The Best Gratitude Diary I've found
Updated: Sep 2
There are good days and there are bad days. That's normal.
I bet you want more of the good ones. And I have a secret that creates just that.
It's nothing new, I bet. You have already bumped into the research proving that cultivating gratitude makes people happier.
You even understand why is that. By experience, I reckon.
You have just bought this car and suddenly, you see it everywhere.
You have just started planning a baby and, tadaaa, everyone is either pregnant or walks around the neigborhood with a stroller.
What you focus on is what you get more of. Not surprisingly, if you focus on what you are grateful for, you get more of the good stuff.
Focusing on what you have rather than on what you don't have just works. Yet, most of the people do not actively practice gratitude. Yeah, you may have tried, maybe included it in your prayers or good night thoughts.
But what if I told you there is a tool that helps you have more of good days rather than bad ones that will attract you like a magnet?
If you are on a self-improvement track, I am sure you have already heard of James Clear's book Atomic Habits. If you haven't you may want to get it here and give it a quick read. Bill Gates "Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years". James takes it to a smaller scale: "Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month." So he advocates for developing small tiny habits that does not cost much in a day but make a huge difference longterm.
His thing is that in order for a habit to be easy to adopt, you want to make it obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying.
Now how does the cultivating gratitude thing and Atomic Habit go together? Well, it's kind of obvious. If one wants to get more good days than bad days, one may need to develop a habit of daily reminder of what is important.
Solution to that?
Find a good guided gratitude diary and make it so that it meets all the criteria for developing the healthy habit of journaling.
Alternatively, take a short-cut and benefit from my extensive research and testing of which guided diary works best.
Indeed, I have found a guided gratitude diary that meets all the criteria - The 6 Minute Diary. Works for me, and works for my clients.
I am a coach, I help people overcome their limitations and I take pride in walking what I preach. And as for healthy habits, writing a gratitude journal is definitely high on my list.
There are hundreds of journals available, most of which will guide you through the process. This one is special in that it kills several birds with one stone, ehm, diary.
Planning for a great day
I love to set the tone for the day and The 6 Minute Diary has two sections that take care of it. 3 lines for Things that I am grateful for today and five lines for This is how I will make today great.
The 3 lines of gratitude make me feel better even at not so good days, when I am sick or sad. I end up writing stuff such as: "I have access to great medical care.", "I have a great friend who helps me with the kids when I don't feel well." or "I have amazing healthy kids." It really helps to re-frame your situation.
I found that I use the 5 lines as a highly productive to-do list that I review in the evening. Not surprisingly, if I set the objective in this positive way, I do make sure that I finish everything on that list. Why not to do something that will make your day great? I found that I end up writing there even things that I have previously considered chores. Miracle in a box.
I am big fan of the concept of One Big Thing. If I do my One Big Thing for the day, I consider my day productive enough and anything else I do is a bonus. The five lines of planning from the perspective of making my day great take this concept even further. Line number one is my One Big Thing, the rest is a bonus, yet, I almost always end up doing all five.
The 6 Minute Journal comes with about 30 pages of explaining the psychology behind it, great stories, metaphors and inspirational quotes. There is a piece of inspiration on every page. I love the weekly challenges, the very first one is to write a letter to your future self - it made me realize where I really want to be and energized me to take action in the right direction.
The weekly habit tracker helps with consistency. At first I wanted to add more lines to the weekly habit tracker since the default is limited to three. But then again, three is just enough to keep you focused.
Day in review for happy dreams
The evening part of the diary is awesome in that it draws your attention to the good deeds. At first I was hesitant to write down small and simple acts of kindness that I would have normally taken for granted, but after just a week I noticed that I am doing even more of good deeds.
Most of us don't feel enough or good enough in one way or another and I have noticed that focusing on simple acts of kindness makes me feel better about myself.
I also use this section to plan for nice dreams. Since childhood, I suffer from bad nightmares. I have noticed that planning what I want to dream about makes the nightmares go away.
The last three lines are dedicated to The Great Things I Have Experienced Today. Surprisingly for me they are different from what I am grateful for. And again, it makes me appreciate what I have even more. I feel more balanced and generally more positive.
If you are looking for a tool that makes you focus on what is great about your life, that makes you plan for execution and that inspires you to take action, The 6 Minute Diary is what I wholeheartedly recommend.
I may receive a small commission if you decide to buy it through my link so thank you not only for reading but also for taking action which two people can benefit from.