Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gratitude Journals...

Once, when I was watching Oprah, she did show where they talked about writing gratitude journals. It goes back many years when Sarah Ban Breathnach wrote the book Simple Abundance back in 1996 for women. I got the book and it all makes perfect sense if you, as a woman in all your many roles, have time for yourself. Many of us would love that, but even when we try to do it, our plans are sabotaged by life. There is always a crisis calling out our name and we have to drop everything and take care of it. But, one thing I was able to try was the suggestion of writing a “gratitude journal.” Every day you set five minutes aside, before bedtime, to think about your day and write down five things you are most grateful for that happened that day.

These five things can be tiny things we take for granted, like having the perfect cup of coffee that morning, the sun is out, you got your nails done, an unexpected call from an old friend; or they can be bigger things like a raise in salary or a promotion, you bought yourself a new handbag, you lost 5 pounds on a diet. It can be anything at all. Just write them down every day and this is supposed to help us become more positive in our thinking. Many people vouch about it’s positive effects. It’s been too long ago for me to remember if it helped me at all. But, the idea popped into my head this morning when I was thinking about what to write.

I am trying to improve myself physically, with diet and exercise, but I also want to improve my attitude, my relationships, and my life. This little daily exercise promises not only to make me a more positive person, but also to attract positive things to my life! Who can resist that when it takes so little effort and time to record the things that make me happy in any given day?

Just a few minutes of focusing on the positive is supposed to reduce stress. I am all for that! It is supposed to help with depression. That sounds good to me. And rereading journal entries when you are having a bad day is supposed to help you cope and remind you of all the good things you have going for you. It teaches you to appreciate all the little things we tend to take for granted and to recognize them when we experience them throughout the day.

They say if you keep a journal for two to three weeks you will begin to notice the difference in your outlook. Well, I think that is what I am going to do next. What can it hurt? Before signing off the computer every night, I will think about my day and write down five or more things that I am grateful for and see what happens. Maybe, I will report back here in a month and let you know if I noticed anything, one way or the other, happening with me or my life. I have nothing to lose but five minutes a day. Maybe you want to try it too and we can compare notes?

I am all for being positive, less stressed and happier. After all, when I started this blog it was supposed to be about one year of peeves and complaining and now look at me. Somehow, even by writing this negative blog, I seem to have become more positive. Isn’t that ironic? Imagine what a positive gratitude journal can do for me?

I have decided to post all my Gratitude Journal entries here for now in the comments section!


  1. Gratitude Journal

    Jan 15 - What am I thankful for today?

    1. It’s a Saturday night and all my family is home so I can lay my head on the pillow tonight in peace.

    2. The grilled chicken I bought today tasted delicious and I will get more because it’s going to help me stay on my diet.

    3. We have all had a healthy winter so far.

    4. The snow is melting despite the below freezing temperatures.

    5. My sautéed spinach turned out perfectly today.

  2. Jan 16 - Let me give thanks for:

    1. Playing Trivial Pursuit with my family this afternoon and watching my girls laugh!

    2. Losing 3 more pounds on my diet!

    3. I was able to walk 3.4 mph today on the treadmill.

    4. I met an old friend at the supermarket and we are getting together for lunch soon.

    5. I came up with an idea for my blog, better late than never!

  3. Jan 17th- I am thankful for

    1. Reminiscing at the shoe repair shop which brought back many childhood memories.

    2. Being there to help a friend today.

    3. We got all the eye exams taken care of.

    4. New show tonight by David E Kelly "Harry's Law"

    5. Walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes and will try to keep it up.

  4. Jan 18th

    1. All the books I ordered came today!

    2. Everyone was home on time for dinner.

    3. I watched "The Goodwife" and it was great.

    4. The rain washed most of the snow away.

    5. The Dr Phil Housewives are back on!

  5. Jan 19

    1. Last day of cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet!

    2. Looking forward to my daughter's 21st birthday.

    3. My older daughter showed me some video she shot for a project at work.

    4. American Idol season 10 started and it looks good!

    5. Got a good night's sleep!

  6. Jan 20th

    1. Had a steak on cycle two of the diet! It was a great change from chicken.

    2. My daughter had a good first day in college.

    3. The snow is almost gone.

    4. I love Facebook, met many new friends there.

    5. My husband is such a good father, he is always there for the girls when they need anything.

  7. Jan 21

    1. For being here to celebrate my daughter's 21 birthday.

    2. For eating out and enjoying a non-diet meal!

    3. For indulging in a piece of chocolate birthday cake

    4. For having my whole family home tonight.

    5. For finally getting on the treadmill before it's too late!

  8. Jan 22

    1. Being able to go to the mall with my family and shop!

    2. Finding some great bargains!

    3. Getting a good night's sleep last night and waking after 7 instead of before 6!

    4. Getting all our eye glasses.

    5. Coming home before the dog peed all over.

  9. Jan 23

    1. Spending time with my brother!

    2. Getting back on track for my diet

    3. Another loss of 1.5 pounds!!

  10. Well once again this isn't working for me unfortunately. I find it a chore to try and find five items I am grateful for in the course of a day. I think I might find five to complain about maybe I am still leaning negative? Good to know either way.