4 simple Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal

As a busy mom of 3 kids, I am always hearing someone complain. This shirt is too scratchy, the food isn’t good…….you get the idea. But, any time I hear complaining, I always remind my children that thankfulness is a choice. Everything around us has been given to us by God and we will always feel better if we choose to be thankful. One way to practice thankfulness is by keeping a gratitude journal.

A picture of a white tray holding 2 books, a pen and a cup of tee. Beside the tray is a white knitted sweater. Under the picture is the One Determined Life logo. Under the logo are the words 4 tips for keeping a gratitude Journal.

Keeping a gratitude journal has shown to have a positive effect on people’s lives. Studies have shown how keeping a journal is beneficial for mental and physical health.

Starting a gratitude journal is very simple and can be done with very little cost.

3 Things you need to start a gratitude journal

1. Writing implements

To write a gratitude journal, you will need some sort of writing implement. You could use a pen or pencil but can increase the fun and creative aspect of your journal by adding colour and even texture.

Different coloured pens or pencils, as well as different styles, can make your gratitude journal not just a record of thanks but also a really creative endeavour.

2. Notebook

To write, you have to have something to write in.

You could use a piece of paper, but keeping a special notebook for your thankfulness journal ensures that you will know exactly where you are writing and allows you to review previous entries.

Your notebook can be a plain and simple one or you could splurge a little bit and get a leather-bound journal.

To make your gratitude journal a bit more personal, you can take a plain inexpensive journal and decorate it.

By decorating a plain notebook or making a book from scratch you are making a greater commitment to the project itself. Your notebook will mean more to you and you will feel a greater connection to it when you use it.

I prefer pen and paper, but in today’s age, it might seem old fashion. If you prefer digital records, you can grab your phone, tablet or any other technology you have and create a folder or document for your journal entries. You want to make sure that you label your documents clearly so that they can easily be found for future reference.

3. Time Alone

As a busy mom of 3 kids, I rarely have time alone, so I have had to be creative to have dedicated time to write in my gratitude journal.

By taking time out for yourself, you are giving yourself space to think, relax and write. You’ll also find that you enjoy the experience of being alone and celebrating those things you are thankful for.

Pick a time each day that you can dedicate 5 minutes to writing in your thankfulness journal. 5 minutes does not sound very long, but it’s amazing how much I can write in such a little time.

Setting small goals will make your journalling an easier habit to keep.

Now you know what you need it’s time to discover how to do it.

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3. Steps to writing in your gratitude journal

  1. Collect your journal and whatever you’ve chosen to write with.
  2. Find somewhere quiet and that you know you won’t be disturbed. Your journaling time should be a time for reflection and celebration free from outside distractions for the best results.
  3. Ensure you are committed to gratitude journaling and that you want to feel more grateful as a result. There is no point in just going through the motions of journaling without creating a positive meaningful emotional experience.

4 Tips for Success

1. Make a date

To make sure that you have as much success as you want for this, make yourself a reminder to write in your gratitude journal.

While you could journal every day, it may be more beneficial to create a habit of writing in your gratitude journal once a week. This will allow you to plan for it and enjoy it.

Set yourself a weekly date to write in your gratitude journal. I know that for me, there is always one day a week that I have more time to write than other days. This would be the perfect day to start a new habit.

2. Don’t just make a list

When you write, instead of creating a long list of things you are grateful for, take some time and put some real thought into it.

Take time to write about a particular event and describe in detail why you are thankful for it. Remember to record how you felt and why.

The more detail you include, the greater connection you will create. You will also be able to look back and read all the details of events you are grateful for and why.

3. Include people

When writing in your gratitude journal, try to include people you are thankful for as much as you can, not just events.

By including specific people and the reasons you are thankful for them you will create a greater emotional impact. It becomes more personal.

Make sure that you also include any surprises or unexpected events that have happened that day/week. Doing this will create a stronger sense of gratitude and have a more significant emotional impact.

4. Use prompts

If you have read of all this and still have no clue or where to start, that’s ok. Starting something new can be intimidating.

So, to help you kick off this journey, I have created a Free 10-day gratitude journal for you. This journal contains some more details about the benefits of journalling and 10 prompts you can use to help you focus on something specific when journalling.

To get this free journal, click here or on the link below.

You can also check out this link to get more prompts.

There are no right or wrong ways to keep a gratitude journal. Everyone’s will be different. However, it is important that you are committed to the process and the outcome, as well as make time for it on a regular basis.

In the comments below, share any tips or tricks you use when writing in your gratitude journal.

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