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2016 Gratitude Photo Challenge + Giveaway!


Gratitude Challenge Prompts 2016

Let’s ignore, for a moment, that today is the best day of the year (hooray for Halloween!) and focus on the fact that tomorrow is November! This year has flown by and now it’s time for the SIXTH annual Gratitude Photo Challenge. This is one of my very favorite aspects of Positively Present. It’s so fun to come up with daily prompts, direct my attention to gratitude all month long, and see all of your amazing photos. It’s become such a special part of my year.

This year’s Challenge is extra special because it’s a collaboration with the amazing, inspiring Caroline from Made Vibrant. Caroline has her own Challenges of the Month, featuring monthly themes and daily prompts for becoming brighter in your life, your business, and your creative spirit, and this month we’re teaming up to focus on gratitude!

If you’ve done this before, you know the deal. But if you’re new here, welcome! :) Keep reading details, prompts, and info on the a-m-a-z-i-n-g giveaway Caroline and I have put together!


  • “Challenge” is just a word.

    The goal of the Challenge is to take and/or share a photo every day using the prompts to help you feel more appreciative. Feel free to get creative, make up your own prompts, etc. And don’t feel pressured to take perfect pics, either. Thankfulness is what it’s all about; no need to be a professional photographer!
  • Join in at any time.

    The point of the Challenge is to focus on staying thankful for thirty days. You can start the challenge on November 1 and do it for the whole month (as Caroline and I are doing), or you can start the challenge any day that works for you and follow along at your own pace.

  • Use hashtags #Gratitude30 and #MVcoloryoursoul.

    Sharing your pics on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.? If you tag them with these hashtags, others can see them and you’ll be entered to win the super fun giveaway Caroline and I have put together! (Scroll down for more on that!)

  • Print out a reminder.

    Keep up with the prompts by downloading the photo above (save it to your phone, perhaps!) or, if you’re more of a IRL type, print out a version to post wherever you'd find a reminder helpful by clicking here.



Day 1: Color

If there’s one thing Caroline and I can’t get enough of, it’s color! A day doesn’t go by when I don’t feel thankful for life’s beautiful colors. Use today’s prompt to focus on gratitude for your favorite color or to explore how colors play a role in your life.

Day 2: Love

Love is one of the most amazing experiences life has to offer. Life is filled with all kinds of love, and each one is deserving of our gratitude. Today, think about how you experience or give love in your own life, and share what the word means to you.

Day 3: Nature

Whether or not you consider yourself an outdoorsy type or not (I certainly am not!), nature is one of life’s great gifts. Pay attention to the nature around you and how it makes you feel. Is there an aspect of nature you feel particularly thankful for?

Day 4: Home

When you think of the word “home,” what comes to mind? For some of us, home is a place. For others, it’s a person or a feeling. Focus your attention on whatever home means to you and consider the very best parts of it.

Day 5: Knowledge

Since the day you were born, you’ve been learning. Most days, I bet you learn something new. Use today to reflect on what you’ve learned (maybe focusing on the past year) and share that knowledge with someone you love.

Day 6: Music

Music has always played a huge role in my life, and I’m immensely thankful for all the words and notes I’ve been able to hear. Today’s the perfect time to reflect on the beauty of music. (Love music? Check out my weekly playlists here.)

Day 7: Weather

I’ve always been greatly influenced by weather, and I know I’m not alone in this. Whether it’s good weather or bad, I’m thankful for the variety I get to experience where I live. Today, focus on the weather you’re thankful to experience.

Day 8: Friendship

The friends we make in life are priceless, and today’s the perfect day to be grateful for those relationships and think about how they’ve improved your life. (Special shout-out to Caroline, one of the amazing online friends I’ve made!)

Day 9: Wonder

When you stop and think about it, life is pretty crazy. Out of all possible scenarios, here you are, in this life, being you. Spend time today pondering the wonder-filled things in your life.

Day 10: Art

Another topic Caroline and I are both passionate about: art! You need not be an artist to appreciate art -- either in the traditional gallery sense or in everyday life. What does the word “art” mean to you? How do you experience it?

Day 11: Memory

I usually try to keep my mind in the present, but there’s something wonderful about looking back on positive experiences. Today, turn your focus to one of your favorite memories and reflect on why it’s so meaningful for you.

Day 12: Work

If you love what you do, this one will come easily, but even if you don’t enjoy your career, it’s possible to make the connection between work and gratitude. Use today to focus on the positive aspects of the work you do (even if it’s just a paycheck!).

Day 13: Kindness

Today -- World Kindness Day -- is the perfect time to focus on how thankful you are for the kindness you’ve experienced (or shared!) in your life. In addition to snapping a photo today, consider adding a kind act to your to-do list.

