Gratitude Challenge Day 1: Write 10 Things You are Grateful For in Your Life

This is Day 1 of the 14-Day Gratitude Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world gathered to practice gratitude for 14 days. This challenge was conducted in Aug 2013 and is now over–however, you can still do the tasks in your own time! Visit the overview page for all Gratitude Challenge tasks and posts.

Gratitude Challenge

Hi everyone, today is the first day of the gratitude challenge! Are you ready to start? I sure am!! :D

Day 0 Review: Start a Gratitude Journal

Yesterday, your Day 0 / pre-work task is to start your gratitude journal. Many of you posted such AMAZING gratitude journals that I was simply blown away! Check some of them here:

Gratitude Journal by sunshine girl

Gratitude journal by sunshinegirl. Look how vibrant and cheery the colors are, just like her nick suggests! :)

Gratitude Journal by Sulthana

Gratitude journal by long-time PE reader, Sulthana, who is using her blog as her journal! You can, too, with free ready platforms like WordPress and Blogger as I mentioned in Day 0′s post. Check out Sulthana’s blog here: Hijack My Heart

Gratitude Journal by Jane

Here is Jane’s gratitude journal. I love the artistic design she has chosen, along with the little heart and flower decorations!! So pretty!! ♥

Gratitude Journal by Carli Groven

Carli Groven’s gratitude journal. One word: GORGEOUS!!

We have some readers who went with the minimalistic approach with their journals, which are no doubt charming in their own way. I love their focus on message over design.

Gratitude Journal by Annette Hatley

Annette Hatley’s gratitude journal, done in Powerpoint!

Gratitude Journal by Ludo Vangilbergen

Ludo Vangilbergen’s gratitude journal, created in Evernote. :) Evernote is a free notetaking software that lets you take notes from your mobile, desktop, laptop, etc. and syncs the content in one central location.

Gratitude Journal by Jade

I love the simplicity of this — gratitude journal by Jade. :) Created in MS Word / Libre Writer!

Last but not least, reader Andi-Roo injected creativity into the concept of a gratitude journal! She created a pinterest board to serve as her gratitude journal, as you can see below:

Gratitude Journal by Andi-Roo

A pinterest board as a gratitude journal, by Andi-Roo. Check out her pinterest here: Gratitude-ish Things

Above are just some of the gratitude journals I have showcased by the participants. More awesome gratitude journals can be found in Day 0′s comment thread.

If you haven’t already, read Day 0′s thread and create your gratitude journal before proceeding with Day 1. You will be using your gratitude journal for the 14 days ahead, as well as after the challenge to journal your feelings of gratitude!

Day 1: Things You Are Grateful For

10 things you are grateful for

How many times do we take for granted the things which we have in life?

How often do we assume that what we have today should rightfully be ours, rather than realizing that they are privileges, not rights?

Chances are, very often.

I was just in the gym yesterday and saw a TV commercial for Save the Children. The commercial had a serious voice over appealing to the viewer for donations while showing this emaciated young boy, presumably from Africa, with a bloated belly, a sad face, and flies flying around his body.

The funny thing was that up until that moment, my biggest concern for the day was getting in shape in time for my engagement photoshoots this weekend. While I’m here trying to eat lesser and lose weight, before me is a kid, along with probably millions out there, starving due to extreme poverty conditions in their country.

While I’ve always made it a point to practise gratitude in every waking second of the day, seeing the ad made me realize that, hey, I should be grateful that I get to have first-world problems like losing weight, when people out there are significantly worse off. That while I’m feeling stressed with the need to look good enough for my shoot, I should celebrate the opportunity I have to have an engagement shoot, be overseas here in Glasgow, and to worry about simple problems when others out there are in much dire situations than I am.

As I take stock of the positive things I have in my life, your first task of the 14-day challenge is to list 10 things you are grateful for in your life today. “10″ because it’s a nice round number and it’s not too much to ask you to come up with 10 things you are grateful for. (If you can’t, then it’s really time to cultivate the habit of gratitude!)

