I accepted a challenge today and thought you might like to join in!
Let me tell you about it.

We were talking about how our thoughts control our feelings and actions.  For example, someone cuts you off in traffic and you can…

Think about what an idiot they are as your stress level and blood pressure rise, you grip the steering wheel more tightly and your driving becomes more aggressive.

Or… you can think, “Man, that guy’s in a hurry! I hope everything is ok! House isn’t burning down, wife in labor in the back seat, kid dying in the hospital. It’s a good thing I was here to hold that spot in traffic so he could get wherever he needs to be!”  You say a quick prayer that he gets wherever safely, smile happily to yourself and enjoy the drive.

Your thoughts changed your feelings and actions and even the situation!

As a man thinketh, so is he.

Think happy thoughts, be a happy person.
Think about yelling at your child, and eventually you’ll yell at them.
Think about how much you like your husband, and he becomes easier for you to like.
Think about being a great cook and your cooking improves.

My cooking will improve?  What the…?

Yes. Because when you see yourself as a great cook, you’ll be more likely to spend time cooking, to read cookbooks, and to shop carefully for the right ingredients.  That’s what good cooks do, right?  And since you are a good cook, that’s what you’ll do, too.

So here’s the Gratitude 30 Challenge.

On day 1 write a goal on a card. Something you’d love to achieve or become. Put the card where you will see it several times a day.  (You might want more than one card.)
Then, for 30 days–
          Picture yourself attaining the goal several times a day. Perhaps you put the card in your purse, and every time you see it there you pause for a second to picture yourself being a more patient mother, or being 10 pounds lighter, or being able to remember people’s names.  
          Don’t let negative thoughts about your goal linger.  If they pop into your head– banish them immediately until your 30 days are over.  You can think you’re fat next month.  This month you’re thinking about being thin. 
          Do 5 acts of service each day.  They don’t need to be big.  Hold a door for someone.  Say “thank you!” to someone you wouldn’t usually talk to.  Make your daughter’s bed.  5 a day- kinda like fruits and veggies.
         Write 15 things you are grateful for each day.  No repeats.  Be careful here! Don’t list “my kids” on day 1, because then all the individual great things about your kids have already been summed up.  Be specific.  “The way Katie helps with the dishes,” leaves room tomorrow for another great thing about Katie. 

And that’s it!  As we send positive energy into the world, it brings positive energy back to us. And the positive goal we are focused on shifts into place.  Becomes part of who we are.

I’ve decided to do it.  The whole 30!  I’ve written my goal on a little card.   I did 5 small acts of service today and wrote my first list of 15 things I’m grateful for in the journal beside my bed.

I’d like you to join me!  And I’m encouraging you to post your commitment here– in the comments section of this post– along with something you’re grateful for.  Each day from now until June 23, when you post a comment on this post saying something you’re grateful for, (or your goal, or a small act of service you did,) you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Card!  Because books are something we can all be grateful for!

So- leave a comment stating that you’re taking the Gratitude 30 Challenge and something you’re grateful for, and you’re entered once.  Come back tomorrow and leave another comment about something you’re grateful for, and you’re entered again.  And so on for 30 days.  (Yes, I know June 23 is a bit more than 30 days away.  I won’t actually be able to hold the drawing until the 23rd, and this gives everyone a couple of extra days to find out about this and join in.)  Don’t worry if you’re starting late.  You’re welcome to join at any time.  Just count your 30 days from the time you start.  

One thing I’m particularly grateful for today is warmer weather.  Another is A/C in my car.  =)

Let the gratitude begin!  =D