Welcome to a new year – I swear I still don’t know where 2017 went but hey I’m game to give 2018 a go!
Today’s post isn’t really #techmadesimple in a business sense, but it is designed to help you and your business through the use of a gratitude journal.
But why a gratitude journal?
Well, essentially it is all too easy (especially as a solopreneur) to focus on the bad / negative stuff in our lives and to obsess over those things – why didn’t I do this; I should have done that; how come I can’t… etc, etc.
However life isn’t all bad, all the time, and a gratitude journal forces us (in a good way!) to pay attention to the good things that we might otherwise take for granted or even just forget about.
In fact numerous studies show that keeping a gratitude journal can help in multiple ways including better sleep; better health; improved optimism about the future and generally experiencing more happiness in one’s life.
Personally, I’ve been trying to keep a gratitude journal on and off for many years – in fact last night I found one which I started in 2015. The entries started in January and finished in March so this year I’m determined to do things differently and Google Keep seems to me to be the best way to do that.
How to keep a gratitude journal?
There really is no wrong way to keep a gratitude journal apart from: capture the thought!
The benefits come from getting your thoughts out of your head and into physical form. For most people, this means either typing something up at the end of the day or writing events and activities in a physical notebook – and there are some gorgeous apps as well as notebooks out there to help with this.
However as I said earlier, this year I’m trying something different and using Google Keep as my gratitude journal rather than a notebook. Since Google Keep is with me all the time it is really easy to:
- take a photo of something that made me feel grateful – like my cat resting on my arm as I was working (the photo at the top of this post)
- dictate a note that reminds me about the delicious breakfast I had today courtesy of my husband
- draw a quick doodle representing the sunrise I got to see this morning
Then I label the note with #gratitude and at the end of the day send all #gratitude notes to Google Doc as one document recording my grateful thoughts for the day.
Once I’ve uploaded the notes I go into Google Docs to rename the document to today’s date and then delete the notes from Google Keep but that’s just me. Feel free to keep them in Google Keep if you want easy access to them in the future.
But does one have to be Pollyanna to do this?
No! I am definitely not Pollyanna and some days trying to find positive things for which I can be ‘grateful’ is just too much. In fact, sometimes I am simply grateful for tiny wins (‘got out of bed today) or the negative outcomes I avoided (‘did not eat the entire family sized block of chocolate’)!
So please don’t feel you have to be sunny-side every day – that’s unrealistic and not the purpose of this exercise (as I understand it). Instead just spend a couple of minutes every day focussing on, and recording, the good / not so bad in your day and see what happens.
So what do you think? Will you be likely to create your gratitude journal via Google Keep in the future? I’d love to hear how you go with both the journal and Google Keep! And if you’re looking for more tips on using Google Keep, check out my book!