If you can come up with more than 10, by all means, do so!! The more we celebrate for in our life, the better. As this inspiring quote from Sulthana’s blog reads, 

“Gratitude for the abundance you have received is the best insurance that abundance will continue.” ~ Prophet Muhammad


These 10 things of gratitude can be anything, from the food you get to eat every day, to your relationships, to people you have crossed paths with before, to your teachers and mentors who have guided you on your path, to opportunities you’ve been given, to your successes, to your past failures (because they give you learning lessons), to your upcoming successes (your future is in your hands), to the fact that you are alive.

I saw some beautiful gratitude tags on Flickr yesterday which exemplify the message of today’s task. Check them out:

"I'm grateful to have a little sister"

Aw… =) For those of you with sibling(s), have you ever been grateful for them? (Image)

"I'm grateful to be alive"

Are you grateful to be alive? (Image)

"The ability to keep going, keep dreaming, and keep believing"

Lovely. ♥ (Image)

"Summer camp"

Some of us may have hated summer camp (I hated it so much that I feigned a cold to skip it!), but perhaps there are things to be grateful about it, such as opportunity to bond with friends, a day of fun and games, a day away from normal studies, etc. Remember, the glass is always full–just how we look at it. ♥ (Image)

(A relevant read: How To Be Happy: 10 Timeless Principles for Lasting Happiness)

"Grateful to be alive, healthy, and in treatment for cancer"

Are you grateful for your health? This person is in treatment for cancer and she is thankful for her treatment. Most of us have good health yet we aren’t even thankful for that. Isn’t it time to give thanks for what we have vs. focusing on the things we lack? (Check out my past interviews with two inspiring cancer survivors and how they overcame their condition with positive attitudes towards life and their treatment: When Adversity Strikes: My Interview with Inspiring Cancer Survivors.) (Image)

"I am thankful for the earth"

The earth. We only have one to live on. Are you grateful for it? (Image)

Your Task: Write 10 Things You Are Grateful For in Your Life

Take out the gratitude journal you created in Day 0 and pen down 10 things you are grateful for in your life.

If you can think of more than 10, you are welcome to write them down!

Feel free to decorate with drawings, images, photographs, etc.

Daily Journaling: Write 3 Things You Are Grateful for Today

On top of today’s task, identify 3 things you are grateful for today. These 3 things can be events that occurred today, mishaps which could have happened but didn’t happen, or simply things which have always been in your life but which you suddenly came to feel grateful for today.

3 things I’m grateful for today:

  1. The nice umbrella which my fiance Ken bought for our upcoming photoshoot
  2. To have a fiance who is so understanding, sweet, and patient to hear me sulk and rant for 2 hours (eeps!) for something sweet which he did for me but which I didn’t like (Perhaps a story for another day!)
  3. The opportunity to be here in Scotland to do my engagement shoots

Share Your Results!

 What are 10 things you are grateful for in your life today? What are 3 things you are grateful for today?

You can share in two ways (or combination of the two): (a) type your reflections into the comments box or (b) take a photograph / screenshot of what you have written in your gratitude journal and upload it into the comments box (like you guys did for Day 0′s task).

Anything goes–whatever you guys prefer! :) Look forward to reading your answers! :D

Once you’re done, proceed to Gratitude Challenge Day 2: Give Thanks for Your Food.

Images: GratitudeNumber 10

  • Annette Hatley

    My 10 things I’m grateful for is lots of words. I thought about making each into a page with a picture, but that would be a little much. (Not a bad idea for a picture book, though). My 10 things are below.

    • Jeanne Floresca

      Thank you for the detailed post. I enjoyed reading this. I totally get the whole sister thing- I love how we support each other no matter what! I love – “Smarter than the average bear” too cute! Yes- and nurture your strengths! I agree. Have a great evening Annette.

