I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately and how to be more thankful and appreciative of all of the wonderful things in my life at the moment. Some big – our lovely home, our impending wedding and honeymoon, my relationship, my job, and so on. And some small – a beautiful sunrise, a nourishing meal, a smile from a stranger. All of the things that can so easily be taken for granted.
I listed to a podcast from The Lively Show where she interviewed UJ Ramdas about The Five Minute Journal. The Five Minute Journal is a notebook that helps you ‘cultivate positivity’ by recording, each morning and night, things that you are grateful for, things that made the day great, and so on. The idea is that you start, and end, the day on positive and thankful note (literally), helping you focus on the good and improve your wellbeing and happiness.
As soon as I got home I hopped straight onto their website and went to order a journal. They actually have reduced the price of the notebook and shipping since I last looked, but a few weeks ago it was $28 for the notebook and $18 for shipping. I was desperate to start the habit of using the journal, but I just didn’t have £35. I felt a little bummed but then I decided to see if I could get my own printed (I also wanted one sooner than the 10 business days postage as I am impatient!)
After a little scout around, I remembered that Blurb print notebooks and photo books (I get all my photo books printed there too). For a softcover notebook they charge £11 – a little bit cheaper than the full price journal! I excitedly got making my journal. I used pretty much the same prompts in the notebook, but interspersed it with my photography, and inspirational quotes and pictures I’d saved on Pinterest.
Because I’m not selling them and I’m only using the journal for personal use, I figured it was okay to just add a few pretty pictures with quotes that move or motivate me. It’s funny how, even though I picked them at random, the right words always seem to come exactly when I need them.
I’ve been filling in my journal every morning and night, and it’s so nice having a daily practice of feeling thankful. The daily affirmation really helps me, and I try and come back to it throughout the day. It’s amazing what pops into your head first thing in the morning that you feel grateful for – sometimes it’s the peace and quiet of the morning when I’m filling it in, sometimes it’s something that happened the day before, and sometimes it’s just something that pops into my head that I never would have taken the time to reflect on if I wasn’t using my journal.
Of course I don’t mean to criticise Five Minute Journal as a brand – I think it’s an amazing idea and I’ve no doubt that if I didn’t have to pay for international shipping (I checked with them and they unfortunately don’t have any UK stockists) that I would order one in a heartbeat. I had loads of fun making my own notebook however, and I’m definitely going to get another printed when I’ve finished this one – next time I’ll probably use different prompts and maybe some different pages here and there for reflecting on the prior week, or month. Now I now how easy and cheap it is to make my own notebooks, I’ll definitely be making more, I think I’ll make a fitness one next for recording runs and workouts (is that really sad?)
Do you have a journalling or gratitude practice?