The crazy-easy way to start a gratitude journal – and some ideas on what to say

After talking about the benefits of gratitude journals last week, I promised I’d share my favorite online gratitude journal. Soooo, drumroll please:

Why I love it

  1. It is dead simple. It’s so simple, I don’t have to remember to use it. Happy Rambles sends me an email with the subject line, “What are you grateful for today?” I just reply with my answer, and away it goes, stored in my private account on their site.
  2. It’s a blast from the past. In addition to asking me what I’m grateful for, the email also includes a past entry and asks, “How good was this?”
  3. It’s consistent. Every night at 8 p.m., I know that little email will show up in my box, and it makes me take just a few minutes and think about the good things in my day.

How it works for me

You can reply in most any form — paragraphs, bullets, photos, even incoherent sentences if that’s your thing. It’s easier and less daunting for me to write three things in a simple numbered list, so that’s what I do. It usually takes anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes.

It’s okay to focus on the small things

When I started out, I thought I might run out of things to say; being grateful for friends and family every night would get boring in a hurry.

But I quickly figured out that it’s more fun to focus on the small random things that make you smile or laugh. Here are just a few examples of quirky little things from my journal:

  • The yard guy who stops to pick up wind-blown trashcans
  • Fall moon on a periwinkle backdrop
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Getting a compliment on my new sweater
  • Negotiating with Time Warner
  • New sidewalk from my office to Rite Aid
  • Fresh, delicious, yummy-smelling bagels
  • New laptop battery

Bonus idea for job seekers

Use your gratitude journal as a way to record progress in your search. Make it a goal to have one positive piece of job-search news to report each night. It doesn’t have to be big. Maybe you found a new company to research, made a new contact, had a great conversation, figured out a new way to frame your skills, or got a target company to retweet something you said.

So, what are you waiting for? Pop over to Happy Rambles and get your own journal!

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