By centering your life on gratitude you can a shift in your thinking to the positive and gain awareness of what’s great in your life. Everything seems a little easier, a little brighter, you are more open to opportunities when they arise and you start to focus on what you have rather than what you don’t.
So one question remains: Are YOU up to the challenge?
Tips To Enjoy Life
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