Gratitude Journal

This post was spawned off a post on my personal FB page, with friends wanting some clarification on how I started my gratitude journal.

I started journaling again heavily in November since I was struggling with several deeply personal issues, and it helped…to an extent. Yet over the past weekend, I started a gratitude journal following a format from Craig Ballantyne, editor of Early To Rise, and it’s been helping me shift focus from word-vomiting, so to speak, to taking life in fully and being thankful for the little things on even seemingly not so great days or moods.

My special journal for gratitude. Bright, cheery, and always easy to find.

My special journal for gratitude. Bright, cheery, and always easy to find.

Craig posted about it on a while back. I had saved the post for future reference to just buy his journal (a.k.a, his black book) he offered, but I realized I needed a shift in my journaling asap because I wasn’t making the progress I felt I needed to make. I picked up the nearest notebook, pulled up the bookmarked post on my phone and read about his GODDA approach to journaling. I’ve termed his approach the 5×5 format, and within days…it’s helping in little things and big things, even just slightly. Here’s how I’ve formatted my journal pages.

At the top of the page, I date it for the day that is ending or for the day before (I often journal first thing in the morning.)

The First 5:

G (Gratitude): Your individual gratefulness for one thing in your life.

O (Opportunity): This is your “Get To” place.  An opportunity or more than one you are looking forward to, in any aspect of your life.

D (Did): One thing you did that made you feel accomplished

D (Do): What important thing you will do

A (Appreciation): Who do you appreciate in your life for the day? I’ve started listing at least 5 people and short reasons why I appreciate them that day. This can be anyone!

The Last 5:

Here, I have a numbered list of 5 things I have accomplished/achieved for the day. On days where I have kid-focused days (better known as school holidays), I make sure I write down activities, jokes, stories, etc. about what we did that day as well as actions I’m working really hard on with the boys, like “I didn’t yell that day” or “I didn’t get bossy with T”. I do the same on lazy days because being relaxed and chill is a huge accomplishment for this on-the-go mom.

The 5x5 Format

The 5×5 Format

I truly hope that if you begin a gratitude journal and use this format that you find it easy and beneficial. I know if I ever meet Craig Ballantyne in person, he’s getting a huge hug from me. Ha!


Monday Meals: Crockpot Bonanza

This is pretty much a reblog. Earlier this month, I took $100 and bought everything and then some to make all of the meals in this post from Danny J. at Sweaty Betties. Not all were the healthiest, but it saved money, and ALL the meals are healthier than eating out.

Basically, in 3 hours, we made 9 crockpot freezable recipes for 5-6 servings. In actuality, it became 12 dinners plus leftovers for lunches.

8 crockpot meals in the freezer

8 massive crock pot meals in the freezer

Here’s a list of the meals made:

  • Pizza Soup
  • Chicken Curry
  • Savory Chicken
  • BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork
  • Lemon Garlic Chicken
  • Chicken and Spinach
  • Taco Soup
  • San Francisco Pork Chops
  • Lazy Day Stew

All meals were kid friendly, and kid-complaint free!!!

I hope you can use these meals as well to help you save time, money, and the “what’s for dinner?” headache!