It’s one word with a big meaning.
Essentially, gratitude is being thankful for what you have or showing appreciation and kindness to others. With Thanksgiving around the corner, what better time to reflect on what you’re grateful for in your life?
That’s why we’re introducing the 30 days of gratitude challenge.
What’s The Gratitude Challenge?
Throughout the month of November, the “Gratitude Challenge” encourages people to deeply reflect on the topic of gratitude. By participating in a daily gratitude challenge, it helps you to consider all that is good in your life. It creates a moment for reflection and changes negative thinking patterns in your brain. Plus, it offers moments to show your appreciation toward others.
Best of all, it’s easy to do.
Our list below will give you ideas to work from as you go through the month. By the end of the 30 days, you might love the ideas so much that you repeat the tasks the rest of the year. Download a printable calendar to help you track!
Are you up for the challenge?
30 Days of Gratitude Challenge Ideas
Day 1: Define Gratitude
What does gratitude mean to you? Write it down or reflect on it, or have a conversation about what it means to be grateful. Have you shown gratitude in the last 24 hours? How did it feel?
Day 2: Write Down What You’re Grateful For
For the next month, consider writing down one thing you’re grateful for each day. Big or little, reflect on all the good in your life. Don’t like pen and paper? Download a gratitude journal on your phone.
Day 3: Say Thank You
The two magic words we learned as children are often forgotten in our daily interactions with others. Give thanks for gestures others do for you, big and small.
Day 4: Say Morning Gratitude Affirmations
Upon waking, consider having a mantra to repeat throughout the day. Keeping it short will help you remember to silently repeat it during challenging moments. “My life is filled with abundant goodness” or “I’m thankful for this moment” are two easy affirmations to say.
Day 5: Send a Thank You Card
No email. No text. Write a good old-fashioned thank you card. Send it to someone who’s made a difference in your life.
Day 6: Offer a Moment of Silence in Gratitude
When nothing seems to be going right, take a moment to pause. What is going right in your life? If you search for it in the moment of chaos, it will help center your thought process.
Day 7: Write a Nice Review
When was the last time you had fantastic service in a place of business? In the day and age of online reviews, take a moment to recognize a business you patronize. Most reviews are negative, and when the owner or manager reads yours, it’ll be a breath of fresh air.
Day 8: Donate
Think about all of the abundances in your life. Maybe you have an overstuffed bookshelf. Or a ton of gently-used clothes you never wear. Perhaps your kids don’t play with their old toys anymore. Time? Everyone has something to give. Donate your books to a library. Give your clothes to a homeless shelter. Send toys to an orphanage. Give your time to a volunteer program.
Day 9: Show Someone You Love Them
It can be as simple as making their favorite meal. Or doing the dishes if they dislike that task. Let your loved ones know you appreciate them in little ways.
Day 10: Serve Others
Give back to others. Nothing inflates your sense of gratitude more than a humbling volunteer experience. Hold babies at a hospital. Walk dogs at a local pet shelter. Organize a charity dinner for someone in need. Use your gifts to serve others, and you’ll feel overwhelmed with gratitude.
Day 11: Pay it Forward
Do something nice for someone else. Don’t ask for anything in return except for them to pay it forward themselves.
Day 12: Write Letters to Troops
All year, American troops are deployed overseas. They miss time with their families. Holidays come and go. They get lonely. Consider writing letters to veterans and new recruits through a program like Operation Gratitude. While writing letters, reflect on their sacrifices for our country and safety.
Day 13: Read About Gratitude
Love to read? Consider picking up a book on how to bring more gratitude reflections into your life. Some titles to consider: Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity and Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.
Day 14: Hang a Gratitude Board
This one works well in offices and at home. Hang a dry erase board where everyone can see it. Encourage everyone to anonymously leave notes of what they are grateful for throughout November.
Day 15: What Am I Taking for Granted?
Reflect on this question as a journal prompt or aloud with a friend, coworker, or spouse. Brainstorm how you can embrace and appreciate whatever it is you take for granted. Check-in with each other each week to celebrate progress.
Day 16: Get Social
Capture an image of what you’re grateful for and post it to social media. Use #gratitudechallenge.
