Learn How to Grateful by Gratitude Journaling (and Gratitude Journaling Prompts)

Gratitude journaling prompts are one of the easiest ways to start a gratitude journal.

In fact, keeping a journal of any kind is such a good idea! It’s a way to reflect back on your life and measure where you’ve come from to where you’ve arrived at this point. And it’s a challenge to keep growing.

You might even find that it stretches you in your ability to see things in a positive way and be thankful for them.

Many people who faithfully keep a gratitude journal report feeling like they begin trying to find even more things to be thankful for!

In this particular post, we’re talking about journaling your gratitude – a practice you may or may not be familiar with. But in any case, one you should think about starting! (Or perfecting if you already do!)

My aim is to help you have all the tools necessary to have your own gratitude journal.

First – a Few Necessities

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You’ll need a place to write down all the things you’re thankful for. So before you get started, click the picture below to download your FREE Mini Gratitude Journal:

Here are a few of my favorites supplies:

And I find it’s so much more fun to have a few special supplies on hand just to make journaling a little more interesting!

  • Washi tape – everybody needs washi tape because…well, just because and this stuff is sooooo cute!
  • Stickers – these are super upbeat and perfect for a gratitude journal. They are just adorable!
  • Pens – these are my all time favorite pens for journaling! I love, love, love these pens! 

If you’re really creative, then you may even want to include art supplies to make your journal even more pretty! 🙂

  • Watercolors – this is an all around good set and not expensive. It’s fun to dabble in watercolors to make your journal pretty!
  • Watercolor pencils – these are the exact pencils I use and I couldn’t be happier!
  • Distress Inks – I have so much fun with these inks!
  • Gelatos – no it’s not ice cream! These are a super fun way to add color to your journal!

What is Gratitude?

That’s a fair enough question! Gratitude is really just the act of being thankful. It sounds simple enough, right? But in the society we live it, sometimes it’s easy to start taking things for granted and suddenly, we aren’t grateful any more.

You don’t have to over complicate gratitude. Just think of it as having a thankful attitude in general. In our house, we like to say…”Have an attitude of gratitude and be thankful!”

Why is Gratitude so Hard to Practice?

This is a tough question, but when I think of all the modern conveniences we have today, I’m convinced that not being grateful simply comes from an expectant mindset.

After all, for most of us, we have modern conveniences surrounding us everywhere we look.

I realize this isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, have you ever noticed that the less a person has, the more grateful they seem to be?

In our modern society, it’s easy to expect running water, food on the table, a roof over our heads, but do we really stop to contemplate and be thankful that we have those things?

Have we suddenly began to expect that everything we have is our right and not a privilege, and that there are people who won’t even eat today?

Though the amenities you and I both enjoy make life so much easier, it’s easy to forget that we must be thankful for even the little things.

Don’t let all that you have crowd out how thankful you must be!

Gratitude is an Intentional Practice

With that in mind, sometimes it takes a shift in our mindset to become truly grateful. I know that overall, I’m a pretty thankful person, but if I’m not intentional, I can easily become expectant and forget to be thankful for all that I have.

It’s ok to remind yourself to be thankful. In fact, I would even say it’s a good practice. It’s great to become intentional about anything you want to improve on an thankfulness is definitely something to strive for!

Think for a second about anything you’ve ever wanted to master. I’m willing to bet that it took you time and practice and an intentional attitude, right? The same is true with becoming a grateful person.

Try it! You can get better and better at it even if you already consider yourself to be in a good spot already!

Tips for Practicing Gratitude

One of the best things I ever heard for learning how to be thankful is to sit quietly in a room and look around you. Without ever leaving your chair, start to name the things you can see.

  • A bed
  • Clothes in a closet
  • Running water
  • Food
  • Kids
  • Important people
  • And the list goes on…

Once you run out of things to be thankful for, change your position – and in doing so, you’ll change your perspective.

If you really can’t think of anything, then start with the very basics…

  • Air to breathe
  • A heart that pumps blood
  • Your feet that can take you where you want to go

You get the idea! 😉

Try a Gratitude Journal

One really intentional way that I love for becoming more grateful is a gratitude journal. Think about it, it doesn’t get any more intentional than that!

Writing down what you think will cement all the things you have to be grateful for in your mind.

Besides, on those days when you’re tempted not to be thankful, (and we allllll have them) then you can open up your gratitude journal and start reading.

It may even prompt you to think of things you didn’t even know you were thankful for.

How to Use a Gratitude Journal – 10 Tips for Gratitude Journaling

Follow these tips to make the most out of your time journaling your thankfulness. You will be amazed at how much your outlook will be affected once you start intentionally focusing on those things that you are grateful for.

