Recently, a reader asked me about my Abundant Mama abundance practice and how I’ve been able to sustain a daily gratitude journaling for more than seven years.

What’s in it? What should she write? Can I share pictures?

What are your secrets, Shawn? 🙂

Not every day can be great. Not as a parent. Not as a human being. Like you, I’ve had many times of difficult moments. Times when I felt left out. Times when I felt like I have no one in my life to really count on. Times when really bad things happen. Times of illnesses. Times of really difficult behavior challenges with the kids.

It’s not easy to be thankful when your day just feels plain awful.

But it is possible. I’ve been doing this practice for nearly two years. It has been life changing and I couldn’t imagine going to sleep each night without first saying thanks for all the blessings in my life.

To begin, we always just start with five things — any things.

But as time goes on, you can add in this and that to make it more fun and interesting.

life long gratitude


Here are 5 Gratitude Journaling Prompts to use every day.

Here’s some prompts to spark your own gratitude practice:

1. Thank your body. Unless you’ve died, you still have plenty of reason to be thankful for your health. Even when something is wrong, there’s plenty that is still right. Being thankful for being alive is the single most important way to find gratitude during the hardest days. What is working well on your body today?

2. Thank the world around you. When times are really hard, I can always step outside and be grateful for something in nature. The sun shining. The moon rising. The rain quenching the earth. Birds chirping. Grass under my feet. What amazes you that’s outside your own web of life?

3. Thank what makes you happy. All things I write about seem to circle back to having happy days, and making memories. That’s right. Knowing that you are going to write in your journal is really a great way to practice making memories. Find the simple pleasures in life and do them each day. What makes you feel joy? What makes you happy? What brings you comfort? What makes you smile?

4. Thank the kids. Of course, there’s always something wonderful and amazing about the kids. I write one line each about our daughters and what they’ve done to amaze me each day. Even when they’ve been in terrible state of minds, I write something good about them. It brings it all into perspective for me and our life together. It helps me see the big picture of where this is all going. What do you want to remember of your child today? What’s her talent? What’s his passion? What’s a quirky behavior that you can turn into a positive? What moment do you not want to forget that happened today? Be thankful for those moments because they are the most fleeting.

5.  Thank the good stuff. Finally, of course, you must write about the good things that happen to you and to those you love. And, the longer your keep this journal, the longer this part of the list becomes. Trust me. It’s true. What good luck did you have today? What blessings fell upon your lap? Did you land that big project? Meet a deadline? What did you do that was amazing and worth remembering? Be thankful for the goodness you helped bring to yourself and to your family.

Go even deeper into your gratitude practice in the Abundant Mama Online Program! Learn more HERE. 

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