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Practicing gratitude. We’ve all heard it’s good for us, that when done properly it can increase happiness as much as doubling your income!¹
But how do you actually get these fantastic effects when life is already as busy as your Granny’s wallpaper…
Because I think it’s fair to say we don’t all have hours to meditate on what we’re thankful for and then journal pages and pages about our feelings.
Having done some research (a lot of research, both on myself and reading other people’s) I can confirm that you don’t need to spend more than a couple of minutes each day to reap the incredible benefits of gratitude.
That’s right, just two minutes per day and you could be feeling just as good as if someone deposited twice your normal paycheck into your account!
And in today’s post, I’m going to show you how with my 30-Day Gratitude Challenge!
So let’s get started!
But if you’re too busy to read the whole post, you can just grab your FREE 30-Days of Gratitude Challenge printable PDF right now! Click the button below to grab your copy!
What is a gratitude challenge?
Simply put, it’s where you commit to practicing gratitude for a set period of time so you can see how it changes your life.
You can do challenges for many things, like the squat challenge that was super popular a few years ago to build that bootay.
But the whole point of the challenge is for you to do the action for the number of days specified to really see the impact on your life.
The benefits of practicing gratitude:
Growing gratitude can help improve your life in so many ways, but the main benefit people notice is the increase in positive thinking, which leads to an increase in happiness.
Basically, our brains have a “negativity bias.”
This was useful back when we lived in caves and had to avoid bears and poisonous snakes to stay alive. Our brain would make sure we remembered these negative things so we didn’t go to that same place or do the same actions again.
But nowadays that negativity bias just makes us feel bad. It’s the reason we can have twenty compliments but only remember the one person who hated our dress.
However, gratefulness and being conscious of what we’re grateful for can help retrain that natural negativity mindset into a much more positive one. Meaning you and I can become one of those terribly annoying, but also seriously happy, overly-optimistic people.
And let’s all be honest with ourselves here, we only find them so annoying because we’re a little bit – okay, a lot – jealous of how easily happiness seems to come to them. But, with a little gratitude practice of our own that happiness could be coming to us that easily too…
Plus, Research has also shown it can have a myriad of physical benefits as well including less aches and pains and better sleep!
Are there any downsides to practicing gratitude?
Right now I bet you’re thinking it’s pretty win-win!
But there is one drawback worth mentioning, to reap the benefits of practicing gratitude you have to do it regularly.
Doing it once or twice, or even for a full 30 days does not mean you get all those benefits talked about above for the rest of your life.
Just like eating healthy or working out, you have to do it on the regular to get those positive effects.
Which when you write it out sounds super obvious, and realistically there isn’t that much in life that *doesn’t* require regular practice.
But it’s still worth mentioning!
How to track your 30 days of gratitude?
Before we get to the actual 30-day gratitude challenge I just want to touch on tracking because I think it’s so important in everything we do, especially when we are trying something for the first time.
The easiest way to track your progress would be to download the FREE 30-Days of Gratitude Challenge 2019 printable PDFs.
Then all you have to do is fill in the gaps! Simples!
Alternatively, some people like to journal or use a bullet journal to do and/or write about each gratitude action they took. While others take a photo as evidence which is also a super cute idea!
The 30-Day Gratitude Challenge
So there are two potential 30-Day Gratitude Challenges you can complete I have included printables for both!
The *Simple* 30-Day Gratitude Challenge
If you want to be more grateful in a sustainable and impactful way then this is often said to be the best way to do it.
What’s more, it’s super easy and literally only takes a few minutes per day.
All you need to do, for 30 days, is once per day write down three things that you’re grateful for.
Just three little bullet points!
Try to vary what you write and if possible give a little detail, so one day, for example, you might be grateful for:
- Your dog snuggling up to you last night while you watched TV
- The delicious breakfast you had this morning
- The cute text your friend sent you
Then the next day just repeat with what you’re grateful for then!
The *Variable* 30-Day Gratitude Challenge
If you know you’re going to get bored doing the same thing each day then this is the challenge for you.
This challenge does take a little bit more work than the simple version but is still super fun and helps you grow that gratitude!
Day One: Write down three things you’re grateful for
We start the first day of this challenge in exactly the same way as the simple 30-day challenge, by writing a quick, 3-bullet point list of what we are grateful for specifically that day.
Day Two: Donate to a charity
Choose a charity whose work you are grateful for, that doesn’t mean they have to have directly helped you, but a charity you are happy exists is perfect.
Then donate! This can be as easy as popping your loose change in a collection box or you could even set up a monthly payment for a few dollars to go to them.
Day Three: Text a friend with a compliment saying how grateful you are
For example, maybe you have a best friend that’s always there for you, send them a text telling them what a wonderful listener they are and how thankful you are to have them in your life.
Day Four: Write down three of your best features
Maybe you’re a great problem solver, make the best brownies in the world or have the shiniest hair. List out your three best features and be grateful for your gifts!
Day Five: Tell someone you love and appreciate them
Just tell them! Maybe it’s your partner, a family member or a fur baby, just make sure that person (or animal, no judgment here) knows that you love them!
