Back in 1997(ish), I was watching the Oprah Winfrey Show (what else, right?!) when she told the world to keep a gratitude journal. At the time, I had never heard of such a thing! But when she said it, I knew it was for me.
I went to the book store and bought a gratitude journal. Which was really just a lined notebook, but I wanted something fresh and new to track my gratitude and apparently my regular old journal would not suffice.
I loved that little book! Every night, I’d take Oprah’s advice to heart and write down 3-5 things I was grateful for. It felt good to write it down.
Over the years, I kept the concept in my heart but let the practice slip. Until recently, when I found myself coming full circle and appreciating gratitude in a whole new way. Gratitude isn’t just about acknowledging what you have. It’s also about honoring your season of life, your experiences, and all this great, big world has to offer us. On some days, it’s hard to be grateful. I know this. I have been there. It’s easier to sulk and complain and feel sorry for ourselves.
But sulking and feeling sorry for ourselves sucks, to be be frank.
Writing down a few things you’re grateful for can literally turn around your whole day.
I hope you’ll use these gratitude journal prompts – I’ve even included a printable version so you can print it out and stick it in your journal for reference (I love my phone, but I try to shut it down and be digital-free in the evenings and first thing in the mornings, too).
Gratitude Journal Prompts
And you know what? Once you start a gratitude journal, you’ll find yourself being more in-tune to what you’re grateful for. You won’t have to sit down and night and work to come up with 3-5 things you’re grateful for that day. Nope! Not at all, Instead, you’ll find yourself noticing, appreciating, and absorbing the things that make you grateful all day long.
I remember this exact thing happening to me back in good ol’ ’97. I’d been keeping my gratitude journal for awhile, by this point.
One day, I was at the bank to cash a check. I was a spry young lass of twenty or so. As I went to enter the bank, an old man with a walker was struggling with the door in front of me. I went to help, but he quickly got control of the door, stumbled through with his walker, and proceeded to hold the door open for me.
In that moment, I felt flush with gratitude and appreciation of this kind soul. It would have been much easier for him to let me grab the door behind him, as I was trying to do. He wanted to hold that door open for me, and in doing so, he made my day brighter. my heart lighter, and my gratitude greater.
I want to encourage you to look for the little things in your life, too. Of course we are grateful for our kids. But we’re also grateful for about a hundred others things we see, do and experience every single day, but never think twice about.
If you’re new to gratitude journaling, or feel “stuck” (we all feel that way sometimes), this is for you. I hope you’ll use these gratitude journal prompts to cultivate gratitude in your own life. Write a word, or a few words…or even a few sentences if it feels right.
- What song did you hear today that made you happy?
- Remember a time when a stranger made your day.
- Whose birthday do you most love to celebrate? (it’s okay if it’s your own)
- What food did you eat today that you loved?
- Name a person you are grateful for.
- What sounds makes you happy?
- How did the weather bring you joy today?
- Share a quote that speaks to your heart.
- Where did you see your favorite color today?
- When did you last feel absolute peace (if only for a fleeting second)?
- What amazing thing did your body do today?
- What physical sense is your favorite?
- How did technology help you today?
- Who made you smile today?
- Talk about your favorite drink.
- Describe how you feel after you exercise.
- Share what you love about where you live.
- What did you do for yourself today?
- What did you do for someone else today?
- What was the highlight of your day?
- How does your family make your life richer?
- How does your independence make your life richer?
- Describe your favorite hobby in a few words. (I bet it describes you, too!)
- What physical feature on your body made you feel good today?
- Tell someone you love them (even if it’s only in your journal).
- Think of something you love about your pet(s).
- How does it feel when you have a grateful heart?
- What book brings you great joy?
- What movie brings you great joy?
- How do you feel when you hold an object you love?
- Talk about a moment in your life that was pure joy and light.
- Think of something little that brightened your day.
- What is your favorite day of the week?
What are you grateful for today?
Download your printable list of gratitude prompts below.
If you are looking for a powerful story about gratitude, read what my friend Kristen has to say about living a life through the lens of gratitude.
I hope you’ll join me on Facebook for planners, journaling, healthy recipes and free printables!
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