You may have heard of it before, as it's something that's trending right now in personal development. Today, I'm going to introduce you to how to keep a gratitude journal. I will start by explaining and giving you tips on how to adopt this exercise in your daily routine. Then, you'll follow me for 5 days when I fill in my gratitude journal so that you have an example of how it works. Let's get started!
What is a gratitude journal?
The gratitude journal is a kind of ritual that we have to be happier, to be more fulfilled in life. It is a tool that comes from personal development and that helps you to have a more positive attitude in your life.
Why use a gratitude journal in learning French?
To improve your French and reach your goals, it is important to adopt a routine in French, I talk about it in my ebook "French in everyday life" which I put the link in description.
One thing I absolutely recommend is to kill two birds with one stone, that is, to take activities that you do naturally in your everyday life and adapt them into French. For example, you have to do your shopping and instead of making your shopping list in your native language, do it in French.
You may not be in the habit of keeping a gratitude journal yet, but it will have two beneficial aspects. The first is that it will help you to be more fulfilled and grateful for the little things as well as the big things in your life and it will allow you to have a writing exercise in French. And that's the aspect I like: having fun while working on your French.
How to keep a gratitude journal in French?
Step 1: Find an appropriate time to complete your journal
This is something that should be part of your daily routine, so it should be a time when you have a maximum of 10 minutes, where you are not going to be disturbed or distracted. It is a moment where you should be well, calm and where you can savor the present moment.
It can be for example, in the morning while drinking your coffee. At noon, during your lunch break. Or in the evening, just before going to bed.
In order for it to be effective for your learning of French as well as for your mind, you must keep a certain frequency, you must be regular. Don't feel guilty if you miss a day, it doesn't matter, it happens to everyone. On the other hand, force yourself to start again the next day
Step 2: Choose the right equipment
What material will you use to fill in your gratitude journal? There are also several possibilities depending on your tastes and habits.
The first possibility is the most classic, it is to take a notebook and a pen.
If you are like me and you like it to be aesthetic, don't hesitate! You have to like it, it has to make you want to do it. Take an original notebook, use colors, glitter. In short, make yourself happy.
The second possibility is to use your phone or your computer and a word processing application. For example, take your phone and use the application "Notes" or "Notion". Or you can use your computer and use Word or Google Doc. You can even add pictures to your text.
And the third possibility is to record yourself expressing your gratitudes of the day. You can use a voice recorder or the video function on your phone. This is also a possibility.
💡 Useful information : If you are using a notebook or word processing application, take the opportunity to highlight the new vocabulary you have learned.
For example: I write "I am grateful for ....." Oops, I don't know how to say that word in French. I look it up on an online dictionary, like WordReference. Oh "compliment"! "I am grateful for the compliment my friend gave me". And now I've learned a new word so I highlight it. I underline it, I color it, whatever.
And that's great for learning, to write down in French something that you've experienced with your senses or your emotions. It's a great way to remember vocabulary or a turn of phrase.
Step 3: Fill out your gratitude journal.
I recommend at least writing down 3 things you are grateful for in your day. It can be more of course, less too if your day really didn't inspire you, it happens.
First, set 3 gratitudes for yourself each day. It's quick and effective.
I'll give you some pointers on what to write in your journal :
Write down what made you laugh or smile today, even if it's something small like a joke you heard or a meme you read.
Write down something someone close to you did for you or something they said that made you happy.
If you have children or pets, write down the little mistake they made that made you smile or laugh.
Write down a time when you helped someone or were helpful to him or her. Be grateful to yourself.
Write down an action that you have done that you are proud of. For example, if you played sports or cleaned the house.
Write down one nice thing you felt: a good feeling during your yoga session, a song that put you in a good mood, something you ate that was excellent or the fact that it was sunny today.
In short, write down what made you feel good during your day, write down all the positive things about your day.
I'm going to introduce you to some useful turns of phrase for writing your gratitude journal.
So to start your sentences, you can use :
For example: Thank you Dad for calling me today.
