Gratitude isn’t something that is only reserved for use when someone gives you a spiffing present at Xmas, or goes far out of their way to do you a favour. Gratitude is a feeling and type of awareness that can be applied to many areas of life, from being thankful for your sense of smell as you catch a whiff of your favourite meal, to feeling grateful that you stumbled across an awesome geeky website like Geek Syndicate! Mike Medaglia’s One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal is a book that you are actually allowed to write in (unless you find it in the library of course), with the aim of letting you really see and find things in your life that you can be truly grateful for.
Title: One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal
Author: Mike Medaglia
Publisher: Self Made Hero
Published: 15 September 2016
RRP: £11.99 / $14.95
“A beautiful new gratitude journal from the creator of One Year Wiser.” As we reflect on the past and make plans for the future, it is easy to overlook the richness and variety of the here and now. One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal helps us keep a lasting record of the small moments that bring joy to our lives, be it a cool breeze on a summer’s day or the heart-warming sound of laughter. Filled with uplifting quotes, guidance and drawings to colour in, this keepsake journal will accompany you through a year of living gratefully. By recording and revisiting the beautiful details of your everyday experiences, you’ll develop a more positive, calm and confident approach to life.
The first thing I noticed upon holding the book is its lovely puffy-feel cover. I don’t really know why this impresses me so much but it almost cushioned the book in my grip. I like this. As far as the other features, it’s a small, well-made hardback book, complete with a built-in bookmark to help the reader/writer easily find which page they need to use next. The first few pages feature a warm introduction from Mike in which he explains the virtues of gratitude and the way that the book might be best used. Mike compares our thoughts to a radio that can be tuned in to different frequencies, and how noting down the things that we are most thankful for can help us to more regularly dial into that gratitude frequency. Doing this could help us experience all the good stuff that can come with a more grateful outlook, from a more loving disposition, to an increase in positive thoughts.
The book is arranged for you to have enough space to write down three things that you are grateful for each day, but stresses that this is just an idea, and to feel free to write more about one thing or however you feel like doing it. Each page has a unique hand-drawn border around it, and each month has a two-page illustration, so if you fancy doing some colouring, much like in his One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book (which we reviewed here), you have an assortment of patterns and designs to toy with. There are also various quotes throughout the book, designed to give your mind something else to chew on or to be inspired by.
Writing down the things that I felt most grateful for on any given day was certainly a pleasure with Mike’s book. I came close to feeling that the space provided for each day wasn’t really enough, but in a couple of ways, that is a good thing. Firstly, it encourages you to be quite efficient with your words, which encourages deeper thought. Secondly, if you have enough things to be grateful for that would cause you to overfill the box, it only shows how fortunate you are, so it’s kind of a win-win situation. I can’t really fault the book on anything; your connection with it, or lack thereof will solely depend on your aims and persistence in sticking with its purpose. If you are somebody who has often thought about entering into some kind of gratitude practice, One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal is a good place to give it a go. It guides you, gives you a pleasing space to write in, and also gives you inspiration. These are things that you just won’t find in a budget notepad from the stationers.
Reviewer: Casey Douglass
One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal Images © Copyright Self Made Hero