Is gratitude journaling the life-hack you’ve been looking for? Bring clarity to your business by learning to leverage your gifts with a regular journaling practice! Let’s dig in.
Get out there and buy a basic notebook or journal. Don’t get too caught up on what kind of journal – just find something that resonates with you. You’re going to fill this baby up anyway! Each time you finish a journal, you’ll have a new idea of what type of journal you’d prefer the next time around. And yes – this will change over time.
Actively and intentionally look for at least three things that you are grateful for each and every day. This can be in business or in your personal life. Document them in the journal. You can use a single word, a sentence, or write a full-blown essay. Regardless of how you do it, just commit to your gratitude journaling.
For extra credit, read what you’ve written out loud at least once before you go to bed. There is something truly magical about hearing yourself speak words of gratitude.
A journal can be anything you want it to be… but setting a few ground rules never hurts. Here are a few that I would recommend that you set for your journal. If you don’t like these, well, then create your own set of ground-rules! But DO set some ground-rules to help guide you in this practice.
#1: The only required daily entry is my daily-gratitude list. I don’t put any pressure on myself to journal any more than my daily gratitude, but over time I noticed that I naturally found other things to journal about as well! It felt great to add additional entries without feeling any real pressure to do so.
#2: My journal does not accept negativity. Not even a little. It expects me to find a way to create or find the good in any and all situations. When dealing with a major disappointment or challenge, my journal expects me to come to it with solutions – or at a minimum with hope. It does not allow me to be lazy or wallow in self-pity. Anyone can do that, and my journal expects more from me.
#3: My journal does not judge my spelling, my use of the English language, sentence structure, punctuation or how clean I can keep the page. It will not judge me if I scratch through a line, doodle on the page or change topics without notice. She just wants me to use her while actively looking for the positive, and then share and confess those gratitudes with her daily.
So then, what is the goal of this practice? How can this help you build a stronger, better business? Well, by gratitude journaling, you build your “gratitude-muscle.” You will be able to identify the strengths and gifts that you already have in your life, and in doing so, will see new ways to use them.
Let’s say that you’re grateful for your short commute to work. When you write this in your journal, you think “I’m really grateful for my short commute.”
If you know that a short commute makes you happy, you know it would make your future employees happy, too. You might then try to focus on hiring employees that live in close proximity to your office.
Gratitude journaling will also allow you to become a better you. Yes, it’s true – a grateful you is a better you. Over time, you’ll be able to firmly establish gratitude as your default in every area of your life.
Having your journal close at hand is a beautiful thing, but don’t let not having it handy be an excuse for not journaling. It is completely acceptable and encouraged to journal on anything that is handy, and then transfer it at a later date to your actual journal. Your journal, like most people, is not interested in your excuses.
And remember: a gratitude journal has the power to save lives. Never underestimate the power of gratitude. Never.