Keeping a Gratitude Journal. No Thank You.

by | Nov 26, 2020 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

gratitude journal

Have you tried to keep a gratitude journal? I have. And I haven’t been successful.

I start out strong. (That’s how ADHD works, isn’t it?) And, about two days in, it devolves into sounding trite and repetitive.

A laundry list of the same things day after day. Husband. Daughter. Home. Health. Sunrise. Career. Support team. Healthy food. Dark chocolate. Yoga pants.

I’ve tried to keep a separate gratitude journal. I’ve tried including it in my regular nightly journal. I’ve tried various gratitude techniques.

Nothing sticks.

It’s not that I’m not grateful. I am. For so much. I am blessed with love and support. Health and purpose. Surrounded by beauty.

Even during the challenges COVID-times have tossed at my family, at our core, we’re okay. I am grateful for so much.

My challenge is journaling my gratitude. Like we’re told we should.

Wait!! Did I just SHOULD on myself? Oh my. Ah! Lightbulb moment. That’s my problem.

Just because Oprah and other self-helpers say I SHOULD keep a gratitude journal doesn’t mean that I should. Especially when I have tried so many times and it leaves me feeling guilty.

So, what’s my solution? Starting here and now I’m dropping the gratitude shoulds.

I’m going to work on being grateful for small bits of wonder, instead. Like the bright red leaf I saw falling from our tree a moment ago.

Shoulds hit us in so many ways. Especially when we have ADHD. I’m grateful you’ve given me this opportunity to write about this so I could figure it out.

Have you figured out an ADHD-friendly way to keep a gratitude journal? I’d love to hear about it – share below!


  1. Daurel

    Whew! I thought it was just me. My church actually publishes a nice booklet every year with thoughtful writings and space for daily gratitude, and like you, I’m good for maybe two days… I like your idea of accepting gratitude moments. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Angelica

    I haven’t figured out a way to actually keep a journal of gratitude yet and I have tried so many times. When I first got a piece of paper in my hand with all these little boxes to write in, I thought it was a great idea. My ADHD-brain immediately started to go through all the stuff I could think of. But it didn’t fit in the box so I just wrote the most important to me. Already after two boxes it was soo repetitive and boring. And I felt bad. And that’s not how it should work! Everytime I see a gratitude journal I think for myself that I need to do it. But without really connecting the dots at first, I kept it in my head! Everyday I see small things (and big) that I am greatful for! Yesterday it was the moon shining so bright on the frosty grass and trees. It was beautiful. Now when I read and comment this blog post I realize that it actually is a way, I just don’t write it down 😊
    The idea itself is great and I needed to be reminded. It helped me to just paus and breathe, pay attention to the small beautiful things that surrounds us everyday. For me, the most adhd-friendly way is to keep it in my head. It makes me appreciate everything even more because I now notice it in the moment.

  3. Matt

    I look for three different things that I’m grateful for each day. It could be something that happened that day, or recently, or just one of the literally countless blessings / gifts we’ve been given. A baby gave me a smile, I helped someone in the grocery store, the way the full moon lights up my backyard, trees during the fall season, how amazing bees are (read about them – they’re incredible), the black silhouette of leafless trees at dusk in the winter, seeing my breath on the first cold day, etc. It just helps to remind me how blessed I am. I’m always grateful for all of the other things like my health and family and friends, but it’s easy to find small things each day if you just stay open to them.


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