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2010: Resolution One

January 15, 2010

Keep a Gratitude Journal for 365 days (to gain a better appreciation for life and all its wonders).

To complete this resolution I bought myself a 365 Journal from kikki.k, which is a blank/unlined notebook with numbered pages (001-365). In store examples show that you can use it as a real journal for a year – they have tid bits written in them and odds and ends stuck in. But I decided that I needed to be more grateful for my life instead of writing so overbearingly selfishly each day. A recent visit to kikki.k I found that a Gratitude Book has been released, but obviously I found this too late. But I like my version better as it allows me a whole page of blank space to use. The Gratitude Book is confined to three to write what you are grateful for each day, and more than half the page for the day is taken up by lines for ‘notes’.

Two page spread from my 365 Journal

My inspiration for a Gratitude Journal came from a book I read recently by Marion Keyes: The Brightest Star in the Sky. In it there is a married couple (two of the handful of characters followed in this story) and in order to grow more and see the good in life, they are instructed to write down things for which they are grateful each day. A little more reading on the subject enlightened me to the benefits of such practises: writing down things for which you are grateful each day helps to clear your mind of the negatives and allows you to relax more easily. I’ve already found this to be true in myself. When I lie in bed and can’t stop thinking, focussing on what I have written that evening in my Gratitude Journal helps to clam me, and allows me to relax and see that there is good and hope.

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” Guillaume Apollinaire

I write in my journal each night when I go to bed. I list five things for which I am grateful for as a result of the day that has just passed. I watch out for moments for which I am grateful for each day – and hope I remember them by the evening as I do not allow myself to write them down early. I have decided that I don’t care about repeating myself. I am not allowed to be embarrassed about what I write – at any time. I want to use the journal as a way of tracking my thoughts and feelings for the year (and to see where that can lead me).

There are numerous (documented) benefits for keeping a gratitude journal. USA Today has an interesting article on these benefits. Even a simple Google search for gratitude journals reveals a plethora of sources!

How are you thankful or grateful for your life and everything in it? How do you express this?

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