*It was nice to see:
For example: It was nice to see a movie in French today.
*I'm glad to / that :
For example: I'm happy to have finally finished this work I've been working on for months.
*I am proud of / that :
For example: I am proud that my little sister passed her driver's license.
*I am grateful for :
For example: I am grateful to the mailman who wore his mask today when he brought me a package.
*I am grateful for / for :
For example: I am grateful to live in such a beautiful country with lots of sunshine.
*I am lucky to :
For example: I am lucky to have a job that I like.
Challenge: I complete my gratitude journal in French for 5 days.
Day 1 : We are on Day 1 of my challenge to fill out my gratitude journal in French for 5 days. Well, I'm filling it in French to give you an example, otherwise I'll fill it in English, because it's my target language.
So I chose to take a notebook, a very simple one. This one: a very simple black notebook that I've had for a while, but that I didn't use anymore. There are no lines, so I hope I'll be able to write straight.
And as for the pens, very simple, I took a pen and I also took for the colorful touch some small Stabilo's pens like that with pretty colors.
So, here we go, I wrote down "Day 1" and the date "April 16, 2021". So I'm going to write down three things that I'm grateful for, I'm thankful for my day yesterday.
The first one: I noted that: I am proud of having made a small dish yesterday at noon which was very simple, but very good and healthy.
It's a good exercise to work on vocabulary. Plus, you reuse that word in a sentence that is related to an experience you had. This is the best way to memorize, it's called kinetic memory: to remember something through an experience that you have lived.
Gratitude #2: Yesterday I received a message via Instagram that was not very nice, not very pleasant.
I think I reacted well by trying to talk to the person and not getting upset and the person apologized, she acknowledged that she misunderstood what I meant.
So, I am grateful to this person for apologizing, because it is honorable of him to apologize, it is not an easy thing.
I noted: I am grateful to a subscriber who apologized.
Third gratitude: I worked late yesterday. I finished at 8pm, so I couldn't make dinner. My boyfriend, then, made dinner. I am grateful to him for making food. I put: Thank you to my boyfriend for making food.
I added a fourth gratitude, three at least, but if you have more, so much the better.
I added that yesterday I worked out. I have a workout routine and I stick to that routine.
I'm going to write down: I'm glad I worked out, and I'm keeping my workout routine.
Day 2 : We are at day 2, here I go to fill my gratitude of the day of yesterday.
The first one is for my cat. She makes me laugh all the time, but yesterday in particular, so I'm going to write down: Thank you to my cat for making me laugh.
I made good progress in my work yesterday, so I'll write down: I'm proud of myself, because I made good progress in my work.
And last gratitude: I am grateful that I took 10 minutes to stretch.
Day 3 : Day 3, let's review yesterday:
First gratitude: So, I'm grateful for one of my students who sent me a super sweet text.
Second gratitude: It was nice to have my dad on the phone.
Third gratitude: And I saw a movie that made me laugh, I had a good time.
Day 4 : Day 4, I'll write down my gratitude.
The first one: I am proud of myself, because I cleaned up.
And you have to be proud of that, because it's annoying.
The second: I'm glad I took a moment to take care of myself, my hair to be exact.
The third: And I'm glad I went on a hike even though it was pretty short.
Day 5 : This is the last day, day 5.
My first gratitude is to a subscriber who wrote me a nice comment after hearing in a series an expression she had learned on my account: Thank you to a subscriber for writing a comment that made me happy.
Yesterday was a beautiful day, and honestly it feels good when it's sunny, so I'm grateful : I'm glad the weather was nice yesterday.
Oh you see, it's a good exercise, it even makes me use the past subjunctive.
And my last gratitude, it's not really a gratitude, but more a thought towards my grandmother who is not well at the moment and I want to send her positive waves: I send lots of positive waves and courage to my grandmother.
Your turn: Do you keep a gratitude journal? Write it in the comments
I'll see you soon for new adventures, in French of course! 🇫🇷