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Maintaining your mental health can be very difficult. The stress of everyday life may put actively working on positivity on the back burner, but it is important that you take steps to keep yourself emotionally resilient and increase your gratitude. A printable gratitude journal can give you a much-needed way to unwind at the end of a long day.
By keeping a record of your thoughts and feelings, your gratitude journal allows you to monitor your emotional and mental health. Self-knowledge is some of the most important information you will ever learn and a gratitude journal is one of the easiest ways to learn about yourself!
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How Often to Use a Gratitude Journal
Practicing gratitude may not always be easy, especially if things are not going your way. But it is important that you use a gratitude journal as often as you can for the most accurate assessment of yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings.
For many people, a daily gratitude journal strikes the perfect balance between time management and still getting all of your thoughts down on paper. Gratitude journal templates are available for you to print directly from your computer. You can print a new gratitude journal every day, or just create a stack at a time to work through.
It is important that you use your gratitude journal regularly for the best results. Whatever time interval you use to fill out your journal should be simple to follow and easy to keep up with. Daily journaling is a therapeutic and relaxing exercise. Many people prefer to do their journaling before bed, at the end of the day, so they can get down their thoughts from the whole day. You can also set aside a small amount of time to retreat to a den, basement, study, or another personalized area where you will be undisturbed enough to reflect and write.
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What’s in a Gratitude Worksheet?
Gratitude journals (also called gratitude worksheets) are divided into sections to allow the writer to organize their thoughts about the day. It can be hard to know where to start when you are journaling, so a gratitude worksheet template provides you with enough structure to guide your journaling process without dictating what you should say.
The goal of a gratitude worksheet is to allow you to make discoveries about yourself and your way of thinking. With a little self-reflection, you will be able to understand yourself and your problems better, and hopefully, find the solutions you need!
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I am grateful for…
The first section of a gratitude worksheet begins with “I am grateful for…” This section is the space for you to outline exactly what you feel the most thankful about in your life at this moment. This can be anything. For example, you may be grateful that you still have ice cream in your freezer, or grateful that you have a good friend.
The key here is to be open and free with your thoughts. You do not have to give this section a lot of thought; just fill out what comes to your mind easily. What you are grateful for may change from day to day, or there may be certain things that you are routinely thankful for!
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Things I’m looking forward to…
While the “I am grateful for” section may focus more on things that have already happened, or are currently happening, this section is based on future events. What are you looking forward to? If things are going well, you may have multiple things to look forward to in your future.
There is no specific size or other criteria for something to fit into this section. Something that you are looking forward to can be as big or as small as you like. As long as you genuinely look forward to the event or item in question, it can go in this section.
Each day can be different from the previous. You may be having a rough day or the best day of your life. Either way, you will have at least one thing that you can describe as a “win” in your journal. It is important to celebrate the small victories in your life, especially when practicing gratitude. Your wins do not have to make sense to anyone else because this is your journal.
Like the other sections, there is no limit to what you can consider a “Win” for your journal, as long as you really do consider it as a victory. Maybe you were able to resist the temptation of an unhealthy snack, or saved some money on gas with a discount. Maybe you even won an award or finished a large project today. If it is a win, put it down in this section!
This section might even help motivate you in your daily routine. The thought of being able to put something down as a “win” can be enough of a push for you to go outside of your comfort zone and do things that you would not normally consider. The simple act of keeping track of what victories you celebrate each day will open your eyes to how much you can accomplish when you figure out what resources you need.
Goals for the day
When going down the path of gratitude and self-improvement, you should have goals in mind. Your goals should accurately reflect your current circumstances and abilities. Do not set goals that you know are unrealistic for where you are right now.
Good goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. In other words, they are SMART! Let’s go through each of these criteria to determine what makes a good goal.
Your goals need to be specific. Goals such as “be better” only lead to frustration, because there is no detail. Instead of creating a vague goal to aim for, set specific details of your goal in place. For example, a goal such as “Exercise on my bike for twenty minutes at 10 miles per hour” is far more specific than “Work out,” and will therefore be easier for your brain to follow and comprehend.
