Now is the right moment to look back and see how many obstacles you overcame as well as to count your blessings. The beginning of the year is also an important stage to outline your new goals and dreams for the next twelve months. Three hundred and sixty five blank days for you to fill with your ideas, dreams, adventures and thoughts. But how are you going to keep track of your life this year?
It’s part of the human nature to make and then forget plans, especially long term ones that take time and consistency.
But it’s known that showing gratitude and a mindful approach to life has many benefits, including happiness, which of course, is the ultimate goal that we are all hoping to achieve. This month I’ve asked a fabulous company how to live a better life and they suggested keeping a gratitude journal as a great way to reach happiness.
Starting a gratitude journal is pretty easy – buy a blank notebook, a gratitude journal or download a writing app and start jotting down the things that put a smile on your face, make a note of the stuff and people you’re grateful for or made you happy during the day.
Here are our top tips that will help you start and stick to a gratitude journal for the next 365 days (and beyond).
Whether you love writing or not, it’s essential that you pick the best platform right from the start. It can be a plain notebook, a printable template like this one, a writing app like evernote or an actual gratitude app.
If you decide to go analog, pick a journal that visually stimulates you, something that either pushes you to look out for happiness in life, or something that you can make your own with decorations, drawings and pictures. Get creative and make sure you personalize your journal. If it feels yours, it will be much easier to pick it up to jot down some grateful notes.
People have different ways to express their gratitude. Some write notes down, others collect pictures or draw images, some also write poems for this task.
It doesn’t really matter how you do it, but it’s important that you focus on what you are doing and really feel the gratitude floating inside your heart.
Even at the end of a horrible day, try to think of at least one good thing that happened that you can be grateful for. Yes, there must be at least one (hint: you are alive, that’s a good start any day!).
Then list the other things you are grateful for
Many successful people say that consistency is key and that practice makes it perfect. It’s the same for practicing gratitude. Make sure you create a ritual before you start your gratitude journal. Whether you are going to write in the morning or at night, you need to stick to what works best for you and repeat every time you journal. Maybe set your alarm every night to remind yourself to write in your journal.
I interviewed a few of the most “grateful people” at Spotahome and many of them told me that they like to have a little ritual for their journal time. For example:
Regular, nightly writing in a gratitude journal is important because it closes your day on a high note. It empowers the positive feeling in your mind and allows you to sleep better.
Extra points: re-read your gratitude journal in the morning if you wish to start your new day with a positive attitude.
Many researches have shown that living with a mindful and grateful attitude, helps living a happier life. However, it can be hard sometimes to find reasons to be grateful or simply, it can be hard to find the time. Don’t force or beat yourself, maybe set a weekly goal instead. Make time to write on your journal each Sunday or Monday or whatever day works best for you.
Gratitude journals are effective, but only you if you use do them with the right mindset and attitude, if you do them as yet another chore or task, it won’t help you, but stress you more.
Thank you Spotahome for your guest post! Read more about them here!