Here’s the challenge: Every day this month, write down three things you’re grateful for and why…Yep. That’s it. You’re literally challenging yourself to do something that will take you less than 10 minutes every day. The easiest challenge you will ever participate in. I know you can do it.
I can’t take credit for the “Three Things And Why” method of a daily gratitude practice, but I think it’s a really wonderful place to get started. This method comes from Shawn Achor, and before you begin the challenge, I highly recommend watching his TED Talk that delves into a small glimpse of positive psychology and why being grateful for what you have now helps reprogram your brain to continue looking for the good in every situation.
Here’s why I want to challenge you: gratitude gives you the opportunity to focus on the things in your life that bring you joy. You are here on this earth today and you are reading this because you are ready to make your life a little bit better. So you’ve already got a lot more going on for you than you might think.
I joked about it being the easiest challenge ever. But I realize that sometimes it can be really difficult for us to come up with something that we feel like we can be excited about in our lives. We are all our biggest critics. We get so stressed over things that seem really important at the time, and we don’t focus on the good things in our lives. Gratitude allows you to change the way you think and ultimately, change the way you feel about your life. Are you ready to become a happier person? Let’s do this.
Step 1: Get a notebook and something to write with. Honestly, you can do this in a note on your phone or on your computer for convenience. But I highly recommend physically writing it down with pen and paper. I don’t know why. I am not the researcher here, but I’m sure someone can tell you why writing things down helps it stick better. I personally think it gives you a greater connection to the words and more time to process. I also created a social media template if you want to share the things you are grateful for on Instagram. This will give you accountability throughout the month.
Step 2: Write down three DIFFERENT things your grateful for and WHY. You may have noticed the words “different” and “why” in bold and in all caps, indicating that those are key words and are important. Good job noticing that. It’s important that they are different (as in 3 new things every day) so that your brain can see that you have more than 3 things to be grateful for in your life. By the end of your 31 days you will have …takes out calculator… 93 THINGS! in your life to look back on and appreciate! How great is that! It is important that you think about why you are grateful for these things to give you a deeper connection to the emotional aspect of feeling grateful.
Example: You could write: “I am grateful for my cat.” …OK, love cats. But I’m not getting the feels… OR you could write: “I am grateful for my cat because she is so beautiful and soft and I love getting cuddles from her. I love taking care of her and that we rely on each other for company. I love when she lays on my chest when we watch movies and the way she purrs when I pet her and meows until I wake up in the morning. I love the little stripes on her face and her white paws. She makes me feel warm and fuzzy and when we look into each other’s eyes I just feel like we just have a deep soul connection.” WOW, ok, so you really love your cat and I can feel that.
STEP 3: Repeat. Every day. Be consistent in this practice and come back to tell me how you feel after 31 days. And let me know if you’re having a difficult time sticking with it, or if it comes to you easier and easier by the day.
In order to make this as easy as possible for you, I created a PDF that you can download below with 40 different prompts for things that you might be grateful for and a PDF that you can print, make copies of and write down your 3 things daily. Also, Please SHARE your gratitude practice with me and your friends! Use the hashtag #AugustGratitudeChallenge and tag @starsandcarrots / @annalivdesign in your posts! I will share them on my Instagram page and I am here to help answer any questions you might have.