Tuesday, 27 November 2012

30-Day Challenge: Gratitude Journal

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"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." - Thornton Wilder



In our new place, we keep the clocks on time instead of 10 minutes ahead as I used to when I lived alone. When I look and I realize they're not fast, I feel like I've lost time, but it's just a matter of perspective. Of course, the time is the same regardless of what the clock says.

Image by CJC
It's a little bit the same with life- you might not have won the million regardless of your smile, but feeling good about your day really does make it better for you and for those around you. Since being happy and healthy is a great thing to be, I have a new 30-day challenge. I'm going to keep a gratitude journal.
I may to aim for everyday, but studies show that doing it once a week might actually be more effective. So you'll have to gauge what you feel is right for you.

It's a simple enough concept. At some point during your week/day, take a moment to write down 5 things about the week/day that you are grateful for. This might be that the sun is shining, that you danced, or heard a robin, or simply that you're breathing. On a great week/day, your list will look amazing, on a hard one, it might be filled with basics like clean drinking water, but it's something. This is something I'd really like to start. I think that not only will I have a little meditative moment of positivity, but, during those off-times, I can take a look at the other pages and just be grateful.

Last week was Thanksgiving for my American friends and family, and some of them have been posting things they are grateful for in their Facebook statuses, aiming to do it everyday. I love it, a modern, public take on the old concept. If you want to keep a gratitude journal, find a space that's right for you, some place where you can collect these thankful thoughts comfortably and with ease. 

Photo by Muffet

You might want to keep it private or make it public. Maybe in social media, a space at the top of your agenda pages, a diary dedicated to the cause, or a notepad app on your phone. Whatever works for you. You might want to make an art journal and express your gratitude through doodles, collages, and other expressions, or a scrapbook of little thankful tunes if you're a musician. The process is as open as you let it be.


I think I'll use the beautiful little journal I got for my for my birthday and make mine a mixture of different types of messages:
  • Part affirmations ex: " I am thankful that I am strong",  " I am thankful that I express myself", etc,  
  • Part areas I want to focus on in my life and congratulations to myself on this work. ex: " I am thankful that  I expressed myself this week", "I am thankful that I ate healthfully today", etc.
  • Part things outside of my control, ex: "I am thankful for the sun shining today." , " I am thankful for the people who spread the word about my class", etc.
  • There are a bunch of different ways that you can phrase the same message and you can choose how to phrase it depending on what you want to emphasize. For each of the previous sorts of messages an example might be:
    • "I am thankful that I cultivate loving relationships." 
    • "I am thankful for the loving relationships I helped cultivate today."
    • "I am thankful for the loving relationships in my life." 
By D Sharon Pruitt

There are numerous ways to write your thanks depending on why you want to write the journal. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want. Just make it right for you and remember that you can always adjust as you learn more about what you want and don't want from the process. 




I am loving these 30 day challenges. They're simple, lovely thing that are a great way to integrate my goals into my life. Last month's dancing everyday challenge has been awesome in general and great for preparing my classes. Yay!

Have you started any new 30-day challenges? I'd love to hear about them. And- if you like what you read, don't forget to share, subscribe, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest and now- Facebook.

Live well, 
Charlotte

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