  • Miss Ellen

    10 things I’m grateful for in my life :
    - My friends, for all the lovely times we have together, for supporting me when I need help, and for joining me on the fun rollercoaster of life. For opening my world view, for making me laugh, for everything.
    - My family, for giving us a warm home to live in, for teaching us about the world, about other people, and about unconditional love.
    - My boyfriend, for loving me for who I am, for being so sweet and funny, for making my day, for all the support he gave me while we were living far apart from each other, for never giving up on me.
    - The Earth, for giving us life and surprising me every day with its beauty.
    - The Trees, for standing tall when rough winds blow, for inspiring me to believe in what you stand for.
    - Artists, for translating the things you can hardly explain, for giving us new ways to see life. For making us see the beauty of the clouds, for creating fascinating places, for asking us “What do *you* see?”
    - Composers, for making us realize that *the sea IS one*, for composing an Ode to Joy, for telling us stories in notes.
    - Writers, for letting us participate in history, for giving us new words to describe the world around us, for taking us away on a fascinating journey.
    - My health, for enabling me to take on my adventures, to chase my dreams and to be here on Earth.
    - My heart, for beating every day, so I can live, feel and love the people around me.

    What are you grateful for today?
    Up until now, I’m grateful for my family home, for the comfort, company and fun I have here.
    For my boyfriend, who is waiting with my birthday present, and has been so patient to wait for his as well…
    For my friends, who wrote very kind birthday wishes on their greeting cards, on FB and in their texts. I was feeling overwhelmed by the so many warm wishes!
    Thanks to all of you!

  • Annette Hatley

    Three Things – Today!

    • Annamarika

      I love your insight about the woman in metro. That’s so true :) And I also totally agree with the short-hair-part! Have a grateful day Annette:)

      • Ffion

        Short hair rocks! I recently cut mine short again and wondered why the heck I didn’t do it sooner?! I feel like a different person when I have short hair.

        • Celestine Chua

          Love your passion and embracing of short hair, Ffion!!!

          • Ffion

            Interestingly enough, short hair actually gives me more confidence :) Not sure why that is though xD

            Thank you <3

      • Annette Hatley


    • Celestine Chua

      LOL @ annoying person in metro, Annette!! Love your reflections for today! ♥

      • Annette Hatley

        Thanks, Celes!

  • Stela

    10 Things I am Grateful For:
    1 Benjamin
    2 my eyesight
    3 my health
    4 my mum
    5 my sister
    6 Quentin and my marriage
    7 my interests
    8 my job
    9 my mind
    10 my family’s health and wellbeing

    3 things I am grateful for today (15 Aug 2014)
    1 The way Benjamin hugged and kissed me and cuddled with me this morning
    2 My superb medical test results! I am very healthy!
    3 My husband’s selfless participation in my plans for the weekend

  • Annamarika

    My three things for today are:
    1. Cafe latte with soy milk. Haven’t drank one in at least a month and it made my day to enjoy one all by myself.
    2. My friend who helped me with my essay. She is my best friend and we’ve known each other for over 10 years. We live in different countries and from far away she sent me advice and some written cheerleading to tackle a difficult task.
    3. My mum who will babysit my daughter so that I’ll be able to go to my friends’ place to have dinner with my husband and friend.

    Ten things I’m grateful for in my life:
    (I’ll write it down as the photo of the page from my journal is in Finnish ;) )

    10. My husband (we have been married for eight years)

    9. My daughter (an almost 5-year-old miracle who I adore)

    8. My friends (my best friends are closer to me than my biologigal family)

    7. Writing (I write every day and it keeps my creativity going)

    6. My studies (I’m just finishing my masters for university and in one year I’ll get my other degree in applied drama)

    5. My home (we just bought our dream-home. it’s smaller than the one we used to live in and needs some renovation. It’s going to look just the way we want it to)

    4. Minimalistic lifestyle (This one decision to live minimalistic life has decreased my stress level and made room for me to pursue my dreams)

    3. Our two cats (Family members I miss a lot now that they live with a relative as long as we get our new home in shape)

    2. Seasons changing (Summer is about to give in to the fall here and I love it!)

    1. Myself (I thank God every day for creating me)

    • Ffion

      Congratulations on embracing a minimalistic lifestyle! I still have way too much stuff in my life, and would love to get rid of clutter and pare down my life to my essential pursuits more. I’ll never be hardcore minimalist, but I’m impressed by people who take that path.

