Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Practice Gratitude every day to be happy, fulfilled and calm with this Siri Shortcut

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I’ve written a daily journal for more than seven years now and I’ve incorporated daily gratitude practice into it every morning. While many people tried my journaling shortcuts, some commented that while they weren’t committed to keeping a journal, they’d like an incentive to practice gratitude and have just a gratitude journal of sorts. That’s why I decided to extract the gratitude part from my journaling Shortcut to make such practice more accessible to many more people. Read on to get this free Siri Shortcut (compatible with iPhones, iPads and Macs) and start benefiting from an effortless daily gratitude practice today!

Practice Gratitude every day to be happy, fulfilled and calm with this Siri Shortcut

Why practicing GRATITUDE is so important?

Already back in 2016 I incorporated gratitude into my journal:

This also aligns perfectly with my roman-catholic faith as Jesus Christ repeatedly said we should pray with gratitude. Now, the idea is to be really thankful for things that are occurring to us every day (…)

However, studies have shown enormous benefits of practicing gratitude regardless if you’re a person of faith of not.

I’ve recently stumbled upon this great article from New York Times by Christina Caron:

Two decades ago, a landmark study led by the psychologist Robert A. Emmons sought to understand how people benefit from gratitude (…) To date, numerous studies have found that having a grateful outlook, “counting one’s blessings” and expressing gratitude to others can have positive effects on our emotional health as well as on interpersonal and romantic relationships. [Practicing gratitude] provides mental health benefits — reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, increasing self-esteem and improving satisfaction with daily life (…) researchers have found that those who are more prone to experience gratitude in their daily lives have lower levels of depression and sleep better.

She also points out that all it takes is a regular, small daily practice to make gratitude an internal part of our lives and reap the benefits:

… many experts believe that a small dose of gratitude, once a day, is ideal. (…) To develop an enduring gratitude habit, try linking your gratitude practice to an already ingrained routine, Dr. [Joel] Wong [professor of counseling psychology at Indiana University’s School of Education] said. He chooses to think about what he’s grateful for in the morning.

One last point she makes in the article is that we should be specific with what we’re grateful for. This way we learn to appreciate the little things:

Specificity matters “because it deepens our experience of gratitude,” Dr. Wong said. “It intensifies our grateful emotions and thoughts.”

Develop your own daily gratitude practice with a Siri Shortcut!

If you’re using any of the Apple devices (iPhone, iPad or Mac), just get this Siri Shortcut:

Gratitude Shortcut

Now, after you’ve downloaded it and installed on your Apple device, say “Hey Siri, Gratitude” and it should work 😎. You don’t need any additional software - just Shortcuts app and Notes app which both come pre-installed on your Apple device.

This Shortcut simply asks you a bunch of questions to prompt your gratefulness thinking and writes your answers to an Apple Notes entry called “Gratitude 2023” (if the year is 2023), this way creating your gratitude journal. Now, you can start each day with this shortcut, answer questions and they’ll be added to your note. That’s it!

Now, to be more specific, the Shortcut asks you:

After these three gratitude question, there’s an additional, completely optional, focusing question from The One Thing book by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller (Audible or Amazon):

What’s the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

I find this question very inspiring and fits perfectly after the gratitude practice. Again, it’s optional as all questions in this Shortcut, so it can be skipped by just tapping on OK.

After all the questions, your answers are being logged into your Gratitude Note in Notes app. This way you can feel confident they’re stored securely and available only to you. As an added bonus, if you feel a little blue, you can just open this note and read through your past entries to rediscover all the things you’ve been grateful for recently and just count all the blessings around you.

Start your daily practice today!

Purists will tell me that a gratitude journal makes only sense if it’s written with a traditional pen or pencil in a physical notepad. And they’re not wrong, but I’d say this Siri Shortcut is the next best thing, because it asks you specific questions and you have it always available in your pocket.

And maybe, just maybe, instead of picking up your phone to mindlessly scroll through social media only to find out all the things you’re missing out on, you’ll choose to say: “Hey Siri, gratitude”* and you’ll answer some questions and feel better about your life and everything and everyone around you. Just give it a try! Get the Siri Shortcut, it’s free and it can be on your device in a few seconds!

Want to help me translate “Gratitude” shortcut to your language?

I’d like to help as many people as possible develop this gratitude habit and to make it more accessible to them, I’ve translated the shortcut already to my mother tongue, Polish. I’ve made the shortcut really easy to translate, just get it, open in Shortcuts app and translate the values of the key-value “Dictionary” variable in the beginning of the shortcut. Once you’ve done it, send me the iCloud link of your version and I’ll add it here:

I’m grateful for you - my reader!

Thanks for reading my blog, thanks for sharing my writing, this page and this shortcut with your friends. I’m grateful for you all and if you have any comments or feedback, please don’t be a stranger and get in touch!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023 /gratitude/