Hooray! It's Gratitude Challenge Season!


2017-Gratitude-Challenge

 

It's the SEVENTH year of this Gratitude Challenge, and I couldn't be more excited to tune my attention to what I'm thankful for throughout the month of November. It's been a bit of a rough year for me, but one thing that has helped me stay positive and present all year long is keeping a gratitude journal (I used my Every Day Matters diary as a way to track gratitude this year, and it worked so well!). Whether things are good or bad, focusing on what you're thankful for makes them even better, and I'll hope you'll join me in the Gratitude Challenge this year and get some of that gratitude goodness in your life. 

This year is going to be a little different for me. As you might have noticed if you follow me on Instagram, I've been doing a lot more illustrating since I got my iPad for Christmas last year. It's been a game-changer for me, and I haven't posted photos on Instagram since the spring. So, while I encourage you to share whatever you want in your personal Gratitude Challenge, I'll be focusing on sharing my gratitude through illustrations. 

 

THE CHALLENGE DETAILS

  • “Challenge” is just a word.

    The goal of the Challenge is to take and/or share something (a photo, illustration, quote, etc.) 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 attain perfection, either. Thankfulness is what it’s all about; no need to be a professional photographer or artist!
  • 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 I am doing), or you can start the challenge any day that works for you and follow along at your own pace. I see people discovering and partaking in the Challenge all year 'round so don't feel limited to November!

  • Use the hashtag #Gratitude30.

    Sharing your pics on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.? If you tag them with #Gratitude30, others can see them and you’ll be able to see all of the other cool things that other people are sharing. It's one of my favorite things ever to look through all of the posts and see the various ways people interpret the prompts. 

  • Save or 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 so you can stay on top of the prompts. Of course, you don't have to do them all in a row, but there is something special about spending 30 days focusing on what you're thankful for. 

 

THE 2017 PROMPTS


Day 1: 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 2: Happiness

What brings you happiness in your day-to-day life? We all find happiness in unique places! Consider, today, what brings you joy and why you find it so enjoyable. 

Day 3: Nature

Nature is one of life’s great gifts. Pay attention to the nature around you today and how it makes you feel. Is there an aspect of nature you feel particularly grateful to experience?

Day 4: Inspiration

Tune into the world around you, and you'll have a pretty hard time not being inspired by someone or something. What inspires you the most right now?

Day 5: Amusement

Laughter is the best medicine, they say, and it's often true. Today, focus on what you find entertaining, amusing, or comical and, if possible, share some of that with someone else!

Day 6: Kindness

When have you experienced (or shared!) kindness this year? In addition to sharing this experience with #Gratitude30, consider adding a kind act to today's to-do list.

Day 7: Comfort

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 8: Self-Love

No matter what you're experiencing in any given moment, the one thing you can always count on is yourself. Spend the day reflecting on your positive traits and embracing the amazingness that is YOU.

Day 9: Feeling

Feelings can evoke positive or negative vibes, but try, today, to embrace all of the feelings you're experiencing, and celebrate both the good and the bad. What's your favorite feeling?  

Day 10: Nourishment

What nourishes your mind, body, or spirit? Today, tune into what provides you with energy, enjoyment, or excitement, and be grateful for the ways they add positive value to your life.

Day 11: Music

As Nietzsche said, "Without music, life would be a mistake." What music are you most thankful for right now? What sounds have shaped your life this year? 

Day 12: Freedom

What are some of the freedoms you're thankful to have in your life? Pay attention today to the activities in your life that make you feel the most free. 

Day 13: Optimism

Attitude is everything, and even if you're not always optimistic, you're likely to have experienced a positive perspective at some point. Today, be thankful for all the times you've found the good. 

Day 14: Challenges

Struggles always make us stronger. Be thankful today for the challenges you’ve encountered, and, if you’re in the midst of a difficult period, be thankful for the lessons you’re learning now.

Day 15: Health

This is one almost always makes gratitude lists, and for good reason! Reflect on (and be thankful for!) all of the ways in which your mind and/or body is working well today.

Day 16: Creativity

Regardless of whether you consider yourself a creative person, you've created your life up to this point so far! Today be grateful for your own abilities or those of someone you admire. 

Day 17: Memories

Staying present is usually ideal, but that doesn't mean you can't be grateful for good moments in your past. Focus on one of your favorite memories and be thankful for the opportunity to have experienced it.

Day 18: Home

What comes to mind when you see the word "home"? Home can be so many things — a place, a person, a feeling. Whatever the word means to you, take time to embrace the comforts of home today.

Day 19: Friendship

Friendship is priceless, and today’s the perfect day to be grateful for the loving, supportive relationships in your life. (And to say "thank you!" to your friends!)

Day 20: Innovation

The world is filled with amazing innovations (especially in the realm of technology!) that make our lives better. What innovation are you most thankful for in your life right now? 

Day 21: Love

Love comes in so many shapes and forms, but regardless of how it arrives, it brings with it a bit of magic. Today, be grateful for every bit of love you've given and received (and share more today if you can!)

Day 22: Awareness

Staying in the moment is tough a lot of time, but try carving out some time today to be fully engaged in something — your work, a conversation, a moment in nature — and appreciate how it feels to do so.

Day 23: Family

Regardless of whether, for you, "family" means blood relatives, a partner, your friends, or all of the above, it’s a wonderful thing to have. Be thankful for your family-filled moments today. 

Day 24: Solitude

Not everyone loves alone time, but it's often during time spent alone that we grow closer to understanding ourselves. If possible, spend some time alone today and be grateful for the solitude.

Day 25: Generosity

What was the last thing you gave or received? The generosity of others is something to be thankful for (and you can pay it forward by being generous to someone else today!).

