Thanksgiving is on its way, which means that you can start looking forward to bustling family or friend gatherings, with lots of laughs and delicious foods.

But even as we get caught up in clearing schedules and preparing for the big day, we shouldn't forget the true meaning of the holiday — to count your blessings, no matter how small, and express thankfulness for them!

And even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving where you are, this is still a great opportunity for you to start expressing your gratitude and thankfulness for the things around you.

If you aren't in the habit of practicing gratitude regularly, this might be a chance for you to give it a try — with a gratitude list!

What is a gratitude list?

gold pen on top of Today I Am Grateful book

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

You may have heard of a gratitude journals, but what is a gratitude list? A gratitude list is a daily list of things in your life that you're grateful for, or want to express thankfulness for.

Gratitude lists are basically part of a gratitude journal, which makes it a perfect activity for those who are trying to get into the habit of practicing gratitude. It's quick, easy and low-commitment.

Benefits of a gratitude list

thankful blessed signage

Photo by Kiy Turk on Unsplash

Here are some of the benefits of keeping a gratitude list.

1. Helps you reflect on the day

If you've decided to write your gratitude list in the evenings before bad, this will help you reflect on your day. So many of us go through every day on auto-pilot and we forget to slow down and smell the roses.

There are many things everyday that we should be appreciative of, and writing a gratitude journal will help you take notice of these small joys in life.

2. Starts the day on a positive note

And if you prefer writing your gratitude list in the mornings, it will help you start your day on a positive note. You've set the tone of the day by resolving to take notice of things that make you feel happy and grateful.

Think of it as a to-do list of sorts, to help you be more intentionally positive about your daily life.

3. Puts things into perspective

Writing gratitude lists can put things into perspective when you're going through a difficult time or having a bad day.

It helps shift you into a positive mindset by making you notice the positive things in life! And when you shift from a negative mindset into a positive one, you will be able to start looking at the bigger picture and stop worrying about the smaller things in life.

How to start a gratitude list?

today I am grateful greeting card

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

If the idea of a gratitude list has now intrigued you, here's some tips on how to get started on your very own gratitude list this Thanksgiving!

1. Keep it near you

Be sure to carry your gratitude list with you as often as you can, whether on a small notebook or an app on your phone.

This way, you'll be able to add to your gratitude list whenever and wherever you want. This way, if something great or positive happens to you, you can simply whip out your list and start writing in it!

And if you're feeling down, reading through or writing on your gratitude lists can be a quick pick-me-up for the day!

In this day and age where almost everyone carries their mobile devices with them everywhere, it may be useful for you to download a digital diary app like Journey to write your gratitude lists in!

With Journey, you can write and read your gratitude lists across multiple platforms, including desktop, iOS, Android and Huawei!

Write and read your gratitude list on the Journey web app, desktop, iOS, Android and Huawei
Write and read your gratitude list on the Journey web app, desktop, iOS, Android and Huawei

2. Keep it short and simple

The great thing about a gratitude list is that you can keep things short, quick and simple! There is absolutely no need to have lengthy explanations (unless you prefer it that way, of course). Feel free to write in short sentences, bullet points or even 1 or 2 words, even!

Keeping your lines short helps to keep your gratitude list clean and tidy, which makes it easier to read through when you're going through a bad time.

3. Be consistent

Since keeping a gratitude list is simpler and quicker than a gratitude journal, it's important to try your best to be as consistent as possible!

Try to commit to writing maybe 3 to 5 items in your gratitude journal every morning or night! This will help you build the habit of practicing gratitude and of noticing the simple joys in life. Over time, you'll find that finding things to be grateful for will become much easier and more natural to you.

If you need reminders for writing your gratitude list, Journey has just the thing for you. Simply turn on notifications under settings, and you'll receive journaling notifications at the desired frequency and allotted time!

Set regular timed notifications to remind you to write your gratitude list
Set regular timed notifications to remind you to write your gratitude list

4. Mix things up

When writing a gratitude list, don't forget that material objects aren't the only things you can express thankfulness for. You can be thankful for a new day, for the people around you, or a life opportunity that has been presented to you, just to name a few examples!

5. Add a personal touch

Most of all, remember to have fun with your gratitude list! Adding a personal touch by doodling, adding colors and cute images can make the process much more fun for you.

If you're someone who enjoys doodling on the sides of the page, or creating a beautiful journal page the likes of those on Pinterest, why not try out the Journey Digital Planner?

It is a digital PDF planner that can be opened on any PDF annotation app on your tablet. With your tablet pen, you can write and draw freely, free from the limits of writing via the keyboard.

In the "Notes" section of the planner, you can choose from 4 different types of layouts and start writing your gratitude list with your tablet pen!

Doodle and decorate your gratitude list using your tablet pen on the Journey Digital Planner
Doodle and decorate your gratitude list using your tablet pen on the Journey Digital Planner 

So this Thanksgiving, enjoy your feasts and your gatherings, but don't forget to express thankfulness for all the wonderful things around you in life!