I should start this off by saying that I’ve always tried to be a grateful person. It’s something that through faith, loss, and just trying to remain a positive person in general, has been a priority in my life. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have days where I find myself down or taking something for granted – because I definitely do. And I actually noticed my gratitude slipping from my priority list. I still felt/feel internally grateful all the time but I was missing a more concrete gratitude practice – at least one that stuck.
I’ve tried listing things out in my phone, in my mind when I first woke up, taking photos of moments I’m grateful for and listing them out with Austin before bed, none of which lasted. Likely because I try to stay off my phone before bed and half the time Austin and I were so exhausted from being new parents that we forgot.
So a few months ago when a friend suggested The Five-Minute Journal, I knew I had to try it. I had been looking for a more steady approach to gratitude, but I knew it needed to be easy and efficient. And since I’m an avid note-taker and love a good journal, I liked the idea of writing it out among other things (like daily intentions – something else I was interested in). I usually make a to-do list as soon as I get into my office so I knew this could flow easily into my routine. Instead of another app or thing I needed to store on my phone, the quick journaling worked better for me and how I do the rest of my routine. Plus, it’s a nice personal pause instead of jumping in from mom to work mode on autopilot.
In the journal, which I do right when I get to my desk and then before ending my day, you have two sections: Morning and Evening. Inside, it looks like this…
- I am grateful for…
- What would make today great?
- Daily affirmations. I am…
- 3 amazing things that happened today…
- How could I have made today better
As you can see, it’s quick but effective. I love how it makes me stop to think about how I want the day to go or what went well (instead of only focusing on things I could have done better which I tend to do). I’m also noticing that now that this is a daily practice, it’s easier to stop and find things that I’m thankful for. Even really small things, like a hug for George or a shower. Oh, and there are daily inspiring quotes and you know I love a good quote!
Anyways, I’m probably rambling at this point but I did want to go ahead and break down this journal. I had shared it in my last Monthly Cut Newsletter and got some questions about how I use it. Plus, I always like sharing little hacks or resources that work for me.
Let me know if you have used The Five-Minute Journal or what you use for a gratitude practice.