Day 26: Wonder

Out of all possible scenarios, here you are, in this life, being you. Spend time today pondering the wonder-filled things in your life, and be thankful for all that's wonderful.

Day 27: Meaning

We choose what we give meaning to, but meaning itself is something we should all be grateful for. Without it, life would be pretty hard to get through! What means the most to you? 

Day 28: Peace

In today's crazy world, peace isn't always easily attained, but reflect, today, on the last time you felt truly at peace. What made you feel peaceful? Could you recreate that feeling today?

Day 29: Knowledge

If you're truly living, you're probably always learning. Use today to reflect on what you’ve learned (maybe focusing on the past year) and share some of knowledge with #Gratitude30.

Day 30: Growth

Consider all of the ways you've grown in the past year. What growth have you experienced recently? What growth was most important? Be thankful for your ability to keep flourishing!

 

I'm so thrilled to be doing this challenge for the seventh year, and I can't wait to see all of your photos and creations this year! As you might know from social media / previous posts, I'm currently recovering from surgery (ugh!) so I might not be as on top of it this year as I've been before, but I'll be doing my best — and I'll definitely be checking on the #Gratitude30 hashtag for inspiring and uplifting content as I recover! 

 

    

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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!



THE DETAILS

  • “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.

 

THE PROMPTS

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.

 

THE GIVEAWAY

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 

7-day gratitude challenge + giveaway!

7-Day-Gratitude-Challenge

If you've been following Positively Present for awhile, you're probably familiar with the annual 30-Day Gratitude Photo Challenge that takes place every November. It's obviously not November, but this week I'm hosting a mini Gratitude Photo Challenge to promote the launch of two of my four new books from the Effortless Inspiration series

Not familiar with the Gratitude Photo Challenge? Basically it's this: you take a photo of something you're grateful for (use the prompts below or post anything you like), post it on social media with the hashtag #PositivelyGrateful, and that's it! You don't have to have any special photography skills or tools -- only a desire to be grateful and to share that gratitude with others. 

There are two differences between the annual challenge and this one: (1) this one's only seven days, and (2) every time you share a photo, you're entered to win two books: Gratitude and Living in the Moment! Yay! See below for prompts and giveaway details. 

 

THE PROMPTS

Below are prompts for the 7-Day Gratitude Challenge, but you definitely don't have to stick to these. Feel free to post photos about anything you're grateful for. Just be sure to use the #PositivelyGrateful hashtag if you want a chance to win the new books! 

 

DAY 1: WISDOM

Wisdom is such a wonderful part of life. Consider, for a moment, how much you've learned since you were born. It's amazing how much knowledge and inspiration we carry inside ourselves and, too often, we forget to be thankful for all that we've learned from others and from our experiences. For Day 1 of the challenge, share some wisdom you've learned (or maybe even some that you're still trying to master!). 

 

DAY 2: HOME

Home is where the heart is, they say. I say, home is where you feel most at ease and most like yourself. Home isn't always a place. It might be a person or a feeling that you call "home." Today, think about what home means for you. Is it a physical location in which you feel empowered? Is it a place inside yourself that makes you feel peaceful? Use today to document, and feel thankful for, where you feel most at home. 

 

DAY 3: LOVE

Love is one of the greatest experiences in life and it comes in so many forms. Each and every moment of love is deserving of your recognition and appreciation. On this third day of the challenge, think about how you share love in your life? How do you feel when you act in loving ways? How does it feel when others share love with you? What things, people, places do you love most? Share an image today of what love means to you. 

 

DAY 4: NATURE

The world we live in is a magical place, but all too often we take our surroundings for granted. Connecting with the natural world brings about feelings of inner peace and can help us be more mindful. Be thankful for your experiences with nature by sharing them today. Look around you. What kinds of nature can you see? How has nature inspired or empowered you? Are there certain aspects of nature you connect with more than others? Photograph what moves you most. 

 

DAY 5: FOOD

To survive, we all need food. At its most basic level, it provides us with nutrition and vital resources to keep our bodies and minds functioning properly, but for most of us, food also comes with a certain level of mindful joy. Today, reflect on some of your favorite dining experiences and, if you can, try to really take time to enjoy whatever you're eating today. So many of us take the amazing experience of eating for granted; today, celebrate and be thankful for it. 

 

DAY 6: WORK

Being thankful for work can sometimes be a challenge in and of itself. Not everyone has an enjoyable job and even those who do face work-related hardships. Whatever your career (or student) status, take today to be thankful for your current job situation. What are the things you enjoy about it? Are there any people there that you're happy to see each day? Are you grateful for the money your job brings you? Even if it's tough, share what you love about your work today. 

 

DAY 7: SELF

How often do you pause and reflect on how amazing it is that you're you? Consider all of the many paths you could have taken, the various roads that would have led you to different experiences and people, things that might have shaped you in entirely different ways. Everything you've ever done, said, or felt has brought you to this day, has created the person you are right now. Today, focus on your best qualities and document what you appreciate most about yourself. 

 

Now that you've got the prompts, you're ready to begin the challenge -- and enter the giveaway! Two winners will be chosen on Monday, May 9, and each winner will receive a copy of my two new books: Gratitude and Living in the Moment. See below for entry rules and details. 

 

7-Day-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
  • Two (2) winners will be chosen + notified on May 9, 2016
  • Each winner receives Gratitude and Living in the Moment

 

I'm so looking forward to seeing your gratitude-themed photos, and I can't wait to share mine this week as well. And, of course, if you don't feel like participating, you can still check out the hashtag #PositivelyGrateful to be inspired by others' gratitude!