growing through it: reflections on my new book

The 10th Annual Gratitude Challenge!


2020_Gratitude_Challenge_


It's hard to believe, but this is the TENTH year of the Positively Present Gratitude Challenge! I've been doing this for a decade (and I know many of you have too!), and I'm so excited to begin this year's challenge on November 1. 

There's always something special about celebrating gratitude during the month of November each year, and this year it feels like we need the reminder more than ever. As always, I'll be sharing illustrations on Instagram daily (follow me on Instagram if you're not already!), but feel free to use these prompts for art, photos, collages, or whatever else feels like the best creative outlet for you. If you're new to this Challenge, below are some details (as well as info on each prompt!).

THE CHALLENGE DETAILS

  • “Challenge” is just a word.

    The goal of the Challenge is to focus on (and share if you want!) 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, or to even keep up every single day!

  • 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'm 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 the month of 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 if you click on the hashtag you’ll be able to see the cool things others are sharing, too! It really is so awesome to look through the hashtag and see how others interpret and share the prompts every day. Not only is the creativity amazing, but it often shows me new ways to be appreciative. 


  • Save or print out a reminder.

    Keep up with the prompts by downloading the photo above (or 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. Of course, you don't have to do them all in a row (or even do them all), but there is something special about spending 30 consecutive days focusing on gratitude. 

 

THE 2020 PROMPTS...

 

DAY 1: HEALTH

This, of course, is one of the most important things to be thankful for, especially in 2020, in the midst of a pandemic. If you're fortunate enough to be healthy, it can be very easy to take for granted, but health's one of the most essential aspects of life. If you're feeling good, celebrate it. If you're not, appreciate the times you were well (and look forward to when you will be again!). 

 

DAY 2: SEASONS

You know this one had to be featured, with the arrival of Grow Through It this year. I absolutely loved working on the book, and I'm so glad so many of you are enjoying my interpretation of seasonal inspiration. Use this prompt to honor your favorite season of the year (or appreciate all of them) -- or, if you'd like, share your favorite page in the book! 

 

DAY 3: OPTIMISM

For day, we're all about optimism. It might seem an odd thing to be thankful for, but imagine if you didn't ever believe that something good could happen? You'd never do anything at all! This has been an incredibly trying year, and this week in particular is tough, but let's be thankful for the opportunity to choose optimism today. 

 

DAY 4: STRENGTH

Strength comes in many forms -- physical, mental, emotional, etc. -- and today's the day to focus on it. Whatever you consider your strength, celebrate that today. Or, if you prefer, look around you at the strength of others and take a moment to appreciate their strength. (Maybe even take some time to let them know how much you admire them for it!)

 

DAY 5: NATURE

After writing Grow Through It, I've really learned the importance of nature. Even though I don't spend as much time in it as I'd like, I do what I can to appreciate it. What is inspiring or beautiful about nature you come into contact with often? What element of the natural world are you most grateful to experience?

 

DAY 6: FUN

How often to you make time for fun? For just being silly? Today's a good day to reflect on how it feels to have fun, to be silly, and to make merry. It's been a tough year for fun, but use this prompt to reflect on any fun times you've had this year -- or, if none come to mind, use today to make time for something fun. 

 

DAY 7: WORDS

Words are like magic to me. I love them (so much so that I even keep a list of my favorites on my phone)! Do you have a favorite word? What words mean the most to you when someone else says them? How have words impacted your world? Use the answers to these questions to inspire you in a new way today. 

 

DAY 8: HOME

What does the word "home" mean to you? Is it where you rest your head each night? Is it where you grew up? Or is home more of a state of mind? Or perhaps a person? Home doesn't need to be a physical thing so feel free to explore creatively with this prompt. Whatever home means to you, reflect on it and share something special related to it today.

 

DAY 9: FRIENDSHIP

Today's the day to focus your attention on the friends who brighten your world. Who has been by your side no matter what? Who can you call, day or night, for a chat? Who puts a smile on your face when you think of them? Have you made any new connections or revitalized some relationships in 2020? (It's also a good day to let those friends know how much you care about them!)

 

DAY 10: MUSIC

If you've checked out my playlists on Spotify, you know music is something I'm immensely passionate about. There are songs for every occasion and mood, and hearing the right one at the right time can be life-changing. What kind of music do you enjoy? What song are you most thankful for right now? What new music has come into your life this past year?

 

DAY 11: CREATIVITY

In times of trouble, I often turn to creativity to help me cope with difficult times. Have you done the same? Did this year bring out any unexpected creativity in you? Or, if you don't want to focus on your own creativity, what about the creativity of others? Have you come across anything particularly creative this year that you're thankful for? 

 

DAY 12: DREAMS

Today's prompt has a double meaning: it can be either the dreams you have a night (which I always find so fascinating!) or it can be the dreams you have during the day (the goals of what you want to achieve in the future). Regardless of which kind of dream you're focusing on today, ask yourself, "What's so special about my dreams? What do I want to celebrate about them?"

 

DAY 13: KINDNESS

Kindness is such a simple thing, but it's not always as abundant as it could be. Today's a good day to do something especially kind for someone else. It's also the day to celebrate kindness -- kindness you've committed, you've experienced, or you've witnessed. When you think of the word "kindness," what's the first thing you think of? 

 

DAY 14: CHANGE

Change can be a negative or positive experience, but it's an inevitable part of life. What's changed in life over the past year? What's changed in the last decade? Do you have new friends, new experiences, new mindsets? If you're struggling with this prompt, change the way you do something today and see how it feels.  

