3 Unusual Gratitude Journal Prompts That Will Transform Your Life in 30 Days

Gratitude Journal Prompts

Hey, I'm Emilie!

A certified life coach, meditation instructor, and spiritual entrepreneur. I’m here to help you create a vibrant life around your higher purpose and heart’s desires. 

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie

If you’re like me, you’ve heard so many people raving about the positive effects of being grateful that just the mention of the term “gratitude” annoys you.

Annoying or not, there is something almost magical about feeling thankful. It’s not even just magical in nature either, though; it’s also scientific.

Research shows that you can rewire your brain into thinking more positively and being a happier and more agreeable person in just a few weeks by expressing gratitude daily.

But did you know that you can also use gratitude for creating a better future and healing your past wounds?

You can!

This article is about three powerful gratitude journal prompts to help you reframe past situations and learn from them, achieve personal transformation, and reach your goals faster.

These journal prompts are a fantastic personal growth tool that is free and simple and doesn’t take much of your time. They’ve helped me tremendously on my journey, and I’m convinced you’ll benefit from them too.

Grab a notebook (or your journal), and let’s begin!

Gratitude Journal Prompt Ideas

A Gratitude List to Create Positive Changes in Yourself and Your Life

Have you ever used affirmations to reprogram your subconscious mind and improve yourself or your life?

If you’re not familiar with affirmations, they are positive statements of what you want — want to have, experience, accomplish, or become — written in the first person and in the present tense, as if it’s already happening.

For example, let’s say that you want to lose 20 pounds. You may write, “I am at my ideal weight, and my favorite summer outfit finally fits me.”

Then, the idea is to read your affirmation and say it to yourself often to help you stay focused on your goals and notice cues that will help you achieve them.

You can increase your affirmations’ potency by adding “I am so grateful that” at the beginning of your statements.

For example, you could write the following: “I am so happy and grateful to now be at my ideal weight and that my favorite summer outfit finally fits me.”

Adding words of thankfulness into your affirmations makes them more powerful because, as Dr. Joe Dispenza wrote in Becoming Supernatural:

“Gratitude is a powerful emotion to use for manifesting because normally we feel grateful after we’ve received something, so the emotional signature of gratitude means it has already happened. When you are thankful, or you feel appreciation, you are in the ultimate state to receive.”

Knowing this, you can begin by writing affirmations for your most important goals, then add “I am so grateful that” at the beginning of each affirmation.

If you write down, read, and think of your affirmations several times per day, you’ll likely achieve your goals faster.

To make this exercise even more powerful, I recommend reading my other article, “Powerful Goal-Setting Vision Board Method,” which blends vision boarding and gratitude to help you achieve your goals faster.

Gratitude journal prompts

A Gratitude List to Boost Your Willpower and Build or Break Habits

The following gratitude list will help you boost your willpower (self-discipline and self-control), which will ultimately improve the overall quality of your life.

In The Willpower Instinct, a book about the latest science on willpower, Dr. Kelly McGonigal wrote:

“People who have better control of their attention, emotions, and actions (…) are happier and healthier. Their relationships are more satisfying and last longer. They make more money and go further in their careers. They are better able to manage stress, deal with conflict, and overcome adversity. They even live longer.”

And yes, you can boost your willpower with gratitude!

By expressing gratitude in a specific way, you can increase what’s called “future-self continuity,” which, in turn, will lead to more willpower.

Let me explain.

Future-self continuity is when there’s a strong association between your perception of your present self and your future self. The opposite— is when you perceive your future self as a stranger, which is what most of us do, whether we realize it or not.

Because we tend to perceive our future selves as strangers, it’s harder for us to say no to instant gratification (ex: not eating a piece of cake) and do the things that support our long-term goals (ex: lose weight) because we all care more about our own well-being than the well-being of a stranger—that’s just human nature. This explains why some people (including myself) have difficulty saving for their retirement: they prefer to spend it all now.

A strategy mentioned in The Willpower Instinct to increase self-continuity and, therefore, boost willpower is to imagine your future self having attained your goal and feeling thankful for the effort of your present self that allowed you to reach your goal.

Here’s a simple way to do it.

Imagine that you are your future self, and write a letter to your present self. First, tell your current self how wonderful your life is since you have reached your goal, then thank them for all the actions that they’ve taken that got you there. For example, you could say: “I am so grateful for having gone to the gym and exercised for an hour every day after work over the past six months. Some days, I didn’t feel like it, but I went anyway; and I am so thankful I did because now, six months in, I’m in the best shape of my life.”

Express gratitude for each action you took and each decision you made that allowed you to achieve your goal from your future self’s perspective. Read what you wrote often; daily, if you can. By doing so, you’ll more easily build or break habits and become more disciplined.

To go deeper and make this exercise even more powerful, I recommend reading my article, “5 Steps to Upgrading Your Identity.”

Gratitude Journal Prompts

A Gratitude List to Reframe Challenging Situations

You can also use gratitude to help you reframe a difficult situation, see the good in it, and reduce suffering.

Reframing is a technique used in therapy to help a person look at a situation from a different perspective.

By seeing the challenge in a new light, you give it a new meaning, and your thoughts and how you feel about it will often automatically change as you do this. You can use this technique on your own for issues that don’t make you feel overwhelmingly distressed. 

For example, let’s say you just lost your job. Perhaps you feel sad because you enjoyed that work and stressed because you lost your income.

Well, by seeking even small things to be grateful for in the situation, you’ll likely feel less stress, which will help you think more clearly and find solutions more easily.

You may be grateful for the opportunity to look for a better, higher-paying job. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to move to a different city, but your job prevented you from moving; well, now you can. Maybe losing your job gives you the push you needed to finally start your own business. Perhaps you worked many hours and felt tired, and having some time off to rest will do you good. 

The idea isn’t to deny the pain but to have a more holistic perspective of the situation.

By making a list of things to be grateful for in a challenging situation, you’ll reduce the stress and feelings of anger and be in a better place to seek solutions. 

Gratitude Journal Prompt Ideas

One of the Most Transformative Emotions in the Universe

Again, it’s not for nothing that so many successful people and spiritual traditions alike state that thankfulness is key to success and happiness.

Gratitude is one of the most transformative emotions in the universe.

In her channeled book, Lessons from the 12 Archangels, Belinda Womack wrote:

“The magical energy of gratitude will catapult you out of nearly every stagnant situation you find yourself trapped in. It is the secret to speeding up your evolution, and it is the key to ascension.”

By making it a daily habit to give thanks to both the small and big joys in your life, you’ll develop a more positive outlook on life. You’ll feel fulfilled and content and be a more agreeable person to be around.

Expressing gratitude is easy, free, and it doesn’t take much of your time, yet it’s one of the greatest personal transformation tools that exist.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Have a beautiful week!

Emilie

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