      What form does your minimalist living take? I’d love to hear :)

      • Annamarika

        Thank you Ffion :) I also have a long way to go, but I think minimalism isn’t something you can ever be ready with. I don’t count my things or anything so extreme. In our family we have pared down our belongings. For example we don’t have dvd’s anymore but we watch our series and movies online (from flickr, HBO nordic and such), we have only a few books (such as bible and some other spiritual ones I read often and a couple we use in our work a lot), so we don’t need a bookshelf. We all read a lot. The only difference is that we make wonderful trips to libary at least once a month.

        One biggie for me is clothes. I love love love to dress up and use jewllery and such. I’ve given up maybe 60-70% of my wardrobe and jewellery in the past few years. I’m not into fashion too much. I love being creative with my personal style. …so I’ve made compromizes with my clothes. I’ve gotten it down so it all fits in a small closet and there is enough to feed my vanity and for me to play with ;) I’m sure I’ll be giving away some more clothes in the future.

        My big resolution for this year is not to buy anything except for food and services. I won’t add anything physical to my life. I’m able to buy tickets t cultural events and plane-tickets and a bottle of great wine. But no clothes or any other articles that would take place in my life.

        The funny thing is taht during these eight months of not buying stuff, I’ve lost the urge of shopping. It’s like being free of the crazy consumerism-prison we are forced to live in :)

        Wow, I think you found my favorite subject as I’m just going on and on with this ;)

        I wish you all the best with your minimalism. There is no right or wrong way to do it. If I was you, I’d go ahead and call myself a minimalist if the values are something you feel connected to.

        • Annette Hatley

          Annamarika, I read every word of how you embraced minimalism. It’s what I am striving for now in my life and I appreciate knowing some of the steps you took to get there. Thanks!

          • Annamarika

            Thank you Annette for taking the time to read this. Good luck with your minimalistic life!

        • Ffion

          I agree, I think minimalism is more of a way of living than a place to get to :)

          I don’t really even want to be super-minimalist, but would like to incorporate more of it into my life as a way of paring down and focusing on the really essential stuff, and goals that are important to me, while getting rid of stuff that weighs you down and consumes time and energy to take care of.

          I admire your attitude, I can see you are very passionate about this subject, that’s really great :) I like your big resolution for the year, that sounds like an admirable goal :) Spending more money on experiences instead of on things, I’ve also found that to be very rewarding in the past. Good luck with that!

          It’s great that minimalism has helped you escape the consumerism trap :D That must be a relief! I’m not too bad with buying things excessively, except art supplies and books. Those I can never resist… :)

          • Annamarika

            Oh, I know what you mean with buying books! I used to be just the same. There is something magical in a new book.

            Thank you for your support Ffion, and thanks for taking the time to read my blabberish text ;)

            • Ffion

              Haha, no problem :) I love hearing people talk about things they’re passionate about.

        • Spešl Pavrs

          Thank you Annamarika for the idea of not buying anything except for food and services for one year :) It goes on my “wish to-do” list.

          • Annamarika

            You should try it. It’s been so liberating :) I’m so happy to find people with similar intrests!

  • Farnam

    I didn’t have much time to write, I had to work a lot today, But I wrote near 40 items just in 10 minutes !! I feel energetic now for having so MANY good things in my life.

    • Ffion

      It’s such a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? I used to keep a gratitufde journal, and it made such a difference in my life… I really should get back to that.

