A gratitude practice is a tried and true method to increase optimism, happiness and improve sleep. It consists of making time, usually every day, to focus on what you’re grateful for and is a great way to draw attention to the positive aspects of your life. We’ve curated seven tips to get you started and help make the habit stick.
As with all new things you’re more likely to keep at it if you take baby steps and don’t try to do too much at one time. If listing ten things you’re grateful for feels overwhelming, we encourage you to start by listing one thing.
Link the Habit.
Habits are often easier to stick to when you link it to something you’re already doing every day. Put your gratitude journal under your phone so you see it first thing in the morning. Or if the evening is better, brush your teeth and then make your gratitude list!
Choose a Journal.
Set yourself up for success with the right tools and use a journal you love. When you keep your list with markers, pens, or colored pencils that make you smile, you’ll find it easier to stick with the habit of a gratitude practice.
Track Your Progress.
One of the best ways to say accountability to yourself is by noting when you’re engaging in the practice. Add a bullet journal style tracker to the first page of your journal where you can check off each day or simply keep a running list of dates in the back of your journal.
As you’re tracking your progress, don’t forget to celebrate! Keeping up the motivation to stick with your gratitude practice will be greatly enhanced when you take the time to cheer your accomplishments and success. You can even reward yourself with a new pen or a few fun stickers!
Sometimes the hardest part to getting started is knowing what to journal about. Start a checklist and keep track of one thing you like about yourself, what you’re looking forward to and something you’re grateful for.
Writing thank you notes to friends, family and community members is a great way to take your gratitude practice outside the journal. Not only does it help you appreciate the emotional connections in your life, it’s a great positivity booster for the person receiving the note.
Now that you have a few handy tips to starting a gratitude practice, grab your journal and take a few minutes to reflect on today. What are you grateful for?
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