The 7-Step Path to Writing a Gratitude Journal to Keep You Positive
By Grace Carter
Being grateful is one of the key elements you need to have when it comes to being happy and positive with your life. We’re constantly bombarded with advertisements and celebrity lifestyles that show us everything we don’t have in our lives which can lead us to be very disconnected from the things we do have.
However, you can ground yourself again by writing and keeping a gratitude journal. This can help to return your appreciation to the things you do have in your life, allowing you to stay happy and positive each and every day.
Here are the seven steps you can take to get started.
#1 - Start with an Intention
Before you start writing or creating your gratitude journal, it’s important that you set yourself an intention of how you want to proceed. Notice how I didn’t say target or goal. This is because an intention is malleable and can grow over time, rather than being something definite.
Try asking yourself a question like ‘Why am I doing this’ or ‘What is the purpose of what I’m doing?’ This will give you a much clearer idea on how to proceed.
#2 - Forming the Habit
Of course, one of the biggest obstacles you’ll need to overcome is trying to form the habit of writing in your journal. The benefits of journaling increase over time, and it takes over 66 days to form a new habit, so you’ll need to find a way to keep up with it.
By implementing journaling into your routine, it can easily become an integral part of your day. The problems will form when you miss a day, perhaps because you’re attending an event, but with forward planning, this shouldn’t prove too much of an obstacle.
“Try giving yourself a set time every day to write in it and stick to it. One of the best times is writing in the evening so you can reflect on your day. Integrate into your routine, and you’ll sure develop a positive habit,” says Gordon McDonald, a writer for Simple Grad.
#3 - Write with No Limits
“You can’t force yourself to write a certain word count when it comes to journaling. Sometimes, you’re only going to write ten words or so, just bullet pointing certain concepts. On the other hand, some days you might want to write thousands of words and really explore a certain concept or idea,” shares Hope Turner, a writer from UKWritings.
Let yourself be free when it comes to writing and exploring your own mind.
#4 - Remain Positive
Although not every day is going to be a positive day, it’s important that you remain positive in your writing. Even if something bad has happened to you that day, remember that there are always positives to a negative event or situation. Through your journal, you can explore these ideas to help you find them.
#5 - Find the Perfect Journal
You’re not going to want to write in your journal if you don’t have a format that you’re comfortable writing in. The internet is full of beautiful and captivating journals, so you’re sure to find one that suits you and your personality.
Take your time when it comes to choosing the right one, so you can call it your own and appreciate it every time you go to use and write in it. Find one that’s visually stimulating. Alternatively, you could be proactive in making one yourself. Try to avoid computers or mobile devices for journaling where possible.
#6 - Write About Everything and Anything
When it comes to your gratitude journal, this is your private space to be yourself where you’re free from judgements. You can explore any and all concepts, no matter how big or small they are; it doesn’t matter. Just as long as you’re exploring the things that matter to you.
You could write about your drive to work, what you’ve been up to in the day, something you overheard in your day, something you saw on TV, or read on the internet. It could be a random crazy made up though, or it even could just be the sound of rain on your window.
It really doesn’t matter what you’re writing about, as long as it means something to you and it’s something that you’re grateful for.
“I always like to start writing my journal by bullet-pointing five things that I’m grateful for or appreciated in my day. This is a great way to get each entry off to a positive and productive start and helps me to explore different ideas about my day,” says Holly Parker, a writer for Paper Fellows.
#7 - Keep Going
As I mentioned above, it can sometimes be hard to maintain a gratitude journal, especially at the beginning when progress and the benefits may seem slow. However, just like any other process in life, journaling takes time, and perseverance is a necessity. The benefits will come in time.