How to Start a Gratitude Log and Feel Thankful Everyday
Articles may contain affiliate links.
What is a Gratitude Log?
A gratitude log is simply an ongoing list of things that you are thankful for. The idea is that you write down two or three things each and every day that are blessings in your life. Whether you are grateful for getting a raise or for having a roof over your head, there are countless things you can be grateful for on a daily basis. And the benefits of keeping a gratitude log are absolutely incredible.
You can keep your gratitude login your bullet journal, a dedicated notebook, on a wall of sticky notes, on a dry erase board, on a computer file, etc…. it doesn’t matter where it is as long as you do it regularly. I like integrating my gratitude log into my bullet journal, which I keep in my Leuchtturm 1917.
Why Keep a Gratitude Log?
Being thankful for the many wonderful things in your life alters your perspective. Often, we revert to a negative point of view because we don’t have what we want, we’re frustrated with our families or bosses, we haven’t achieved that goal yet.
While it’s okay to be irritated at the many irritations in life, this negativity needs to be balanced with positive vibes. If not, you will generally find yourself being a pessimist or grumpy. If you alter it slightly by thinking up three things you are grateful for every day, you will start to see that there are great parts of your life too and internalize that positivity.
I’ve got a cold? I’m thankful that I have access to medicine to make me feel better.
My dog keeps chewing on the coffee table? I’m thankful that she had no potty accidents today.
My boss is a jerk? I’m thankful that my workday flew by today and I didn’t have chat with her.
You can find a silver lining on anything if you just look. And this will gradually move you away from being a complainer, and no one likes a complainer.
If you stop complaining, you will find that you don’t think about things in a negative light as much, and you will be a bit cheerier than before. It’s a subtle but wonderful change.
How Do You Set Up a Gratitude Log?
There are several ways you can do it. You can make these as simple or as decorative as you’d like. I prefer a pretty header with plain ol’ handwriting as the daily gratitude entry.
I personally like to set mine up in my monthly planner and keep it as one big list. I have fun experimenting with a variety of pens and colors to create a theme or feel each month.
In my old journal, I was prone to using my Prismacolor pens and my Pilot Varsity fountain pen set for the pop of color that I craved and Micron pens for the writing of the main body.
The monthly list in your planner or bullet journal works well if you remember to write in it every day, but if you don’t like doing the big month-long spreads, then there are other options.
If you prefer four weekly spreads over a large monthly spread, you can add a place on the page for a few lines of writing for each day. Or you could go directly to the dailies and write two or three things in your daily entry.
You can separate this section of your daily with a box, border, different colored pen, or cursive. I recently started using my Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen to write my daily entries for my log because I find that it feels more purposeful and sincere to me when written with a fountain pen.
If you like the colorful route, I’d suggest the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pen set. You will love using these dependable pens every day, and the colors are bold and crisp.
It Really is That Simple
Just set aside room somewhere and remember to complete it every day and you will find it filling up in no time! I like to read through mine when I reach the end of a month and smile over the funny little things that made me happy on certain days.
Many times I am thankful simply for beautiful mild weather or the transition of the seasons. Sometimes it’s an accomplishment, sometimes it’s avoiding an unpleasant thing, or sometimes it’s just having a nice moment with Jon.
Give the gratitude log a try for a week and I promise you’ll like it. Reflecting on the best part of the day always makes me feel a little lighter when I go to bed at night. I feel like even if the day was crap, it wasn’t all crap. And that’s sometimes just the thing you need to make your heart smile.
I have been learning a lot from this blog since last year. Grateful that it exists.
May the Almighty bless and guide you, Shelby! 💞
Thank you so much, Sadia!
Hi, I’m starting a grateful journal today?. With the world going crazy at the moment and having to spend more time at home without much face to face contact, I thought a grateful journal would be more than worthwhile.
In the morning I will write down three things that I’m grateful for, and at end of the day I will write down three things I’m grateful to have achieved.
There will be many things that will be repetitive over the coming weeks but I guess, these constants, are comforting as say, a delicious bowl of spaghetti bolognese ?
Yes, that’s a brilliant way to get through this pandemic, Maidee! Gratitude in what you do have — health, food, creature comforts in your home — they are so easy to take for granted during normal life, but it is especially vital to count these blessings during these troubling times. Your instincts are spot on ?
I just started bullet journaling and I am in love!
I currently an in OA (Over-Eater’s Anonymous) which is a 12-Step program. So everyday I write all my food, weighed & measured. I write five things that I am grateful for and I have a writing assignment that is a minimum of 2 pages. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to incorporated a layout that would be weekly but obviously on multiple pages for the writing.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hey Wendy! I write 3 pages each day in my Morning Pages journal and it fills up FAST! I can’t think of a good way to incorporate that much writing directly into your bullet journal weekly spread without taking over your journal. Instead, I would add a simple tracker in each weekly spread to tick off when you complete your writing each day and write your assignments in a separate journal. I hope that helps, and have fun getting into your bullet journal!
In what way writing a Journal different from writing a diary? Please respond and I shall be grateful for your response.
A gratitude journal is about writing down one to three items you’re thankful for each day, whereas I think of a diary as more of a record of events and your feelings that day. Of course, everyone’s diary/journal writing experience is different, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Ramanathan! Just write what you enjoy and I’m sure you’ll get positive results 🙂
I started being grateful for things, people and events in my life when I was in high school. A teacher once told me to stop complaining and find something to be happy about instead. I hadn’t realized my complaining and grumbling was affecting those around me, but it did. Believe me, when you are negative it affects others around you as well. I never did write things down, I just kept finding new things to be grateful for in that moment, day by day.
Now I use photography to document things that make me happy. Pets, people, events and moments. Once you start being grateful it becomes easier to find things to be grateful for. It seems to reinforce itself.
If you want a journalling spin to this idea, you can print out photos to put into your journal, even one or two a month. You’ll have a visual reminder of what you are grateful for. Add in some notes, even a few words.
Thank you for this great blog you generously share with us.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Bonny! Isn’t it great to be able to change that perspective and see things from a different light? Photography is a great way to document the things you’re thankful for as well.
Living with Mental health issues and Physical Health issues I often don’t freel grateful 🙂
However, I’m trying to change my attitude/mind set. Especially now I’m about to start a degree course with the Open University in February 2018. Thanks for your great bolg and your inspiring/useful ideas!
I’m glad to hear this has been inspiring for you. Wishing you the best with your journey ahead!
I’ve done a “Gratitude Log/””Thankful For” for November before but am trying it for this month too. Is it okay to have repeats of what you’re thankful for? Examples: writing that you’re thankful for friends being there for you, more than once; or thankful for nice, sunny days more than once? Sometimes I’m not sure if I’d be able to come up with something totally new every day, especially the longer I do it. I’d probably have a lot of repeats over the weeks and months.
That’s totally okay, Melissa! Sometimes seeing something written down a few times really helps cement in just how important it is to you. I know I write about how I am thankful for the weather all the time, because it’s always a pleasant part of those days!
This is a great post. I am going to start my thankfulness journal today. Thanks for inspiring me!
And thanks so much for reading, Suzie! I hope you find a gratitude log every bit as fulfilling as I do!
Since I started one of these, I’m sleeping better. I do it last thing before I turn out the lights. So calming to think of the good from the day. Love the way you do this. All of your posts are really helpful.
Thanks so much for your kind words! I am really glad you have enjoyed your Gratitude Log. There really is a profound difference in your overall mood and perspective when you shift your focus to the positive. I hope you continue to find happy outcomes from your daily gratitude!