How Gratitude Can Shift Your Life’s Perspective

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” ~ Zig Ziglar

With Thanksgiving just behind us here in the US, gratitude is a topic that we’ve all been hearing a lot about recently. Like clockwork every year, bloggers all over the country start posting lists of all of the things they are grateful for. Likewise, all across social media, friends and family post heartfelt messages detailing what they are most thankful for this time of year.

It is heartwarming to read and partake in these traditions every year; but it often seems like as soon as the holiday has passed, these expressions of gratitude become few and far between.

Gratitude, however, is an emotion that I believe should be expressed year-round. So much so, in fact, that I have dedicated a whole 3 pages to it in my Bullet Journal every month.

Shift your life's perspective with one simple exercise: A daily gratitude log

I started this log in November, inspired by Kim (Tiny Ray of Sunshine). Although I have been logging my gratitude in different ways for some time now, having this collection in my Bullet Journal with all of my gratitude notes in one place initiated a perspective shift that I was not quite prepared for.

how gratitude can shift your life’s perspective:

On the 1st of November, I started to sit down every night and write out 3 simple things that I was grateful for that day. I often get asked if there are prompts that I follow or if there is some guide somewhere that I learned this method from. The simple answer is “no”. I simply reflect upon my day and pick 3 things that stood out as something to be grateful for.

I will say that giving myself only ONE line for each item was purely intentional. I wanted this process to be quick and simple. No explanations or long drawn-out journal entries here… just a short and sweet log of the things that made me happy and appreciative that day.

Shift your life's perspective with one simple exercise: A daily gratitude log

At first, I had a hard time coming up with 3 items to write down each day. You see, I wasn’t in a gratitude mindset when I first started.

Something happened about a couple of weeks in though… My perspective shifted.

Instead of staring at my 3 blank lines not knowing what to write, I somehow just knew what to write.

You see, by logging my gratitude each day, I began looking for more things to be grateful for. I woke up wondering what things life would put in my path that day that I’d be able to include in my gratitude log that night.

I found myself on a daily search for things to be grateful for. I started to notice all of the things that I had previously been taking for granted.

That day when the weather was unseasonably warm for November? Sure, I would have noticed it before, but when that day came I was actually in awe of it. It made me so happy and appreciative.

Do you know what gratitude really does, though?

It squashes your scarcity mindset. (I wrote a bit about scarcity mindsets here)

Keeping a log of all the things you are grateful for slowly conditions your mind to believe (and rightfully so) that you actually have a LOT to be grateful for. It takes all of those negative thoughts like “I don’t have enough _____ (you fill in the blank: time, money, friends, talent, fun) and turns them into positives.

Suddenly you find yourself constantly thinking about the things that are going well in your life. Even if they are super-tiny ones like the ability to have pizza delivered when you don’t feel like cooking! ;)

Shift your life's perspective with one simple exercise: A daily gratitude log

So, will I be continuing this log into the future? You betcha!

This is one collection that has earned itself a permanent home in my Bullet Journal. It has shifted my perspective in a much more positive direction. It has granted me the ability to look at life with an abundance mentality, and I know that it will do the same for you!

So tell me… what are YOU grateful for? Could you spare 5 minutes to write down 3 things that you are thankful for every day? Knowing how this could change your entire perspective on life, I sure do hope you’ll give it a try.

Shift your life's perspective with one simple exercise: A daily gratitude log


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Kara Benz
Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy - Boho Berry Paperie.
  • I absolutely love this! I’ll have to include a Gratitude Log of sorts in my new bujo! Thanks for the inspiration as always :)

    • You’re so welcome! You’ll be happy that you did :)

  • Yay! I’m so happy that you love the Gratitude Log as much as I do! It truly is wonderful having it all in one place so you can read through it all and see all of the wonderful things in your life. I definitely feel it when I don’t log, I make sure to update it in the morning at the soonest because it is really that good! I’m happy we can inspire and grow together with the love in our hearts :)

    • Inspiring each other is definitely my favorite part of this little community of ours! Thank for being an inspiration to me and so many others every day :)

  • Josefin Skogman

    At the moment Im trying to write one thing every day, but maybe I should give it a try to write tree, like you do. I have just been bujo-ing for a couple of week, and havent found everything I want in my journal yet, or how it should look like, but I like this Gratitude-thing. Trying to be more happy with my life, even though its not always the brightest or easiest life to live, thinking about what Im grateful for does make a change.

    Im so glad I stumbled upon a pin of your bullet journal at pinterest. Not just because I get to use a new notebook, but its a happy and inspiring community over at Fb. :)

    • You’re definitely on the right track with jotting down just one thing per day. I think the key for me has been making it a collection of its own, and keeping it all together. It is SO nice to be able to read through a long list of things that I have to be grateful for :)

  • The Weekend Wife

    Beautiful post, Kara. My mindset has changed so much since I had a bit of a mini- breakdown over the summer when things just weren’t going my way. It took some harsh perspective for me to realize that others have it worse than I do. Committing to doing this may prove a challenge for me as I experience focus issues from time to time, but it’s something I think about a lot and a way to keep me grounded on what really matters – what I already have – rather than what I think I need/want to make me happier.

    • Thank you so much, Elena! There’s just something about having a daily reminder of the things that are going well vs. always focusing on what we’re lacking… it’s such a huge mindset shift :)

  • angelchrys

    Saw this on your instagram and hoped there’d be a post for reference. What a wonderful idea!

  • Kacheri Bodily

    I started my log December first and it has definitely Changed my days and outlook!

    • Isn’t it awesome! Oh, the power of the written word! :D

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  • Kayse

    What a wonderful idea!!!!

  • Yasmin Yusri

    What a great read! I did a small version of a gratitude journal during my last year of college. It helped me de-stress and be happy in the place I was in! I’m eternally grateful for my father for being selfless with the family and for working very hard to feed us, my boyfriend for pushing me to be a better person every day, and my best friend An who never fails to have my back and be there for me during my ups and my downs :)

  • I so need to do this. It’s something I’ve filed away in the “Oh I should do this, but all these other things need to be done first” file in my mind. I should stop putting it off and really make it a priority for me. I know this month will be busy for me, but that’s still not a good reason to put it off!

    • Just think of it this way… Is 1-5 minutes per day worth improving your mood and perspective overall? :)

  • Excellent idea! I’m going to give each of my kids one of these for Christmas and we’re all going to implement this!

  • Kara, you’ve inspired me to get a Leuchtturm and create a planner that is also a place of inspiration! I want to check out Miracle Mornings too–my mornings right now are just a huge rush and not a great start to my day.

  • Zoe Joy

    Thank you for spreading the message of gratitude! I’ve recently found myself going into gratitude in times of stress and it always makes me feel better! As I take time out of each day for moments of gratitude, I find myself happier and more at peace!

    • Love that you’re seeing results from it too, Zoe! Keep it up… it sure is great :)

  • Kate Bauer

    This time of year really causes me to reflect on the things I’m thankful for. I am grateful for the opportunity to earn a college degree in a field I love (education), I am grateful for my awesome support system. I truly have the greatest group of family and friends there is, and I am grateful to live in a country with freedoms like no other.

  • Nicki

    This is a wonderful idea and I am definitely going to add this to my bullet journal. Also, I am going to encourage my daughter to do this. She can be quite negative and I think it would really help her to focus more on the good things! Thanks for sharing.

    • Yay! I can’t wait for you to try it, Nicki! It’s amazing how your perspective shift when you start looking for the positive things throughout the day :)

  • Rachel Celius

    I have my own tribe if you will, women living a life based on positive energy, love, and self enlightenment and we have an email gratitude chain. No one has to feel obligated to say anything but every day or every other day I receive a nugget in my email of someone else’s gratitude and it reminds me how much I have to be grateful for. My life is more difficult than I think it has ever been, but even going through troubles, and difficult times, I have so much in my life to be grateful for.

    My experience has been when I express my gratitude, I feel so much abundance in the world and that is the biggest changer of my daily outlook.

    • Oh my goodness, Rachel… I love that! Isn’t the power of gratitude just incredible? Thanks for sharing that :)

  • Cheryl G

    Thank you Kara. I’ve only recently started looking – and taking note of ‘gratitude’ logs and bullet journals. I’m now going to start logging my gratitude moments in the hope it’ll help we through a current period of stress. Thank you for the inspiration and love that shines through your blogs.

    • Thanks for a beautiful comment, Cheryl! I truly believe that a gratitude log can completely shift your perspective in a positive direction… especially during stressful times :)

  • That’s cool! I do a weekly gratitude log on my blog since I started it in 2012.
    Gratitude also changed our relationship with my husband! In our early years, when I was full of frustration, we lived with my parents, I worked, he studied, we were short on money, etc, we were grumpy really often. Too often. I don’t really remember how it started when I realized that I have to do something with myself. But I remember how hard it was sometimes to bit my tongue, press my lips, take a deep breath and instead of something rude to say something nice. Lol, I remember how terribly fake my gratitude was those days! :D But we are together nearly 11 years now, and people often think that we just started dating, because we are so full of love for each other. We can keep it fresh because we find a lot of things every day in each other we can be grateful for, and we also learned to express it naturally. So many “thank you” and “you are amazing” are in our days! :) He is my happy place now. <3

    • Wow, Timi! What a testament to the power of Gratitude! Thank you SO much for sharing your story here… I’m blown away right now :) Much love to you, girlie! Here’s to a wonderful 2016!

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  • MrsB

    Hi Kara, You are my bullet journal guru (i’m new to the practice – found out about it with one of your articles popping up on my pinterest!). I’m doing a gratitude type thing (started the whole Bujo thing mid Feb) but i’m struggling to find things to write in my gratitude section that isn’t always how wonderful my children and husband are every day. How do you make sure you aren’t repeating yourself over the month? Do you look out for specifics in your day? I’m generally a very grateful person and positive and what not but my world does revolve around my babies (big medium and small :) ) just wondering how you find new things every day?

    • Aw, thanks! Honestly, I don’t worry too much about repeating myself. You’d be surprised by how many times “ordering pizza for dinner when I’m too tired to cook” appears on my monthly logs haha! That being said… what I love about the gratitude log is that it forces me to reflect on my day and FIND more things to be grateful for every day. Soon, you will find yourself paying more attention throughout the day, and actually seeking out new things to be grateful for :)

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  • Erin Modlin

    This is a fantastic post! I work in the field of addiction, and one of the exercises I do with clients, is “25 things for 25 days,” which is a practice of writing down 25 things EACH day, for 25 days that you can be grateful for. Talk about a perspective shifter!! It can be so daunting at first, but you’re right. After a while, things become easier and easier, and it’s a wonderful thing to not only experience, but also witness in other people.

  • I had a similar experience. At first I had to force myself to find smaller things that I could write down. It was more tedious but I went with it. But I was more looking for things like “I am grateful for working with smart people” or other ‘typical’ grateful things. Then I started being honest and actually wrote down things that I, only me, was grateful for – things that spiced up my day and made it more happy or gave me a little smile, even if it’s as simple as “afternoon walk”. Now I wake up, do my morning routine and when I am at my morning reflection in the office, the 3 lines are already filled! The day didn’t even really start yet and I already had things I was grateful for.

    I am now thinking of including 3 more lines for each day. One set for morning, one set for evening. It really makes you appreciate more things that go on in your life and just little by little, makes you happier, as cheesy as that sounds.

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