6 Ways to (Finally!) Keep a Gratitude Journal

A typical gratitude practice for a busy woman usually consists of vaguely remembering to say “Thanks!” to the barista as you grab your coffee and race off to your next appointment.

We’re too swamped to think about gratitude! We’re lucky if our hair is combed and we’re wearing matching shoes.

I get it, I really do. Our lives are full of urgent to-dos, screaming kids, demanding bosses, constant traffic, and fast food for dinner 3 nights in a row.

But I want to challenge you to carve out an inch of space in your schedule for feeling thankful.

Step 1 of the Life Editing Process is Create a Foundation. When you take a breather and notice all the things that are going well in your life, you’ll boost your energy and attract more of those good things.

And don’t we all want that?

Building a strong foundation of gratitude keeps you supported to do all the other superhuman tasks you pack into your daily life.

Here’s a tip: think outside the box when it comes to your gratitude practice. Say no to boring gratitude journals!

I’ve got 6 easy ways you can stay thankful and stay sane.

1. Try a Gratitude Jar

Find an empty mason jar to be the receptacle for your thank yous. Then cut up strips of paper (I like scrapbooking paper) and write one thing you’re grateful for each day on one of the strips. Finally, plop the thank you strips into the jar.

You could roll the paper and seal them with washi tape for added flair. Check out my Bucket List Jar for a similar idea.

A gratitude jar is quick and easy, plus it looks gorgeous when displayed on your desk. Much more inspiring than, say, a lipstick-stained Starbucks cup.

2. Start a Gratitude Bullet Journal

Bullet journals are all the rage right now, and you can find about a billion tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest. The name comes from the bullet points and small icons used to denote appointments, to-dos, and events.

This way of capturing your ideas is fast and imperfect. Bullet journaling embraces mistakes and jotting things down as they come to you. No pre-planning necessary. Dash off a quick bulleted list of thank yous in your “bujo” whenever you have a few minutes.

3. Text Your Thank Yous to an Accountability Partner

Everything’s better with friends! If keeping a gratitude practice on your own makes you want to roll your eyes, then enlist a friend to make the task seem less corny.

Choose a friend who wants to stay inspired and positive (no Debbie Downers!). Then text each other at least once a day by sharing something you’re thankful for. Make it a game to see who can come up with the most unusual or funny thank yous.

4. Draw the Best Part of Your Day in Your Calendar Date Box

Grab your desk calendar or the monthly view calendar in your favorite planner. Or try the Edit My Life Planner! Each date of the month is a perfect little square for you to unleash your creative juices.

Use some pretty art pens (I love the Paper Mate Flair Pens) and draw the best part of your day within the date box. Maybe your boss praised your work, or you saw a rainbow, or your kids stopped bickering for 2 seconds. Be creative and don’t worry about being a good artist.

5. Participate in an Instagram Gratitude Challenge

You’ve got no excuse not to do this one because everyone carries around their phones! Do a quick search for “gratitude” on Instagram and you’ll find dozens of photo challenges that you can participate in.

Most Instagram challenges require you to upload a photo of whatever you’re thankful for that day and use a certain hashtag so the other participants can see your images. The point is to train yourself to keep your eyes open and be mindful of the little blessings that are all around you.

6. Use a Guided Gratitude Worksheet

Sometimes it’s nice to have everything done for you. If you want a more structured practice, try my free printable Gratitude Journal worksheet.

Enter your name and email below to get the Gratitude Journal worksheet. Part of the Editor’s Toolkit.

How do you stay grateful when your life is full of a million distractions? Share your best tips with me on Facebook.

This post focuses on Step 1 of the Life Editing Process, Create a Foundation. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

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