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Slow Down Challenge: Taking Time to Express Gratitude (Day 5)

This week, I’m joining Jeff Goins for his Slow Down Challenge. If you want to participate, sign up for the free Slow Down Challenge email list. Also, you might consider grabbing a copy of his book, The In-Between. Jeff is such an inspiration to me as a writer and I highly recommend reading all of his books, if you have a chance!

Expressing gratitude doesn’t require money. It doesn’t require much thought or effort. But it can change our whole outlook on life.

I started keeping a gratitude journal last year. It helped me to keep a positive, thankful attitude in the midst of some health problems I was experiencing.

But once those health problems were resolved, I saw such benefit in recording my blessings every day, that I continued doing it. To keep it simple, I’ve just been using the one-line-a-day journal my mom gave me for Christmas.

Every morning, when I first wake up, I read my Bible, pray, and write down at least one line of blessings from the past day. Some days it’s easier to come up with blessings than others, but I can always come up with at least a few good things from the day before — even if it was a hard day.

I’ve found that starting my day by recounting the blessings from the previous day puts me in a different state of mind. And it gets the day started on a great foot! Plus, it reminds me to live with a grateful, thankful spirit.

Do you have a method for remembering your blessings and the things you’re thankful for? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! And if you’re blogging about this challenge, be sure to leave the link to your blog post below.

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  • lizzy says:

    can you share where you found that journal? It looks neat!

  • Alison says:

    Yes, I too would like to know where I may find that journal! After reading this post I scoured the net looking for a simialr one…no luck.

  • Jennifer H says:

    It’s cheap & crude.. but I use a regular, ol’ spiral notebook. It’s handy.

  • Charity says:

    Hi Crystal! I would love to know where I can find this journal. Thank you so much!

  • Patti says:

    I have been doing this with my husband every night for years. It is very good for your marriage to read what the other is thankful for:) We each write three things we are grateful for. It is a great way to end the day.

  • Every night, after my eight year old says his prayers, we tell each other at least two things we are grateful for that day. (When my truck driver husband is home he joins in too.) Often I am so inspired and impressed with the things that he remembers or what he says he is grateful for.

    As for my own personal gratitude journal, I just use a composition notebook that I recovered and decorated myself. 🙂

  • Shelly says:

    I don’t have a gratitude journal but I think I need to start one. I have a cute little journal someone gave to me that would be prefect.

    I try to say thank you to my family for all they do. Even when my kids are doing their chores I try to thank them each time. I remember hurt feelings as a child because I very rarely received a thank you for helping around the house or doing my chores. I think it is really important to show gratitude even for tasks that are expected to be done and especially to those you love the most.

  • Helena says:

    I love the idea of a gratitude journal. At dinner, we always talk about something good that happened during the day as well as something bad. We talk about how we felt, how we resolved it, etc. But we always end on the good thing that made us happy. I feel that now that my oldest is writing the journal idea is great for both her and me.

  • Jo Lynn says:

    For awhile I was doing a gratitude journal and I’m not really sure why I stopped (ok actually I do, see paragraph below) . I started one years ago in college and another actually awhile ago when you posted about doing one when you were having some health challenges. This post inspired me to pick it back up. I went and looked at the ones I had started and it was good reflection to remember some of the things, some big and some small, that I was thankful for at different times. Definitely inspired to start again (I’m also inspired by some of the comments about what others are using, pretty journals are a temptation for me to buy and the first thing I did was hit up Amazon to try and find a super fancy one to use but I’m trying to resist that and use what I already have.)

    I’ve enjoyed reading along on this challenge. I always feel rushed and honestly I do have a lot on my plate, BUT I also am not using my time the wisest. I spend so much time checking emails, checking facebook, blogs, my stats etc that I feel more rushed than I really should be. When I do have some spare moments (that morph into larger time blocks that just moments most of the time) I automatically turn to the internet, refresh something over and over instead of just savoring life and giving myself a few minutes to breathe, think, and relax. Definitely in the coming days and weeks I’m going to be making this an area of focus to get my relationship with the internet in a healthy place and examine what “noise” (I liked your description of that on the google hangout) I’m “listening” to. As always thanks for sharing and for blogging your way through this challenge.

    • Crystal says:

      {Hugs!} You have a lot on your plate… I prayed for you this morning that you’d be able to find a healthy place when it comes to the internet. Maybe consider taking a complete break from a few things (Facebook or checking stats, etc.) for a week — or even just a few days. I find this to be helpful and to really clear my head if I’m feeling too much “noise”.

      {Thanks for joining me on the webcast, by the way. You were sweet to be there!}

  • Victoria says:

    I use and inexpensive week at a glance pocket calendar from the dollar store. It is the type where each day has 2 or 3 lines to write your appointments on. Instead of appointments I write in blessings at the end of my day. I find this helps me to go to sleep with positive thoughts instead of those nagging regrets that make it hard to fall asleep.

  • Laura says:

    I have really enjoyed your slow down quotes and have found them to be good reminders. Thank you.

  • Lana says:

    Many years ago I went through a period of needing to heal from a bad experience and this is how I was able to move on. I did sit down and write 100 things I was thankful for all at once and it really helped me. I was prayer partners with a retired missionary about 25 years ago and when she prayed she thanked God for so many things that we take for granted. I have never forgotten that. My husband and I pray together every night and always list things we are thankful for from the day. He always starts out by saying thankful for me being his wife.

  • Jena says:

    I love being able to hear how blessed our family is, even if some days it seems like we have a lot of struggles. Every night at dinner each member of our family (daughters are 5 and 2) shares something they are thankful for. Even our youngest will express what she loves even though most of the time it’s something she enjoys eating off her dinner plate. This is a great reminder that even the little things I do with them can make their day. One thing I’ve wanted to start was a gratitude box…. writing down one thing that made my day special every day just like your book, only this is done on one line of a notecard so that each year when you write on the card for that day, you get to see your blessing from the year(s) before.

  • wheelwi says:

    At the beginning of the year, I started using One Line A Day to record what I’m thankful for. The great thing about this book is that you can record up to five years worth of blessings!

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