18Journal-BannerThe ability to respond positively when faced with setbacks is a key characteristic of many leaders in the workplace. Keeping a gratitude journal will help you embed a more positive outlook into your day to day behaviour so that it becomes your natural reaction to any dire situation. In this post I’ll cover the idea of the gratitude journal, how to do it – it’s extremely simple and takes only a few minutes each day, and the benefits.

The idea is very simple

Each day write down 3 things you’re grateful for in your gratitude journal. You can write about anything – nothing is too insignificant. For example maybe it started raining very heavily on your way home and you had your umbrella with you; or somebody did you a favour that allowed you to impress your boss with a quick result.

To get started you can try some simple prompts, such as:

  • I’m grateful that someone did X so I could achieve …
  • I’m grateful I made the right decision on …
  • I’m grateful technology Z is around so I can do something unbelievable …
  • I’m grateful to have the support of …
  • I’m grateful my practice prepared me for …

You could also try thinking of what it would be like if you didn’t have certain things. This can lead to the realisation of something you have gratitude for.

The benefits

This gets you in the habit of thinking of the positive things that happen and celebrating your achievements. This has a flow on effect of putting you in a more positive mindset, and that further flows on to your day to day responses to setbacks. Next time an unpleasant surprise comes up at work you might automatically think of the positive aspects of the situation and how to take advantage of those for a win-win outcome rather than clouding your thoughts with worries.

When you read back what you’ve written you’ll realise that there are so many positive things going on and you’ll feel happy and confident with your ability to tackle anything. You’ll also reinforce the memories of people doing you favours and helping you which will remind you to repay those favours. Another result of reading back your gratitude’s is that you’ll appreciate the simple things that you previously overlooked and which make a lot of difference.

What you really want to achieve is that you’re such a naturally calm and positive problem solver that when problems prop up, someone criticises your work, a request is denied or any other obstacle presents itself; it doesn’t faze you at all. Those little problems are nothing to you and you take it in your stride and react professionally, showing leadership and management ability.

Or, you may simply be looking to embrace the positive things for a happier outlook and coach yourself to take a new approach to setbacks and challenges. Either way, the gratitude journal will help you get there.

Take the 30 day gratitude journaling challenge

I came across a gratitude journal with space to write 3 things for 30 days which is what gave me this idea and made me think of the benefits of doing this. So I’ve started writing down 3 things each day that I’m happy about. At the end of the month I’ll review everything I’ve written and see all the positive things that have happened and what I’ve been happy about for the past month.

Is there anyone out there who has tried this? How did it work for you? Or maybe you practice journaling a different way – frequently with small amounts or less often but with deep focus. Let us know about it and how it benefits you!