Monthly review – practising gratitude

practising gratitude

To help me achieve my goal for 2015, I listed the following as a strategy:

Practice gratitude daily  – I want to work on improving my overall attitude as this affects how I interact with the kids. I have much to be grateful for and need to remind myself of this.

At the time I set this strategy, I had no idea how I was going to achieve it. The whole concept of practicing gratitude sounded great, but how would I go about doing this every day and would it really make a difference?

I have deliberately waited until a quarter of the way through 2015 before reporting on this goal as I wanted to be able to answer those questions for myself first. And I am happy to report that since January 1, I have practiced gratitude on a daily basis and it has indeed made a difference to my attitude.

5 minute journal

I downloaded the 5 minute journal app and committed to myself that I would stick to using it every day for three months and then review if I liked it and found it effective. I was drawn to this app by the name. I did not want to add another habit to my morning routine that would take up too much time.

The 5 minute journal is true to its name. I would spend less than 5 minutes in the morning and then another 5 minute or less session in the evening. You have settings to choose from, for both morning and evening entries.

I have mine set so in the morning I reflect on:

  • what I am grateful for
  • what will make my day great
  • my affirmation for the day

This is an example of what a morning entry looks like for me:

5 minute journal - morning

In the evening I have it set so I need to add:

  • 3 amazing things that happened in the day (you can add a photo if you like for one of the amazing things)
  • what I could have done to have made my day better

This is an example of what an evening entry looks like for me:

5 minute journal - evening

I laughed so hard when I re-read this one looking for one to share on the blog. There is a large correlation between Phil’s understanding (my husband) and what I could have done to make my day better!  (For the record it was a minor incident in a car park, where I touch parked against a pole and their was only a small scratch made to the car!)

5 minute journal also share with you an inspiring quote each morning, which I like too.

quote - playing it safe 640

If you wish you can sync the 5 minute journal with your iCloud or download it as a PDF. Each day takes up a page, but it does make for great reading. I found it interesting to see the patterns in what made my lists of gratefuls and amazing things – it reinforced to me I have my goal right for this year. Family was the most common theme running through out my journal.

Has practising daily gratitude helped?

Without a doubt! I have always been a bit skeptical about gratitude and was not sure whether it would make a difference. But it really has. Starting each day, thinking of three things I am grateful for moves me into positive thinking. Already I am looking for the good around me and there is plenty.

I also like having to come up with an affirmation for the day. On tougher days, I will often repeat my affirmation to myself and pay attention to it if I find I need help focusing.

There are days when I cannot wait to list the amazing things that happen and I am very happy that this happens frequently. But there are days, where as the end of the day draws close, I wonder if I will be able to think of anything amazing to include. But as I feel compelled to list three things, I think and think and always come up with things that I am very happy that happened in my day. Without having to journal these amazing things, I would most likely go to bed feeling more deflated. Journaling at the end of the day, albeit in incredibly short form helps me end the day on a positive note.

In the three months I think I missed two entries. I will continue with this practice and I truly feel it has helped me improve my attitude. It helps me stay focused on my goals, makes me accountable and I am so happy I have started this new habit.

Do you practice gratitude, if so how?

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Comments

  1. says

    I like this idea of micro journalling and the laser focus! I, too, have wondered how this gratitude idea works and my attempts have come up short. This approach makes it seem workable. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jenna says

    Your posts always seem to come at the right time for me! Thank you! Just had a talk to my husband an hour ago- questioning why we had 5 kids between 2 & 8, compared to those who have less kids and the pros and cons from my point of view. I think I had one baby too many, but of course I wouldn’t change anything, it just seemed to make things that little bit ‘harder’ for me.. But I honestly love it! Im just not a fan of bed time as my middle child can never sleep until 10pm even though they go to bed around 7.30! So I still get stressed that I don’t get quiet time or rest time for us.. I have to accept what it is and deal with it, that’s what I try I tell myself but it still seems negative to me.. I’m not sure, but I will try that app!! It’s a start anyway!! I want to get past me telling myself I had one too many children and to be positive for the beautiful children I have and love and enjoy every day!! So thanks again for the inspiration!!

  3. kerrie says

    I’ve practiced (on and off) daily gratitude for four years now using Anthony Robbin’s ’15 Minutes of Power’ – you walk, with five minutes saying thank you for everything you are grateful for, really feeling the feeling inside you, then 5 minutes saying thank you for everything you are aiming to have (eg visualizing your goals as if they’ve already happened). The on bits of those years are just so much happier and calmer than my off bits. If you’re already exercising this technique is really great. Gratitude to me is much simpler than mindfulness; you can work yourself into that feeling and then it lasts well. BTW I’m loving your three word goal and copying it mercilessly, it’s made my mornings so much calmer before school – planned by being organised early, present by stopping rushing and playing with the boys for the half hour before leaving, and patient with the daily drama over the socks… Thank you so much.

    • says

      What a lovely comment this was to read Kerrie and you are so right in how you can make such a big difference to your day with only a few minutes.