This month has felt a little lighter and brighter than usual. Part of it may be a literal brightness (thank you daylight savings time for making early mornings easier), but I can’t help but think that my Gratitude Challenge, which kicked off on April 1st, has been the reason for the extra kick in my step.
I do some sort of gratitude practice each day and it has changed my life. Whenever I do a gratitude exercise in the morning, it lays the foundation for a more positive day ahead. I also do an exercise if I feel low or upset throughout the day. Turning my attention to the positive things that have happened or are happening to me instantly changes my vibrations. I get the strength to power through negative incidents and I also manifest more positive situations.
To me, being thankful for the goodwill only draw more good into your life. Since gratitude has transformed my outlook so much, I wanted to provide you all a way to do the same. And thus the gratitude challenge was born!
If you have been participating in my challenge, I hope that, like me, you are also feeling more positive energy in your life. If you’re reading this and wondering, “Gratitude Challenge?! What is Masoom talking about?” then I am going to assume you don’t follow me on Instagram because every day on my stories this month I am posting a different challenge related to gratitude. In case you want to catch up on what you’ve missed, here are the first 15 days of the challenge. If you want to just jump in with the rest of us, head over to my Instagram and join the fun. Either way, I hope you all find some way to infuse more gratitude into your lives.
Day 1- For the first day of this challenge, keep it simple and follow the go-to gratitude exercise that I posted several months back. Use this as an opportunity to acquaint yourself with the idea of gratitude and to prepare yourself for the next 29 days.
Day 2- What do you take for granted in life? Take 15 minutes and think about it or, better yet, write your answer down. It’s really easy to overlook things like being able-bodied, having all the members of your family, never worrying about where your next meal will come from, or having a roof over your head. I am fortunate to have all these things, but not everyone does, so I like to remind myself that I have so many basic luxuries to feel thankful for.
Day 3- I bet there are several people who you feel grateful to know and have in your life. Maybe it’s your mom, best friend, or boyfriend, or even your hairdresser, cook, or mailman. We all benefit from other people in our lives, but how often do we say thank you to them? Today is the chance to do so! Send them a text, write them a letter, slide into their DMs… do whatever it takes to get the message across, but just make sure to FEEL grateful when doing it so that you’re not just sending an empty message. Some examples of what to tell them are “I’m so happy to have you in my life,” “Just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me,” or “Thanks for being you!”
Day 4- I don’t want this challenge to slow you down, so today’s exercise will take less than five minutes. This template has the beginning of six sentences and all you need to do is fill them in with what you’re grateful for. Half of the work is already done for you so you just need to come up with answers!
Day 5- Raise your hand if you’ve heard friends say something negative about their own appearance and then compliment someone else with ease. Or maybe you do it yourself? It’s so easy to knock yourself down and see the positives in other people, but I promise that you are blessed with so many things worth feeling appreciative for. Now go look at yourself in the mirror and say something that you feel grateful for from head to toe. Yes, this will feel awkward at first, but that’s the whole point of doing this! We should all be comfortable and confident in who we are! If you do get stuck, you can even say thank you for a healthy organ!
Day 6- First thing in the morning, I want you to set an alarm for a random moment later in the day. Then, go on with your day per usual until that alarm goes off. Then, take a break from whatever you’re doing and jot down all that you were grateful for in the last 24 hours. You must name 20 things! If you enjoy this activity, make it a fun surprise for every day. I love doing this because it acts as a trigger, forcing me to pause at the moment and reflect on the past so that I can attract more good things in the rest of the day.
Day 7- This is another challenge for you and it’s best done the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper. Write down all your non-physical characteristics you feel grateful for. What is it about your personality that you love and that you know impacts other people’s lives positively? Maybe you’re really honest, creative, confident, generous, or blunt! If you’re struggling, ask your loved ones what quality they like most about you and write that down!
Day 8- Get your walking shoes on and hit the road because it’s time for a gratitude walk! Head outside (or if the outdoors are not an option for you, do this while you walk around inside) and take note of everything around you, then express your gratefulness for it. When was the last time you did something for the sheer pleasure of breathing in your surroundings and being in the present? I promise doing this will bring you an immense amount of clarity.
Day 9- Choose the people you consider to be family. You must choose at least two people and there is no maximum. Now, write down their names and list five characteristics of each person that you are grateful for. Yes, five different things! No cheating!
Day 10- This is a continuation of Day 9 because family is my number one priority in life. Pull up your lists from the day before and send each person what you wrote about them. This is your chance to thank them for being part of the one thing that is truly irreplaceable in life: family.
Day 11- Today we up the stakes on this challenge. Set a goal for how many times you want to say “thank you” throughout the day. For example, if I make my target 25, I must ensure that I say “thank you” at least 25 times by the end of the day. You can say thank you to absolutely anyone, be it your mom when she gives you breakfast or your cab driver when they drop you off. There are so many benefits to saying thank you. These two words instantly make my vibrations positive, which makes me feel so much more optimistic and clear about what really matters. Saying thank you for a particular moment subconsciously manifests more of these amazing situations and relationships. So now, stop reading and get to thanking!
Day 12- I actually posted Day 12 in the caption of one of my Instagram pictures asking you to tag three people you’re grateful to have in your life. Instead, you can choose those three people and shoot them a quick text to tell them thanks for being in your life!
Day 13- This day of the challenge fell around the time the Asifa Bano rape case was dominating headlines. For that reason, I canceled the challenge for a day. If you are unaware of this news, definitely take time to learn about it.
Day 14- Today is about safety. Either think about or write down all the things related to safety that you feel thankful for. Your list might include places where you feel safe or people who make you feel safe. Safety is one of those things we take for granted, so if we have this luxury we should at least be grateful for it and pray that everyone else can have the same security.
Day 15- This has two parts. First, make a list of the teachers, mentors, and other individuals who have positively impacted your life with their guidance. As you write each name, FEEL grateful towards them and say a silent thank you. Next, reach out to these people and actually express your gratitude towards them. It doesn’t matter if you send a simple email or a heartfelt message, all that counts is that you thought of them.
There you have it: the first half of my month-long gratitude challenge! Use this to catch up on any day you missed or to restart the challenge whenever you want. You could even take just one of these challenges as a prompt for your own gratitude practice if you need a bit of inspiration! Gratitude is such an important part of my life and I hope this challenge helps others discover its power.