Before I tell you more about how my “Gratitude Challenge” is going, I have to share something that I am grateful for, and the day has barely begun. For two days in a row now, I have not had to wear a jacket outside! The weather here in New York has shifted so often – hot, cold, cold, rain, cold, cold, rain, warm. A friend recently shared that the Polish have a saying about the weather – it does not get warm until Easter, regardless of when Easter is. I hate to say it; I think they are right.
Enough about the weather. Let’s talk about the gratitude journal. I’ve been sharing both in my blog and when speaking with friends and people I meet about my gratitude journal challenge, and thought I’d share more information based on what others have asked and my own experience along the journey.
I’ve been asked several times, “What exactly do you write about?” My first response is that it is your gratitude journal. As long as you write about that which you are grateful for, it is considered a gratitude journal. Some days, you may have a tough time listing the recommended five things while other days, you can’t stop writing. Perhaps it will help for me to list a few of the things I’ve written about.
On Easter, here is some of what I wrote:
- Having my niece stay the night.
- Hosting my husband’s family over for Easter.
- Walking New York’s High Line.
- A nap.
- Monkey bread.
- Getting a surprise Skype call from my brother and his daughter.
- Being at peace with my mother’s passing. Today would have been her 58th birthday.
- Watching a movie on mom’s behalf. (That was our thing.)
- Talking to my grandmother.
Other’s have asked, “When do you write in your gratitude journal?” During the first week, I had gone to bed a couple of times forgetting to write in my gratitude journal, and thus, had to fill it in when I first woke up. I am happy about this turn of events. Personally, I don’t evaluate and ruminate over my day in the evening. I am pretty good at just passing out. Thus, I have found it more helpful for me to assess the previous day so that I start off the current day on a happy note. This may or may not work for you. Try both and see which fits!
The last point I want to make about a gratitude journal is how it has differed for me from a regular journal. Since I tend to be more vocal with my thoughts, I often felt my old journal writing was reiterating that which I was ruminating over or already vented to a friend about. Why also write about it? I prefer the half-glass-full Georgie, so for now, I will stick to the gratitude version of my journal writing. For now, it works!
If you have not started your gratitude journal, I highly recommend starting today. Feel free to share your experiences and questions in the comments box.