How to Start a Gratitude Journal

Photo by Kelly Adams Photography

By now you may have heard of the term ‘Gratitude Journal’ or the action ‘gratitude journaling’, so what exactly is this journal, and should you start one? My personal opinion is most definitely, for me this simple practice has been life changing.

What is a Gratitude Journal?

A Gratitude Journal is not a diary as such, but a purposed journal, usually a small lined notebook that is used for the specific purpose of writing down what you are grateful for in that moment.

When to journal?

I personally write in it organically, I don’t force myself to do it everyday like it’s part of a ‘routine’, because when we force things, that’s when I find that this new exciting thing we really wanted to do can soon become more of a chore. Practicing gratitude journaling should not be a chore, it should simply be a beautiful practice, rather than just another thing we have to do in our already ‘busy’ lives. Sure if you write in yours daily, amazing, sometimes I write in mine more often, but a lot of the time it’s just when I feel like it, and this can be any time of the day.

The layout

I usually write the date at the top so I can refer back with a timeline, then I will start with.. ‘Today I am grateful for..’ followed by three numbered dot points below (eg. 1. 2. 3..). Three because 3 isn’t an overwhelming amount to have to think about, but more than 1 so that you do have to sometimes put some heart and soul into it on the simpler days.

What to journal about?

There is always something to be grateful for.. Examples could be, you got to have a little sleep in, the sun was shining when you woke up, the smell of your first coffee of the day, your favourite song came on the radio on the way to work or on the way home, or something as simple as a home cooked dinner.

Benefits of having a Gratitude Journal + actually sticking to it

Firstly, it’s a form of self love, something just for you, to do on your own. I know a lot of people out there probably struggle with making time just for themselves, I know I do some days, but having a simple, affordable, everyday practice like this allows you to do just that, even if only for 5 minutes every so often.

Practicing gratitude encourages you to focus on all of the good in your life, especially helpful during the seemingly mundane weekly routines and lack of sparkle in our lives. Trust me when I say, when you start your journal you will realise there is always sparkle in our lives, and it probably doesn’t cost a thing and is right in front of our eyes.

We all want to start new ventures to change our lives for the long haul, and actually sticking to having a Gratitude Journal, I promise you, can be that life changing venture. I have a lot of good days to write about sure, but I also have some bad days.. some end up with headaches, and some end in tears. Since starting my gratitude journal, not only do I get filled with joy when I write on a good day, morning or night, but it’s the joy I get on a bad day that has had the biggest impact on my life. When I pick it up on a not so sparkly day, not necessarily to write in it, but to read back on all of the things in my life I already have to be grateful for, it changes everything, and once again no matter my day, I’ve found gratitude.

If you have a Gratitude Journal or start one in the future I would love to know your thoughts and feelings towards keeping it in the comments below.

All my love,