Gratitude Journaling to Create New Meaning in Your Old Job

I recently wrote a LinkedIn article on three key things to focus positive attention on before leaving your current job. By figuring out your favorite skills, pinpointing your gifts/talents and connecting with your core values, you’ve taken the first steps toward aligning yourself with your dream job.


But what if you don’t necessarily want leave your current company? What if you just want to make your current role more meaningful? What can you do today to find inspiration in your job?



gratitude journal
Read on for some life-changing journal prompts for gratitude in your work life

Creating a New Habit: Journaling Gratitude


This article in HBR on how to rediscover your inspiration at work puts it best:


“While we can’t force ourselves to be inspired, we can create an environment that’s conducive to inspiration.”


If you want to make a change, you must first change your attitude. One of the most effective ways to begin this process is to cultivate a sense of gratitude for what you’ve already accomplished as well as what you’ve not yet accomplished.


If you don’t have experience journaling gratitude, it can seem daunting, which makes sense. Any time you move out of your comfort zone you feel un-comfort-able. Using journaling prompts can help overcome this obstacle, as you’ll see below.


Why Gratitude?


Journaling gratitude is the fastest way to cut through all the stinkin’ thinkin’ that engages your mind when you’re not conscious of your thoughts. We’ve all experienced the difference between actions that we take when we feel angry, depressed, anxious and actions we take when we feel happy, inspired or satisfied. While it is vital to reflect on the former, we’re going to begin journaling by focusing positive attention on what feels good.


Journal Prompts for Gratitude


Cultivating an attitude of gratitude begins even before you get to the office in the morning and continues well after you’ve gone home in the evening. Practice this first journaling prompt for gratitude for one week and watch what happens during your work day.


Journaling Prompt for Gratitude #1: The Top 3 Things

This high-energy journaling prompt asks that you actively seek out experiences, people, situations and events in your day to feel grateful for.


Before leaving for work, write down in your journaling notebook the three best things that have happened since you woke up.


Your list may look something like this:


1. I got a good night’s sleep

2. Me, the kids and my husband ate breakfast together

3. I left for work without rushing


Throughout the morning, you will replace your list with new "top things". Your list may look like this:


1. I got a good night’s sleep

2. I connected with my family over breakfast

3. Traffic was light

4. A coworker appreciated a compliment I gave on their contribution to the project

5. Lunch with Janine was fun

6. By using my interpersonal skills, I defused a conflict in my team


By the end of the day, it might look something like this:


1. I got a good night’s sleep

2. I connected with my family over breakfast

3. Traffic was light

4. A coworker appreciated a compliment I gave on their contribution to the project

5. Lunch with Janine was fun

6. By using my interpersonal skills, I defused a conflict in my team

7. My ideas were well received in today’s MT meeting

8. I felt satisfied at all I accomplished today



Journaling Prompt for Gratitude #2: What Is So Important about This?

Set a timer for 10 minutes.


Write down one "top thing" from the list you’ve been updating all day. Then write at length about why that "top thing" is important to you.


When you press start start writing. It doesn’t matter what you write as long as you keep your pen moving for the entire 10 minutes. Don’t stop to analyze, criticize or philosophize what you’re writing. You want to connect with how good you feel.


Gratitude Works


The second journaling prompt for gratitude gives you the opportunity to expand on one or two (or all) of the "top things" in your day, which is important because it shows you what you value most. With this nugget of information, you can plan exactly how to bring your values into your work on a daily basis.


Now you’re bringing new meaning and inspiration into your “old” job.


With practice you’ll notice you have space in your head (and in your heart) for creative problem solving, dynamic communication, high-energy relationships, and new ideas for increasing productivity.













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