3 Lessons from the Gratitude Project

I’m keeping a gratitude journal for three weeks. Every evening or morning I use a pen to express thanks for three things in a journal.

3 Lessons from the Gratitude Project

#1. Community:

We learn and grow best in community.

A friend of mine texted me Monday night, “Did you do your assignment?” I knew what she was talking about.

  1. The path forward seems easier when others know where you’re going. Declare the skills you’re working to develop.
  2. Projects feel more enjoyable when someone notices what you’re doing.
  3. Motivation increases when others are pulling for you.

#2. Morning gratitude:

Morning gratitude is prospective.

Gratitude in the morning moves attention to opportunity, more than difficulty or problem.

When I’m grateful in the morning, I look forward to things I’ll accomplish. I focus on the value of my strengths and how I might bring value to others.

#3. Evening gratitude:

Evening gratitude is retrospective.

We understand life in retrospect. Kirkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Gratitude in the evening reveals values. You’re thankful for things that matter to you.

5 tips for keeping a gratitude journal:

  1. Write. Don’t type. Put pen to paper.
  2. Let others know what you’re doing.
  3. Record three different items every day.
  4. Be real. If you’re thankful for the strawberry pie, record it.
  5. Be specific. I wrote ‘the warmth of my wife’s lips last night when we kissed in front of the stove’.

Maybe a few weeks of keeping a gratitude journal would do you good.

What have you learned from keeping a gratitude journal?

What tips might you offer for keeping a gratitude journal?

Bonus material:

Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal (Berkeley)

Gratitude Journal: 67 Templates, Ideas, and Apps for Your Diary (Positive Psychology)

The Benefits of a Gratitude Journal and How to Maintain One (Huff Post)

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