If you aren’t familiar with the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal, it can be pretty damn awesome. This study revealed that people who kept a gratitude journal (as opposed to a journal about neutral or negative events) exercised more regularly, felt better and were more optimistic. It also suggested that people who kept gratitude journals were more likely to have made progress toward their goals.
If that’s not enough, I can attest to the power of gratitude. Keeping a journal has made me more optimistic and happier. Instead of focusing on all of the stuff I don’t like in my life, it’s training my brain to constantly seek out the good. I end up feeling more fulfilled and satisfied on a daily basis. It’s made me more productive and even more confident.
As a coach, I help people reach huge goals. And it’s awesome. But here’s the thing: reaching your goal won’t make you happy. If you aren’t happy now, nothing is going to change that. Especially (according to studies) if you’re living above the poverty line. It’s faster and easier to change your perspective than it is to try to make a bunch more money to buy shit you don’t need (to impress people you don’t like). Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the best, most sure-fire ways to change your perspective. And it’s cheap!
I don’t care if you keep a paper journal, use this app or find another one. I just hope you start taking note of what you’re grateful for.
I personally use the iPhone app Gratitude Journal, which comes in at about two bucks. It’s clean, simple, easy and fun to look back at things I’ve been grateful for over this past (very busy and adventurous) year. One surprise for me were the daily quotes. Some of them suck, sometimes they repeat, but overall I’ve loved the quotes and I’ve been impressed by the fact that they’re lesser known (I don’t often say “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that before.”) and still really powerful. Why shell out for the app? Because it looks better than my handwriting, the alarm reminds me each day and the calendar view lets me see whether I’ve been staying on track or slacking. What are you grateful for?