It's November, which means it's time to focus in on gratitude! For the past two years, Positively Present has hosted a 30-Day Gratitude Photo Challenge (see here and here) and this year I'm bringing it back again. I've really loved taking part in a challenge that helped me feel more grateful—and it seems like other people have really enjoyed partaking in the challenge, judging from the photos on Flickr and the repins on Pinterest.
The premise of this year's challenge is the same—snap photos of the items listed in order to stay more present and grateful every day—but, as I did last year, I've added some new items and changed the order a bit as well. If you're new to the challenge or need a refresher here's what you need to know:
* No photography skills needed. You don't need to be a photographer or even all that interested in taking photos to participate. All you need to be is interested in staying present and focusing on things you're grateful for.
* Don't be scared by the word "challenge." It's just what these photo things are called so don't let it prevent you from participating. There's no reward, no punishment—just an opportunity to be more present.
* Any kind of camera works. You can take your photos anyway you want to—with your phone, with a digital camera, with a DSLR, Holga, Instax, SLR, Polaroid. Anything goes when it comes to cultivating gratitude.
* Start at any time. You can start the challenge on November 1 and do it for the whole month (as I'm doing) or you can start the challenge any day that works for you. The point is to focus on staying present for thirty days.
* Use hashtag #Gratitude30. If you post your pics on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc., be sure to tag them #gratitude30 so others can see them. I'll be posting mine on Instagram (positivelypresent).
* Share your photos. You can share by using the #gratitude30 hashtag, by posting the links to your photos (if you have them online) in the comments section, or by joining the Flickr group here and uploading them.
* Print out a reminder. You can copy the photo above (save it to your phone, perhaps!) or you can download and print out a version to post wherever you'd find a reminder helpful by clicking here.
You might think that, after two years of gratitude challenges, I'd be tired of coming up with creative ideas for staying present using photography, but each year I've done this, I've found it to be such a great way to stay present. Knowing that I have to take a photo a day, I find myself being more mindful of the world around me, and I also find myself being particularly mindful of that day's specific item. If you've done the challenge before, you probably already know how helpful it is when it comes to staying present and thankful. And if you haven't tried it out yet, give it a go and see how it feels! (And don't forget to follow along with me starting November 1 on Instagram!)