How to Create a Gratitude Journal
I’m so happy that you’re interested in learning how to create a gratitude journal! Gratitude journals are very rewarding, and the benefits are noticeable almost immediately. You’ll be wondering why you didn’t create a gratitude journal long ago. The practice can take as little as 5 minutes a day or as many as 15 to 20 minutes. It just depends on where you are in the process and what you wish to accomplish. As with anything, the more you put into a gratitude journal, the more you’ll get out of it. We’ll start off with the basics.
Gratitude Journal Supplies
You only need a notebook and a pen. In my case, I devote a monthly spread (2 pages) from my Bullet Journal to my Gratitude Log. I also like to use my colored felt-tip pens. I find the color adds some “fun” to the pages and helps break up what could otherwise be just a long list.
Now that you have your supplies let’s dive in to How to Create a Gratitude Journal
Step 1 – Start with the Current Month
Keep this simple for starters. You can get fancier as you get the hang of it.
- Label your new notebook or the page/spread as your Gratitude Journal or Log. The image shown on the right is a photo of my current Gratitude Log.
- Write the current month at the top of the page.
- Below that write “I am grateful for…”
Now you’re ready to start thinking of the things for which you’re grateful!
Step 2 – Decide if You Will Focus In-the-Moment or Retrospect
Depending on the time of day that you’re starting your journal, you may want to reflect on things from the current day or the previous day. As an example, when I do my gratitude journal first thing in the morning, I like to have my cup of coffee in hand while I reminisce about the events or moments from the previous day. If I work on my Gratitude Journal at night, then I focus on events or moments from the current day. I also have been known to open my Gratitude Journal mid-day to add a thought to it. Let your intuition guide you.
- Somewhere below the line “I am grateful for…” write the date for the day you’ve selected as your focus.
- Add three bullet points next to that date.
The bullet points help keep your thoughts of gratitude brief. The goal here is to begin a practice that you can do daily with very little time commitment required. The next step in How to Create a Gratitude Journal is the best part.
Step 3 – Write Down 3 Things for Which You Are Grateful
- Take a few minutes and write down three things for which you are grateful for today or yesterday. The three thoughts of gratitude can be about anything in your life or things you experience. Examples include weather, work, family, friends, nature, pets, society, your daily commute, little things like someone opening a door for you or a cup of coffee, and of course you.
I struggled with this at first. I didn’t have a list of ideas to get me started. Three things seemed like it should be easy, but I had no idea what types of things to write about and being grateful for qualities about myself seemed wrong and selfish. What I came to realize though, is that those thoughts about myself were some of the ones that I needed to log the most. My levels of self-esteem and self-love have always been a bit on the low end. So being grateful for my skills, qualities, and features was difficult at first. However, showing gratitude for my uniqueness has helped me gain self-esteem, pride and a new level of love for myself and everything that makes me, ME.
After just a few days, coming up with three things was easy – and FUN! I soon realized that I had plenty for which to be grateful. In fact, I often struggled to narrow it to just three things each day. I love the anticipation of the things I’ll notice each day to include in my gratitude journal.
Step 4 – Determine a Daily Time for Writing in Your Gratitude Journal
- Select a time of day that you can devote 5 minutes to writing in your Gratitude Journal.
Consistency is helpful, but not required. If you think reflecting on your day each night seems like a good fit for you, then keep a journal by your bed and go for it. If you’re a morning thinker, try writing while you sip your favorite cup of coffee or tea. Or if you prefer to be spontaneous, keep your journal handy throughout the day for jotting things down as they happen.
The longer I work in my gratitude journal, the more I have started to notice the little things. I get excited about my journal, and I enjoy watching for things to be grateful for each day.
Now that You Know How to Create a Gratitude Journal – What’s Next?
We’re starting out pretty basic with just three things on your list each day. As you get better at the practice of gratitude, work toward growing your daily list. So, after a few weeks or a month, try aiming for 5-10 things a day. After that seems doable, challenge yourself to find 15-20 things a day for which you’re grateful.
An ideal Daily Gratitude Journal consists of a list of 25 things a day. As you practice “an attitude of gratitude” on a daily basis, you’ll become faster, and you’ll notice the little things in others and the world around you much more often. Coming up with 25 things a day may sound like a lot right now, but trust me, the benefits of a Gratitude Journal are well worth it and 25 items a day is doable! Plus with a commitment of just 5 to 10 minutes a day, what do you have to lose? I’ll tell you. Stress, anger, frustration, extra weight, and anxiety – that’s what you have to lose!! If you liked this guide on How to Create a Gratitude Journal, share it with others so they too can get started.
So, are you ready to commit to an “Attitude of Gratitude” with me? Let’s do this!