How Writing A Gratitude Journal Helped Me Savor My Life

How Writing A Gratitude Journal Helped Me Savor My Life | Making a gratitude journal is an awesome way to appreciate the little things in life. Here's how I got started and how you can, too!In one of my weekly wrap-ups a while back I mentioned I’d completed a gratitude journal of 365 things I’m grateful for.  This was something that had been on my lifelong bucket list, and on a lovely day in early August when other plans had fallen through, I packed a picnic blanket, an empty journal, and a pen and headed to the park overlooking the Hudson River for some reflecting time. I made a few rules for myself. No repeats, for sure, or items that overlapped too much. Each entry on the list had to be unique and original. I also didn’t want to include memories, like “that one time I went skydiving.” I wanted the list to be comprised of stuff I could be thankful for today and every day, not experiences I’d had in the past that were already over and that I may not have again.

At first I thought it would be challenging. 365 things is a lot! Would I be able to think of that much stuff I was grateful for?

How Writing A Gratitude Journal Helped Me Savor My Life | Making a gratitude journal is an awesome way to appreciate the little things in life. Here's how I got started and how you can, too!

But when I finally started listing out the small and big moments that make me smile, I was surprised that it was much easier than I anticipated. In fact, after I reached 365 things, I still had many more things I wanted to write!

Unfortunately my hand was cramping, so that afternoon I stopped at 365. 😉 But as I went about my daily life that week, I kept having moments where I’d think, “hey, this is a really good thing I’m doing or tasting or experiencing right now. I’m thankful for this. I need to write it down in my gratitude journal.”

And I would. And the list has grown. I plan to keep at it until I reach 1,000, and who knows – maybe it won’t stop there!

How Writing A Gratitude Journal Helped Me Savor My Life | Making a gratitude journal is an awesome way to appreciate the little things in life. Here's how I got started and how you can, too!

Overall, I’d say the best thing I took from gratitude journaling was an increased awareness of all the things I have to be thankful for. Keeping a working list of everything I love about daily life has made me take notice those moments when something large or little makes me smile and triggered me to cherish them. That’s been the greatest gift of all.

If you’re thinking about it, I highly recommend starting a gratitude journal. It’s truly been a blessing for me.

To help get you started, here are 50 things out of my gratitude journal! Writing out all 365+ things would probably make my hand cramp again, but I thought I’d share at least a few!

50 Things I’m Grateful For:

  1. Iced chai lattes on a hot day
  2. When the room is cold but under the covers it’s warm
  3. Those blissful moments of laughter shared with another person
  4. When shuffle is on point
  5. Giving someone a gift they love
  6. Driving on a long car trip with people I like listening to music
  7. Blanket forts
  8. Accomplishing something I was afraid of, or didn’t know I could
  9. The feeling of passion
  10. Feeling excited and full of love at my friends’ weddings
  11. People who are different from me
  12. Licking that bit of yogurt off the lid
  13. The smell of cigars
  14. When my handwriting actually looks nice
  15. Perfectly toasted toast
  16. Smoothies as meals
  17. Unexpectedly stumbling upon a free event I had no idea about
  18. Watermelon in the summer
  19. Adrenaline rushes
  20. That rare moment when people actually laugh at my jokes
  21. Free samples at Whole Foods (or anywhere else, really)
  22. Exchanging smiles with a stranger
  23. Plot twists
  24. When I articulate myself clearly on a complicated thought
  25. Realizing the thing I was going to buy anyway is on sale
  26. Playing a new favorite song over and over
  27. Being “like family”
  28. Texts that literally make me laugh out loud
  29. The moment you realize they’ve become one of your best friends
  30. When everyone asks for the recipe
  31. Flirting
  32. Breaking into football stadiums at night for deep conversations (I’ve done this more times than I care to admit)
  33. Stopping for the random roadside attraction
  34. Cancelled plans when you didn’t want to go anyway
  35. Screaming out all the words to the song with friends
  36. That one story that is always a hit at parties
  37. When the turn signal of the car in front of you keeps time with the music on the radio
  38. Spontaneous adventures
  39. Realizing a new place has slowly become another home
  40. Being alone deep in the woods
  41. The feeling of unreasonable happiness
  42. Unexpectedly winning
  43. Falling asleep on a flight and waking up when you arrive
  44. Hot chocolate on snow days
  45. Sending the perfect witty text in response
  46. Getting the rainbow sprinkles because duh, rainbow sprinkles
  47. Free refills
  48. Losing track of time in conversation with someone
  49. Beating the boys
  50. When everyone orders different things on the menu so you can try them all

What’s something you’d add to the list? I’m always expanding mine!

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