This month we’re building gratitude habit with a family activity: the “BOOK OF AWESOME“. It’s SO important to me that my children spend time in gratitude each day. Since gratitude is truly a daily practice much more than it is an attitude, I wanted to build in a new family way to find the good in every day. (Because maybe, just maybe, this will curb complaining!?)
Our Family Gratitude Practice
Last week when listening to Tim Ferriss’ podcast called “How to Complain Less, Appreciate More, and Live a Better Life“. Tim mentioned that making an Awesome Jar to celebrate his successes.
He mentioned several other ideas including the 21 Day No Complaint Challenge. I considered doing that with my kids but thought it was too focused on a DON’T DO THIS. I wanted a DO THIS activity.
My husband and I discussed it and decided to write a shared family thankful journal instead of a jar so that we could easily read and reread everyone’s entries. Then we’d know what everyone else wrote and it would make a lovely memory book. (A jar would be a bit trickier for saving.)
Now at breakfast each morning we’re taking turns writing in a shared journal that we call the “Book of Awesome”.
Each person writes something he or she is thankful for — a word, a phrase, or a sentence or two. And, we try not to repeat any other topics. We write at least one thing every day. Sometimes more.
We do this in addition to our evening family prayers where we each also say for what we’re thankful. In my prayers, I am very specific. In fact, paper towels were in my prayers last night. One, because I am grateful for them! And two, I I think it helps my kids see all the possibilities for thankfulness and gratitude.
It’s a practice.
And it’s daily.
Many people who practice this daily journaling (or jar-ing) find it meaningful to reread all the entries on New Years Eve. I like to read them every day.
Why Is Gratitude Important?
I understand that joy emerges from intentionally thankfulness for the blessings in my life.
Not happiness. Joy.
Seeing our blessings, finding the good in the moments of our day, leads to joy. (And less anxiety.) Listen as Brené Brown explains how she discovered that joyful people practice gratitude:
Being joyful is so very good for us!
“For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer, Brother David Steindl-Rast
Other Thankful Practices for Families and Kids
- Use a bulletin board or white board to share things you appreciate about members of your family.
Gratitude App / Website
Gratitude Jar, Awesome Jar, Blessings Jar, Thankful Jar, Happiness Jar
- Write down your thankful notes on slips of paper for the jar.
- Use a mason jar, large glass container, or a vase. If you want to make this fancy, decorate with ribbon, stickers, Mod-Podged hearts, spray paint, or these decorating ideas or these.
Gratitude Letter or Phone Call
Grace at Meals