Day 14: Joy

What brings you joy might completely different from what make me happy, but that’s the beauty of pleasure, isn’t it? We all find it in unique places! Consider, today, what brings you joy and why you find it so enjoyable.

Day 15: Gift

Gifts come in all shapes and sizes -- from a thoughtful present given to you by a friend to a unique talent you possess. Contemplate the gifts you’ve given and received and highlight your favorite.

Day 16: Comfort

Regardless of the form in which comfort arrives, it’s always such a welcome guest.  Today, focus on your favorite form of comfort. Do you love the physical comfort of a hug or a blanket, or is emotional comfort (a good listener, wise advice) your go-to?

Day 17: Peace

Peace is something we all deserve, but it’s not always easily attained. Consider the last time you felt truly at peace. What made you feel that way? Could you recreate that feeling today?

Day 18: Routine

As you might know, I’m a huge creature of habit, and I’m very grateful for the routines in my life. What routines do you stick to? What do you love about them? Appreciating the more mundane aspects of life can be a great mood-booster!

Day 19: Stillness

Most of us live pretty busy lives, and stillness isn’t always something we make room for. Take a moment for stillness today and pay attention to how it feels. Focus on things, people, or situations that make it easy for you to stay still.

Day 20: Beauty

If you pay close attention, you can find beauty almost anywhere. Today, make seeking beauty your goal. Strive to find something beautiful in every situation, and share as much beauty as you can with others.

Day 21: Challenge

The struggles we face makes us stronger and better. Today, be grateful for the challenges you’ve encountered in your life, and, if you’re in the midst of a difficult period, be thankful for the lessons you’re learning.

Day 22: Health

Health is one of the obvious “you should be grateful for…” things, but that’s because it really is so easy to take it for granted. Consider and be thankful for all of the ways in which your mind or body is working well today.

Day 23: Progress

You’ve come a long way since the day you were born, and today is a great day to think about all of the progress you’ve made. What are the accomplishments you’re most proud of? What have overcome or survived?

Day 24: Family

No matter what “family” means to you -- whether it’s blood relatives, a partner, your friends, or all of the above -- it’s a wonderful thing to have. Be thankful for your families today and, if possible, share that gratitude with them.

Day 25: Nourishment

What nourishes your mind, body, or spirit? Pay attention to the things that provide you with energy, enjoyment, or excitement, and be appreciative of the ways they have added value to your life.

Day 26: Wisdom

We all encounter wisdom regularly, but what is some of the wisdom that sticks with you? Where do you gain the greatest insights? Direct your attention to (and celebrate!) the wisdom you’ve come across.

Day 27: Season

Just like the weather, the seasons can have a great impact on us emotionally. In which season do you feel as if you thrive? Observe life’s seasons today, and be grateful for those you’ve been able to experience.

Day 28: Pleasure

So much of what we’re fortunate enough to have in our lives would be considered a luxury in many places. Focus, today, on something that you enjoy purely for pleasure, and be thankful for life’s little indulgences.

Day 29: Attitude

You have the power to choose your attitude at any time, no matter what the circumstances. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? Be grateful for your own attitude-choosing abilities and reflect on the attitude you’d like to experience most often.

Day 30: Self

No matter where / what / why / when / how, the one thing you can always count on having in your life is yourself. Spend the day reflecting on your positive traits and embracing the amazingness that is YOU.



So excited to announce that this year’s Challenge includes an amazing giveaway! Here's what you can enter to win. See the rules below! 

  Gratitude Giveaway 

How to Enter

Enter by doing one (or all!) of the following. Each counts as an entry!   

Giveaway Details

  • Every follow / share / tweet / like, etc. counts as one entry
  • Enter as many times as you'd like to increase your chances
  • The winner will be chosen + notified on December 1, 2016
  • The winner will receive the items shown in the image above 

Positively Present Picks : October 28, 2016

"There is a child in every one of us who is still a
trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch."

Robert Brault


Why Kind People Always Lie : such an interesting read on lying

Everyday Bravery : this collection of pins is amazing. I want them all! 

27 Inspirational Bloggers : loved sharing advice for this round-up

Unsubscribe : a small thing you can do to improve your mental state

Instant Gratification : wow, this quote really made me stop and think 

What's Underneath Wishful Thinking? : wishing is such an interesting concept

The Secret Optimism of Angry People : know an angry person? read this! 