    • Annette Hatley

      Not much time to write and you found 40 items? That’s amazing! Here’s to appreciating and being grateful no matter how much time you have!

  • 家梅 李

    3 things I am grateful today:
    1. My mum woke up early to cook breakfast for me.
    2. My brother bought KFC for me as dinner, my favorite~ XD
    3. I received message from my beloved boyfriend with sweet greetings and BIG KISS!! <3

    Below are the 10 things I am grateful in my life today ^^
    Thinking to sketch some small pictures, but there's no space on this page. So I will sketch it on the next page~ :)
    Again, I miss my messy handwriting! Hah!

    • Celestine Chua

      Aww your handwriting is BEAUTIFUL, jaleen!! Why would you think it’s messy?? ♥

      I love how you have written your 10 (actually, 11!) things with different color pens! So cute about the 99% nice guy remark as your #2 item! XD What does he have to do to fill the remaining 1%?? XD

      • 家梅 李

        Haha~ Thanks Celes!!

        I always think that my life is so colorful, full of excitements from my surrounding. ^^ That’s where the idea of the different colors come from.

        He does not have any sweet talk, that’s the remaining 1%!! Haha~ He is really a good guy with no temper and I have never seen him getting angry in the past 6 years since I knew him. :P

    • Madalina Sraier

      I was wondering the same thing as Celes about the 1%.

      Owning a house is something I wish to put on my “Grateful for”-list in the near future. :)

      • 家梅 李

        Madalina Sraier, haha~ As I replied to Celes, His remaining 1% is the sweet talk. :P

        Yes, it is an asset of owning a house. ^^
        Hope your wish comes true soon!

    • Annette Hatley

      Great list! Your zest and joy for life and all that is around you shines.

      • 家梅 李

        Thanks Annette Hatley~!
        Wish you enjoy your life with full gratitude too!

    • Calae

      I agree with Celes, I really like your handwriting!

      Just seeing your gratitude journal is super inspiring! I love the colors and love that are going into it. It’s making me happy! xD

      • 家梅 李

        Thanks, Calae! ^^
        Wish you happy always!!

  • Ffion

    No time to fancy this up today, but I’m GRATEFUL for this challenge and taking time out for myself to do it :)

    Thanks Celes!

    Three things I’m grateful for today:

    1. Blueberry Smoothie – Yum!
    2. Exercise (Got a 30 minute bike trip in this morning, and am planning another for later. Or a walk.)
    3. A new client!!!

    Bonus 4. Found a site yesterday to help me revise my French. I’ve stopped using it since school and would like to freshen it up again :)

    10 Things I’m grateful for in my Life

    1. My boyfriend
    2. My family
    3. My friends
    4. My fitness
    5. Feldenkrais course (doing something I love, because I believe in it and choosing the unconventional path)
    6. My love of learning
    7. Books
    8. My creativity & abilities
    9. Art
    10. The Internet


    11. Pencils & Paper (tools of the trade :) )
    12. Enough to eat and drink everyday
    13. A roof over my head
    14. Following my own path
    15. Decent health
    16. Teachers (Not so much school teachers, but any trainers, tutors or teachers I’ve had in life, anyone who’s taught me anything useful :) )

  • Madalina Sraier

    10 things I’m grateful for (in no specific order):
    -having a home
    -having a loving and caring family
    -being able to study at Uni
    -having food and clothing
    -having an amazing friend who helped me a lot
    -living in a country where I can choose what to wear, who to marry, where to go etc.
    -being able to see, hear, and speak
    -knowing how to write and read
    -having a PC and internet
    -having a job

    3 things I am grateful for today:
    -all the fruits my mom brought home after a visit to the countryside
    -I started reading a book which I bought a while ago and it’s a great one – it was definitely not a waste of money
    -after several really hot days today it rained – felt soooo good.

