The simple act of keeping a gratitude journal has the power to change your life, but did you know it can do so much more? You can get even more from your gratitude journal by reflecting on what you’re grateful for and taking actions based on it.

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It’s time to take out your journal and look through it. You can do this practice once a week, once a month, once a quarter, or once a year. Whatever makes sense for you.

As you take a look back, jot some notes on what you’re seeing. Are there common themes? What really lit you up? Did you notice times when you wrote more or less? What was going on for you then?


Take a look at your notes, and think about what you’re seeing. And not seeing. What areas of your life have brought you joy over the period? What areas of your life didn’t get any/many gratitude entries?

When I went through this exercise, I found that there were more entries about my dog Jeffrey than I expected. There were lots more about my kids, but I expected that!


When you think of what you’ve learned so far, what jumps out at you as needing more attention? It could be something that brought you lots of joy and you want to double-down to get even more. Or it might be an area of your life where you’d like to light up your gratitude center.

Pick your one thing to focus on.


Now, it’s time to take action. Maybe it’s something you want to accomplish; maybe it’s a new habit you want to adopt; maybe it’s getting better work-life balance. Whatever it is, make a plan, and take your first step!


Share your plans – and practice – with others. When you state your intentions out loud for others to hear, it makes them more real. The simple act of voicing your plans can help you keep more accountable to them.

My friend and fellow coach, John Poelstra, started his “life-changing” gratitude journal practice last April, and he now encourages his clients to do the same thing. It’s a virtuous cycle!

Don’t let your gratitude practice stop with your journal. Take action on what you find there, and see what’s possible for you!

What did you find in your gratitude journal? Tell us about it in the comments below!