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.
Hi everyone, today is the first day of the gratitude challenge! Are you ready to start? I sure am!! 😀
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 sunshinegirl. Look how vibrant and cheery the colors are, just like her nick suggests! 🙂
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
Here is Jane’s gratitude journal. I love the artistic design she has chosen, along with the little heart and flower decorations!! So pretty!! ♥
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.
Annette Hatley’s gratitude journal, done in Powerpoint!
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.
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:
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
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:
Aw… =) For those of you with sibling(s), have you ever been grateful for them? (Image)
Are you grateful to be alive? (Image)
Lovely. ♥ (Image)
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)
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)
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:
- The nice umbrella which my fiance Ken bought for our upcoming photoshoot
- 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!)
- 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! 😀
Once you’re done, proceed to Gratitude Challenge Day 2: Give Thanks for Your Food.