How to Make a Gratitude List

Опубликовал Admin
13-05-2021, 06:20
If you want to feel more optimistic and lead a more mindful lifestyle, making gratitude lists might be a great exercise for you. Gratitude lists are simple to create, but they can be quite transformative if you make them a habit! You don't need any special tools to get started and it only takes a few minutes to jot down a few things you're grateful for, so give it a try. After a few weeks, you may start noticing the positive changes in your life.

Creating a Simple Gratitude List

  1. Write down at least 5 things every time you make a list. A list of 5 gratitudes per session is a pretty doable goal. If you’re having a tough time, start with 3 things instead. You can number your list, create bullet points, or simply write down 5 sentences or statements. There’s no wrong way to do this!
    • If you’re thinking about making this a regular practice, get a dedicated notebook or notepad to keep your lists together.
    • If you prefer typing on your computer or iPad, create a document there.
  2. Aim to be as specific as possible. Being specific forces you to examine the world around you closely and gives you the chance to be grateful for a wide variety of things. As you’re thinking of stuff for your list, try to zero in on specifics.
    • For example, “I’m grateful that my friend brought me soup earlier when I was feeling under the weather” is better than “I’m grateful for my friend.”
    • Instead of "I'm grateful for nice weather" go with "I’m grateful for the way the wind sounds when it blows leaves across my lawn" or "I’m grateful for the warm sun on my shoulders when I’m walking outside."
    • "I'm grateful for my cat's soft fur and deep purr whenever I pet her" is better than "I'm grateful for my kitty."
  3. Include plenty of detail. Focusing on the smaller details can make your lists feel even more impactful. Don’t be afraid to elaborate with as many details as you’d like. There’s no word limit for your gratitudes and you might find that the little details bring you the most joy. For example, you might write things like:
    • “I'm grateful for the cool, sweet iced tea that I enjoyed with my friends today.”
    • ”I’m grateful for the salty smell of the sea that wafts through my open window every morning.”
    • ”I’m grateful for the juicy, home-grown tomatoes that I sliced up for my turkey sandwich today.”
    • "I’m grateful for the scent of the pine trees and damp earth when I walk in the park.”
  4. Focus on experiences and people instead of objects. There’s nothing wrong with being grateful for things that you own and you can certainly write them down sometimes. Keep in mind, though, that gratitude lists tend to have more impact if you focus on your experiences and the people in your life.
    • For example, "I'm grateful for my experience at the butterfly gardens today" is better than "I'm grateful for my television."
    • Something like "I’m grateful for the scent of freshly-turned earth in my garden" is better than "I'm grateful for my garden."
    • "I'm grateful that I can afford to pay for my friend's lunch when we go out together" is better than "I'm grateful to have money in the bank."
  5. Write freely and don't worry about spelling or grammar. Your gratitude lists are for your eyes only, so don’t get hung up on creating perfectly written sentences. Grammar and spelling don't matter, either! Write in a natural way without stopping to think of the perfect word. Just focus on what you’re grateful for and let the words flow.
  6. Set aside 15 minutes to make your list 1-3 times a week. If you like to start your day with positivity, write your list first thing in the morning, or try doing it at night before bed. Studies show that writing a gratitude list 3 times per week has more impact than doing daily lists, so aim for that to start.
    • If making daily lists feel right to you, go for it! Evidence suggests that some people definitely benefit from doing this exercise every day.

Trying Other Tools and Techniques

  1. Try writing long-form entries in a gratitude journal if you love to write. There’s no rule that says your gratitude has to be in list format! If you love journaling, feel free to write longer entries and go more in-depth. If you do this, consider limiting your journaling sessions to once a week. Research shows that overdoing it can make the process less beneficial.
    • You don’t need to buy a fancy gratitude journal for this, but you certainly can if you'd like.
  2. Use a gratitude app instead of paper if you're frequently on the go. Explore the gratitude journaling apps available in your smartphone’s app store and choose one that you like. Apps provide unique benefits like:
    • Being able to make your lists anywhere and anytime. For example, you could make your list on the subway each morning.
    • Apps send you notification reminders. This is great if you tend to be forgetful or need extra help picking up the list-making habit.
  3. List your gratitudes on sticky notes if you want to see them often. Using sticky notes is a great option if you stay pretty busy or if you want positive reminders to get you through a tough day. Write 1 thing that you’re grateful for on each sticky note and hang the notes in places around your home or workspace where you’re sure to see them.
    • For example, stick them on your bathroom mirror, inside your locker, or to your cell phone case.
    • Try putting a sticky note on your bedroom door so you'll see it every time you leave your room.
  4. Share entries with friends to make them even more special. If you can get some of your friends doing gratitude lists, you might enjoy setting aside time to get together and share a few entries with each other. For example, you might meet at a coffee shop weekly and have everyone share their favorite gratitude of the week.
    • Another way to practice gratitude is to text a friend something you're grateful for each day.
  5. Add inspirational quotes to your lists to boost your positivity. You might enjoy finding and writing down inspirational quotes every day as an additional gratitude exercise. You can also use quotes if you want to focus your lists on specific topics or just to reflect on them.


  • Some days will be harder than others to feel gratitude and that's okay! Just stick with it and keep looking for things to be grateful about.

Things You'll Need

  • A notebook, journal, paper, etc.
  • Pen, pencil, or marker
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