4 Ways to Love Yourself : a wonderful article found on Free People 

Myths About Forgiveness that Keep You Imprisoned : forgiving = freedom

When Hanger Hurts Your Heart : how hunger affects relationships

Pet Charms : these are the cutest things ever for you and your pet

Stop Waiting for the Right Moment : a great interview with Seth Godin

How to Stay Optimistic : even when you're really not feelin' it

This Year Is Not Over : there's still time to do things you've wanted to do

Joy Is Power : I love the idea of harnessing joy in some way

Banishing Negativity : banish it and you'll have more room for good stuff

Need More Time? : the trick is to create more systems!



Listen to this playlist on YouTube.
Finally on Spotify! Follow me!

"Closer" — The Chainsmokers
"Always Never" — Buddha & the Saints
"Burnin' for You" — Nicolas Roberts
"Moving Mountain" — The Brevet
"Together" — Martin Garrix
"BOTL"— Quinn Lewis
"All We Do" — Oh Wonder
"Heaven" — Troye Sivan
"Get Rid of Your Ghosts" — Land of Trees
"Fire N Gold" — Bea Miller



Check out my reading list on GoodReads.

We Were Liars*
E. Lockhart

Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk for Now and Later*
Adam J. Kurtz


I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life*

Effortless Inspiration Series:
Gratitude, Living in the Moment, 
Compassion, and Forgiveness*

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present*

Links marked with asterisks are affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase something, I receive a commission. There is no additional cost to you if you use these links, and I will never share links for products I haven't or wouldn't purchase myself. For more information on affiliate links, please visit the Terms of Use page. 

4 Reasons to Love Halloween



In just a week, it'll be time for my favorite day of the year -- Halloween! :) If you've been following Positively Present for awhile, you're probably well-aware of my love for the holiday. I've never been quite able to pinpoint what it is I love about it (especially because I don't like anything remotely scary...), but this year I decided to chat a bit about why I think I love the holiday so much in my latest YouTube video! 

And, because I've received quite a few requests to see Halloween costumes I've worn in the past, you'll also find quite a few snapshots of Halloweens past throughout the video! 


Halloween-ThumbnailClick the image above to check out the video!  


If you're not into videos, but you're curious about what I discovered when I gave some thought to what I love about Halloween, here are the highlights... 



In my opinion, one of the greatest things about Halloween is that almost everyone can participate in it (unlike more religious holiday, such as Christmas). There's an exciting sense of community that comes with dressing up in silly / sexy / scary costumes and coming together for trick-or-treating or a party. The fact that stores pop up each year solely for the purpose of selling Halloween costumes is pretty awesome, and really says something about the feeling of community that happens each season. The search for a costume itself is something that brings people -- parents and kids, friends, partners, etc. -- together. Consider the last time you saw so many people of all kinds of backgrounds celebrating something together. It's a rare occurrence, and it's one of the reasons I think I love the holiday so much! 


Another reason I think Halloween tops my list in terms of holidays is the fact that inspires generosity in a way that doesn't seem to be as present during the rest of the year. Can you imagine knocking on a random neighbors door and asking for some candy in mid-June? You (or your kids) would be seen as a bit crazy. But on Halloween, that's completely acceptable and even expected. The fact that so many people open their doors and generously share treats with kids is such a wonderful aspect of the holiday, and such a great reminder of how simple and beautiful a kind act can be. Not only does Halloween bring people together with a sense of community, but it also encourages generosity as well. 



Probably the reason I most love Halloween is that it's the one time of year that, as an adult who doesn't have costume-based job, we get to dress up and transform into anything we'd like to be. For kids this is awesome, but I think for adults it can be even more fun, since wearing a costume is pretty much frowned upon unless you're an actor. Every year I get so excited at the possibility of dressing up as something new (check out the video to see lots of my costumes!), and I'm grateful for the opportunity to play around with transforming myself at least once a year. It's a great way to not only try on different hats (literally!), but also to play around with your creativity and inner desires. 



Halloween has always been a time of great celebration and festivity for me, which is probably one of the reasons I love it so much. For me, it's the great kick-off for the rest of the year of fun festivities (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve...), and it's symbolic of finding merriment and joy in something completely silly, like eating candy or dressing up in costume. The celebratory aspect has less to do with the actual Halloween traditions than it does with serving as a reminder that it's important to appreciate (and celebrate!) the little things in life. 


To be honest, I think these are four things we could really use more of in our country right now. We've become very divided as of late and, while I'm certainly not suggesting that Halloween will bring us together in a political sense, it's certainly a great little holiday to help us join together for the common good of candy and costumes! ;)


... if you're wondering why this post isn't going live next week, it's because next week is going to be all about the 2016 Gratitude Photo Challenge! :) It's the sixth year, and it's going to be the best one yet. Check it out next Monday! 


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