“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie
Starting a gratitude journal will change your life because it teaches you how to see it in a whole new way. I first learned of keeping a gratitude Journal from Oprah, after she interviewed Sarah Ban Breathnach on her show. I was intrigued with the idea, and went out to buy a journal to keep on my night stand to write in each night. This was a decade+ ago and I’ve returned to this journal from time to time, trying to develop the habit, but I was never able to really stick with it.
The challenge of keeping a gratitude journal:
The challenge for me was that by the end of the night was tired and unable to think. I couldn’t always remember the moments I was so grateful for and sleep was way more enticing than writing. I needed something with me all the time to capture the moments as they happened, but carrying around a book and a pen didn’t work for me.
I started out this year’s journey through Simple Abundance, knowing that a gratitude journal was part of the process. Instead of waiting until day 14 to start it, I began one right away. Once again, I went out and bought a pretty journal to keep beside the bed, and after 2-3 days remembered the challenges I’d had in the past. But thankfully we have new resources these days!
The simple solution:
With a smart phone within arm’s reach every waking moment, I can capture a moment right as it happens. I have an iphone and use the reminders app to record moments of joyful gratitude. If I’m driving, I’ll ask Siri to remind me of something as soon as I recognize it’s happening, even when I’m driving.
If you’re keeping a physical journal, you can enter a bunch of days at once when you have time, or every night if you’ve got the energy. The good thing is that the information has been recorded and you won’t forget if a day or two goes by before you have time to enter it.
I’m keeping my gratitude in my blog. So as things are happening, if my hand’s are free I’ll open up the WordPress app and start a list of things I’m grateful for each day, right in my blog, saving the post as a draft.
Simple Abundance, January 14 “Gratitude Journal”
Your gratitude journal, in the Simple Abundance journey is a non negotiable. The transformation will not happen if you’re not focusing on gratitude each day. “Simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, and joy–all the other priciples that can transform your life will not blossom and flourish without gratitude,” Sarah writes. She encourages us to write down five things each day you’re grateful for. If that’s overwhelming to you, start with three things, but I bet as soon as you start being aware of the moments, you’ll find you recognize a lot more to be grateful for than you first thought you would.
There are days I’ve got way more than five so I try to narrow it down to the 5 best things, or sometimes I’ll write them all down. There are days when I’m exceptionally busy or things have been especially stressful that I may have trouble coming up with five, so I’ll count my blessings by including things like my family, my health, or simply that the day is over.
If you miss a day, feel free to try to add to it the next morning if you have time, or just skip it and be sure to start again the next night.
This is a gift you can give yourself that will help you make an inner shift to contentment and happiness. Get started now, don’t go another day without giving thanks and acknowledging the abundance you already have in your life.