Everyone in my family kicked off the year with their very own gratitude journal. It was my husband’s idea and I went on Amazon and picked out journals that fit the personalities of everyone in our family.
I mean, do you know how many gratitude journals are on Amazon?
Anyways, so we each had our own gratitude journal, and we kicked off the new year writing down what we were thankful for each day.
Now, before I go any further, I want to remind you that I’m a Mary not a Martha. I’m more of a #HotMess than #MomBoss. I’m the one who gets superglue in my eye while trying to fix her son’s shoes (true story).
Why is all that important?
Because even though we had good intentions, it shouldn’t be a surprise that our gratitude journals lasted less than a month.
I can’t speak for the rest of my family, but mine is still on my nightstand collecting dust. It has a total of nine entries.
But here’s the thing (and this is important): It’s not that I didn’t write in it because I wasn’t grateful. I am.If writing 3 things in a journal everyday doesn't make you overflow with gratitude, that's okay. Click To Tweet
It’s the writing down three things at the end of a long day that didn’t work for me. It’s much easier for me to cultivate gratitude on the go. To live a life of thankfulness, instead of plucking at seemingly random facts to fill in blanks.
If you are a person who loves the structure of gratitude journals, that is awesome! I am by no means trying to dissuade you from using them (check out this one I found for my daughter). But if you’re like me and they just don’t work for you, I just want you to know that that’s okay, too.
3 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude Without A Journal
Instead of trying to do something that doesn’t work, I have found there are a few ways that I can cultivate gratitude in life during the Thanksgiving season, the start of a new year, or really just all year long. And that’s what I really wanted to share with you today.
1.) Say Thank You
Making a point to say thank you is probably the easiest way to cultivate gratitude. It’s something we teach our children, but when we get busy as adults, it’s something we sometimes let slip.
When was the last time you told your kids thank you for putting their dishes in the sink? Or took the time to thank the secretary at their school for helping you with something? What about another parent who helped you nail down a homework assignment, get your child to or from an event, etc.?
This could also be as easy as responding to a text or email thanking someone for the information. It doesn’t matter if they are just doing their job, letting them know they are appreciated might just add a little sunshine to their day.
2.) Take A Moment
This is my favorite way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Simply slowing down and taking a moment to look around me. Just realizing how blessed I really am. Yes, the holiday season can be stressful. So can life in general. There is always something, isn’t there? But even in the midst of every trial, there is something to be thankful for.
Taking a moment and finding joy in the trials of life… just to breathe deep and soak up all of life’s blessings. That’s my favorite way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
3.) Prayer & Praise
Finally, no list on cultivating gratitude would be complete without prayer and praise. Taking the time to thank God for what He has given us is so important. Whether that’s when you pause for a moment and look around, at the end of a long day, or even before the sun comes up. There is no wrong time to give God the glory for the blessings in our lives.
And if we’re having a really bad spell, asking God to help us see the blessings can’t hurt either. Sometimes prayer makes all the difference. It can soften our bitter hearts. Help us get a new perspective. Or let out our frustrations and refocus on Jesus.
What’s Your Take On Cultivating Gratitude?
So what about you?
Do you use a gratitude journal? If not, how do you cultivate gratitude in your life? Join the conversation in the comments below.3 Ways To Cultivate Gratitude During The Holiday Season Click To Tweet