2021 has been a year of calling on our resiliency – once again. Now that the holidays are upon us and this is typically a time of surrounding ourselves physically with love and gratitude, we’ll need to call on resiliency and patience again in a big way, as we may not be able to share in each other’s company directly.
I have found that living each day with a mindset of gratitude and appreciation for what I do have during this challenging year, has served to strengthen my resiliency overall.
Therefore, here’s my proposition to you. Let’s make a pact this month to focus on seeking out gratitude – and sharing gratitude with others – in imaginative ways.
Who’s with me?
I’ve been working on getting creative here and I think this will be fun! I’m going to call it 12 Days Of Gratitude, and below I’ve outlined specific things we can do each day to find, share, and spread gratitude. Together.
So, here we go!
Day 1 – Create a Gratitude Jar
Place a jar or bowl somewhere convenient where you see it every day – the kitchen counter comes to mind. Every day, have each person in the household, write down one thing that day that they are grateful for. It could be as simple as “The sun is shining and that makes me happy.” Read these together at the dinner table. If you are having a bad day or rough moment, reach in and grab one and read it to remind yourself all that you have – even if it’s simple things! If you live alone, try write something each day.
Day 2 – Journal
I have a gratitude journal, and I keep it simple so that I can fit it into my schedule each day. I split the page down the middle. On the left side, I write what I’m grateful for on a daily basis – each day. Now here’s the fun part… on the left side I write what I WANT to happen as if it happened. For example, I want to create a wellness program with XYZ company. I write down “Confirmed wellness program for XYZ company.” It’s an affirmation of sorts and sets my mind toward no other option than to achieve that goal.
Day 3 – Take a Gratitude Walk
Take a little time for yourself – by yourself – to set out on a purposeful walk. During this walk focus your mind on all the things you appreciate in your life. Breathe. Reflect. Repeat.
Day 4 – Consciously Notice Beauty Around You
Decide to take today to simply notice the beauty around you. For instance, this might be looking up at a blue sky or pausing to spend a moment looking at a picture or piece of art on your wall. Choose things that give you positive energy and that you feel are beautiful and then really notice them.
Day 5 – Do a Gratitude/Love/Self Love Mini Workout
Take five minutes and do the following:
- 1 minute of slow plies in second position (say OUT LOUD something that you are grateful for).
- 1 minute slow lunges alternating legs (for each lunge say OUT LOUD something or someone you love).
- 1 minute of sit-ups (for each sit up say OUT LOUD something that you love about yourself).
- 45-second rest in between each
If you want a longer workout, feel free to repeat or visit Xtend Barre Australia Instagram Reel of a mini workout I’ve put together!
Day 6 – Execute a Simple Act of Kindness – or 2!
Pay it forward at your local café and buy the person behind you a coffee, or after an Xtend class, offer to buy your favourite instructor a coffee. Decide to smile at every single person you pass and say hi – even if they don’t return the gesture. Or, if you notice regular Xtenders in your class, take this opportunity to introduce yourself ‘Hey, I’ve noticed we always do this Xtend Barre class every week, want to get coffee after?’ Whatever it is, make a little extra effort to be kind and it will come back to you tenfold.
Day 7 – Write a Gratitude Letter
Get out the pen and paper again, or find a small, pretty card, it’s time to write a good old-fashioned letter. Write it to yourself, or someone you want to send appreciation to. Let them know what you are grateful for about having them in your life. Most importantly, make the extra effort to send it in the good old fashioned mail.
Day 8 – Replace Negative with Positive
Set out to make this your mission today. If and when a negative thought creeps in, immediately replace it with a positive one. If you find yourself thinking, “This is going to be really hard and tedious,” replace it with, “This is a great challenge that I can tackle!” See if you can go through the entire day replacing negative with positive – every time!
Day 9 – Make a Gratitude Collage
This can be simple … take 20 minutes and do it on your computer. Pull pictures, smiles, words, that make you happy into one file or document and keep it handy to pull up and glance at when you need a reminder.
Day 10 – Commit to Not Complaining
We all do it – even if it’s just a sigh or a “How annoying, the store is out of the flavour of juice I want.” Keep everything you speak out loud positive and turn complaints around to opportunities … “Today, I get to try a new flavour of my favourite juice!”
Day 11 – Thank People Who Serve Your Community
Say thank you to the mailman, the person working the cash register at the grocery store. Say thank you to your friends and family, and your favourite Xtend Barre instructor after a class. Give thanks daily.
Day 12 – Reflect
Take 30 minutes to look back on the last 11 days and reflect on how identifying, magnifying, sharing, and spreading gratitude, appreciation and love maybe shifted your mindset, or eased your stress, or was just simply FUN!