A little gratitude list can go a long way.
While it may seem like a small and insignificant habit to cultivate, the truth is, a good sprinkling of gratitude can help us find more moments of joy and appreciation in our daily lives.
But it’s easy to get stuck in a gratitude rut. Listing the same things you’re thankful for… over… and over again. Until the monotony of our gratitude kills our motivation to continue.
In this article, I’ll give you 8 gratitude list ideas, along with examples of what you can fill those lists with. Use these as a starting point to inspire your gratitude practice.
The Gratitude Lists
Whether it’s a girls’ weekend away, a family dinner that will forever be known as the “Great Mousaka Disaster of ’19”, or just a regular movie night with your SO, our memories bring us joy.
With this list, take a moment to appreciate all the laughter, love, and wild adventures you’ve shared with the special people in your world.
Those are the moments that bring us closer together and keep us connected. And that’s a large part of the jigsaw puzzle of this crazy thing called life.
Examples of 20 Moments that Inspire Gratitude:
- Volunteering or serving a community with a group of people
- Attending a live performance or event with friends or family
- Playing a sport or game with a team or partner
- Traveling with a group of friends or family members
- Going on a hike or outdoor adventure with a friend or loved one
- Attending a wedding or other celebratory event with others
- Sharing a moment of silence or reflection with others
- Supporting each other through a difficult time or challenge
- Learning a new skill or hobby with a friend or partner
- Spending quality time with loved ones, enjoying each other’s company and presence
- Laughing together with a group of friends
- Celebrating a milestone or achievement with loved ones
- Enjoying a beautiful sunset or view with someone special
- Exploring a new place or activity with a friend or partner
- Watching a favourite movie or TV show with someone you care about
- Dancing and singing along to music with a group of people
- Having a deep, meaningful conversation with a close friend or family member
- Collaborating on a DIY project or home improvement task with a partner or friend
- Taking a fun class or workshop with a friend or family member
- Reminiscing over a memory from your childhood with an old friend
I often think about those pivotal moments in life that shape us.
You know, those moments that cause us to pause, fill our hearts with pride and make us say:
“Wow, I’m a completely different person from who I used to be”.
These turning points change the direction of our lives and inspire us to keep moving forward. Whether we’re aware of it or not. But sometimes we overlook these moments. Along with the incredible people who helped make them happen.
So, here’s a fun little exercise for you.
Take a moment to think about three specific times in your life that had a significant impact on you.
Reflect on the incredible individuals who played a part in these moments.
It could be the best friend who talked you out of making the biggest mistake of your life, the teacher who inspired you to dream bigger, or the stranger who showed you kindness when you needed it most.
Capture your thoughts in your journal.
What are you truly grateful for? Write about it in detail.
Who would you like to thank?
Examples of 20 Life-Changing Moments that Inspire Gratitude:
- Starting your own business
- Landing your dream job
- Becoming a homeowner
- Moving to a new city or country and starting fresh
- Healing from an illness or injury
- Graduating from college or completing a degree
- Repairing a broken relationship with someone important to you
- Making a new and meaningful friendship
- Falling in love and/or getting married
- Having or adopting a child
- Witnessing the birth of a child or grandchild
- Adopting a pet and experiencing unconditional love and companionship
- Making a major life change that aligns with your values and passions
- Finding closure or resolution to a difficult situation
- Embracing your unique identity and feeling proud of who you are
- Receiving forgiveness from someone you hurt
- Finding a mentor or role model who inspires you
- Overcoming an addiction or hindering habit
- Discovering a new spiritual or philosophical path
- Finding inner peace and contentment through a mindfulness practice
Ways You Express Gratitude
Gratitude’s like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.
But, have you ever stopped to think about the different ways you express gratitude?
From grand gestures like giving a gift or cooking a thank-you meal. To the small things like leaving a sweet note, giving hugs or compliments.
There are countless ways to show appreciation for the people and things that bring joy into your life.
In what ways do you show your gratefulness?
Examples of 20 Ways to Express Gratitude:
- Giving a warm hug to someone you are grateful for
- Saying “thank you” with a heartfelt smile and eye contact
- Writing a hand-written note or letter expressing your gratitude
- Taking someone out for a special meal to show your appreciation
- Making a donation to a cause or organisation that you are grateful for
- Offering your time or skills to help someone in need
- Giving a thoughtful gift to someone who has made a positive impact on your life
- Sending a text message or email expressing your gratitude
- Creating a work of art, such as a painting or sculpture, as a gesture of gratitude
- Making a phone call to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while just to say thank you
- Sharing a favourite quote or poem that expresses your gratitude
- Organising a surprise party or gathering to celebrate someone you are grateful for
- Offering a kind word or compliment to someone who has helped you
- Planting a tree or garden in honour of someone you are grateful for
- Donating your old belongings to a charity or thrift store as a way to give back
- Volunteering your time to a local non-profit organisation or community event
- Saying a prayer or performing a spiritual ritual to express gratitude
- Making a special video message or recording expressing your gratitude
- Meditating on the things you are grateful for
- Writing a positive review for a product or service you appreciate
Things That Make You Laugh
Laughter really is the best medicine.
