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9 ideas for your gratitude journal

POSTED: January 11, 2017 9:10 a.m.
Emily Cummings/

Was being more grateful a part of your New Year’s resolution?

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If you haven’t began writing in your gratitude journal for 2017, you still have time to start. After all, it’s not that far into the new year yet. Flip open the nearest notebook you have lying around and get started. Don’t feel like you have to conform to gratitude lists, either. Be a little more creative with your gratitude with these nine ideas:

1. Get a polaroid camera

Not much a writer? Jot down a thousand words without picking up a pen by taping a polaroid picture into your gratitude journal. Write the date and any little explanation you want when you get a quiet moment to yourself, or just leave it as is. Boom; journaling has never been easier.

2. Let your kids help

Hand over your journal and let your kids illustrate (or scribble) the pages while you caption it with the things your whole family is grateful for.

3. Draw what you ate today

Or tape in the wrappers if you aren’t feeling artsy. I know how thankful you are for that bite of chocolate you sneaked when the kids weren’t looking, so write it down!

4. Write in one-word sentences

Perfect for the busy mom, make a page of gratitude using only one-word sentences. You can use a fancy font or different colors if you want, but it’s the words that really matter. See if any of your words are duplicated, or write a single word each day and see if you write the same word down more than once in a week.

5. Be grateful for one sense

For today’s entry, concentrate on a single sense and only write things you are grateful for that you can see, taste, touch, smell or hear. Concentrate on that single sense all day and keep a running list on your phone so you don’t lose track of the tiny smells that crossed your path. Once everyone is in bed, jot it down in your journal before switching senses for tomorrow.

6. Use your to-do list

Tape in your “to-do list” or transcribe it into your gratitude journal to remember to be grateful that you have tasks to do, a family and home to take care of and the ability to accomplish the things that need to get done. Turn your long list of things to do into a long list of things you are grateful for.

7. Carry a clicker

Physically carry around little tally clicker and consciously be aware of when you smile. When that grin breaks across your face the moment you walk in to see your little boy carefully explaining the game’s rules to his younger sister, click your clicker. At the end of the day, write that number in your gratitude journal with some examples of what made you so happy.

8. Quote it

Use your own quotes, a saying you heard someone say that day or just one you pulled off the internet. Write down the quote in your gratitude journal and explain why you picked that specific saying.

9. Make a pie chart

Trace out a large circle and make a pie chart of all the things you are especially grateful for that day. Or make a few charts to talk about what you are grateful for spiritually (having a quiet minute to study the Bible this morning), physically (the chance to feel baby soft skin on your hands while your little one was sleeping) or personally (your favorite song came on the radio the minute you turned your car on).

It really is just important to write down what you are grateful for and show thankfulness to the people around you — your gratitude journal doesn’t need to be big, fancy or follow a specific pattern; it just needs to be a part of your routine.
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