Day Six: Pay it forward
Buying your morning coffee or perhaps you’re having a sneaky fast-food dinner, ask the cashier if you can pay it forward so when the next person comes to pay you’ve already covered some or all of their bill!
Day Seven: Write down three things you love about your home
Your home should be your sanctuary so give your space some love and list out three things you’re grateful for about your home.
Day Eight: Make someone food
Whether that’s dinner for your partner or housemate or maybe some cookies to bring into work, make someone some food that they can enjoy.
Day Nine: Hold the door for someone
An easy one but it can make all the difference in someone’s life, especially if they’re carrying bags of shopping!
Day Ten: Write down three things you’re grateful to your body for
Maybe it’s something big like helping you get through that surgery last month or something smaller like getting you up and down your apartment stairs each day.
Just write down three things you’re grateful to your body for!
Day Eleven: Only positive talk today!
No complaining allowed! For today reframe everything in a positive light!
Day Twelve: Smile at three people today
A quick smile to a stranger can really brighten someone’s day and make them feel loved!
Day Thirteen: Say thank you to someone
You can even write a thank you note! But basically, let someone know how thankful you are to have them in your life.
Day Fourteen: Think of something bad that recently happened to you, and then reframe it in a positive light so you can be thankful for the experience
Maybe you dropped your coffee just as you purchased it, or perhaps your doggo got sick which lead to a mountain of vet bills. Try and see if you can find a positive in the situation, like perhaps now your doggo is even healthier than before!
Day Fifteen: Write down three things you’ve accomplished that you’re proud of
Getting your degree, running a marathon or Marie Kondoing your home; think of three things you’ve accomplished in your life that your proud of and write them down!
Day Sixteen: Take five minutes to do nothing
Sometimes we need to be doing absolutely nothing to realize how lucky we are, so take a pause for five minutes today.
Day Seventeen: Treat yourself
Do you love new skincare or have a favorite dessert? Treat yourself to whatever it is your craving and appreciate the joy that that item or experience gives you.
Day Eighteen: Volunteer
Someone will certainly appreciate your efforts for giving back, so choose a cause that means something to you and volunteer.
Day Nineteen: Call and speak to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while
We all have friends or family where more time has passed than it should since you last spoke, so pick up the phone and see who they’re doing.
Don’t forget to thank them for being a part of your life!
Day Twenty: Write down three foods you’re grateful exists
This sounds a bit of a silly one, but we mustn’t forget that in some places in the world food is a seriously scarce resource. So write down three foods you appreciate having in your life.
Day Twenty-One: Compliment a stranger
Tell that girl on the subway how much you like her dress and where did she get it? Or tell the cafe owner where you get your lunch that they have sandwich making skills beyond belief.
Sometimes a compliment from a stranger can be even more potent than from someone who loves us, so make someone’s day today!
Day Twenty-Two: Cover someone’s chore
Maybe you could do your housemates washing up, put the bins out instead of your partner or do that report for a coworker. Taking an item off someone’s to-do list is always appreciated and can really make their day!
Day Twenty-Three: Focus on self-care today to show your appreciation for yourself
Whether that’s a long bubble bath or trying a new hobby, focus on self-care for you today and make sure your soul knows it’s appreciated.
Day Twenty-Four: Tidy and clean your space
Looking after and caring for something shows your appreciation of it, so take some time to tidy and clean your home.
Day Twenty-Five: Write down three people you’re grateful for being in your life and why
Sometimes we do take people for granted, so now is the time to have a think about who you’re most grateful for being in your life.
Don’t forget to write a quick reason why as well, often the “why” is even more powerful.
Day Twenty-Six: Send a gift
Unexpected gifts are delightful, send a little something in the post to brighten someone’s day!
Day Twenty-Seven: Go for a walk outside and pick out three things in nature you’re thankful for
The sun on your face, the beautiful flowers… Take time to notice what you most appreciate when out walking in nature.
Day Twenty-Eight: Write down three things about your appearance you love and are grateful for
We live in a world that is constantly telling us how we look isn’t good enough. Today we’re going to throw that sentiment away and focus on three things you adore about your appearance.
Write them down so you don’t forget them next time you’re having a bad hair/body/skin/everything day!
Day Twenty-Nine: Declutter that “stuff” draw
Decluttering is very much an exercise in appreciation.
Take each item in your hand and decide if you want to keep it. If you do, thank it for it’s service and put it away where it belongs. If you don’t, again thank it for it’s service and donate it for the next person to love.
Day Thirty: Write down three things you’re grateful to this challenge for
Did it put you back in touch with a friend you hadn’t spoken to in a while, help remind you how incredible your body is or give you a new appreciation for the space you live in.
It’s time to reflect on how this gratitude challenge has helped you!
Don’t forget to download your FREE 30-Days of Gratitude Challenge 2019 printable PDF
All you need to do is click the button below to grab your copy!
I really hope you enjoy this gratitude challenge and it helps you see your life in a much more positive light!