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Gratitude Vs. Good Things

I don't like gratitude lists. I think it's great that other people like them, but I kinda hate them. They feel forced and phony, and the few times I've worked with them I've been really resentful. But I love writing lists of good things in my day (today the good things are plants--I bought gerbera daisies and polka dot plants and spearmint and curly parsley!).

Aren't they the same thing, you ask. I ask, too. Maybe they are. Somehow, the designation of gratitude list and the designation of list of good things sit very differently with me. Making a gratitude list makes me feel like I'm faking an emotion, because I often don't feel particularly grateful about the things I'm writing down. But a good things list is more objective, or at least more removed from the emotion part. I'm just looking around, observing good things, and writing them down. I'm not trying to force myself to feel anything about it.

That's really it. I don't have a point to this post really except to say that I don't like gratitude lists but I do like good things lists. Do you do either one of these? How do you feel about them?


14 thoughts on “Gratitude Vs. Good Things

  1. Angela Fretwell

    I don't do them as it's always the same things that we take for granted - health, food, roof over our heads....could be I don't get the whole meaning of them, but everytime I had had to do one, always the same thing.

    1. Kim

      You're so right! That's what I always found myself leaning toward when I did them. After the first few times, it was too repetitious.

  2. Samm Starrs

    Totally get what you're saying. I love my gratitude list but it's not just "I am grateful for art." It's "I'm grateful for art because the colours are beautiful and it makes me happy when I do it." I try to extend my gratitude beyond just a thing and speak to why I'm grateful for it. My gratitude lists help get me through the days somedays, especially those days where I cannot find anything good, yes, especially those days. Those days when the best I can come up with is I'm grateful for an indoor flushable toilet because having to go outside to pee at night would scare me. But I really do hear what you are expressing. For me, my daily gratitude practice reminds me of what I DO have already and some days it reminds me why I get out of bed in the morning. No one thing will ever work for everyone 🙂 This is just what works for me and your Good List is what works for you and I think, whatever works is perfect! <3

    1. Kim

      Whatever works is absolutely the perfect right thing! I like that you add why to your lists. I might do that with my good things lists and see how it feels.

  3. Effy

    I tend to think of those lists in terms of answering the question "What was beautiful today". It takes the pressure off to feel something I might not while also documenting the good things.

    Gerbera daisies are my favourite. <3

    1. Kim

      Yes, exactly! I don't want the pressure of trying to feel a certain way, but I still love documenting the good stuff.

  4. Sue Blott

    I love gratitude lists and write 5 things I'm grateful for each day in a pretty journal (sometimes it's as basic as the journal and a pen that works!). But they work for me. After the 5 things I write 3 FTD (From the Day) things which may or may not be expansions of the gratiude list. Sometimes they can even be negative things. I try to make them things that are unique to that day. Finally I summarise the day with one thing/ one word/ one person asterisked. The extra things take me a little deeper if my gratitude lists start to become too routine or general. I like the idea of your good things. <3

  5. Francine Clouden

    I love the idea of a good things list. I was never able to get into gratitude lists either. I might not be able to write good things lists either! Usually I take a photo of the things that make me happy 🙂

    1. Kim

      I think it's about what works for you. Photos seem like a wonderful way to document the good things.

  6. Jean

    I have used gratitude lists a few times but it doesn't stick. What I do like is giving thanks for experiences, happenings during my day as I am on my way to sleep. Sometimes when I get really down or sad I acknowledge how I feel and try to find something to be grateful for. Even if it only for being able to breathe or see.

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