Unless you have gastrointestinal issues, in which case you may want to consult a doctor.
Joking aside, when it comes to lightening our mood and bringing joy into our lives, laughter is an unstoppable force.
It’s so easy to stress over things (most of which we have no control over). But taking a moment to reflect on the things that make us laugh offers us a much-needed break from it all.
My favourite ‘laughs’ are the ones where I’m either laughing at myself.
Or ones that involve locking eyes with a total stranger where we’re both trying not to laugh at something inappropriate. In those situations I’m not sure what’s funnier, the actual thing that’s tickled us, or the fact we’re trying to muffle the laughter and act ‘normal’.
What funny incidents can you add to your list?
Examples of 20 Moments of Laughter that Inspire Gratitude:
- A hilarious joke your friend told that made you laugh out loud
- Finding a funny meme on social media that brightened your day
- Your pet doing something silly and unexpected
- Reminiscing about a funny memory with friends that you couldn’t help but laugh about
- Watching your favourite comedy movie or TV show and laughing until your sides hurt
- Hearing a funny story or anecdote from someone that you couldn’t stop laughing about
- A friend doing a silly dance or impression that had everyone in stitches
- A humorous misunderstanding with a friend that you were able to laugh off together
- Observing a child’s playful antics and finding their joy and innocence contagious
- Having an unexpected moment of laughter in a serious conversation, lightening the mood
- Reading a funny book or comic strip that made you laugh throughout
- Witnessing a harmless prank or practical joke that made everyone involved laugh
- Watching a comedian’s stand-up routine and laughing at their jokes and observations
- Hearing someone’s comical imitation of a celebrity or character and couldn’t stop laughing
- Seeing someone trip or stumble in a way that was amusing but didn’t hurt them
- Receiving a funny or unexpected gift or note that brought a smile to your face
- Having a witty exchange with a friend that made you both laugh
- Watching a blooper reel or outtakes from a movie or TV show
- Hearing a funny or awkward voicemail or answering machine message that made you laugh
- Seeing someone wearing a funny or unusual outfit or costume that made you chuckle
Things That Inspire You
Can you remember the last time you were in awe of a breathtaking sunset? Or when you were moved by a work of art, the lyrics of a song, or a poignant moment in a movie?
Inspiration can be an elusive character, sneaking up on you when you least expect it and coming at you from the most unexpected of sources.
That’s why it’s important to take note of the things that inspire us and keep a record of the moments that fill us with hope and wonder.
Examples of 20 Inspirational Moments of Gratitude:
- Receiving help from a stranger when you needed it most
- Feeling moved to tears by the beauty of a painting or sculpture
- Having a heartfelt conversation that strengthens your bond
- Witnessing an act of courage or selflessness
- Feeling nostalgic when hearing a song linked to a significant moment in your life
- Receiving unexpected good news or a positive outcome
- Being surrounded by nature and feeling grateful for its beauty and peace
- Being given a second chance to make amends or start anew
- Expressing gratitude and seeing how it affects others positively
- Receiving support and encouragement from a mentor or role model
- Being struck by a dance performance’s emotion and intensity
- Helping someone else achieve their goals or dreams
- Realising how far you’ve come in your personal or professional life
- Witnessing the beauty and wonder of the natural world
- Feeling a sense of community and belonging
- Appreciating your own resilience and inner strength
- Being inspired by the bravery and determination of a character in a book or movie
- Feeling grateful for the love and support of friends and family
- Feeling a sense of hope and optimism while listening to a motivational speech or talk
- Having a sense of purpose or meaning in your life
If you think about it, our time on this planet is just a blip in the grand scheme of the universe.
But during this time every single one of us has achieved something that makes us proud.
Sure, big accomplishments like getting a degree, overcoming major hurdles, or starting a family are fantastic, but let’s not forget about the smaller victories too.
Remembering someone’s name after only meeting them once, handling a difficult conversation, or waking up before your alarm goes off are just as impressive.
Plus, the smaller ‘wins’ happen more frequently, so we get to feel proud more often.
