“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I remember seeing the quote “what if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today” and immediately feeling convicted about how little I practiced gratitude. It feels so much easier to find all the things that are “wrong” with my day that all the good things gets buried beneath the cloud of negativity. I think it’s natural to gravitate towards the negative, but every day, every month, every year, I strive to be better about finding the positives, even on the worst days.
I recently finished reading Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis and she emphasized how important gratitude was in her daily goal planning and it made me realize how I needed to implement a daily gratitude ritual into my routine (then again, most of my motivation to do anything these days comes from Rachel Hollis lol).
By making an effort to keep a daily gratitude journal, I feel like I naturally look for the silver linings in each day. I don’t always look for really deep, meaningful things, either – even though they’re great. Sometimes I’m just really thankful to see the fall leaves on the ground, swirling around in the wind; or for the feel of a hot cup of coffee; or for 5 extra minutes of snuggle time with Arlyn in the morning. On days when I feel like work is stressing me out, I write down how thankful I am to have a job, or that it keeps a roof over my head and groceries in the fridge. Keeping the “counting my blessings” mindset has shifted the way I see my whole day. And when it comes to the goals I have set for myself, keeping a gratitude journal definitely makes it easier to be thankful for where I started versus where I am now, and it gets me even more excited about where I see my goals going in the future.
I keep track of my blessings two ways – my Start Today journal (courtesy of Rachel Hollis, once more) and in my planner. There’s usually overlap between these two lists, but there’s only space for five blessings in the Start Today journal, but I try to set a goal of writing ten total blessings in my planner each day. My entire life is already organized into my planner, so it’s the perfect place for me to write them down throughout the day in a place I can see it easily – and look back on previous days if I want to.
My biggest encouragement if you’re wanting to start your own gratitude journal is to start now! Don’t “next year” it, y’all! With Christmas coming up, there are so many beautiful blessings to make note of. Plus, it’ll help you finish 2019 strong and get a great new daily habit established in time for 2020.
Happy Thanksgiving, my loves! Know I am so so so thankful for each and every one of you for reading + making The Southern Sooner so worth it. I hope you all have a wonderful + relaxing time and enjoy eating all the food you can stand!