How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and Why

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and Why

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and Why

The practice of gratitude has gotten a lot of press lately, and with good reason. Simply put, having a sense of gratitude makes you feel good. And sometimes it seems like there’s too much bad news in the world.

green river photo


When my brother was very ill recently, I went to see him. My house was in danger of flooding, and I complained to him that I was afraid of what could happen with the rising river. And he said “I wish I had that problem.” And just like that, I felt very differently, and very grateful to have my health.

office apple photo

Gratitude and Serenity

Listing the things you’re grateful for gives you a sense of serenity, and reframes some of the not-so-good things, too. And those little every day miracles have a chance to surface, when they might otherwise get lost in the shuffle. If you’d like to read some other thoughts on gratitude, here are a few that I’ve written:

office apple photo

Extend That Thanksgiving Feeling

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? Brussels spouts, pumpkin pie, and time with friends and family? And showing gratitude in whatever way you please? Thanksgiving is definitely a feel-good moment, and so why not extend that feeling year-round?

Simple Things Matter, Too

Here are a few people (and things) that make me happy:

  • Friends. A couple in particular that I feel thankful for this week are fellow bloggers  and Dyane Harwood.
  • Parks. How fabulous is it that you find a park nearly anywhere you go, and unwind a little or a lot?
  • The Garbage Guys. These guys back up all the way down my narrow, road. I don’t know why, but it’s really cool that they show up every week. If someone from the Middle Ages time traveled to 2017, they’d say it was a miracle!
  • Indoor plumbing. And there are lots of ways that indoor plumbing has had an impact on us. Read about it at The Impact of Modern Plumbing.

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Finding the Perfect Notebook

My perfect notebook came from this year’s WordCamp Orange County. The lovely people from Dreamhost were giving them away, and they’re just gorgeous! Mine is smallish and is lined, which is perfect. Your perfect notebook doesn’t need to be made of leather, but you might like a beautiful picture, or maybe something customized, like this Steampunk Leather Journal with Brass Lock and Key // Hardback Artist Sketchbook. Or maybe just a regular ole notebook from the grocery store.

Find a Good Place to Write

Call me old-fashioned, but I like to write at a desk. Unless I’m recording dreams, a desk is the way to go.

woman writing photo

Start Writing

You may want to create regular paragraphs, but to make it even easier, how about creating a list? Lists are simple, and you can try to find ten things daily that you’re thankful for. The wonderful thing about writing is that you never really know where you’ll end up.

woman writing photo

Thank You!

Let me know if you have a gratitude practice, and how you express thanks. I’d be very grateful if you left a comment.


  1. Hi Carol,
    I am humbled that you mention me in this post. I am so thankful to have found you via social media. So many people are too busy to simply say hello in person or type it online. You go above and beyond nearly all individuals that I’ve encountered on SM which is infectious and encourages me to do more.

    Just as you mention health, I’m so thankful daily for many simple and little things. Maybe I’m more thankful with age but it’s much better than looking for the worst in people and things.

    Thanks for being such a glowing presence in my circle.

    • Hi Patricia,

      It takes one to know one! Very happy to know you and to correspond with you. I’m sure one day we’ll meet in person (sorry I missed you as I rushed through Arizona and New Mexico last week!). Twitter, in my opinion, is one of the very best places to have friendships begin and then blossom. Looking through your timeline, you’re one of the best at sharing other’s posts!

      Health is one of those things many of us (me included) take for granted. It is easier to complain than to look for the positive.

      And thank you for all that you do!

      With appreciation,

  2. Many, many thanks for the shout-out, Carol! You have been such an inspiration and a wonderful supporter ever since we met through the internet. I’m so happy you’re in my life and I look forward to the day when we cross paths in our favorite woods or maybe even at my next book event ;hopefully both! Wishing you a great weekend, Dyane xoxo

    • Hi Dyane,
      Oh my goodness! We have a mutual admiration society, and I’m so happy we do!
      Yes, we definitely will cross paths very soon. I always look twice when I see anyone with a dog who looks like yours–especially at the local parks!

      With appreciation,

  3. Thank you for the great idea!

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