Our personal gratitude practices are going to look unique depending on what works best for us, but many people love the ease and convenience of a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals range from the simple to the complex, and there is no right or wrong way to journal. They are all about you-- unique and a reflection of whatever is in your heart. The practice of consistently using a gratitude journal is something to be admired and will bring a positive outcome to anyone who keeps the practice.
Gratitude journals are incredibly powerful, and there is so much research that provides evidence to the power they can bring to our lives. Gratitude journals can help us feel the emotion of gratitude and harness the power of that emotion to change our lives. The practice itself is simple, but consistently using a gratitude journal to unlock the power of gratitude may sound intimidating.
8 GRATITUDE JOURNALING TIPS
Here are eight tips for creating, keeping, and maintaining a gratitude practice with your gratitude journal:
1. It takes 66 days to form a new habit, which means it is going to take some commitment to start a gratitude practice. It is not something that you can master immediately, and will need to keep at it. Recognizing that you have a long journey ahead- one that changes your life in more positive ways than you can imagine- is a great way to approach the start of this new practice.
2. Buy a gratitude journal you love. It does not have to be fancy, but a gratitude journal you love with a structure that fits your personal preference will make the practice easier than simply jotting something down on paper or typing a note in your phone. One with strong gratitude quotes and prompts is even better!
3. Set a specific time every day for your practice. It will be easy to keep the habit if you are consistently doing it at the same time every day. Maybe it is the first thing you do when you wake up, or you set aside a few minutes on your lunch break. Maybe it is not every day, and only once a week! No matter what, it is about being sincere in your practicing and truly reflecting on your blessings.
4. Tim Ferriss gave an amazing tip when it comes to practicing gratitude. He says there are four main focuses: Relationships, Opportunities, Great Events and Simple Things. Write this down in your gratitude journal, so that when you are journaling, you have an easy framework to draw from.
5. Create a calendar alert! It may feel silly, but as your start to create a habit, it will be helpful to have a reminder to keep you accountable. As you solidify your new routine, it may not be necessary for you anymore, but to start, it will be a wonderful way to hold yourself accountable.
6. There is no word limit or word minimum. Maybe you had an amazing thing happen to you, and 1,200 words won't even cut it when it comes to journaling about your gratitude for it. Alternatively, maybe "Bed, coffee, music" are the only things you feel like writing down. No matter how detailed or how simple your gratitude journaling is, it is not simply going through the motions- it's about reflecting on the positivity in your heart.
7. Less is more. Maybe once a day is not realistic for you when it comes to a gratitude journal. Even if it's once a day, once a week or once a month, creating the routine habit will make you happier from the inside out.
8. Let yourself be a human! Sometimes, practicing gratitude every single day may not be what you need. Maybe you need a day to complain, cry, vent or let your mind be blank. If you miss a day, two days, or even a week, this is completely okay because you are a human. You have not failed. Silence the little voice in your head that says you messed this up and realize that every single person in the history of time has 'messed something up'. What defines you is your ability to start back up despite the tiny road bumps. Gratitude is a practice for a reason- there is no finish line. You will be practicing every single day of your life, and your gratitude practice will be the best way to keep making steps to increased self love.
You can read more about gratitude journaling in our Ultimate Guide to Gratitude Journaling post.
We are here to support you and your gratitude practice. If you have questions about gratitude journaling or have a story of gratitude to share, please feel encouraged to do that and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.