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.
Craig posted about it on earlytorise.com 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 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!