  • Kelly Ann Rimmer

    1)I am grateful that I am able to go see Kenny Chesney and to be able to do so with the one man that has been able to show me what happiness is.
    2)I am grateful that the same man drove me to work today :)
    3)I am grateful for positive affirmations from Joel Olsten that help me start my day off on the right foot. BTW same awesome guy mentioned above, loaned me the Joel Olsten book. :) :)

  • Maryam

    10 things I’m grateful for in my life:
    1: I’m healthy
    2:my best friend
    3:my univercity
    4:my mother love me
    5:I’m a good teacher
    6:I’m beautifull enough
    7: I’m happier
    8: I’m tall;)
    9: I can study
    10: I have a lot wishes yet
    11: I hope and try to havw a better life
    12: my friend found PE and now I’m one of the readers
    13: I finally found the path of my life
    14: my life style is healthy enough….

  • Appu Srva

    10 things I’m grateful for in my life:

    1. My Family
    2. I’m Healthy
    3. I’m beautiful (I think so) ;)
    4. I’m doing the course, which I was dying to do from 3 years.
    5. I have 3 close friends, who treats me like a princess and they will be with me forever, even if the world is against me. :)
    6. I have other friends too, who really cares about me.
    7. I have food to eat, house to stay and dresses to wear.
    8. God saved me from my dramatic friends.
    9. My blogs.
    10. I have access to great self-help blogs and books, which are helping me to be the best version of myself.

    3 things I am grateful for today:

    1. I could participate in this challenge. (Thanks to Celes :))
    2. I celebrated our Independence day (India).
    3. I’ve helped my mom by bringing vegetables from super market.

    • Moira Guthrie

      You are Beautiful!

      • Appu Srva

        Thank you for your kind words… :)

  • Guest

    What I am grateful for.

  • Desiree Garcia

    What I am grateful for!

  • Annette Hatley

    Enjoyed reading what everyone’s posted! Looking forward to more.

  • Zeineb Baccar

    3 things i’m grateful for today:I woke up to pray fajr at time,I sent a health question to a busy doctor and he answered me today,the weather is lovely today :)

    10 things I’m grateful for in my life: actually I found more than 20 things and if I continue thinking I’ll find more. here are some of it :
    1_thank god for the blessing of Islam (my religion)
    2_thank god for the blessing of conscience
    3_thank god for the blessing of education and having the chance to go to college and learn and studying what I love
    4_thank god for the blessing of health

    5_thank god for being alive

    6_thank god for having a lovely family: mom,dad,my sisters,my little cute nephew and all my cousins and siblings :*

    7_thank god for my loving friends
    8_thank god for having a home
    9_thank god for the clean water and food we get
    10_thank god for the safety in my country

  • Tony Enright

    1. I am alive
    2. I am healthy
    3. My higher power (maybe should have been #1)
    4. My sobriety
    5. My wonderful wife
    6. My four children
    7. My eight grand-children
    8. My condo
    9. My retirement
    10. My love of theater
    Today I’m especially grateful to have been able to attend an Alanon meeting and share my experience, strength and hope.
    Grateful to be able to teach yoga tonight after being away for two months because of injury.
    Grateful to be able to sing tonight at rehearsal

  • Spešl Pavrs

    I am grateful for:
    - my boyfriend,
    - my job,
    - discovering yoga,
    - playing volleyball,
    - being healthy,
    - my dog,
    - my friends,
    - PE,
    - home grown fruit and vegetable,
    - renting a great apartment,
    - books and life experiences.

    Today I am grateful for:
    - going hiking,
    - starting a 21 day habit cultivation of getting up early,
    - my grandma calling me and having a nice chat with her.

  • Hanna


    My 3 things –
    1. My dad makings salad for our dinner as I was tired.
    2. Realising that I can’t be anyone else, and that we are all equal. My job is to be me.
    3. Sticking to eating lightly today – no carbs, dairy, sugar.

    This was good to do! Thank you all for your posts x


  • Anusooya Gosai

    Hi everyone. This is a picture of the 10 things that I am grateful for. Sorry, I am battling to rotate picture when uploading.

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