Creating a Gratitude Journal


Through the hustle and bustle of everyday life – between work, school, internships, and trying to have an amazing summer – it’s easy to lose focus and take the little things for granted. With creating a gratitude journal, anyone can easily add a little positiveness to each day. Having trouble getting started? Here are a few tips.

Find a Notebook You Love

This may sound silly, but it is vital. Search for a notebook that shows off your style; one that generates happy thoughts. You can also buy a blank notebook and create your own cover similar to an inspiration board. This is something you can be creative with because it’s all about you. It’s important to have a notebook that you won’t mind carrying around with you or having on your bedside table. You will encounter it a lot – so make sure you like it.

How Much Time to Spend

Writing in your journal everyday is ideal for beginners. This will help kick-off your positive lifestyle and make it easier to adjust to writing about yourself in a journal. Most people advise to write 5-10 things you’re grateful for a day – which is a great guideline – but if some days you have less than five and others you have more than 10, that’s perfectly fine. No two days are the same, therefore you shouldn’t restrict your amount of grateful moments.

Be Specific

When it comes to writing down your ideas, it’s easiest to use bullet points. This breaks up your thoughts and makes them easier to comprehend when you go back and read your entries. However, be specific with your bullet points. Don’t just say that you’re grateful for your job – provide a detailed example. Like that you’re grateful for your job because it’s payday, or you’re grateful for it because it’s brought you great coworkers that cheered you up today. Being specific will pay off when you reminisce on your memories.

Nothing is Unimportant and Keep the Negative Out

If you are grateful for the amazing sandwich you had for lunch, or for the lady who held the door for you at the local coffee shop – write it down. This helps you find positive moments in every situation. And of course, any negative thoughts you have throughout the day do not belong in this journal. This is specifically for happy and grateful thoughts or memories!

If you’re looking for a new way to find joy in every situation, try a gratitude journal. It helps you focus on the little things that make every day great, and it’s a creative way to keep track of your thoughts.

Choosing A Career: $$$ vs. Happiness

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you will make, leaving an indelible mark on who you are as a person and carving out possible futures for you.   We don’t often think of it in terms of real numbers, but your career choice can cost you a few hundred thousand dollars over the course of a lifetime.  What is the cost of choosing passion over high profits and vice versa?

broke monopoly manFirst let’s agree that everything has a cost.  Waking up in the morning costs me $12 on average.  $2 for coffee, $5 on gas, $6 on lunch and a $2.50 energy drink to get me through the afternoon slump.   That’s before I even leave work, so it cost me $12 to work today.  Such is life, and life without a sufficient amount of cash flow is stressful.  Ask Obama’s hair.

Furthermore, we have all heard it 1,000 times, we college students, about how the humanities are “fluffy”, a waste of time, and unmarketable.  We’ve also heard the counterarguments.  Humanities majors can write and think critically and synthesize information.  But let’s get real, most majors that involve following a passion involve a pay cut.  As the education level increases, the less likely it is that it will pay off.  A graduate student of philosophy, for example… need I say more?


On the flip side,  having more money has a cost associated with it as well.  Sometimes it costs you a passion, it will always cost more time, energy and relaxation with your significant other and friends.

I think of the progression I followed from elementary school (obsession with fame, MUST be known by everyone) to high school (huge un-channeled ambition to be a high-powered something) to the money-hungry days of my freshman year in college.  I had to be rich, not filthy rich, I’d settle for something in the millions of dollars in salary a year.  Not too much to ask, right?

Well, it’s not realistic for one, and even middle class wealth isn’t guaranteed anymore by attending college.  A study conducted by Princeton University found that “Although income is widely assumed to be a good measure of well-being, researchers found that its role is less significant than predicted and that people with higher incomes do not necessarily spend more time in more enjoyable ways.”  I think it’s fair to say that some people genuinely enjoy being workaholics, 80 hour work weeks, and pouring their purpose into their work. “Success” and $$ coexist in a 1:1 ratio for some people.  What if you’re not one of them?  Are you paying attention to that little voice in your head?

Is the lap of luxury a fallacy?

For me, I’ve realized that mid-level income is by no means mediocrity.  There is nothing mediocre about my life.  I’m surrounded by family that I love, I go to work every day to a job I enjoy, I feel accomplished when I leave, and I have spare time to hang out with friends, read a book or catch up on my favorite TV shows.

I have time to slow down when I want, time to hear my own thoughts. I smell the roses.  College is a totally crappy time to slow down and think.  What are the things you associate with the word college?  Drinking?  Stress?  Being poor?  It’s not a great time to slow down and think, but determining what makes you happy might be the most important thing you do in your college career.



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