Most of us have heard the news: One of the simplest routes to happiness is through gratitude and appreciation for the good in our lives. And while we may recount those things at Thanksgiving and Christmas and/or New Years, what about the rest of the year?

One way to build your gratitude (and, as it should follow, happiness) is making it a habit. Like almost everything that pays significant dividends, establishing and following through on a good habit takes practice and commitment. But how exactly can you practice being grateful? The simplest way is probably keeping a journal, and writing in it each morning or evening. Or if you aren't into a journal, you could simply get a pack of Post-Its and write one thing a day on them that you are thankful for, and post it somewhere you will see them regularly (on the fridge, or above your desk). But let's face it, some of us aren't writers, and need something more stream-of-consciousness if we are really going to get this project done every day.

Enter your phone's camera. Whether you are a photographer or not, you can use your phone's simple built-in to capture a moment each day in which you feel grateful. That's what Hailey Bartholomew of the 365grateful project did (well, she used an old-school Polaroid and put the images in a scrapbook, but that was back in 2009)—see her gorgeous results in the video below. With good-quality cameras now commonplace accessories to mobile phones, it seems like an easy way to copy Hailey's project. 

It's a simple way to capture what's important, even on the busiest days. If you can put your 30 images together once a month in an online or virtual album, or if you can take notes on each one (Instagram would be perfect for this, and it's what I use my own account for) so much the better. But the daily repetition is the most important thing; the mindfulness practice of paying attention to the day around you will, over time, change how you see the world. 

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Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Practice being grateful—with your camera phone
Create and keep a visual record of what really matters.