I have kept a gratitude journal off and on for around 20 years—probably more on than off. I like writing down the traditional “five things” I’m thankful for at the end of the day, and I have also used this journal to note things like snow days, meeting special people, and various other details about the day. This year, I saw some lists of different ways to review the day. Instead of just doing the “five things,” there were other prompts to use to notice the day’s blessings as well as review your actions. I love the idea of changing up my gratitude prompts regularly, and decided to play with creating my own. Here is what I am going to try out for the next couple of weeks.
New Gratitude Prompts:
- Who did you bless, help, serve, or add value to today?
Each morning, I pray that God will use me to bless someone else, and that I will move through my day mindful to be blessing, and between that prayer and this journal prompt at the end of the day, I hope to be much more proactive in extending kindness, generosity, and help to others.
- How were you blessed today? Besides praying to be a blessing to others, I also pray specifically for the Lord to bless me in some special way. I love the idea of making a point to remember and notice this blessing at the end of the day. I believe it will make me more attentive to God’s hand in my life every day.
- What was the Lord speaking to you today? This may be a tough question. There are probably days when the Lord really speaks to you, and days when you don’t seem to be hearing anything. On days when you don’t have a specific “word” from the day, you might just note an observation about the day or something you want to do (or do differently) in the future. This list really subscribes to the idea that what we measure or notice, grows. As we note what God is speaking to us on a daily basis, maybe we will notice we are hearing more and listening better.
- Compliment yourself. Don’t laugh, snort, or turn up your nose. Complimenting yourself is a way of offering yourself encouragement. Encouragement is something that is sorely lacking in our world. Think about all that you did today—all the effort you put into a task, a presentation, a meal, an outfit, saying the right thing in a conversation. Write out your compliment to yourself—or several compliments.
- What are you proud of? Write down at least one thing you did that you are proud of. Did you meal plan for the week? Write it down. Did you exercise even though it was raining outside? Add that to your list. Did you set a good example in a challenging situation? Write down the details.
- What was the most powerful thought or idea I had today? Some days, this may bring to mind a good idea you had that was beneficial in your career, or a storyline idea for a book, a fun place to go on vacation. A powerful thought may be a deeply felt reminder of God’s love or how supportive a friend or family member is, or the truth of a certain scripture.
- What was the best part of the day? What was today’s greatest highlight? I like to consider the moment or moments in the day when I felt the happiest or the most content. This is a fun thing to note, as on a day when you might expect your happiest moment to be when you did this cool, exciting event or made this special purchase, you might realize you were at your happiest and most content in a more mundane moment when nothing “special” was happening, except that you saw a mix of pretty colors in the sky or caught the scent of rain in the evening.