Day 17: Focus on You
Take a day to focus on your life. Embrace a day of being able to do what you love whether it’s painting, writing, working out, dancing, or even treating yourself to a nice meal. Enjoy each moment as it comes.
Day 18: Send Flowers
Think of someone in the past week who has made you smile or feel good. Send that person flowers. It can be a friend, your spouse, or even your favorite librarian. It’ll make you happy knowing you’re able to make someone else smile.
Day 19: Make a Gratitude Jar
This is great for families, but anyone can do it. Add a slip of paper with notes of anything or anyone who brings about feelings of gratitude. At the end of the month, read aloud all the slips of paper.
Day 20: Tip Someone Well
Was your barista super friendly this morning? Or maybe your server was extra patient with your fussy child? If someone in the service industry goes above and beyond, and tips are a part of their reward system, show them your appreciation. Give a little more than usual. Then think about how lucky you are to be able to be financially generous.
Day 21: Open the Door for Strangers
Throughout the day, hold the door open for strangers. The act will remind you that you’re physically able to be kind to others.
Day 22: Announce Your Thanks
Thanksgiving day is often a whirlwind of activities. Between cooking, hosting family, and eating, it can feel like an all-day marathon of madness. Once dinner is served, ask everyone to go around the table and share what they’re thankful for this year. If your group can prep in advance, ask them to also share their favorite gratitude quote.
Day 23: Share Your Abundance With Others
Many people don’t have families to share the holidays with — the homeless, senior citizens, single folks — and it can be a lonely time for them. Consider opening your home for a second Thanksgiving meal and sharing your leftovers. Or, seek out those individuals. Go serve a meal in a soup kitchen. Make and take a meal to a friend in a nursing home. Invite a single person over for a meal with your family. You’ll always find you have extra to give — whether it’s time, food, or friendship.
Day 24: Gratitude Post-its
Make co-workers smile with random Post-it notes around the office. Write out gratitude quotes, and post them throughout the day. Better yet, have everyone join in the exercise during a staff meeting. Tell them to post their kind words about a coworker on a bulletin board anonymously.
Day 25: Give a Gift
Buy someone you appreciate a gift. Consider purchasing a book on gratitude or a gratitude journal.
Day 26: Call a Friend
Has it been a while since you’ve called your best friend? Give them a jingle. They’ll love to hear your voice. Let them know why you’re glad they’re in your life.
Day 27: Meditate
If you’ve never meditated before, this can truly be a challenge. Try and spend five minutes quietly reflecting on what you appreciate in your life. Set a timer. If you’re a seasoned meditation guru, shoot for an hour. Journal as you go, or just sit with your thoughts.
Day 28: Compliment Someone
Make someone’s day with a compliment. If you appreciate their work ethic, go ahead and tell them. If you love the presentation they put together, let them know. Or, if you just love that they’re a good human being, express it.
Day 29: Discover Awe
Look at the world around you. Take a moment to really let it sink in. If you can, go outside. Observe the birds. Watch the wind shake the leaves of a tree. Take in the scent of fresh air. No matter where you are, pause and soak up the moment. You can see. You are breathing. You are alive.
Day 30: Take it All in
If you’ve written a daily gratitude list, look it over. Circle your favorite reflections. Consider how you can continue to show appreciation and gratitude in your daily life moving forward. November is over, but feeling grateful can be built-in to everyday living.
Give Thanks at Work, Too
People love to be recognized for their hard work. While a pat on the back is nice, there’s something about a handwritten thank you note that warms the heart. Douglas R. Conant, the former CEO of Campbell’s Soup, even wrote 30,000 thank you notes to his employees over the years.
And, it doesn’t have to be hard or costly to say thanks.
- Write a handwritten thank you note
- Surprise employees with a $5 gift card
- Add a wall of fame in your office
- Throw a surprise luncheon
- Create special office traditions for birthdays, holidays
Showing gratitude toward employees doesn’t take much time, and if an employee does great work, they’ll appreciate you took the time to notice and praise their efforts.
What are you grateful for in your life? Share in the comments below!