An Alternative Gratitude Practice

This post comes from a comment I put up on Andrea Scher's blog recently as a suggestion for an alternative to keeping a traditional gratitude journal. Thought it might be a fun thing to share on my own blog in the spirit of Thanksgiving back home.

What moment of your day stands out to you?
 A while back, on a day when my gratitude journal felt forced, I tried starting a “favorite moment” journal. It was such a simple thing to do, I’ve continued the practice, and it’s been surprisingly light and rewarding and so so easy (while still going deeper).

I have a dated calendar (a cute one that makes me smile) and at the end of the day I just write what my favorite part of the day was. Just one sentence: “my favorite part of the day was reading stories to my son,” or something of the sort. It’s simple and small and it never feels like I’m trying to twist bad days into good. But it does help me wake up to small moments I perhaps take for granted on bad days. It also helps me recognize patterns in what are my favorite moments, which sometimes surprise me. I think it’s a good alternative “gratitude” practice, especially for days when you just don't feel grateful and you are sick of beating yourself up feeling guilty over it.

Because even on a crappy day, you can still pick a favorite moment of the day. And even on the worst days, taking note of that favorite moment usually brings a smile to my face. Which is welcome and nice.

P.S. I do also keep a daily gratitude journal, and even though some days it's hard to follow through with it, especially days that kind of suck, I have indeed stuck with it for several years now. And I'm so grateful for the perspective it offers me. I suppose after awhile the discipline of it sort of took over as habit and just like regular exercise, it helps keep me strong and healthy. So I'll keep it up.

How about you? How do you count your blessings?

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.P.S. Speaking of Andrea Scher's blog and since I mentioned it here, she put up such a fantastic Thanksgiving post on stealth blessings that I simply must link to it (and for those who don't always like making gratitude lists, there's respite for you there too). Enjoy!