For the gratitude challenge, choose a period of 3 days, a month, or a year; whichever you can commit to.
Because it’s better to keep your commitment, and failures can be a psychological downer, unless you’re very certain you can do it, it may be better to start with the 3-day challenge and extend it. And once you commit to something, do it.
Keep in mind that gratitude is meaningless without a thankful heart. By that I mean, you have to come out of your head and feel thankful too.
Observe coach-approved goal tips:
- Plan your start date and prepare for it, don’t just jump into the challenge blind!
- Know Why you want to do it. What benefits might you get or would like to see?
- Enlist the support of others (for this one, the people in your household).
- Have fun! Personal development is about growth, and only painful if you resist.
- Personalize it! Make changes that will help you (Do 7 days, if you’d like, for example).
The 3-Day Challenge
Be grateful the entire day… for all 3 days. Be grateful for every and anything you can think of—no matter what. When anything uncomfortable, painful, testy or just awful happens, try to find something in the situation to be grateful for.
- When you get up, as you head to the bathroom and while seated on the toilet, be grateful for a new day or whatever comes to mind.
- As you walk from the subway or train station to the job you hate, be grateful for the tree-lined block you’re walking down.
- Appreciate the craftsmanship of the gorgeous boots you’re strutting in. How nice is that leather? How fortunate that you were able to afford those boots when many (maybe most?) people can’t.
- Be grateful for the barista who makes the best cup of morning java in town that helps you wake up and feel human.
- Be grateful that you can put words together to craft the email you use to share your thoughts, information, fulfill a work request and whatever you’re doing.
- Be thankful for after-work cocktails, and
- Thank whoever or whatever you believe in…for having true friends.
Repeat for the next 2 days!
The 1-Month Challenge
Pick a time of day — morning or evening — to write down 3 things you’re grateful or to do a gratitude meditation.
You might enjoy this challenge more if the practice is part of a self-care routine like this one (don’t forget to turn off all technology):
- Have a bath or do a self-care activity,
- Massage damp skin with scented oils,
- Spray lavender mist on pillows,
- Dim lights throughout the home
- Play soothing music in the background
5-minute gratitude meditation how-to
With eyes closed, recount the things that you’re grateful for in that moment or for the day. Savor each memory — there’s no need to rush.
Some people pick the top 3 things they’re grateful for, others go through their day and recount all they’re grateful for. Of course, if you’re doing a meditation practice and want to, you can incorporate the above or another self-care routine.
Morning or Night? Many people (myself included) prefer to practice gratitude at the end of the day as opposed to the beginning. For me, it’s a great way to close out my day.
The 1-Year Challenge
Keeping a gratitude journal for a year can be a great resolution, and it can be a tool to help you stick to other resolutions.
A few companies and shops carry dated diary-style journals; I Love It All is one of them. Their 365 Things I’m Grateful For notebook is a 5-star bestseller and one you might want to check out. Of course, any pretty notebook can be used as a gratitude journal.
A couple good reads: