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What’s a post about gratitude doing on a page about bucket lists? It’s simple really:
Gratitude is your first step to getting into the right mindset for goal achievement.
Don’t believe me? Studies by Dr. Robert Emmons have shown that people who practice daily gratitude and gratitude journaling make real, concerted progress towards goals in various areas of their lives (health, academic, interpersonal, etc). Gratitude also helps improve your sense of the present and the realization that there is no better time than NOW to work on achieving what you want. Add the skill of gratitude to your arsenal of personal development tools and start crushing your bucket list items ASAP. Here are the best gratitude journals to get you started:
Just Getting Started
Repetition is the key to creating a new habit and the Good Days Start with Gratitude journal primes you to build the habit of gratitude. The journal is rife with motivational quotes that are not uber religious—you’d be surprised how many are—and prompts you to think about three things you’re grateful for each day. Additional detailed prompts are sprinkled throughout the journal (e.g., write about one place that you are thankful you had the opportunity to visit and why).
Pros: The journal rings in the cheapest of the recommendations below on Amazon, so it’s less than you would spend on a few cups of joe at your local Starbucks. And if you’ve got Amazon Prime, the shipping is free. (You can try Amazon Prime for FREE for 30-days if you’re looking to save on the shipping!) Cha-ching.
Cons: There is not a ton of extra space or blank pages to jot down additional thoughts or gratitudes you might have. If you’re a scribbler, you are forewarned. The journal is also lacking in variety in regards to prompts; the daily prompt is always the same.
The Five Minute Journal builds on the daily gratitude routine by encouraging you not only to be grateful for three things daily, but to write out your own affirmations and visualize “what would make today great.” The journal encourages you to take it one step further and revisit your entry at the end of day and comment on how your day went and how it could have gone better.
Pros: The journal goes into the science behind building the habit of gratitude, as well as why the maker’s chose the specific prompts. I also like the idea of revisiting your entry at the end of each day to see how you can improve. All that day-to-day self-reflection builds your momentum.
Cons: The price is a step up on Amazon, and the extra dough still doesn’t include more space for scribbling miscellaneous notes. Overall, it is still a small cost to pay to cultivate a habit that is scientifically-proven to make you happier.
For the Pensive Creative
I listen to the Optimal Living Daily podcasts on the reg and posts from Tiny Buddha are always featured. Turns out, Lori Deschene has a gratitude journal that serves up gratitude prompts on a variety of topics, but also some space for—wait for it—COLORING. Solid gift to give to adult children? I think yes. Teenagers too.
Pros: Duh, coloring pages! But, the variety in prompts is a welcome change from the previously mentioned journals. There are also lots of blank pages that the other journals lack. Scribble away! Lastly, the journal rings in at a pretty inexpensive cost on Amazon. That’s a win in my book.
Cons: This journal is not really geared towards the easier daily gratitudes, but more unique ones we do not think about as often. The prompts will likely take you longer. This might be the journal for you if you’re already in the habit of gratitude and are looking for more of a challenge.
Combining Gratitude with Action
(Don’t confuse it with the Five-Minute Journal above…)
If you’re not familiar with Mel Robbins, take a second to get to know her in this Goalcast talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCbiuP2CAqk. Now that we’re all on the same page, you can see it was a matter of time before she developed a journal to supercharge your decision-making skills. The journal helps you not only practice gratitude (albeit only a few lines a day), but narrow your focus on one area of your life in regards to tasks. Why is this useful? Because multitasking is actually BAD for productivity, according to science. Combine gratitude and task management to prioritize your projects, set small action steps and even work on your confidence daily.
Pros: The 5 Second Journal is a bargain at less than $20 on Amazon for all it is proposing to help you with. You can gauge how you’re feeling for the day and plan on how to improve your mood. Bonus: there’s a “brain dump” section for all of your fleeting ideas.
Cons: The daily challenges included in the journal are sometimes quirky and unmanageable. In one Amazon reviewer’s words, “’Spend 30 minutes of quality time with an animal.’ What was I supposed to do, kidnap the neighbor’s cat?”
Continue harnessing the power of gratitude by building out your reverse bucket list. Don’t know what that is? Learn more here.