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!