Acknowledge all of our accomplishments, big and small, with a list of everything that leaves you with a twinge of pride. Then celebrate your amazing self.
Examples of 20 Accomplishments that Inspire Gratitude:
- Successfully completing a difficult project or task
- Learning to love and accept yourself as you are
- Writing a book or publishing your work on a public platform
- Achieving financial independence and stability
- Winning an award or competition
- Learning a new skill or hobby
- Getting promoted at work
- Being in a happy and healthy relationship
- Overcoming a significant personal setback or challenge
- Forgiving someone who has hurt you deeply and moving forward with your life
- Completing a meaningful project or piece of artwork
- Achieving fluency in a new language
- Becoming a public speaker and inspiring others with your story or message
- Achieving a health and fitness goal
- Starting a charitable organisation or community initiative
- Successfully organising an event or party for a special occasion
- Becoming a respected and influential leader in your community or industry
- Overcoming a fear or phobia that has held you back in life
- Overcoming a chronic illness or disability to achieve a personal goal or dream
- Living a fulfilling and purposeful life
Not every season is created equal.
But even the dreariest of seasons have their own unique charm and things to be grateful for.
Take winter, for example. Sure, it’s cold, dark, and bleak, but it’s also the season of woolly hats, mittens, hot cocoa, and the magic of snow – if you live in a snow-producing country, that is.
The quiet stillness of the winter landscape can be a welcome change from the busyness of everyday life, offering us an opportunity to slow down and reflect.
And let’s not forget about spring, with its blooming flowers and the return of warm sunshine.
It’s a season of renewal and growth, reminding us that even in the darkest of times, there’s hope for new beginnings.
Make a list of the things you love about each season, and find gratitude in the ups and downs of each one.
Examples of 20 Seasonal Experiences that Inspire Gratitude:
- Watching the first snowfall of the winter season
- Snuggling up in front of a warm fire on a cold winter night
- Enjoying the bright and colourful flowers of spring
- Taking a walk in a lush green park during the summer months
- Cooling off in the refreshing waters of a lake or sea during a hot summer day
- Picking fresh fruit from a local orchard during autumn
- Roasting chestnuts over an open fire during autumn evenings
- Watching the leaves change colour in autumn
- Enjoying the springtime blossoms of cherry or apple trees
- Gathering around a festive table with loved ones for the holidays
- Admiring the beautiful light displays and decorations during the festive season
- Visiting a local farmer’s market and buying fresh produce during harvest season
- Singing carols and celebrating with neighbours during a community carol service
- Participating in a charity event or fundraiser during the festive season
- Taking a winter holiday and enjoying snow sports
- Participating in a springtime gardening project
- Going on a summer vacation to a new and exciting destination
- Experiencing the beauty of autumn colours during a scenic drive or hike
- Attending a summer music festival or outdoor concert
- Celebrating the start of a new year with friends and family
Things You Might Take for Granted
When was the last time you thanked someone for the bed you lay in at night?
For having a clean driver’s licence?
Or for the simple act of being able to sit on a chair and read this?
We tend to forget about the little things in life that make our existence bearable. But, if we were to make a list of all the things we take for granted, it might just blow our minds.
What would be at the top of your list?
Examples of 20 Moments that Inspire Gratitude:
- Health, both physical and mental
- A warm and comfortable home to live in
- The people in your life who love and support you
- Access to clean and safe drinking water
- Your education and the opportunities it has provided you
- Being able to read and write, and the knowledge and wisdom gained from it
- The food on your table and the farmers who produce it
- The natural beauty of the world around you
- Technology that makes your life easier and more convenient
- Freedom to express your thoughts and opinions without fear of persecution
- The safety and security provided by your local community and emergency services
- The ability to travel and experience new cultures and places
- Your job or career and the opportunities it provides you
- The music and art that enriches your life and inspires creativity
- Simple pleasures of life, like a warm cup of tea or a good book
- Companionship of pets and the joy they bring to your life
- Your experiences and how they shaped you in a positive way
- The ability to learn from your mistakes and grow as a person
- Love and companionship of a partner or spouse
- Freedom to pursue your passions and live a fulfilling life
How Often Can You Write a Gratitude List?
Write your list as often as you’d like, whether that’s daily, weekly, or whenever the mood strikes you.
The number of items on your list is also flexible. It could be two items or fifty, it doesn’t matter.
The point is to focus on what you’re grateful for while reflecting on the feelings of joy, happiness, and hope.
Some people find that listing their gratitude before bed helps them sleep better, and start each day with a positive mindset.
Others prefer to write their list in the mornings or whenever they have time to reflect.