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Instagram Highlights as Gratitude Practice

It’s easy for me to feel good about my life right now because I’m on a bucket list trip: 16 weeks, traveling, hiking, biking, working out of a van.

I started an Instagram account for this trip mostly to keep up to date with my friends and family.

Every day, I create an Instagram Story and, this is the key point, I give that story a cover page and title.

So, for example, the title of last Sunday’s story was simply: Water. That story documented my quest to find safe, drinkable water during a backpacking trip (I had to choose between e coli water and swamp water).

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Then I took the story feature one step farther. On Instagram, stories expire and disappear.

However, you can save them permanently onto your profile using a feature Instagram calls highlights.

The feature is easy to find, just look for the plus button under your bio on your profile screen. Well, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. You’ll want to change a setting so that your stories automatically save to an archive. It’s easy, just follow this tutorial.

And, the good news is that the highlight feature allows for unlimited stories. I’ve been adding a new Highlight for each day of my trip, 28 so far. But I could imagine doing this for every day for the rest of my life.

I’m not quite sure why I organized my Instagram usage this way, but I do know the personal impact.

Now when I look back on my trip I instantly feel that each day mattered.

My trip is 28 memorable and meaningful days. My life, so far, is almost 14,610 days. What percentage of those do you think I can remember? One percent?

The Instagram story/highlight feature isn’t perfect.

The good side of journaling your life this way on Instagram is that it is fun and easy and has an instant feedback mechanism because so many of your friends will see your entries.

The bad side is that your highlights are kind of hard to find for other people. If, say, you want your uncle to see them, then you need to give clear directions.

“Get the Instagram app. Open it. Search for my profile. Then look for the round icons labeled Day 28 or whatever. Tap one and then just start tapping the right side of the screen…”

You can’t send a link and the highlights don’t show up on the web version of your profile.

This feels like a gratitude practice simply because it addresses so directly the source of my anxieties. Namely, I feel like I didn’t get enough done, things didn’t work out, progress is too slow.

None of those feelings actually help me speed up, be more successful, or get more done.

Now, instead, my outlook is much more positive. And I am more fully grateful for every part of my life.

Anyway, my whole trip so far, and maybe my whole rest of my life, is now in Instagram highlights. Just go to my profile IN THE APP: @the_coach_life

Written by

Human potential busy body. Founded @coachdotme, @bttrHumans, @bttrMarketing. Helped @medium @calm. Current work focus: Habit Coach Certification.

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