Your goal has to be measurable in the same way that it is specific. It helps to add numerical values to goals if you are having trouble with this step. Basically, you need to be able to know when you have achieved your goal, or you might as well not have one. There are many ways to measure your goal, depending on what it is. Just make sure that you set out what indicators you need to look for to show that your goal has been completed.
Look, it is easy to decide that you need to turn your life around if you are unhappy with where you are. But you have to be realistic about what you can accomplish, especially in a day. You probably will not be able to get a college degree, buy a house, and get hired at your dream job in one day. And that’s fine! There is nothing wrong with having long-term goals, but keep in mind that this gratitude journal is designed to be filled out every day. Your goals should accurately reflect what you can do in one day.
Now, this does not mean that you should just give yourself one or two really easy goals that you will accomplish without any effort. The key here is to pick a daily goal that will challenge you, but is still possible. The reward that comes from accomplishing something that needs a little extra effort (but without draining you of everything you’ve got) will motivate you to keep going.
Relevancy is not something that an outside source can determine. Only you know what aspects of your life you want to work on. Your daily goal needs to be connected to that in some kind of way. If you are trying to become better at a certain sport, you will know what drills and exercises you should aim to complete in a day to improve your skills.
Your goal has to relate to what you truly desire; otherwise, it is simply draining time and energy that you could be using to pursue what you actually want. Keep your goals relevant. Even though they are smaller, daily goals, the cumulative effects of repeatedly achieving relevant daily goals will launch you on a path towards your larger objectives faster than you will even realize. Small marginal gains are the key to tackling big projects.
Your goals have to have some kind of timeline linked to them. This is not too hard with a daily gratitude journal. Just keep your goals to what you can actually get done in a day. At first, you have difficulty with accurately assessing your abilities, but as time goes on, you get better with practice.
In the “goals for the day” section of your daily gratitude journal, you should put down goals that are the best fit for you. But you also need to remember that if you are unable to finish your goals for the day, THAT’S OKAY! It doesn’t mean that you are any less than you were before. Just take a breath, reflect on what got in the way of your goals, and try again tomorrow. Don’t get frustrated with yourself, just figure out what you need to be able to accomplish your goals next time, and do it.
People I appreciate
The social connections of your life will be a huge asset to any kind of gratitude exercise. The people in our lives give us love, support, and friendship. When taking stock of what makes you grateful every day, the people who make you feel better about yourself deserve some acknowledgment. This is why there is a whole section dedicated to people that you feel appreciation for.
While family relations and friendships can become strained at times, it is important to appreciate the impact of those who affect us positively. You do not have to write down the reason why you appreciate a certain person; you can just write their name down in this space. Of course, if you would like to put down why you appreciate this person, in particular, today, you are more than welcome to give your justification.
Notes & Thoughts
The sixth section of your daily gratitude worksheet is more freeform than the others. This is the place for you to get out any thoughts or other information that may not fit perfectly into any of the other categories already mentioned. You can leave it blank, write something you realized today, or just draw a little picture that expresses the way that you feel!
Other thoughts from the day
This is the loosest section of the worksheet. You can put absolutely anything in this space. There are not even lines for you to write on, so whatever you put here can be completely unrestricted. You may not have anything that you need to put here, but it is still helpful to have a spot for any extraneous thoughts or information that you want to get out of your brain.
This is also a good spot to expand upon something you wrote in another section. You could explain what obstacles you faced with your goals, what someone did that made you appreciate them, or anything else that fits here. It’s all up to you!
Attitude of Gratitude
A printable gratitude worksheet can be an extremely useful tool for you. It gives a nice framework for you to build upon when it comes to expressing your gratitude for the things that make your life just a little bit better. By practicing gratitude, you can reclaim control of your life, lift your spirits, and give others a role model.
Don’t forget that your gratitude journal is your project! You can fill out as much or as little as you like. Just keep in mind that you will get out of it the same energy that you put in. The journal is designed to emphasize and foster positive aspects of your life, so it can be a great way to increase your positivity. Just set aside a short amount of time every day to fill out a worksheet and you will be practicing gratitude in no time!
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Get Your Free Gratitude Worksheet Below
Use the printable gratitude journal prompts each day to help you to be grateful for the things you have in your life.
Get Your Free Printable Gratitude Worksheet
Send download link to: