Every Lent, my church recommends a book for the congregation to read. It’s a book that highlights the theme for the year’s Lenten season. This year, the book is about gratitude.

Gratitude is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the state of being grateful; thankfulness”

Some people are naturally thankful. Others need to put forth an effort. I guess it’s whether you see the glass half full or half empty.

During a very difficult time in my life, I started seeing life as half empty. I needed positive energy in my life so I started a gratitude journal.

It was a concept I was introduced to from a television talk show (I’m referencing my life back in the 90’s long before YouTube, blogs, social media – talk shows were the first to address real-life issues). I figured I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try.

My gratitude journal is one long thank you note to God. It’s taking the saying “count your blessings” literally. In life, we all have many blessings which can be hard to see during difficult times.

When I look back over the years of my entries, it’s interesting to see how I progressed. In the beginning, it was difficult to figure out what to write. I attribute that struggle to where I was in life. When you go through a difficult time, it’s hard to be positive.

If you’ve never tried keeping a gratitude journal, try it. The way you see your life will change.

You’ll start identifying people, things, and experiences to be thankful for throughout your day. Your life will begin to have a more positive outlook.

Find a notebook and pen and start writing. You can also keep one electronically on your laptop or smartphone. I keep my gratitude journal in Evernote – which I can access on my smartphone or laptop.

There’s no right way or wrong way to write in your gratitude journal. No one will look at it unless you decide to share it.

There’s also no penalty if you skip a day or a week. So go easy on yourself if you don’t make an entry every day.

It’s easier to keep up if you add writing in your gratitude journal to your daily routine. I’ve learned to make entries before I go to bed.

Identifying the positives in life can have a profound effect on your attitude, especially when you’re going through a difficult time. When you make an effort to write why you are grateful, you view each person, thing, and experience in life differently. Stop rolling your eyes and give it a try – what do you have to lose?


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”