forming a gratitude habit

December 2nd, 2013   |   Think About It

FormingAGratitudeHabitWith our families in town last week, there was a flurry of activity. So much so, that I found myself focused more on my to-do list than gratitude.

It’s not easy to admit that, but it’s the truth.

Rather than let the Thanksgiving season pass me by and feel regretful about this fact, I’ve decided to extend the Thanksgiving holiday this week as well!

In order to strengthen my gratitude for all that I have, I am adopting Jeff Goins’ philosophy of gratitude as a discipline. Like a muscle that needs exercise, our gratitude can grow stronger simply by choosing to think about things we’re grateful for each day.

To help me build this habit, I have added two daily reminders on my phone (at noon and 3:00pm) to prompt me to select five things I’m grateful for in the present moment.

Though there are many benefits to having a gratitude journal as well, these phone reminders seem to be a bit more instantaneous and easy to implement. It literally takes no thinking on my part except for selecting my five thankful items when my phone buzzes. Already, these quick pauses throughout the day have helped me stretch my gratitude muscles.

I’m currently committing to the twice daily reminders for this week only, but I’m curious to see how this experiment goes. If I like the outcome, I might keep the reminders going throughout the rest of the holiday season – or even on into 2014.

I’d love to hear if anyone else wants to do this with me! Maybe we can all reconvene at the end of the week and talk about how it went?



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  • Erika

    I think this is a really great idea and I’m interested in knowing how it turns out! :) I think that getting creative about gratitude and incorporating it in a way that suits our lifestyle is the most important thing! :)

  • Jess Lively

    Thanks, Erica! Do you have a gratitude habit of some kind?

  • alexandrainto

    This is such a simple way to incorporate gratitude. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to hearing about how it turns out.

  • Brittanny

    That is a good idea. I just made an alarm to remind me to do kettle bell exercises every day, why not make a gratitude reminder?

  • Jess Lively

    Thanks! So far I’m loving it. After one day and two reminders I found myself thinking about it at night and first thing in the morning too. I highly recommend trying it if you are up for it!

  • Jess Lively

    Exactly. I totally have a few gratitude journals that never got used after a few weeks, too. This is easy and doesn’t require me to really do anything – which makes things way easier to maintain!

  • Jess Lively

    That’s awesome! Has it been effective on the kettle bell exercises so far?

  • alexandrainto

    That is so wonderful to hear. I am definitely thinking of adding it to my daily routine. Do you use an alarm or a reminder to get your phone to go off?

  • Maureen @SheisMoments

    I take Sundays to post about one thing I am grateful for on my blog. Keeping it simple has really helped me stick with it!

  • Jess Lively

    It’s in the reminder part of my phone, but it sends me a little message that is a lot like an alarm. : )

  • Jess Lively

    Exactly! Anything that is simple to keep up is perfect. Have you found that you feel more grateful during the week as a result of the blog post?

  • Leana May

    I’ve been using the Gratitude Journal app ( for a few years now. In addition to making a list, I often add the quote of the day and a pic from my camera roll. It doesn’t take long and always improves my mood. It is kind of fun to scroll back through the months/years.

  • Jess Lively

    Aw, that is so great to hear, Leana May! Thank you for sharing the app. I love how we can add more gratitude to our lives via tech- something we often claim does more harm than good. : )

  • Brittanny

    So far yes but I am so out of shape I think I hurt my body more than helped it.

  • Jess Lively

    Lol! No pain, no gain?

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