Keeping a Gratitude Journal

“Journal!!! I have been doing it for 4 years now and not only does it allow you to vent or let things go, they are awesome to look back on. Nellie Spicer got me on to writing a “thankful for” list this season. So every night before I go to bed I come up with something that happened that day that I was thankful for. It could be anything from finding food that was edible to having a good practice. Just makes you appreciate the little things and helps you not get caught up in the long season.” 

Diane Copenhagen (via her 3 words of advice)

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I’ve seen many elite athletes catch onto the idea of keeping a “gratitude journal” or “happy journal” and I’ve come to believe that it is a must have for all athletes, especially for those playing overseas. We have a lot of down time and we go through a lot of hard times along with many good times. And during the hard times it’s easy to jump on board and thing of all the other things that are going wrong. “Ugh my team is loosing. And I had a bad match. My hot water isn’t working again. The grocery store doesn’t have my favorite snack. No one has sent me a care package. I lost my suitcase” and so on.

Since we all have had these moments, I challenge you to keep a gratitude journal for 2014. It’s not too late.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey 

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But I don’t even know where to begin. How do I keep a gratitude journal?

  1. Decide what medium: Are you a pen and paper type of person or like sticking to technology? I love my pen and paper, it just makes me feel some type of way. I bought a Moleskin notebook just because I’m notebook obsessed and picky, but it doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s all up to you and your preference. But for those who love technology, there are apps for you. There is also a blank “note” page on your phone that could do the trick. Easy.

Gratitude App 365

More info

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The Gratitude Journal

More Info

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2. Choose a time and a place: Is during the morning while you drink your coffee? Or at night before you bed? All this is totally up to you. Maybe you want to start each day off on a thankful note or end it on one. Up to you. It only really matter that you do it.

3. Choose a routine: Everyday, once a week, or every other day. I suggest you do it every day, but start of with something that you can commit to, so if that’s every Sunday, stick with it and go from there.

4. Just do it: There is never a perfect or right time to journal. Open up a blank page, your app, or note page and just go with it. Don’t wait for some amazing moment to be thankful for, there is always something to be thankful for whether it is as little as being thankful for the warm meal you had for dinner or as big as having two parents that love you for you.

5. Don’t limit yourself: I like writing 2-3 short bits a day, but obviously for each person it will vary. Maybe you will want to add detailed moments, like I keep saying, it is totally up to you and there is no write or wrong way to go about it.

6. Get deeper: As easy as it is to wrote about materialistic things, don’t limit yourself to them. Did your boyfriend/husband do something nice to make your life overseas a bit easier? Did you receive a nice care package? Did your teammate go out of his or her to think about you? Did a stranger make your day? Get creative and look to many places to be thankful.

7. Give it a chance: “It takes, on average, 21 days for a new habit to form.” Commit three weeks, I promise you wont regret this.

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Everything Around You Will Begin to Feel Different

Our lives are simply an amalgamation of what we choose to notice, and there are an infinite number of things in our immediate environment, between real life and technology, that we could choose to pay attention to. What we choose to train our attention on is what we consciously think about.

So if we choose to focus on what we’re grateful for, our overall feeling of well-being improves. We find the world to be a kinder place. You’ll start to notice more things to appreciate. Your feeling of abundance just keeps growing and growing. – Daily Worth

You Can Enjoy the Journey

I’m a big believer in setting financial goals and thinking big. However, when we’re always chasing the next financial marker of success, we sometimes forget to enjoy what happens along the way. Having a daily gratitude practice helps us stay present along the way to our incredible achievements. We’ve all had a moment when we reached a big goal and it didn’t feel as good as we’d imagined because we forgot to enjoy getting there. Make your money goals count emotionally and financially by practicing being grateful for small success and daily enjoyments along the way. – Daily Worth

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Positively Present

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Thank you for the warm water in my apartment
Thank you for an awesome mom and dad that support my dreams
Thank you for an amazing boyfriend that understands my lifestyle and supports me
Thank you for my cell phone and computer that keeps me connected to friends and family
Thank you for my legs and athletic ability
Thank you for allowing me to travel the world at a young age
Thank you for the warm bed that I sleep in at night
Thank you for our morning off
Thank you for the possibility to have an amazing Christmas break at home
Thank you for giving my the ability to follow my dreams
Thank you for our amazing team win last night
Thank you for my healthy body

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So pick up that pen or phone tonight and write something. Anything. You have so much to be thankful for so give thanks!

More tips on how to start 

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4 Responses to “Keeping a Gratitude Journal”

  1. kadiebird

    I have been exchanging gratitude emails with a friend over the past year and it has made my life much lighter. I love your samples of artistic gratitude journaling. I will try this next! Thanks

    Reply
    • Athletes Abroad

      I really like the idea of exchanging gratitude e-mails with friends. Do you simply just exchange things about life or gratitude for each other? Agree, it makes life so much lighter, more meaningful, and makes you feel like you have more than enough. Glad we could inspire some new ideas!

      Reply
      • kadiebird

        We each write a list, of some multiple of 9, sharing anything/anyone we are grateful for. For example, today I am grateful to be inside my heated house because it’s absolutely freezing outside. I am also grateful for indoor plumbing, especially today. Stuff like that. 🙂

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