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Welcome to my 40 Day Gratitude Challenge! Every day is the perfect opportunity to show thankfulness, not only on Thanksgiving, but into the New Year. By January 1st, you will have already established the gratitude habit so that you can continue the gratitude challenge past the 40 days of gratitude prompts that I’m giving you here.
What is the 40-Day Gratitude Challenge?
Although I have been running the Power of Gratitude Series for the last 6 weeks, many people are not accustomed to daily thoughts of gratitude. By participating in this 40 Day gratitude challenge, you’ll grow accustomed to becoming more aware of the blessings around you besides the obvious, “I’m thankful for my family, my home, my health.” The goal is to recognize the simple blessings in life that we might take for granted.
By challenging yourself to approach life from a thankful perspective, you’ll learn to look deeper into things, including adversity. It’s easy to find the negative in the obstacles that you face. The goal with a gratitude challenge is to recognize just how many ways that you’re blessed. I’m sure you’ve heard that you get what you focus on. So if you seek things to be thankful for, you’ll find more of them if that’s where your focus lies.
Why is a mindset of gratitude important?
I truly believe that thankful people are happy people. When you come from a place of gratitude, you’re reflecting an abundance and positivity mindset. Without that mindset, every little negative thing that you encounter could alter your mood and send you into a downward spiral. That’s no good for anybody.
But when you focus on thankfulness, you learn to appreciate all that you have and not worry so much about what you don’t have. You also tend to look for the blessings during difficult times versus going all “gloom and doom” when the tough times hit.
According to research done by the folks at Positive Psychology, they found that there are so many health benefits to practicing gratitude. They include things like:
- Increased happiness and positive mood
- More satisfaction with life
- Reduced stress
- Less materialistic
- Better physical health
- Better sleep
- Encourages patience, humility, wisdom and many more
So I would say that with results like these, practicing gratitude really does work.
How do you practice gratitude?
With so many benefits to practicing gratitude, most notably a shift in mindset, how do you put practicing gratitude into action? Many people start with a gratitude journal or a gratitude jar. List several things that you are thankful for each day in that journal. I’ve provided some gratitude prompts in the calendar you can grab later in the post. You may prefer sharing your blessings with a friend or your spouse at the end of each day. I would suggest, picking a method that works best for you.
Look for the blessing in everything, including struggles or challenges that you may have in your life. Practicing kindness towards others is a great way to make gratitude a part of every day. When you have negative thoughts, reminders of the things that you’re thankful for will change that negative mindset.
Be thankful toward others, everywhere you go. Thank people who serve you, customer service people, the child who holds the door open for you, the friend who calls just at the right time. Thank your loved ones for all the little things that they do for you. Be especially mindful not to take them for granted. Make gratitude a part of your daily life. Point out your blessings to your family at dinner time. Share the benefits of gratitude with your family and friends and on social media.
Be especially thankful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Offer words of thanksgiving in every single prayer. On a particularly beautiful day, it’s not unusual for me to offer a prayer of gratitude for all of His creation. Every blessing comes from God. Never forget that. How often do we take God for granted? We often pray for things and situations, yet we neglect showing gratitude to the giver of all of our blessings.
Does gratitude really work?
I think the answer to that question comes from your results. How do you feel when you’ve written in your gratitude journal for some time, and upon later review you find pages and pages of things that you have been blessed by in your life? Does that lift your mindset? Do you see more blessings, the more you look for them? Are you more thankful and more positive? Or do your results bring negative experiences? I really doubt that you grow more negative the more that you practice gratitude.
For this gratitude challenge, I’ve created a printable calendar. For each day, you’re given a gratitude prompt of what you can be grateful for on that day. Here are some examples of the gratitude prompts:
- Who made you smile today & why?
- Name one blessing from today.
- What is one thing one of your family members did today that made you happy?
- Who’s friendship are you thankful for and why?
- Who was kind to you today & why?
But don’t stop there. That’s your first prompt. Come up with more ideas so that you’re listing at least 3-5 things that you’re thankful for each day. The more the better. Check out my Gratitude from A to Z list for more ideas. If you would like a full-sized printable, subscribe below.
What to do with your gratitude list?
So now you have a journal with blessings from every day. What happens next? Well first, keep adding to it. It’s a great resource for when times are tough and you’re feeling down and need a boost. When you’re sad, pull out your list and see just how blessed you really are. There’s no more need for your pity party. Praise the Lord for every blessing in your life.
I really hope that you’ll take advantage of this gratitude challenge to make thankfulness a way of life. Use the gratitude prompts that I’ve provided to kick-start your challenge. Share this challenge with your friends. You can even create a group challenge. I believe that you cannot have enough gratitude in life.