A gratitude challenge

This time a year ago, I was in a really tough place. Every part of my life personally and professionally was in the process of completely falling apart, and I was having a very hard time finding much reason to keep going. Everything seemed hopeless, and I was feeling incredibly stuck.

On a whim, I decided to take on a challenge that someone had posted on Facebook to post one thing I was grateful for every day in November (with no repeats) to stretch Thanksgiving out to the whole month. That sounded simple enough, and I figured it might provide at least a little bit of goodness in my days.

It did do that, but it also did so much more. As I started watching each day for something new to be grateful for, I quickly found myself surrounded by things that sparked a rush of gratitude. They were, of course, things that had been there all along, but I had ceased to notice and appreciate them in the depths of my despair. My challenge slowly went from coming up with one new thing to be grateful for each day to choosing which one thing out of the many I had noticed that I would list for that day.

By the end of that month, I had reached a point of being ready to commit to making some major changes in my life. Changes that were hard, scary (terrifying, actually), and painful but absolutely necessary to get me unstuck and moving forward. I still had many dark days to walk through before things began to really get better, but it was that initial ability to start seeing what was still worthy of gratitude in my life that sparked enough hope and positivity to make it possible for me to choose the necessary changes and have the courage to see them through.

Now, a year later, my life is in so many ways completely transformed. Many of the changes, like the building of this business, are still in progress, and their ultimate success or failure remains uncertain. But I can honestly say that life has never been this good. I live my days now—even the hard ones (and those DO still exist)—with a underlying sense of joy and gratitude permeating everything I do.

And it all started by noticing things for which to be grateful. That’s it. Such a simple thing, but the effect of that exercise has been so amazingly profound.

Tomorrow is the first of November again. And this year I plan to again post one (unique) thing for which I am grateful every day of the month on my personal Facebook page. I have no agenda of expecting the kind of amazing effect that it had on my last year. I am just overflowing with too much gratitude to keep silent. It is my way of celebrating how far I’ve come.

Will you join me? Whether you are in the depths of despair as I was last year or living a life that is amazingly good, consider finding one thing to be grateful for every day this month. There’s just too much out there to be thankful for to reserve that joy for only one day of the year.