Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gratitude Journal - January

I've thought about keeping a gratitude journal off and on over the years. Actually I kept a journal for a short while many years ago, and I've often recorded things I'm thankful for in my journaling. When I added keep a daily/gratitude journal for one year to my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list, I knew it would be the perfect incentive for me to actually do it!

At the Play in Anaheim! event in January of 2014, Heidi Swapp gave me (and all the other participants) a beautifully wrapped Memory Planner album.
Heidi shared how a few years earlier she had recorded one small detail of each day on a calendar and how grateful she was to have those memories preserved. She designed this book based on that experience. I thought at the time about using it for a gratitude journal, but since January was halfway over, I decided to wait and try it in 2015. However, I did not get to that project last year . . . but Cheri did, and I enjoyed seeing her pages each month and vowed I would use my album similarly this year.

So, on January 1, I opened my planner to the calendar page and began to record what I was grateful for each day. I was thrilled at the end of the month to have taken time to record something every day, but it was a couple of weeks into February before I actually added some crafty bits and finished up the journaling and pocket pages for January.

I started by adding the word "Gratitude" and the year to the title block on the front of the album.

This album is already printed with lots of pretty bits & pieces, but I still added in my own little bits.

On the inside front cover, I added a page from an old hymnal (that I'm using for demonstration in my Bible journaling workshops), a strip of wide washi tape, and title I had in my Word Jar.

The first page already had a collage background, so I only added a few pieces: the signed card from Heidi that served as the gift tag, a butterfly, the small blessed word sticker, and 2016 number stickers on the tab.

There are four pages for each month in this planner: a journaling page, the front and back of a pocket page protector, and the calendar.

I decided to use the notes page to document my daily exercise, lists of the movies and TV shows we watched, and books I read. I also included a paragraph of journaling, a few extra embellishments, and the name tag from the crop I attended at my friend Amy's home.

The pocket page holds photos and memorabilia. The photo of me and Robbie on New Year's day and me and Mama coloring at the hospital are two of my favorite photos from January. The top left pocket holds one of my Scripture & Snapshot photos, while the bottom right showcases one of my Bible journaling pages.

I included a collage of the new recipes we tried to represent our healthy eating choices and the photo of piles of notes and supplies spread out on my table to represent all the preparation  I'm doing for upcoming classes. The flower card is from one of the Art Play Paintable sheets; I watercolored it (using water color pencils and a water brush) since I've been using a variety of those 3x4 and 2x6 pieces in my workshops. I also included the thank you card I received after teaching the Vision Board Class at our local library.

The final page is the calendar with my daily gratitude entries.

I'm thrilled with the way these pages turned out and am looking forward to working on this album each month this year!

Do you keep a gratitude journal? What format do you use?


  1. I am keeping a gratitude journal this year, but it's not anywhere near as elaborate as yours. I'll be posting a page or two from it next week when I post the last of my Winter Scavenger Hunt photos---my handwriting being one of the items on the list!

  2. I've never kept a gratitude journal but I've read many times about the mental health benefits of doing so. I can tell from your post just how happy you are to have started this. And it's looking lovely.

  3. Lovely Gratitude Album. Keeping a gratitude journal is such a positive life changing force. I have kept one for years & I would recommend to everyone. What started me, was someone gave me a Gratitude Journal when I was going through some difficult life events & I have kept up, although not with the official journal, like you I make my own & craft enhance as my mood takes me.

  4. What a lovely keepsake this is going to be. I like going back and reading what we've noted in previous years, adding in the other bits including exercises and what you've been up to is such a great idea.

  5. Yours is looking great Melissa! I love how my album from last year turned out and I may go back to that format in future years. Right now I'm keeping a "Five-Minute Journal" that I write in each morning what I'm grateful for. Writing my gratitude in the morning rather than in the evening is a very different perspective. But there is nothing creative about this one. Once the pages are filled I will probably go back to a calendar method of charting my gratitude!

  6. I don't keep a journal but do write everyday in my planner the happenings of the day. I like to reflect back on what happened and note anything noteworthy. I use to journal daily and loved what I did capture during those times. Thanks for the ideas and inspiration. ~Ann

  7. Last November, I kept a daily gratitude log. It did help, and I really like your journal. I must have something appropriate laying around. Maybe I'll start on my birthday (coming up soon), since I didn't start on Jan. 1.

  8. I have never kept a gratitude journal although I have kept ordinary journals over the years. I love what you are doing - that journal is beautiful.

  9. I love this, really do. I don't keep a separate gratitude journal but i write down each day 3 things I'm grateful for in my bullet journal

  10. What a great project, I like what you've done so far. Gratitude is something for which we all need more active practice.


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