In the past, I’ve attempted to keep a gratitude journal. The idea of a gratitude journal, at least as I understand it, is to sit down at the end of the day and write a list of five things that you are grateful for that happened during the day. Sometimes, at the end of a very long day, remembering five things can be difficult for me. I often find myself repeating the same things about my kids and my family and my job.
Yesterday, I was pointed to the #365Grateful Project that someone wrote about on Upworthy. The idea is simple: you take zillions of photos with your cellphone, so why not try something new with them? Choose one thing each day that you are grateful for as you come across it (not trying to remember at 11 p.m. what good things happened earlier in the day), and photograph it. Post it to a social media site with the hashtag #365Grateful. The easiest way seems to be using Instagram, but you can take a photo with your phone and post to any social media site that allows you to comment on the photo with a hashtag.
The idea originated in 2008 with a woman named Hailey Bartholomew, who she started her own 365 Grateful project, so it’s nothing new. Maybe you’ve already heard about it or done your own version of it. For me, it’s something new, and I’m excited about it.
I love to take pictures. It’s the art form that I’m best at. So to be able to use my artistic talent for this project fits in so well with who I am. I also think that the immediacy of the project is helpful for me. I’ll be paying attention throughout each day and focusing on gratitude in the moment instead of trying to remember it all at the end of the day.
The gratitude journal idea is a good one, but when I attempted to do it, it was private. It was in my journal, and nobody gets to read my journal. The #365Grateful project is about sharing your gratitude with people you’re connected with. Maybe what I share will inspire others to look for moments to be grateful throughout their days. Who knows?
It’s the beginning of a new year – a perfect time to start something like this — but it can be started any day you want.
I’ve committed to this creative exercise in gratitude for the year of 2014. I'm even thinking about getting my kids to do their own projects. Does it appeal to you?