Here's a simple 3-step process that will get you into the habit of writing, prime your mind for a better night of sleep and fill you with all the warm fuzzies that come with a gratitude practice. Sound salesy right? We know, but this little habit will help you with all those things and you can do it in under 10 minutes.
So how does it work?
Each night before your head hits the pillow, you respond to 3 prompts with three sentences of gratitude. Using these prompts fuses together, reflection, visualisation, positive affirmation and gratitude.
Feel free to write more than one sentence - the goal of this is not the amount the point is to feel the mood. If you’re feeling it, just go with the flow and keep writing and building that sense of gratitude.
Prompt 1: External
What am I grateful for (in my life or in this world)?
When you first ask yourself this question, big things might come to mind (like your house or your family) but we want to dive deeper than that. Look to the little moments, and try to connect with an experience that you had during the day. Maybe it was a moment with your family when you were laughing at the breakfast table. Or how you felt curled up in your chair as the sun was setting. Write something real, and let the moment sit with you.
Prompt 2: Internal - What am I grateful for within myself?
This is the most important prompt but also the one that most people struggle with. If you’re in the habit of being hard on yourself or you have a lot of negative self-narratives it might take some practice for this to feel comfortable.
Self-gratitude is an essential practice because how we feel about ourselves underpins how we show up for everything else. If you’re struggling to find reasons why you want to do this for you you can tell yourself that improving your self-esteem will also benefit the people around you.
Again, start by looking to the little moments. What are the small moments you can feel proud of? Did you support a friend through a tough conversation? Did feed your body some good fuel? Did you call nan and tell her you missed her?
Remember this isn’t about productivity or checking off to-dos. For sure, if you’re feeling good about what you’ve accomplished write it down - but wrap the writing around the feeling of what it means to be this productive version of you.
“I felt fantastic today as I realised that I’m strengthening my will power to focus”
“Going to the gym this morning felt good, I’m loving being the kind of person who looks forward to a work out”
We want to connect to our emotion, not our activities.
Prompt 3: Future - What am I looking forward to?
Then the last one - what moment will you be grateful for in the day that lays before you? Again, think small. Is it a shared breakfast with a partner? The half an hour you’ve carved out for a book? A meeting you’re pumping yourself up for?Imagine the moment, feel it as though it’s already there.
With practice, you’ll find that the moments you describe sometimes greet you when you wake up. Literally, you’ll wake up and the first thing that will pop into your head is the moment in the day you’re looking forward to. it’s a good feeling.
So, how often should I do this?
Before you go to sleep each night. Set yourself up for the habit by placing your journal next to your bed. Use this as a winding down ritual. Don’t touch your phone again after it’s done. If you’re the kind of person who reads to fall to sleep, no worries, you can pick up a book after, but try to bring yourself back to these feelings of gratitude before you close your eyes.
What if I don’t have time?
If you can’t make space for all 3 just write one line. And go with self gratitude. The point is to try to stick to the habit of checking in with yourself at the end of each day and if you fall off the wagon don’t worry! We all do. Pick it up in the morning or whenever it feels good for you.
If you have any questions, just reach out to email@example.com.
I hope this practice helps you.