 

DAY 15: WORK

Work-related gratitude might be a challenge if you don't love what you do, but consider how work makes your life better. It provides income, and it can challenge, inspire, and excite you. Today, reflect on how you're fortunate to have a job (or a school) to go to each day. How does this experience improve your life, or at least help you in some way?  

 

DAY 16: LAUGHTER

Laughter is the best medicine, they say, and I often agree. During difficult times, I love to turn to funny things to keep my mood up. What makes you laugh the most? When did you spend time laughing a lot? Use today's prompt to reflect on the humor in life -- and be sure to appreciate the times this year that you've had a good laugh. 

 

DAY 17: TRUTH

What does the word "truth" mean to you? How to you express your own truth in your day-to-day life? Consider this prompt thoughtfully today and do your best to uncover what new truths you may have learned over the course of the past year. Another way to reflect on this prompt is to consider those you find to be most truthful and appreciate their honesty. 

 

DAY 18: ART

Art is everywhere, and it's one of my absolute favorite things about being alive. What kind of art do you enjoy? Have you ever made art? Which artists do you most admire? Today's the day to take a look around and notice the art in your life. Celebrate (or create!) the creations that make you feel most inspired and share them with others today. 

 

DAY 19: INSPIRATION 

Inspiration is all around you -- if only you make an effort to look for it. Today, consider what inspires you to get out of the bed in the morning. What inspires you to keep working, loving, living? What particularly inspired you to keep going in 2020? Use today as an opportunity to share your favorite source of inspiration with others. 

  

DAY 20: CLOTHING

I've spent most of this year in sweatpants, admittedly, but I'm still thankful for the clothing that keeps me warm and cozy. Today you could reflect on what you most love about clothing -- the comfort, the style, etc. -- or you could spend some time appreciating your very favorite garments. It's also a good day to reflect on where your clothing comes from and be thankful for the work that went into creating it. 

 

DAY 21: EARTH

We're so lucky to be on this crazy marble of a planet, spinning around in space. We, as humans, don't treat the earth as well as we should, but still we get so much from it. Today, let's try to do something nice for the planet if we can. What do you love most about this place? What do you think of when you see a pic of earth from space? 

 

DAY 22: MEMORIES

Memory is a tricky thing because it's not always very accurate. However, it does feel accurate and it's worth being thankful for. Consider your favorite moment or item from the past. What was wonderful about it? How do you feel when you think of that time / thing / person? This year has been a tough one, but are there any happy memories you can take from it?

 

DAY 23: COLOR

If you know me, you know I love color. My all-time favorite is orange, but I honestly adore them all. What's your favorite color? How does color play a role in your life? Today's a good day to reflect on the beauty of color and appreciate all of the hues that surround you. Color has a bigger impact on how you feel than you might think so pay attention to it. 

 

DAY 24: LOVE

There are so many kinds of love (romantic, platonic, etc.) and type is deserving of your gratitude. How do you share love in your life? How do you accept it? How does it make you feel when you think of the word "love"? What's happened over the past year to change how you view the love in your life? Celebrate the love you experience for (and from!) others today. 

 

DAY 25: WISDOM

Wisdom has been a guiding force for me this year, and I bet a lot of you feel the same. What's the wisest thing you've ever heard? Or what wisdom did you uncover in 2020? It's been a wild ride of a year and, for better or worse, I know we've all learned a lot. What lessons of wisdom will you be taking from this year into the future? 

 

DAY 26: FAMILY

Family — no matter what shape or size it comes in  — is something we're all lucky to have in our lives. Take note of your family today (and "family" can include friends or anyone you've chosen as your family, too!). What do you love about the family you surround yourself with? What do you often take for granted and could be extra appreciative of today?

 

DAY 27: PROGRESS

Even if it's not always easy to see, you've made progress this year. We all have. What areas of your life have made the most progress compared to, let's say, ten years ago? What progress are you most thankful to have made? Or, if you want a twist on this prompt, consider what progress you'd be thankful to have made looking back a year from now. 

 

DAY 28: TIME

Because we're only given so much time (an amount we can't even be certain about!), it's important that we pause and be thankful for the time we've been given. It's important, too, to take note of how we spend that time. How do you like to spend your time? What would you do if you had more time? What does the word "time" mean to you? 

 

DAY 29: CURIOSITY

What topics tend to arouse your curiosity? What were you curious about and then sought out information on? Is there something you're particularly curious about right now? What interests us -- the things we're curious about -- is important, and following our curiosity can lead to new and exciting things. Today, be thank for the ability to be curious. 

 

DAY 30: SELF-LOVE

No matter what, the one thing you will always have in your life is YOU. On the final day of the challenge, I like to turn our attention inward. Consider, today, all the ways you have done your best to get through this year. Appreciate the good (and not so good!) parts of yourself, the whole of who you are. What do you love most about you? What aspects do you feel deserve more love and attention? 

 

 

As a reminder, these are just suggested prompts to get you started. Feel free to make up your own or mix these up. The point is to focus on being grateful all month long -- not to stick to the rules of a challenge. If you do join in, don't forget to use the hashtag #Gratitude30 so I can see your posts! I'll be posting mine starting on November 1 so keep a look out for them. I can't wait to see what you share, and to spend the month of November focusing on all the things we're thankful to have in our lives! 

Comments

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Are the promts equal for all months? I want to start in November

Denise - This challenge was created to run from November 1 - 30, but you can start anytime. There is only one challenge per year.

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