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March 21, 2022 3 min read

Gratitude. A word we hear often. A word we tell our children. A word with a powerful meaning. A word that we think we embody, but do we really? If you ask anyone if they are grateful the likely answer is they will say yes. When someone is asked what they are grateful for the typical answer tends to be the obvious...house, family, health, etc. However, there is a radical difference between being grateful for certain things and people in your life and living a life full of gratitude.

If there is one thing we all have in common it's that life is inevitably disappointing, at times. I have yet to come across a person that hasn't had their fair share of trials in life. So knowing that we will face hardships how do we prepare ourselves for it? More than that how do we teach our kids to prepare for it? The answer, gratitude. 

It is really easy to be grateful for things and people that bring us pleasure and joy, but our defining moments will be finding gratitude when life is not going our way or when we face an unexpected hardships. The first thing we need to remember is that gratitude is choice, not a feeling. We cannot control what happens, but we can control our response. 

Make gratitude a habit & a discipline. Gratitude journaling is a powerful tool, it's really the entire reason I started my company because I saw the impact it had on my personal life and I wanted to share that with others. The cool thing about journaling is it holds you accountable, it's easy to say or think "yeah I was grateful today," but when you have to write about it you're holding yourself accountable and reflecting on the moments you are truly grateful for. When you journal it creates a habit and habits create a lifestyle. Who doesn't want a lifestyle full of gratitude?? 

Tips for journaling about gratitude:

1- Be consistent. Journal every night. I know that seems hard, but we find time to turn on the TV and be on our phone so find the time to something that will actually impact your life, your kids and others around you. 

2- Only journal one thing you are grateful for each night. This is contradictory to what a lot of other journal companies recommend. Most say write 10 things you are grateful for or whatever, but I think when we are focusing on more than one we are just writing to write instead of being super intentional with what we write. So everyday write about ONE thing that happened to you during that day that you are grateful for.

3- Do not journal the same thing twice for an entire year. For example, if one day I say I am grateful for my kids for the next 364 days I cannot repeat that same gratitude in my journaling. Why? Because we all have days where it is hard to find something to be grateful for, on those days, we tend to think about the obvious things or people in our life we are grateful for. However, your biggest transformation will come fromthe moments where you feel anger, sadness, bitterness, jealousy but instead you choose gratitude. It also makes us look outside the box. We all try to find these big moments in our day that we are grateful for, but truth is not everyday has big moments, but we need to be able to find gratitude in the little moments in life.

4- Journal at night. Journaling at night will help you reflect on your day. Knowing you have to journal at the end of the night makes you seek gratitude during the day.

Do these things religiously for an entire year and I promise you that your life will look different. Like I talked about above, we are all going to face hard times and disappointment but if we can choose gratitude even in the hardest moments we are choosing to let love win instead of letting the circumstance define us. So how do we prepare ourselves and our children for hardship? We teach them about gratitude. Don't tell them to be grateful, show them how to be. 

If you don't know where to start, I have the tools for you to get started. We all talk about how we want to be happy and start living a more positive life so less talking and more doing! :) 

 

- Ariel Grace