Why There Isn't a Gratitude Section in Sprouted Planner

Once upon a time, a girl named Feather (name changed to protect identity) had a vision to create a planner that was scientifically backed to improve people’s lives.

Feather would include sections and tracking for:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Gratitude
  • Water intake
  • Healthy eating
  • Self-development
  • Priorities, intentions, goal-setting
  • Reflecting
  • Sleeping
  • Making your bed first thing in the morning
  • Spiritual connection
  • Relationships
  • Budgeting

Am I missing anything?

Now please excuse me while I grab a quick nap from just writing out that list…

Then Feather got a little older, had a few more great and terrible life experiences, and discovered/accepted that all people are wired differently. Not only are people wired differently, but are constantly going through different life seasons. She realized that its unrealistic to do all those things all the time. And to her, it would feel a bit like failure if she couldn’t check those off on the daily/weekly, which all feels counterproductive to what is trying to be achieved. You’ll have to forgive Feather, she’s a bit type A.

Ok, the gig is up. Feather is me. You’re shocked, I know.

During the Thanksgiving season, everyone seems to talk and focus on gratitude. Wonderful! It's an amazing thing to do. Contemplating our gratitude is scientifically proven to improve your well-being.

At our house, every night before dinner we pray & giving thanks. Also, at least once a week, its literally painful to say a prayer because the day was stressful and the kids made getting to the table a living hell. We mumble the shortest prayer ever and eat our dinner pissed off. That’s life, folks.

There’s been plenty of seasons when I was firing on all cylinders. And times when I could barely get my teeth brushed in the morning.

When my dad was in his last months of life, I managed to live out of some intentions, reflect once a month, and exercise as an outlet for the stress and sadness. But that's about it.

When I had my kids, everything was out the window during those first 3-4 months. Including regular teeth brushing. It was gross. Welcome to parenthood.

Now days, I’m in the routine of a few of these things. I’ve learned to give myself plenty of grace for the days that I don’t get to whatever it is that I deem important and helpful for me. I also try to live my life (and planner design) by the ol’ K.I.S.S. principle: Keep it simple, stupid.

I’ve said it before, I want Sprouted Planner to be a planner that meets people where they are at. I designed a few scientifically-proven elements into it (intention & reflection) but left the rest simple. For those that want to track their gratitude, goal set, and track their habits – that’s awesome and there’s plenty of space to add those things. For those who dread the day ahead out of exhaustion and sadness – let this be a planner of no expectations from you. Keep up the good fight.

To sum it all up, there's a lot of beneficial sciency stuff that's not in Sprouted Planner in order to reach people in their trenches, and on their mountain top. 

In light of the wonderful benefits of gratitude, I leave you with a simple exercise that I do now and again. I tend to do this in the quiet of night while in bed. Start listing the most basic things you have, starting with the soft bed you are laying in. My list tends to go like this:

I'm thankful for this soft bed to sleep on, under cozy sheets, in a secure house with heat, in a place that I feel safe. I'm thankful for these clean pajamas, and the ability to wash my clothes easily. I'm thankful for this sound mind, clear lungs to breathe, a full belly, and the ability to move my body. I'm thankful for running water at the ready, and for hot showers. I'm grateful that I got another day, and for a reason to get up tomorrow. 

You get the idea. Pretty quickly, I realize how fortunate I am, even at the most basic levels. It's a really nice re-set of the mind. In the next couple weeks, if you find yourself laying in bed with some time before you fall asleep, give it a try.