I recently started gratitude journaling. 

Each night, I reach for my journal, “A Life of Gratitude: A Journal to Appreciate It All, Big and Small” by Lori Roberts, which rests on my nightstand. 

The sunflowers on the cover initially drew my interest as I was walking through the bookstore in town. I have always seen sunflowers as a metaphor for choosing to see the good in all things—something I aspire to. 

Sunflowers stand tall with their sturdy stems and turn to face the sunshine, letting the shadows fall behind them. And sure, there’s science behind that, but I like my view of it better. 

Pictured above is a copy of Lori Roberts’ “A Life of Gratitude: A Journal to Appreciate It All, Big and Small.” (Photo courtesy of Roberts via @little_truths_studio Instagram)

As I began flipping through the journal in the bookstore, I realized that each page had a prompt to help guide me. 

Write down five ordinary things that you’re grateful for today. 

What are you grateful for about spring? 

How do you plan to build a habit of gratitude?

Seeing that there were prompts guiding me on each page, I decided to purchase it. I also admired how an illustration and quote accompanied each prompt (I am a sucker for a good quote!).

I’ve tried journaling in the past but it has never fully developed into a habit. I tend to get easily caught up in my daily routine, and taking time out of my busy schedule to pause and reflect often falls short on my list of priorities. Although, it really shouldn’t. 

I began working my way through the prompts each night before bed. Each takes me just five minutes or so to write out.

The prompts appeared simple at first but I’ve realized over the past couple of weeks that I tend to overlook the little things.

For example, one ordinary thing that I’m grateful for is being able to move my body. I get to go to the gym each morning, hop on the treadmill and feel my legs move back and forth. It seems so simple that I often take it for granted, but not everyone has that ability. 

I’m also grateful for the conversations that I get to share with prospective students from all over the world as a senior admission fellow. Listening to them share their stories always brightens my day and leaves a smile on my face!

So far, I have found that taking just five minutes out of each day to reflect is very manageable.

I hope to grow the amount of time that I set aside for reflection in the future but this is a good first step. I’ve already felt a positive change in my perspective. I look forward to reaching for my journal each night and recentering my thoughts on what I am grateful for. 

It can take time to build a new habit and starting small is better than not starting at all. 

Journaling on blank pages with no guidance may have not worked well for me, but jotting down a few things that I’m thankful for each day has worked well so far. 

If you are somebody like me who struggles to slow down and be mindful from day to day but wants to develop a habit of gratitude, I recommend purchasing this journal. You can purchase it on Roberts’ website here

Pictured above is Lori Roberts, author of “A Life of Gratitude: A Journal to Appreciate It All, Big and Small.” (Photo courtesy of @little_truths_studio Instagram)

Gratitude journaling has not been a huge time commitment but it has helped me to end each day on a positive note—and what’s better than that? 

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