List five small ways that you can share your gratitude today.
Write about a person in your life that you’re especially grateful for and why.
What skills or abilities are you thankful to have? (You communicate well, you’re a good cook, you have an uncanny ability to dominate in Fantasy Football. Hey, it’s your journal).
What is there about a challenge you’re experiencing right now that you can be thankful for? (This is a tough one, but you have learned something or grown from the hardship—how?).
How is where you are in life today different than a year ago–and what positive changes are you thankful for?
What activities and hobbies would you miss if you were unable to do them?
List five body parts that you’re grateful for and why. (Those long legs help you reach items on the top shelf … don’t forget the little things).
What about the city you live in are you grateful for?
What are you taking for granted about your day to day that you can be thankful for? (Can’t think of any? Your alarm clock, your coffee machine, the paperboy who delivered your newspaper, your friendly neighbor who always says good morning … and that’s before you even leave the house).
List 5 people in your life who are hard to get along with—and write down at least one quality for each that you are grateful for.
What materialistic items are you most grateful for?
Write about the music you’re thankful to be able to listen to and why. (We couldn’t make it five minutes on the treadmill without our beats).
Who has done something this week to help you or make your life easier and how can you thank them?
What foods or meals are you most thankful for? (Bacon, egg, and cheese on Monday morning, we’re looking at you).
What elements of nature are you grateful for and why? (The beach, a starry sky or one speckled with fluffy clouds, the sunset…).
What part of your morning routine are you most thankful for? (A big stretch before you get out of bed, that warm cup of coffee, a cuddle session with your pet…).
Write a letter to someone who has positively impacted your life, however big or small.
What is something you’re grateful to have learned this week?
When was the last time you laughed uncontrollably—relive the memory.
What aspects of your work environment are you thankful for? (Supportive co-workers, flexible hours, great snacks in the kitchen…) (Steinhilber, 2015)
If you’re looking for some more specific examples of the items others list in their gratitude journals, check out Oprah’s five items from her personal gratitude journal on October 12, 1996:
A run around Florida’s Fisher Island with a slight breeze that kept me cool.
Eating cold melon on a bench in the sun.
A long and hilarious chat with Gayle about her blind date with Mr. Potato Head.
Sorbet in a cone, so sweet that I literally licked my finger.
Maya Angelou calling to read me a new poem (Winfrey, “What Oprah Knows for Sure About Gratitude”).
The sunrise this morning during your early run or while getting ready for the day.
A quick text from a loved one simply checking in on you.
The feeling of slipping into bed with freshly washed sheets.
Having enough to feed yourself and put a roof over your head.
Your stress ball, which is so good at calming you down during tense or important phone calls.
The strawberries you had for lunch today, in the sweet spot between soft and firm.
Your child’s smile as you tuck them into bed.
Your Pandora or Spotify playlist that so often plays exactly the song you needed to hear.
The groceries your significant other brought home from the store (even if they forgot something!).
The sound of rain falling on your window at night, calming and relaxing you.
Prompts (Gratitude prompts)