Wednesday, August 19, 2015

7 Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Wow, I was surprised and humbled to see that several women commented on Facebook about yesterday's blog post that they felt inspired to start their own gratitude journal. I was thinking about that this morning while I ate breakfast and got the idea to share a few quick tips that have been helping me keep up with my gratitude journal. 

1. Write in something that makes you happy. That way, the first thing you can write down is your journal itself! I wrote about how a cute, but relatively inexpensive, notebook from Target is good for me. For you it might be a Moleskine notebook (rumored to be used by Hemingway himself and beloved by reporters) or a 1-subject spiral with an adorable kitten on it. You don't have to spend much money on it. Just make sure it's a dedicated notebook used only for these entries. The point I'm getting to: if your journal makes you happy, you're more likely to write in it! 

2. That being said, don't put off starting until you find the "perfect" notebook. The book doesn't matter nearly as much as your words do.

3. Keep a writing instrument with it at all times. I use a pencil because I'm a grammar freak who hates to cross out when I make corrections, but a pen is fine. Hide it if you need to, if the "pen fairies" visit your house and steal all your pens, the way they do at mine. I tend to write in my journal right before bedtime or if I get a minute during the day. If I have to spend ten minutes looking for something to write with and probably getting distracted while I'm looking, the moment may be lost. If you have a pen handy, you're more likely to write in your journal!

4. Don't be overly concerned with "correctness." This journal is for YOU. It doesn't matter if you spell every word correctly (just ignore what I said up there about making corrections. I'm a freak and you shouldn't follow my example. Plus it's quick and easy for me to make quick edits.) I don't even use complete sentences most of the time (gasp!) I use a bulleted list like this:

  • I had more energy today & I felt so much happier. Thankful.
  • Went through the school uniforms . Also decluttered closets, which inspired Justin to get a bunch of his clothes ready to donate.
  • Fun conversations playing 94% [an iPhone trivia app] and just talking with L.

 5. I like my entries to be as specific as possible. In the example above, obviously the first entry was pretty general. The second two, though, named specific activities and help me remember exactly what went on that made me happy. The great part about this is that your gratitude journal helps capture little moments of this stage in your life that you might otherwise have missed! The third bullet reminds me that my son loved playing this game with me and how it started lots of fun conversations.

6. Try to write in it regularly. I usually don't do it every day, but I still make it a habit to jot something down every 2 or 3 days at least. If I don't, I'm pretty sure I'll stop doing it. 

7. Occasionally read back over your entries and smile!


1 comment:

  1. This is great, and I'm sorry to go off on a ridiculous tangent, but the Moleskine name drives me insane - how do you pronounce it? They're made of mole skin, but they stuck an 'e' on the end to be, what, more sophisticated? Does it make the 'i' long? But that's stupid. I just read the Stephen King book that talks about Moleskine notebooks over and over and I was twitchy by the end. Deep breath. Off to find something to be grateful about - clearly it won't be that I'm not a petty neurotic who is driven to distraction by ludicrous minutiae.