Years ago I read a piece where Chelsea Clinton said because of the conversations she had with her grandmother over the years she tries to "practice the discipline of gratitude every day." The fact that she referred to it as a practice and a discipline really resonated with me. Sure I was familiar with practice and discipline when it came to dance, musical instrument, schooling, etc. but had never thought of gratitude in this light. This was a big aha moment for me and it shifted how I approach gratitude. I know I have to work at it every day and I also know there will be times that I fail and that's OK.
I love the idea of a gratitude journal and have had many on my nightstand. A journal works for many but it doesn't work for me. I end up feeling more pressure to just write something in it an night than really feeling it. What I found does work for me is a gratitude jar (we've also used an elephant) in the center of the kitchen table. Every night while finishing dinner we each say one thing we are grateful for. I write them down on little slips of paper, cut them up and each person puts their note in the jar. Having it visible on the table is a great reminder to do it and for us it's one of the only times everyone is sitting still (somewhat) in the same place. It has become one of my most favorite family traditions. If we have a sitter at dinner-time the kids will now even ask her what she is grateful for. Super simple to start and really impactful.