1. First, Pick Your Journal and Supplies

You obviously need a journal, right!? Thankfully, you have many options! My favorites are listed in order. Please do remember, though, that the journal isn’t nearly as important as the contents of it.

You can have the prettiest journal and never write in it and the whole thing would be a waste. Choose your journal carefully, but don’t make it the be-all and end-all of your gratitude journaling.

Here are some helpful accessories (as well as some gratitude journal options) for you to get started:

  1. The Gratitude Journal with 365 Journaling Prompts
  2. Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal 
  3. The One Minute Gratitude Journal
  4. Dotted Bullet Notebook with Pen Loop – Please note, this is not a gratitude journal, per say, but it’s a blank dotted grid journaling notebook which would be suitable for gratitude journaling. This is to be used if you’re following the bullet journal style of journaling.
  5. One Subject Notebook
  6. Washi tape – everybody needs washi tape because…well, just because and this stuff is sooooo cute!
  7. Stickers – these are super upbeat and perfect for a gratitude journal. They are just adorable!
  8. Pens – these are my all time favorite pens for journaling! I love, love, love these pens! 
  9. Watercolors – this is an all around good set and not expensive. It’s fun to dabble in watercolors to make your journal pretty!
  10. Watercolor pencils – these are the exact pencils I use and I couldn’t be happier!
  11. Distress Inks – I have so much fun with these inks!
  12. Gelatos – no it’s not ice cream! These are a super fun way to add color to your journal!

Remember, the journal itself doesn’t matter as much as what you’re writing in it. However, I find that the prettier the journal is, the more I fall in love with writing in it. It’s just the way I roll! 🙂

2. Just Write What You’re Thankful For

You really don’t want to overcomplicate it. The idea is just to help you bring the things you’re thankful for to mind. If you choose to use a gratitude journal with prompts, it should be really easy to write about the exact thing you’re grateful for.

But try hard to think about it and write enough to make it count! Don’t just answer the question quickly. Go into details. What is it about ______ thing that makes you so thankful. Dig deep and really pour out your thoughts.

This exercise is so good for you! It will stretch your mind to really seek out things to be thankful for.

3. Be Intentional 

In the same way, make it a point to be intentional both with what you write in your journal and also with when you write. Make it a habit to take a few minutes at around the same time each day. Consistency is one of the best ways to build a good habit.

It doesn’t have to be long. Don’t feel like you have to spend an hour, but rather a few minutes of time where you’re really reflecting on the things you’re thankful for.

Just write a paragraph or two, or if you’re really trying hard to make it a habit, you can even start with a sentence or two.

4. Set a Goal

For some reason, setting a goal helps you accomplish so much more. You’re more likely to complete what you set out to do if you set a goal. But of course, you have to stick with it.

What will your goal be?

  • Seven days
  • One month
  • One year

The choice is, of course, entirely up to you, but once you set your goal…

5. Stay Consistent

Once you’ve set your goal, you’ll want to make sure to record your thankfulness regularly. By now you should have decided on the plan that’s best for you.

I would recommend writing something each day, but that might not be realistic for you.

Whatever you decide to do, just choose a plan and then stick to it.

Daily? In the mornings? Only on weekdays? Skipping holidays? Write down your plan so you know exactly what you’re doing. You can record it somewhere in your gratitude journal. Maybe in the back?

And then…

6. Stick To It

Keep it up! Sounds simple enough, right?! It takes time to build a habit, so set a reminder on your phone or place it on your pillow when you wake up in the morning so you remember to write in it before the day is done.

Make sure you stick to your plan and don’t stray! You’ll be so glad you did!

7. Challenge Yourself to More

There’s always something to be thankful for, right? So even when you’ve stretched your gratitude meter to the very end, go beyond your first thoughts and think harder about even more things to be thankful for. You can do it!

The super amazing thing is, just like exercising and building muscles, at first, it might be hard – even uncomfortable, but the more you exercise thankfulness, the easier it will become.

Just like weight lifting, challenging yourself to even more gratitude is like lifting an extra rep or a little heavier weights – only for your brain!

8. If You Get Off Track, Get Right Back On!

I cannot emphasize this enough. I tend to be an all-or-nothing person, which isn’t always a great trait to have. Sometimes it goes in my favor (when I’m in the “all” portion of things) but when I fall behind on something, my tendency is to quit.

Don’t quit! I’m reminding myself of this just as much as I am you!

Seriously, keep pressing on and don’t let a failure stop you from a great endeavor. The truth of the matter is – no matter what, no matter how dedicated you may be – life certainly happens and you are bound to have something creep into your schedule and cause you to skip a day or two of writing in your gratitude journal. Maybe even a week.

