Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Focusing on Gratitude Year Round // Keeping a Gratitude Journal

In our day-to-day lives it is so easy to get overwhelmed, to focus on the negative parts of our day, and to ultimately wish work, or full days away while looking toward the weekend or a future event.

Near Thanksgiving it is easy to focus on gratitude. Most of my social media friends have been participating in 'I'm Thankful for daily' Thanksgiving type statuses, tweets, or images on Instagram. Don't get me wrong, these are excellent ways to focus on gratitude! It's wonderful to extend that focus through the entire month of November... but I find that I'm happier when I try to make a point to notice what I'm grateful for every. single. day. (or as much as possible).

This is why I (try to!) keep a gratitude journal. So that even at the end of the most stressful, sleep deprived Monday I can remember how much I have to be grateful for. It might sound kind of silly, but it really helps! Especially if you are moving from a packed stressful day to a busy no-free-time kind of evening! This little reflection can make all the difference in your outlook for the next day too. 

I have told various friends about this project and some have told me that they have been inspired to start their own gratitude journals or to make mental or verbal lists each night... so cool! :) So I thought I would share this with the blog world in hopes that it might inspire someone else out there! I hope this helps you to recognize the good in your days, in whatever way works for you!

Here is my method: 

I write the date, the day of the week, and five things that I am grateful for that day.

The five things can be one-word jots, sentences, drawings, paragraphs or whatever you'd like. But for me a list like this is something that I can easily complete at the end of the day, or throughout the day as they occur.

Some days I can't stop at just five.

Others its a struggle to think of five.

But it really helps me to put my day into perspective regardless of how stressed I am! 

Past Examples:

11/15/13 -Friday 

(super enthusiastic and caffeinated..)

1) PAYDAY!!!!
2) Caffiene!!
3) good day at school! - getting to know co-workers better
4) date night at Celieto Lindo - Margaritas!!
5) Sylas & Maddy's!
6) finally finally finally found midi rings!
7) pinterest inspiration

11/17/13 -Sunday

1) mall time :)
2) dropped off pies to friends
3) found some semi-cheesy holiday jewelry
4) PERFECT snowflake earrings
5) deals and discounts @ VS
6) having a really good hair day
7) Chinese :)
8) concert w/ Jess, Kalor, & Kyle
9) silly fun

11/20/13 -Sunday

1) easy school day - fun at Arts Center
2) biscotti and hocho :)
3) time with Kyle
4) Gilmore Girls with Jessica & Juliet
5) RUDY's!

Current Examples:

11/17/14 -Monday

1) feeling productive at work, which keeps me energized despite the crazy workload.
2) lunch out at Rudy's, it's been a while!
3) Hilary Duff is on Health magazine, I still love her! 
4) Kyle is on a roll cooking dinners - feeling so spoiled.
5) started weekly cleaning schedule, did all of the Monday tasks!
6) Jane the Virgin is so funny, it always manages to surprise me..

11/18/14 -Tuesday

1) met deadline at work - feels good to be productive!
2) leftovers reheated at lunch tastier than they were fresh the night before - rare! -I'll take it!
3) dinner & margaritas with friends I haven't seen in A WHILE!
4) feeling very carefree getting groceries at Target (see #3)
5) a movie we bought a few weeks ago was $2 off!

11/19/14 - Wednesday

1) unexpected day off work
2) caught up on some dishes
3) Kyle came home to eat lunch with me :) 
4) Boy Meets World reruns - Undapants!
5) cleaned counters
6) new wall collage almost finished
7) Kyle cooked dinner (again!)!
8) got some china trays ready for the craft fair
9) cookies ... 

So, the idea is that it doesn't require much effort, but it has a lot of impact on my outlook (especially during busy weeks!).

So go out and grab a cute journal, a handful of scratch paper, or open up trusty Evernote, and start recording what you are grateful for. - It really has made a difference in my stress level and my ability to think positively!

How do you focus on gratitude outside of November? I would love to hear your strategies and ideas! 

What helps to relieve your stress?

Thank you for reading!



  1. you're right, this is such a good idea! for being grateful and to relieve stress. I am definitely wanting to do this next year :)

  2. Such a great idea! I actually use this technique with my kiddos, if their fighting or pouting- I ask them to list five to ten things they are grateful for- it's amazing how quickly it changes their outlook!

  3. I really like this idea. I do something similar: each day I write down the highlight of that day. Sometimes it's something big, sometimes it's something small. Been doing it for over a year now and I love looking back on it!

  4. Thanks Kristen. It really helps me keep things in perspective. Hope you had a happy holiday. XO

  5. That is such a great idea!! - would work on-the-spot for me as well. I think it could shut down a mini pity party... haha :) Thanks for sharing that! -Alexandra

  6. Thanks Hilde! That is so great! :) It's so nice how even little intentional things like that can make such a big difference! XO


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