Here’s something you don’t know about me.  Way back when I was in high school, I was home one day watching Oprah and this author was on talking about how she encourages everyone to write down 5 things they are grateful for every single day.  She didn’t mean things like health, family, your home…obvious things, she meant 5 specific things that happened to you that day that you weren’t expecting that made you grateful (like finding a parking spot near the entrance to a crowded mall, a card in the mail from someone you love, hearing your favorite song on the radio…you know, things like that).  Well, little Miss High School Shay decided to make her New Years resolution that year to start writing down 5 things she was grateful for every day.  And I have.  Year after year after year.  Today, I realized that I needed to pick up another gratitude journal since the year was ending.  Then I thought to myself, how long will I keep doing this?  How many have I done so far?  So, I went to my stash to count and 2010 (the one I’m doing right now) will be my 13th book.  Enough said.  I am finished :).

The first year, I wrote down my grateful moments in a normal journal but then my mom surprised me that Christmas and bought me the official Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude by the author, Sarah Ban Breathnach and I have been using them every year instead.  Each year, I buy a new one and start compiling a list of my daily grateful moments.
These books have really been a huge part of my life.  I have not missed one single day.  Not one.  I have carried them around the world in my suitcase, I have taken them with me to the hospital for surgeries and the deliveries of my precious babies, I have managed to find 5 things to be grateful for every single day for 13 years.  Most days it’s easy…some days it’s harder.  I made myself find grateful moments on hard days.  On the day my Granddaddy died, on the day I had my miscarriage, on the day I told a sweet guy I couldn’t marry him…every day. 
Sometimes, Andrew will ask me to look up what we were doing 5 years ago on a particular day just for fun.  Or I’ll see what I was doing on September 15 or January 18 back in high school (my kiddos birthdays) because I never knew on those days when I was writing down grateful moments that those days would one day live in infamy as the two best dates in my year.
So anyway, I am done.  Thirteen years ain’t bad, right?  If you’re looking for a New Years resolution this year, I highly recommend starting a gratitude journal.  It has profoundly changed my life.  I am always paying attention for little things throughout my day that I can later write down as grateful moments.  Doing this every day has made me very aware of the simple things in life that really make life sweet.


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  • Sheaffer, Chris, Scout, and baby Carter December 27, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I am seriously AMAZED at your consistency and dedication.

    Oh…..Go ahead and mark it down…tomorrow you will be writing that you are thankful for Redken All Soft products. 🙂

  • Boozer Bunch December 31, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    That's awesome, Shay! What a great idea, thanks for sharing, seriously thinking about doing it!

  • Brianna November 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for linking back to this post! This is such an amazing idea and I would love to dive into it starting in January. And have I thanked you yet?! THANK YOU!!! Such an amazing thing to have and to look back on.

  • stacey June 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    i absolutely love this idea! i think i will make my 11 year old start this as well! great idea! thanks

  • Anonymous June 11, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    LOVE this!!

  • Sarah Dunn July 21, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Wow! So very cool. Do you have a certain time a day you journal?