One of the habits I try hard to practice every day is writing down what I’m grateful for. A girlfriend gave me this gratitude journal for Christmas one year and I use it daily but there have been times I found it buried in my nightstand drawer.
Writing down what I’m grateful for most definitely redirects my thoughts from negative ones to how fortunate I am. For years I’ve tried to be mindful of what I’m grateful for every day and have done so in different ways but writing them down in a notebook has worked the best for me. I like to go back and look through my gratitudes sometimes. I make an effort to be grateful for even the smallest, silliest of things.
Last fall the keynote speaker at the Women In Ag Conference at Spearfish Lodge Resort was Mary Kay Mueller. I perked up when she started talking about gratitudes, since it was a habit I already practiced. Her talk about realizing our dreams, taking risks, and how gratitudes can be used to manifest the dreams and goals we hope to achieve was inspiring so I bought her book, Eight to Great: The Powerful Process for Positive Change.
When I recently took a big risk that involved stepping out of my comfort zone, I knew I had it in me to overcome the challenge but had days of doubting myself so I dug out Mary Kay’s book to refresh my memory on her talk about gratitudes and get the boost of encouragement that I needed.
Her suggestion on gratitudes was to write down three each day with no repeats; meaning I couldn’t be grateful for the same thing ever again which was hard because I like to repeat the things I’m most grateful for.
Her chapter on gratitudes also gave me a new perspective on what to be grateful for. Instead of grumbling about what’s wrong, be grateful for what isn’t. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, be grateful for all that I do have or don’t have. A prime example was last week when our dog Pepper found a baby packrat on the porch right by the door. I was grateful Pepper caught it and that it wasn’t IN my house!
So, if you’ve ever read my column, my blog, or commented, you’re already in my journal of gratitudes as a group of people or as an individual.
Here’s just a few others from my gratitudes journal:
The sound of crickets
My keys were where I looked first! (this is rare)
That I remembered to call in for jury duty on time
Moving cows went smoothly
Fresh, clean line-dried sheets
Having a freezer full of beef
Didn’t forget to buy milk
Slept outside without having to spray for mosquitoes
The ability to feel my sore muscles
We got the kids’ heifer w/wire around her foot and the pair we needed to get in, all at the same time
Being able to have fresh, hot coffee within a minute
Had enough leftovers to make a quick, easy supper from
Not having to haul water for cows this summer
The next time something goes wrong, jot down something you’re grateful for or at the very least, think about what you could be grateful for instead of dwelling on the situation. It’ll make you’re day better.