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Why I Practice Gratitude with a Gratitude Jar

These past couple years I’ve been trying out all sorts of methods to practice gratitude. Ever since reading one thousand gifts, I’ve kept a gratitude journal where I list out all the little things I’m thankful for in my daily life. Also, because I’m not much of a disciplined person, I started blogging weekly gratitudes here. I knew that I would skip days here and there in my journal, so I needed something more public to keep me on track. There’s nothing like not wanting to look like a public failure to keep you motivated! :P Today, I’m on week 39! Woohoo! :)

This year, instead of a gratitude journal, I decided to switch things up and try keeping a gratitude jar on my desk where I put in a weekly recap of gratitudes. Gotta keep things fresh!

Why I Practice Gratitude with a Gratitude Jar.Pin

I wasn’t always a grateful person.

Maybe because I was not a happy with myself, I found it easier to look down on people who maintained a positive outlook on life. I thought they were weak and fooling themselves, because they couldn’t face the reality of how dreadful life really was. (Can you tell I was an angsty teen?) Now, as I grow older, I realize it takes a really strong person to utter the words “thank you” in the midst of all the troubles that accompany life.

I am no longer the same person who I was a few years ago. The person that used to always live with a grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side mentality. The person that used to wallow in misery and find comfort in it. And don’t get me wrong, old habits die hard. There are still days that my older selves come up for air. But over time, I noticed that I am seeing differently as I look for treasures rather than disappointments. I’m able to identify my negative thoughts and turn them around quicker.

My life is never linear, so I imagine there will be more backtracking. There will still be MANY days on this journey where practicing gratitude will be a total drag. But my hope is that I will continue to pick myself up and point myself in the right direction.


  • Practicing gratitude helps me be present and stop and reflect on the good stuff.
  • Having the gratitude jar on my desk is a visual reminder to practice gratitude.
  • It is also a visual reminder on bad days that there is much to be grateful for.
  • Also, I love mason jars. I will use them in as many ways possible. :D

This year I’ve also participated in the #100happydays challenge on instagram, which I completed last week! There’s no sign of a photobook, and I have no idea where they got 71% stats from. I’m pretty sure they aren’t keeping track, BUT don’t let that stop you from tryimg it!!

Have you tried practicing gratitude outside of the month of November? What are some other ways you can think of to practice gratitude?

This is week 39 of practicing gratitude. 13 more weeks left! Click the banner below to see other gratitude posts:
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This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. congrats girl!!! i think i need to be more disciplined with my gratitude journal, haven’t been keeping up with it. your completion of your goals is totally inspiring. =)

    1. esther julee

      thanks! :D if you blog about it.. it might help! like pick a few that you don’t mind being public about to highlight every week? i know it helps me with accountability! :)

  2. Hsiao-Ting

    Congrats on completing the #100happydays! I’m glad we did it together! I have to say – you have grown into a more caring and optimistic person :) Yay to positive change! I’m so happy for you!

    1. esther julee

      Thanks girl!! I’m glad we could both complete it. I actually quit the fms.. I found it too hard to do while traveling. :P I think I want to find another challenge that’s not as restrictive with themes.

      1. Hsiao-Ting

        lol me too! yea it’s kinda hard. i rather just take picture of my everyday life as memories

  3. Quinn

    I cannot image you anything but grateful and happy. Hope you are having a blast on your trip and fill up that gratitude jar quickly!

    1. esther julee

      haha I guess I don’t whine and complain as much on my blog as I do in real life – mostly to Jacob. :P But that part of me is ALL there! That’s why it’s so important for me to counter those thoughts with gratitude practice. It’s always an uphill battle.

  4. I have always liked to find ways to keep track of things that I’m grateful for. I’ve found that I’m a much happier person and I don’t get irritated easily about things when I do. I love the idea of gratitude jar!

    1. esther julee

      I think that’s the natural way I think. I really need the constant practice because it’s just not a natural part of me. Thanks for the nomination! :)

  5. Britt @ One&20

    “Maybe because I was not a happy with myself, I found it easier to look down on people who maintained a positive outlook on life. I thought they were weak and fooling themselves, because they couldn’t face the reality of how dreadful life really was.”

    I have never seen anyone so accurately describe my past attitude. This was exactly me!
    I love the idea of a gratitude jar. I think seeing it pile up does something psychologically that writing in a journal might not.

    1. esther julee

      I definitely think the visual helps me a lot since I tend to otherwise be more of a pessimist and find lots of excuses not to be grateful.

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