Back in 2009, our family started a journal in which to record our gratitude. We set out to record at least 1,000 gifts. (We got the idea from Ann Voskamp.)
I started with just a plain sketch pad from the art store. I decorated the front cover and random pages inside with pictures from magazines.
We started with number 1, making a ongoing list of things for which we were thankful. That first journal took us all the way to 2013 and we made it to 1,781 gifts!
As you can see, most of the writing is mine, but sometimes my kids would get in on the act. At dinner, we would say what we were thankful for and I would record it. I also tried to leave the journal out on the counter or kitchen table so that anyone could record something whenever the mood struck.
I have found that the time I most need to write in the gratitude journal is when I am grumpy or things don't seem to be going my way. Remembering all the amazing things in life will put things in perspective right away! It is also wonderful to go back and read all that we've recorded over the years.
Best of all, did you know that all the latest research shows that the habit of gratitude does amazing things in us, like decreasing levels of stress and depression, increasing levels of determination and energy, fostering closer relationships and increasing levels of happiness! Who wouldn't want that?!
We recently filled up that first journal, so I just bought another one and quickly decorated it with whatever was at hand. Here it is. I can't wait to start filling it up!