Creating a Gratitude Journal in 2016

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed the TEDTalks videos yesterday and are feeling inspired. We're continuing this 30-day journey and focusing today on #Gratitude.

DAY TWO: In the New Year, many of us write down resolutions and look forward to embracing healthy change.  There are also significant benefits of practicing mindfulness and dedicating time to gratitude. I recommend starting 2016 with a gratitude journal and here's why:

5 Benefits to Creating a Gratitude Journal

1. Focusing on gratefulness increases levels of life satisfaction, optimism and lowers levels of stress. (source)

2. Gratitude is good for your heart health. (source

3. Practicing gratitude daily can make the world a better place. Studies have shown those who write every day what they are grateful for are more likely to help others. (source)

4. Gratitude actually makes us more appreciative, trusting and social. As a result, it helps us make more friends and deepen our existing relationships. (source)

5. An attitude of gratitude can increase your work productivity and improve progress toward personal goals. (source)

Now we have to find our right space and time to be able to contribute to this mission every day!

5 Tips on How to Write Your Gratitude Journal Every Day: 

1. When to write? Pick the time of day that is most realistic of you. For me, this is before bed vs. in the morning. This is a time that you can take 5 minutes to write, with no distraction. 

2. Where to write? I use a blank notebook. This is a space where I can write each day/date and gratitudes as we go. Pick up a pick or create space on your phone/computer to write daily. *See my favorite journals below.

3. What to write? Keep it simple! Here a few themes that will hopefully spark ideas so you can get started:

  • Think of your senses. What did you see, smell, taste, hear today? 
  • Think of those around you. What person are you grateful for today?
  • Take in the moments of the day. What was the weather, what did you get to do?
  • Appreciate you. What gifts are you grateful for that you possess?
  • Imagine your surroundings. What do you like about where you are, where you live?
  • Remember the good. What is a memory that you grateful for?
  • Think about unique experiences. What is something you were able to do that you loved?
  • Celebrate accomplishments. What did you achieve at work, in life?
  • Relish small pleasures. What is a moment that you were able to enjoy something small?
  • Reflect on your values. What have you learned and what values are you grateful for?

4. What not to write? Starting the gratitude journal is a personal journey for all of us. And like anything, you may have days where you are not in the mood, or it doesn't feel completely authentic. Remember that this takes practice and is a process, you don't have to write something profound everyday, and you certainly do not have to be perfect. My personal gratitudes vary from short to long and topics range from Ice Cream to Cozy Nights by the Fire, to my Puppy, to my health, my family, my job! You can do it.

5. How many gratitudes per day? Commit to 3 per day. Your length should be 1-3 sentences.  In addition to expressing what you are grateful for, try to be descriptive and perhaps share why you feel gratitude.

Lastly. Have fun, soon you will hit your journaling stride!

Journals I love: