How To Make a Gratitude Journal + A Giveaway!

Learn how to make your own gratitude journal and enter for a chance to win! 

This post comes from our blog intern, Monica!

For years, I’ve been reciting a little quote that goes something like this: “It’s not happy people who are grateful, it’s grateful people who are happy.” (source unknown) That quote is always floating around in my head, so much so that it’s become a mantra. It emerges every few days into my conscious thought although, throughout November, it seems always to be on my mind.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to consider being more grateful. Whether you gather around a holiday feast with friends or family and name those things for which you are grateful, whether you make a mental note or write it down, recognizing what you’ve got is a major step toward living a happier life. According to Harvard Health Publications, “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships,” so it’s about time appreciate all you’ve got!

I’ve kept a gratitude journal since the beginning of high school, listing the people, places and things that I appreciate. Writing in my gratitude journal has taught me to find the beauty in everything, to recognize that which most people might overlook. Once you begin to recognize the good in your life, your mind will identify more of it. If you’re up for a challenge, take a difficult situation in your life and analyze it. Pick out a few positive things about it. It may be hard at first but, once you consider its true value, you can find the good in anything. I promise it will change your attitude, not just about that difficult thing, but every aspect of your life. It will change your perspective and help you find the beauty in everything, every moment, every experience, and every person.

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Tips on how to help you write in your gratitude journal:

1. Don’t set any guidelines regarding length or number. Setting goals like this will make journaling feel like a task. Welcome having repeats on your list, and know you can write as much or as little as you please.

2. Focus on people rather than things. Let those people know how much you mean to them and why you are thankful for them.

3. Keep an open mind and try not to get caught up in self-doubt or self-pity. Make your gratitude journal a positive and uplifting place!

4. Make it a habit. On average, it takes 21 days for a habit to form, so don’t stop journaling just after a few days.  I usually write right before bed or as soon as I wake up, leaving it on my nightstand as a reminder.

Here’s how to make your own gratitude journal:

What you need:

X-Acto knife

scissors

pencil

15-20 sheets of  8 1/2″ X 11″ paper

decorative paper for the cover

glue or double-sided tape

yarn or any decoration of your choice

Steps:

1. Cut your 8 1/2″ X 11″ papers in half, creating 30-40 pieces of 8 1/2″ X 5 1/2″ pieces. Fold those pieces in half.Untitled-9

2. Make a mark 1 1/2 inches from the top and bottom. On 15-20 of the folded sheets draw a dotted line in the center, about two inches long, like so:IMG_4203

On the rest of the folded sheets, make two dotted lines 1 1/2 inch from the top and bottom of the page. Cut along those lines with an X-Acto knife.Untitled-7

3. Take an edge-cut paper and roll one side of it up to squeeze through a middle cut paper. Repeat this until all of your sheets are connected in a bunch of mini booklets.

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You’ll follow the same technique to connect the mini booklets to create one main book. Just take the top edge-cut paper from one mini booklet and connect it to the bottom middle-cut paper from another booklet. Repeat until the book is assembled.

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4. Make the cover! Cut two pieces of your decorative paper, 5+1/2″ X 12″, draw dotted lines on each paper 3+1/2 inches from one side like so:

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Cut the dotted lines with the X-Acto knife and fold the decorative paper into the booklet paper, just like in step 3. Glue the decorative paper to itself so it will hold together. Repeat on the other side of the booklet to create the back cover. And voilà — you’ve got yourself a handmade journal!

Step-by-stepUntitled1 IMG_4281

+List three people, places or things for which you’re grateful in the comments to be entered into our GIVEAWAY! We will pick one random winner to receive this journal courtesy of the FP home office!

Follow Monica on Instagram and FP Me!

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This is beautiful what a great idea! The three things I am most grateful for are: – The endless possibilities and opportunities that life has to offers us. Each day provides new experiences and doorways to even more and that is truly wonderful – The ability to express myself. As a female, a student, through creative pursuits, my voice, actions. to be able to talk express myself freely and not have to fear my own actions is amazing. – Humanities capacity to feel so many emotions. Whether it be others or myself the ability to be able to love and… Read more »

Charlotte

Wow I am so grateful for so much!! Here are the top three (or the ones I thought of first) 1. My education because I am so so blessed to be going to a great school where I can given many opportunities that will benefit me in the future 2. My friends and family. It sounds generic but truthfully without them I would NOT be the person I am today. They encourage me and help me and take my side on things which means the world to me. 3. The ability to do something. In our world, we need people… Read more »

This is a great project, how clever! Three things I am thankful for are:
My cats, my family and friends, and being healthy.

I have so many things in my life to be grateful for, but if I had to pick three they would be….

1. My father – I strongly believe he is the most amazing person on Earth and I owe him everything

2. My best friends at college – they make my experience at college so enjoyable and fun

3. cOfFeE- it gets me through the day :-)

Sabrina

1. My mom for her patience while I pursue an unstable artistic life.

2. My spiritual teachers.

3. Free People, of course, for filling my life with beauty

Delaney

1. My body! I can run, digest, think, and so much more which is incredible.
2. Education. It is a blessing that I am able to learn so much about the world, while there are those who can’t.
3. Travel. The world is so huge and so beautiful and I cannot wait to experience it all.

I’m thankful for my health, my lover and my job. x

Lisa

1. The little, fleeting moments. That moment of lying in a park on a summer’s day and just staring at the blue sky. That moment of sitting on a volcanic beach in freezing temperatures. That moment of riding the train and staring at the sun gleam through the colorful leaves as you fly by. That moment you smiled at a little, old stranger. I could go on and on. 2. The work ethic my parents have instilled in me. They have worked so hard their entire lives and continue to do so. They have inspired me to do the same.… Read more »

Hailey

There’s so much I’m grateful for, but my top three should be:
1) My family who has never stopped supporting me
2) Old besties from high school who left me back home, but I still love ’em and new friends who I’ve met in college
3) COFFEE <3 It's what keeps this college girl awake during anatomy lectures

Abigail

This is such an inspiring project. I personally say aloud 10 things I am grateful for every night before I sleep. So today I am especially grateful for….

1. This sunny fall day filled with bright beautiful foliage

2. Nicole, a dear friend of mine who sent me an encouraging reminder just a few moments ago to “trust with what is”

3.Last but certainly not least my wonderful lap cat Andy

:]

Angela

Grateful for Free People inspiring me everyday! ;)

But for real:
1. My mother and entire family for constantly supporting me and encouraging me to challenge myself and never give up.
2. My best friend, Nicole, who reminds me to cherish the little things, but also to always dream big!
3. My boyfriend, Vince, who reminds me to relax, be spontaneous, and never be afraid to try new things!

xx-Angela

Valerie

1. My life partner
2. All the traveling I’ve been able to experience in my life. I have been to 30 countries thus far, and all the experiences I’ve had in those countries has made me into the global citizen I am today.
3. Random acts of kindness from strangers – whether it just be a smile while we pass, or complimenting me on my outfit – those are the moments that really keep me going.

Erika

I absolutely love this idea!!
Three things I am grateful for are…
1. My family; I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch and it’s so amazing to realize how people will be there for you and support you if you just let them in.
2. My boston terrier; she makes me smile on a daily basis just by being herself.
3. This amazing fall weather.. I am from Canada and this week we have been having just the perfect weather, not too mention all the beautiful colours on the trees.

Meredith

This is a really clever idea, to remind yourself of how far you’ve come and you has been with you on your journey. – I’m so very thankful for my recovery. Eating disorders are hell inside your mind, and I never thought I’d be happy to be alive. And I am so happy and thankful for everyone who has been with me. I love breathing, laughing, drinking coffee, eating yummy foods, and living. – My boyfriend, (cliche, I know), but he has been so supportive with all of my changes and decisions. He’s my best friend. – The people who… Read more »

Karla

Beautiful journal!
I’m grateful for my family and friends.
I’m grateful for my beloved pets.
I’m grateful for being alive.
:)

Meg

What a lovely little project. I think I’ll make a few to give out at my annual Friendsgiving! 1. I’m grateful for having such a strong woman as my mother and best friend. 2. I’m grateful for my beloved partner, our rescue pups, and our tiny apartment. 3. I’m also grateful for being able to live a comfortable life. I got behind on laundry this week and had a mountain of clothes and linens to put away. This might be my most hated chore, and I spent the entire morning completing this task. However, in the place of dread, I… Read more »

Rachel

I love this!!

I am grateful for my amazing family.
I am grateful for my lovely roommates.
I am grateful for change that grows me, even though I frequently resist it.

//

Amanda

I’m grateful for my mother and all that she has ever done and is still doing for me. I’m grateful for my sister for being my best friend every year of my life, and I’m grateful for my other best friend for understanding my weird interests :)

steph

this is so lovely and such a happy thing.

-I’ve grown to be thankful for my dance injuries as they have taught me how to be grateful for the simple things like realization that I can wake up every morning and be thankful that I can walk without pain.

– I’m grateful for the strong and brave women in my life like my grandma, mom, sister, and aunt.

-I’m thankful for even the simplest of human contact because it is such a powerful and beautiful thing

This is such a great idea! For a long time now, I’ve been Pinteresting ideas for diy notebooks and journals but this is by far my favorite one. I’m doin one right away. Especially by listing these things! – I am thankful for life! Because it’s and adventire and a longterm lesson opportunity. – I am thankful for change, because although many times is good, even on the bad days it can be translated into opportunity, and a reason to grownalñ the more as a human being. – i am thankful I have a soul, a chance to feel how… Read more »

Mirka

I am grateful for my mom. Person, who i admire for her power.she gave me a life and she teached am still teaching me a lot about life.

The second one is freedom,which we have. Not everybody live in a country,where he can do anything what he wants.

And the third thing is past. Everything what happened, made my own self. I feel that I am alive. Enjoying learning about myself about others.doing a progress together.

Abby

So many things are taken for granted in this world, and it’s so important to not get caught up in sources of negative energy & to remember to let go of the things and situations you can’t control! Three things I am thankful for: 1. My parents, of course. My mom, who provides constant love and supports me in everything I do. I don’t know where I would be without her! My father, who has shared his love of travel with me and taken me to incredible places, opening up my heart to all the wonders of exploring a foreign… Read more »

preeti

I am grateful for tress and nature in general because it gives me oxygen and life and makes me happy just looking at it.

I am grateful to have faith because it brings me peace in a world of unsteadiness.

I am grateful to have family that loves, argues, teaches, grows and nurtures because what else is there if not having people to enjoy life with.

Stephanie

I am grateful for God’s grace to help me through the tough times in life and also the good :)

I am grateful for living on this beautiful planet and all that Mother Nature gives to us :)

I am grateful to be alive and be kind to myself and everyone I meet :)

Erin Ellis

I am grateful for:
1. My husband
2. My parents
3. My children

Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
Erin
ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com