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365 Days of Happiness in a Jar

Making a 365 jar brings you happiness and motivation in each day of the new year.

By David McClearyPublished 7 years ago 12 min read

A 365 jar is a jar filled with 365 individual notes, one to open on each day of the year. These notes can be quotes, memories, or anything positive or motivational. They can either be given as gifts or made to be self-motivational. They make great anniversary, New Year's, or holiday gifts for significant others. They also make good gifts for friends or family members who are prone to getting down on themselves. What better way to start the day than by reading notes from a loved one? Personal 365 jars are good tools to make yourself stick to your New Year's resolution. Putting 365 small personal goals or activities (something as small as "play a game" or "get to know an acquaintance better") that will improve your life is in and of itself a great New Year's resolution to stick to. 365 reasons to be happy is another great jar to make either personally or as a gift.

Another benefit of giving a 365 jar as a gift is that it is very inexpensive as do-it-yourself ideas go. While thinking of the material may be a bit time consuming, it's an introspective process that can help you get to know yourself or the recipient of the jar more thoroughly. The only things you need are a mason jar, pieces paper (craft paper is recommended, but just about any paper will do), and pens. Of course, you can make it a more in-depth process by getting more creative and decorating the jar. There are hundreds of unique and personalized ways to decorate the jar. Tie ribbons or charms to the outside of the jar, or buy some jewelry-making wire to string beads onto and wrap around the lip of the jar. Use paint, markers, fabric, or scrapbooking paper to decorate the jar itself. Use paper that is colorful or decorative to write your items on, or write each one in a different color pen. If you have various types of items going into the jar, try color coding the sayings. For example, put quotes on one type of paper, memories on another, and things you love about the person on a third.

Making a Jar

Before sitting down to make the jar, have a goal in mind. Know what the focus of the jar is (reasons I love you, goals, memories, etc.) and who the jar is for. Decide if you’re splitting up the slips between different types or colors of paper. If so, set yourself up with the number of each slips that you need to get started. Cut out 100 yellow pieces of paper, 100 blue ones, so on and so forth. Once you have decided on the numbers, sit yourself down and start writing. If you get stuck on things to say, use family, friends, and the internet as a resource. It might be a good idea to set your list of things to write up on a computer first. This makes your list searchable. If it takes you weeks to write 365 things, there’s a chance that you won’t remember if you put particular items into the jar. Remember that the jar is going to be opened over the course of an entire year. This means that it isn't the end of the world if some of the sentiments are similar. If you really get stuck on what to write, there are websites that give ideas. In fact, you can even buy pre-made jars complete with sayings.

What makes a 365 jar such a great item to have around the house? It brings happiness and motivation. Obviously, we can clearly see the benefit of making a jar with 365 healthy things to do this year. However, there are health benefits that come with making a jar of happy memories or giving a loved one a jar of reasons you love them. Countless studies have revealed that happy people are generally healthy than unhappy people. Studies on heart health showed that participants who rated their happiness higher had lower blood pressure and lower risk of heart issues. Furthermore, when patients who were already diagnosed with heart problems were asked to rate their happiness, those who were happier showed decreased symptoms.

Happiness also strengthens the immune system. A study that asked participants to rate their happiness before being exposed to the common cold revealed that people who frequently experienced positive emotions were less likely to develop a cold. Further studies have also shown that a single individual’s immune system strength fluctuated depending on their happiness at the time. For this reason, happiness can greatly help those who are combatting disease or disability. Overall, and most importantly, happy people have been shown to live longer. The most astounding thing about happiness and its impact on health is the fact that happiness is something you can give to other people. So help someone live longer by giving them a jar of happiness for the next big special occasion.

Types Of 365 Jars To Make

Whether you choose to make a jar that gives you designated ways to improve your life throughout the year, or simply make you or its recipient a happier person, there are countless options of what to write on the slips in the jar. Below are jar ideas that were collected to inspire happier and healthier lives.

365 Reasons I Love You

This seems to be where the idea for a 365 jar started—or at least came to be well known across the internet. Near the end of 2014, stories of a young man who gave his girlfriend a jar with 365 reasons why he loved her went viral. This is a great option if you are making a jar for your significant other or for a relative with whom you are close.

365 Date Ideas

Ah, the excitement of a date paired with the dread of what to do! Now you can have an idea on hand for each and every day of the year with the creation of a 365 date jar. Whether you decide to make it for yourself, your significant other, or a friend, this jar is a neat way to take a break from the norm and do something fun and creative. With any jar you please—perhaps a nicely decorated mason jar—write down 365 date ideas and place them inside. Use different colored strips of paper to differentiate between seasons, like blue for winter date ideas, yellow for summer, green for spring, and purple for autumn. From ice skating or taking a cooking class together, to a picnic in the park or going to a concert, the possibilities are endless. This is the perfect solution if you’re tired of the same old “dinner and a movie” date.

365 Dreams

Photo via blogspot user Jamie's Journey Through Life

Everyone has dreams—from the loftier goal of climbing Mt. Everest to the tamer ambitions like owning a pet. While 365 may initially seem like a lot of dreams to think up, once you start writing them you may find that the number is not nearly enough! Grab a mason jar and decorate it to inspire. Perhaps you’ve always dreamt of becoming an airplane pilot. Paint a plane on the outside of your 365 dreams jar to remind you of your goals. The options are endless. This is an excellent gift idea for a recent high school or college grad. This is also a great gift for an older person; just because you’re of a certain age doesn’t mean that your dreams should come to a halt. If anything, it gives greater incentive to grab a dream each day and make it happen!

