When you think about it, there’s a lot to be grateful for. You woke up this morning with a roof over your head. If you're like me, you started the day with a hot cup of coffee. You’re a self-starter, entrepreneur, creator, or influencer. You’re building a brand and selling Print-On-Demand merch! That’s a lot to be thankful for right there.
Noting what each of us is grateful for is usually overlooked due to hectic work and family schedules, activities, stress, not living in the moment, etc. If asked, most of us probably couldn’t say what we’re grateful for in a typical day. Think about it. Could you easily remember small moments from the day that brought you the most joy? Reflecting on what you’re grateful for can lead to a happier, more content life. All it takes is a few moments before bed each night, and a gratitude journal to record your thoughts.
As summer comes to an end and September begins, I challenge all our SPOD merchants, influencers, creators, and entrepreneurs, to keep a Gratitude Journal for 30 days. Journal what it is you are thankful for each day!
So, what’s a Gratitude Journal?
A gratitude journal is not a diary, let’s start there. It’s not a collection of random thoughts about your day. It’s literally things you are grateful for in a day. Things that brought you joy – big or small. And everyone's journal will be different! The most important part of this is being present and focusing on what brought you joy.
Step one of this challenge is figuring out how you want to journal. Are you a pen and paper kind of person, or are you more comfortable using a digital platform? Make this decision and then decide if that leather-bound journal with cool paper is right or is your favorite writing and notes application the ticket for you?
Here are a few places to find great journals to get you started.
- Oasis Nova Journals - use code gratitude5 for 5% off
- 5 Minute journal - Recommended by Monica Denais (Licensed Counselor)
- Gratitude Journal
- Gratitude: A Day and Night Reflection Journal
- Gratitude Journal: Daily Gratitude/ Self-care
- The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal
- PAPERAGE Lined Journal
- Leather Journal
- Happy Hoos Notebook Journal Pack
- PAPERAGE Lined Journal 3 Pack
Second – Set some time each day to journal. Commit to a certain time or amount of time you will write what you are grateful for each day. Could be 5 minutes or 30 minutes. In the morning or right before bedtime. Set these goals and commit to them. If you find that journaling before bed seems like a great idea but then realize that lunchtime is better, that’s ok! The point is to be present and be grateful for the things in your life that bring you joy.
Step 3. Staring at a blank page can be overwhelming. What should you write? How do you start? You might think, am I thankful for this or am I writing just to write? It’s ok to be unsure! Here are a few prompts to help you get started:
- What is something that makes you unique and you’re thankful for?
- What is something in your life that you did not have a year ago and are thankful for?
- What was a mistake you made and what you learned from it?
- What was something that made you laugh or cry today?
- What is the reason why you started your business? What is your WHY?
- Who is someone that helped shaped you to be the person you are?
- Is there someone that you were able to help today?
- What was something new that you learned today?
- Name a tough situation and someone who helped you through it.
- Write a thank you note to yourself.
- Look outside and write about things that you see and are thankful for.
- A musician, writer, or another talent that inspires you.
- Activities that you enjoy.
Fourth – Find what works for you. Some people love lists, while others are more visual. Draw charts or create images that go along with your gratitude. There are no hard and fast rules to gratitude journaling. The point is to reflect and create.
Finally – Look back at your progress and see what has made you happy. Maybe it's different today than it was when you started. Has your happiness improved? What about interactions with others? Has your inner dialogue improved and become more positive? Regardless of your answers to any of these questions, don’t get discouraged when trying to create a new habit. Good habits take time to learn. Focus on the positive and how you are becoming more grateful each day. It’s a different view that will take some time to get used to, but the sights are well worth the time it takes to get there.