Then your next action (or lack, thereof) may be to abandon your gratitude journaling all together.

Don’t let that happen!

Don’t give up just because you couldn’t meet your goal. Keep keeping on! (I feel like a football coach! LOL)

If life should cause you to skip a beat, then just pick right back up where you left off, no matter how long it’s been and start again.

9. Just Do It!

There really isn’t any trick to using a gratitude journal – the key is just to use it!

Some of us can be perfectionistic and the fear of doing it wrong may keep us from ever starting. While others might just be too busy (cuz life is busy!)

There will always be an excuse, a reason not to do it. I’m here to tell you…

JUST DO IT!!

Because again, the point is to exercise gratitude and not let the hinderances get in the way.

Now that we’ve established that…

10. Spread the Love

What good would all this gratitude be if we never put it into practice? Hopefully by going through the exercise of intentionally being grateful, you’ll begin to feel better.

And once you do, don’t keep it to yourself.

Share!

Share your happiness and sense of thankfulness with someone else, because they may just need a pick me up!

What is a Gratitude Journaling Prompt?

The hardest thing about using a gratitude journal may just be figuring out exactly what to write in it. That’s why using journaling prompts is so beneficial.

It’s really just a way to take the guesswork out of what you’re gonna write. Cuz sometimes the most intimidating thing is a blank piece of paper and having no idea where to start.

Journaling prompts help trigger you to think about things you might not have thought of to be thankful for. Then you can get to the work of writing down what you want to say about that particular thing.

It saves you doing the hard work of thinking! 🙂

Here are a few examples:

  • What’s a favorite activity you enjoy?
  • Who is someone who’s inspired you?
  • Think about a special song
  • What was your favorite thing about today?

365 Gratitude Journal Prompts

Sometimes the hardest part of writing in your gratitude journal is knowing exactly what to write about. I get that. We really have so much to be thankful for, but it’s not always easy to nail that down.

So to help you out, I’ve created a list of 365 gratitude journaling prompts! 

I know! It’s insane!!! Our family had a lot of fun putting this list together for you. We got super creative and came up with so much to be thankful for!

You literally will have enough to keep you busy for an entire year. That’s a lot to be thankful for! 🙂

You can find it included with the Forever Grateful Gratitude Journal. You’re gonna love it!

Variations on a Gratitude Journal

You can get as creative as you’d like. There really aren’t any rules since this is your gratitude journal.

You may be very creative and so for you, drawing something you’re thankful for would be an amazing option. There are so many options for things you could draw. You could even use the materials above and paint with watercolors or gelatos. 

Or perhaps you’re not as creative, so you just want to write down your thoughts and not make it too fancy.

Either one or something in between is totally fine. This is an exercise for YOU!

A Recap of Gratitude Journaling

So to pull it all together, keeping a gratitude journal is an intentional way for you to grow in your thankfulness. Remember…have an attitude of gratitude!

It needs to be intentional so you’re making sure to grow in the practice of being grateful. It doesn’t always just happen.

And it can be as fancy or as plain as you would like.

The most important thing is simply that you do it!

Gratitude Journal Prompts Printable

Make sure to check out the Forever Grateful Gratitude journal for all the gratitude journal prompts you need. (Enough for an ENTIRE year! 

And when you’re finished, why not go through the list again? Things change. Perspectives change. You may find that you find a whole bunch of new things to be thankful for!

What is the Best Gratitude Journal with Prompts?

Well I might be biased, but you don’t need to look any further than right here, cuz I’ve got you covered!

Before you look anywhere else, take a look at The Forever Grateful Gratitude Journal with 365 Gratitude Journaling Prompts. It’s amazing!!

There are several different styles for you to print out. That way if you feel like doing something one day and something different another day, you won’t get bored!

Head on over to check it out! You definitely wanna click this link! Don’t miss it!

Let’s Wrap it Up!

Gratitude journaling is a means to help you be more thankful. It’s an intentional way for you to express your thanks by thinking about things you may not have otherwise.

It’s an excellent habit for you to get into and it doesn’t take much effort.

No matter what method, means, or materials you use, the important thing is that you learn to become thankful (or even  more thankful!)

And the thing about gratitude is that it’s contagious. Just think about how many lives you can touch just by being thankful and upbeat!

I dare you to give it a try! 😉

 

How about you? Do you want to learn how to be grateful? Will you start your gratitude journal soon? How will you use the 365 Gratitude Journaling Prompts?

 

How to Be More Grateful

 

How to Be More Grateful

How to Be grateful {365 Gratitude journaling prompts}