365 Things to Do

“I’m bored.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard or said that phrase... There’s a simple solution to common boredom—write down 365 things to do and put them in a nicely decorated mason jar, or really any keepsake box you have on-hand. This is a great thing to have around if you have children. The possibilities are endless in terms of what to write! You can even color code the paper to differentiate from indoor and outdoor activities, individual or group activities, and so on. From taking a walk and starting a book club, to calling your grandma and baking a cake—folks will be excited to see what their pick from the jar tells them to do!

365 Exercises

Photo via WordPress user Awkward Alpaca Blog

Whether you’re into hot yoga or jumping jacks, an exercise jar is a unique way to spice up your routine. Examples can include anything like, “do ten sit ups” or “take a half-hour walk.” Don't panic about coming up with 365 exercises; feel free to include repetitions or variations of the same exercise. Perhaps one piece of paper will say “run for 20 minutes,” while another may suggest running for 45 minutes. Decorate the outside of the jar with motivational quotes to keep you going. This can also serve as a great gift for a college student or your favorite exercise buddy. You can even differentiate exercises within the jar by using color-coded pieces of paper—red for cardio, blue for aerobic, etc.

365 Books to Read

If you’re a bookworm, this is the perfect DIY jar for you. Start by taking a mason jar and decorating it to your liking. You can wrap an old book jacket around the jar, or perhaps paper mache the outside with newspaper print or old magazines. Then, fill the jar with pieces of paper—each with the title of a book you’d like to read. You might also like to color-code the strips by genre. This is a wonderful gift idea for a young child, an older professor, and everyone in between. Start curating your book list now to bring this project to life!

365 Memories

Photo via Antiquated Notions

What a wonderful gift idea for a significant other or best friend! Take a jar and decorate it any way you please—paint it, douse it in glitter, or paste photos along the outside. Then, take 365 small strips of paper and write a memory on each one. You can include past memories, of course, but also memories that you hope to create with this person in the future. Start off with lines like, “I remember when…” or “Remember that one time…” You can even write down one or two words to evoke a specific memory. Conversely, you could use this jar for yourself to write a new memory every day of the year. If you don’t keep a journal, this could be a fun way to capture a moment here and there that you may not have remembered by the end of the year.

365 Chores

This is a great DIY jar to keep the kids involved. The word “chore” often conjures up images of sad children, but now the idea of doing a chore can be fun. Grab some glitter, ribbons, stickers, and paint to decorate a jar. Write down various chores on strips of paper to place inside of the jar. Doing a chore a day builds a solid work ethic; the activity of making the jar and designating different jobs will empower your kids. Don’t feel compelled to include 365 different chores—you can write down as few as five and recirculate them throughout the year. You can also create a routine where your child picks a chore at the same time every day. If you believe in paying kids for chores, it might be a fun idea for kids to create an “allowance jar” in conjunction with the 365 chore jar.

365 Positive Affirmations

Ever feel stressed out and in need of some words of wisdom? Whether you want to create this jar for yourself or as a gift, 365 positive affirmations is a wonderful way to show someone you care. A great way to start the day, grab an affirmation each morning to inspire an attitude of gratitude and keep a great momentum going. You can decorate the jar any way you like - paint on some sunshine, use a stencil to write out a quote, or just simply tie a pretty ribbon around the outside. This is also a wonderful anniversary gift to give the person you love; remind her how beautiful she is or tell him how strong and trustworthy he is. Other examples for positive affirmations for yourself can include, “I surround myself with people who treat me well,” and “I engage in work that impacts this world positively.” As they say, if you believe it, you can achieve it.


From your favorite authors and musicians, to favorite TV personalities and teachers, a 365 quotes jar is an incredible way to inspire and challenge others to think positively. A great gift idea, these jars are a fun way to uplift your friends and family with a personal touch. Include funny quotes and inside jokes or gather a bunch of quotes and/or lyrics from your boyfriend or girlfriend’s favorite band to include in the jar. Grab a stencil and decorate the exterior of the jar with a nice quote or the recipient's name. With a little imagination, the possibilities of a quote jar are endless. If you’re stumped or tired of researching different quotes, just make some up yourself and include your name as the author of the quote. It’s a sure way to make the recipient smile, knowing that you took the time to put this jar and personalized quotes together.

365 Things to be Grateful For

Even if you are having the worst day possible, even if it seems that everything is going wrong, there is always at least one thing to be grateful for. It can be something as simple as breathing in fresh air, seeing a flower in bloom or watching two cavorting squirrels. There are reasons to be grateful all around us and being able to reach for one every day, helps to “not sweat the small stuff” and appreciate the good wherever we can find it. It is when we are in the darkest corners of our minds, dreading a diagnosis or fearing a life-altering experience; there is always something that has the ability to bring us light and hope. When we see that there is so much to be grateful for, it takes the sting away, even if only slightly. Fill this jar with 365 things that we sometimes take for granted and are sometimes a little silly. A perfectly made ice cream cone, a movie that always makes us laugh-these things don’t all have to be of philosopher-based ingenuity, sometimes the most simple things are the most appreciated.

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About the Creator

David McCleary

Holistic health practitioner. Believes in using natural remedies over traditional medications whenever possible. Volunteers at a recycling plant.

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