When I was 13 years old I started practicing gratitude — with a rock. After watching the movie The Secret with my Dad, he collected us some small rocks from the beach to use as our gratitude tokens. And every day I would carry this rock around with me (either in my pocket or bag) and each time I would see or touch the rock it would remind me to be grateful. Over the past decade I’ve experience first-hand how incredibly powerful practicing gratitude can be, especially when you make it a regular habit in your life.
Here are 5 ways you can approach making gratitude a habit in your daily life.
1. Start and end your day with gratitude
You can use getting into and out of bed each day as prompts to remind you to be grateful. I like to call this approach sandwiching your day with gratitude. This approach is an uplifting and positive way to start the day and it means that at the beginning of each day I’ve already practiced gratitude before I’ve done anything else. It’s also a powerful way to end the day, because no matter what’s happened during the day it helps me to come back to a place of appreciation. Some people like to keep a daily gratitude journal that they add entries into before they get out of bed or before they go to sleep, which might also work for you.
2. Use a gratitude token
As I mentioned earlier, my gratitude practice began with a rock. Using this rock as a gratitude token was a really simple and easy way to remember to practice gratitude. Your gratitude token can be anything you like. Over the past decade I’ve used many different tokens such as small rock, a small crystal and jewellery. It really doesn’t matter what it is — it’s really about the intention behind the object. However, I do find that it’s a lot easier if the object is small and easy to keep you on you every day.
3. Set up a reminder system
One of the most effective ways I’ve found to remind me to be grateful each day is to create a gratitude list and then set up actual reminders that go off automatically on my phone. You can do this by creating a list of all the things you are most grateful for, choosing a device that you use most days, choosing a time you want to be reminded to be grateful each day, and then set up an alarm with a reminder at that time and make it re-occur each day, week or month. I set these up on my phone, but you could also do this on your computer or any other device that you like.
4. Surround yourself with gratitude prompts
Daily gratitude prompts and reminders are a great thing to surround yourself with to help make the practice a regular part of your life.
You can do this by:
- Putting a gratitude card or note in your wallet.
- Set a gratitude reminder graphic as your phone or computer background.
- Stick a post-it note reminder somewhere you will see it every day.
- Start a simple gratitude list (or journal) and add to it daily
- It doesn’t matter how, it’s just about creating visual cues that remind you to be grateful that you come across each day.
5. Make it easy for yourself
Work out what kind of gratitude practice you want and then determine how you can set yourself up for success to make this happen. For example, if you use a particular notebook to write down what you’re grateful for you might set yourself up for success by putting it somewhere you see each day to remind you. Or you might choose a friend as your gratitude buddy and each day you hold yourself accountable to texting or emailing what you’re grateful for to that person. Or you might use dinner time to talk out what you’re grateful for with those around you.
Whatever you do, find a way to make practicing gratitude and positive thinking an easy and do-able part of your day.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, about your favourite ways to cultivate gratitude and on making it a part of your everyday life.
P.S. Do you know someone in need of some tips for creating a daily gratitude practice? Share this article with them now via one of the big share buttons below, they might find these 5 tips to be all the help they need!
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