I believe gratitude journaling has the power to change everything.

Marriage taught me this. But this is a lesson that I apply to every area of my life — especially my writing life.

I’m a big fan of gratitude journaling. But I believe this journaling practice is most effective when it’s intentional. Instead of simply making a list of all the things — big and small — that I’m grateful for, I write gratitude lists with goals in mind.

For example, if I’m having a disagreement with my husband, I will make a list of things I appreciate about him. This instantly shifts my attitude and usually helps me realize the disagreement was silly.

One way that I use this in my writing life is to take time to express appreciation for all of the opportunities I’ve had to share my work. Or I may make a list of people who have made the effort to tell me that my writing had a positive impact on them. Sometimes I give thanks for the people I’ve had the privilege of interviewing as a freelance journalist. I am grateful that they have allowed me to help tell their stories.

Not only do these gratitude lists boost my mood, but they also serve as a reminder of all I have accomplished as a writer. This helps me move forward in spite of imposter syndrome and helps me silence my inner mean girl.

Setting Intentions for Your Gratitude Journaling Practice

So here’s my challenge to you: Begin each day with a gratitude list and set an intention for your list.

Your intention could be to be more grateful for your friends and family. Maybe you need a greater appreciation for your home or your job. Perhaps you need to learn to accept and appreciate your body. Or maybe you need to be thankful for how far you’ve come in your writing life even if you’re far from where you want to be.

Try these daily gratitude lists for 21 days and see what happens.

Gratitude journaling may seem basic or cliche but it has the power to change your life.