I’m going to be completely honest and tell you that I have a jam packed schedule. When friends ask if I want to “hang out”, I often have to pull out my planner and see when I’m free. Spontaneous friend time rarely occurs in my life because I am an overplanner…yes, I know it’s a problem. I’m totally aware and I’m working on it!
But what I love about THIS lady here, is that she is totally aware of my crazy overplanning habits and will set aside time to ask me when we can have a friend date. She busts out her planner and instantly writes down whatever available date I have open in her schedule, and reserves it for friend time! #bestfriendgoalsmet
So, why am I sharing all this with you?
One of my personal goals this December is to tell 25 people (one each day) why I am grateful for them! I’m not going to post too many of these here because lots of them are very personal (plus I don’t want people to know they’re coming), but I wanted to share today’s gratefulgram with you! I hope this encourages you to take some time out of your day to be grateful for someone in your life, AND to TELL them why you’re grateful for them.
Today I’m grateful for my sweet friend Michelle! This woman right here is pretty amazing. I hope you all have a Michelle in your life. When I first met Michelle I wasn’t so sure about her. She’s pretty loud, sassy, and intense; but behind all that is an incredibly soft, sweet, and caring friend. Michelle and I met in 2015 at the start of graduate school at The University of Georgia, and goodness it’s been a ride.
I would have never expected it, but I have made a lifetime friend here in Georgia. I had prayed my whole life that I would have deep meaningful friendships and that I would create lifelong friendships. I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve found something special with Michelle and I’m forever thankful for what we have.
So, today I want to list out 10 reasons why I’m grateful for this woman and our friendship:
When I list out all the reasons I am grateful for someone, it helps me realize what a valuable relationship we have. I’m a strong believer in verbalizing what you are grateful for. Strong relationships don’t just happen. By taking the time to invest in your relationships and be grateful for the people in your life, you will start to realize what great people you have in your life.
Take some time this month and tell people in your life WHY you are grateful for them. You may assume that they know that you appreciate and love them, and that might be true. But everyone loves to hear kind words and remember that you’re thinking about them.
Here we are again friends…it’s Monday! BUT this Monday starts week 6 of the #contentmentchallenge, and that means we’re about half way through our challenge!
YOU’VE ALMOST MADE IT!
Remember, this month is all about Gratitude. Last week we made an active effort to focus on what we DO have, and not on the lack.
How did last week go? Did you set aside time in your schedule to do this? I know it sounds silly, but setting aside the time really does help!
I tend to focus on my gratitude list at the end of each day when I’m laying in bed. If you’re having a hard time actively focusing on what you do have, set aside a specific time to practice this exercise. I like doing this right before bed because it helps me go to bed with lots of positive thoughts.
WEEK 6 CHALLENGES
Don’t forget to share your journey online using the #contentmentchallenge. I’d love to hear about your journey.
P.S. – Take some time to celebrate this week! You’ve made so much progress these past 6 weeks! How are you going to celebrate!?!?!!
Details about this beautiful photo:
It’s almost November friends! While I’m not a fan of cold weather, I do love the holidays that surround it. The start of November means thanksgiving is right around the corner, which happens to align perfectly with our contentment theme this month: Gratitude
Take some time before this new month starts to assess how October went for you. Be honest with yourself. What was challenging? What was rewarding? How did it feel to give away some clothes? How did it feel to spend more intentional time with the people you love?
I’ll be honest with you on how my October went:
Now that we’ve assessed how October went, lets move on! Count your wins and recognize your losses. We are starting a fresh month! Remember this process is not about being perfect, but about working towards a life dedicated to contentment.
WEEK 5 CHALLENGES:
Don’t forget to share your journey online using the #contentmentchallenge. I’d love to see how your journey is going and know where you’re at at the start of our second month!
Happy (almost) November Friends!
Happy Monday Friends!
Before we go on to week 3 be sure to take a minute to think about your successes and challenges this past week. Have you found more time to implement life giving activities/moments into your days? Have you had a chance to go through your closet and clean out the clutter? I’m still working on this one myself!
If you haven’t taken the time to go through your closet, schedule it into your week! Literally WRITE IT IN YOUR SCHEDULE! Tell someone about it so you can be held accountable to do this! This is such an important step to getting rid of all the excess in life. Bonus: If you have the time, go through your jewelry box and get rid of jewelry you don’t wear or all those earrings who’ve lost pairs. This has been so great for me!
Remember, the goal is to live in a state of satisfaction wherever you may be in this season of life. What contentment looks like to you may be different than your neighbor or your spouse. Remind yourself what a content life looks like for YOU!
Are you currently in a state of satisfaction in your life? If not, take some time to evaluate what contentment looks like for you. What can you change to be more content?
WEEK 3 CHALLENGES
How is the #contentmentchallenge going for you? I’d love to hear about your experiences! I am so excited to have you along this journey with me!
Happy (late) Monday!
We’ve officially completed week one of the contentment challenge. I’m already proud of you. This first week was hard!
As you wrap up your first week and start your second take a minute to think about your challenges and successes. What has been hard for you? What has been easy? Have you implemented something good and life giving into your schedule? Have you taken a moment to start going through your closet and declutter? What do you need to change?
As you begin this week, I encourage you to take a moment to be honest with yourself and figure out what is and isn’t working for you. Then regroup!
Remind yourself why you’re doing this. What is your ‘why’ behind this challenge?
My why – I want to spend my days intentionally with those I love and get rid of the fluff. I want to save financially for the most important things in life. I want to be content with where I am in this season of life.
Write down your ‘why’ on a sticky note and leave it somewhere you can see each day to remind yourself what is truly important. This sounds silly, but it works!
How has your first week gone? I’d love to hear how it’s going! Also, don’t forget to leave some encouragement on social media using #contentmentchallenge . I’ll be back next Monday with more challenges and updates.
Happy October Friends! Today marks the start of the #contentmentchallenge .
If you’ve never heard of the contentment challenge, read my background posts about it here and here. If you feel connected to this idea I encourage you to join me. I’d love to have you by my side on this journey!
If you’re like me, you’re excited to be starting this challenge, but know that these next 3 months will be filled with struggles. But all good things grow through the dirt. So let’s dig in!
Clean out your closet and give away your excess clothes.
I know you have a closet full of clothes, many that don’t even get touched. I know I have clothes I don’t feel confident in, don’t fit right, or I’ve been saving for a ‘just in case’ situation. I can’t tell you the last time I wore any of those clothes. Instead what I do is wear my favorite outfits over and over again. So why not be generous and give away what I’m not using?
It’s fulfilling to replace your need for materialism and consumerism with generosity.
This month go through your clothes. What can you afford to give away? Donate your items to an organization you care about and support.
Remember that contentment is internal. You can be content with or without stuff. Consuming more will not make you more content. However, generosity is a fulfilling gesture.
I encourage you to fill your time spent shopping or participating in consuming activities with a new fulfilling activity. Think about the following when picking activities to fill your time with:
What will enrich your life?
What will help you build healthy habits?
What will bring you true joy and fulfillment?
Be sure to document your challenges and victories! You don’t need to write a novel, but it’s important to understand where you are in your journey and track growth throughout these months.
As you go through your challenge please use the hashtag #contentmentchallenge to share your story with others and see past resources others have shared.
I’ll be back next Monday with an update and a few new prompts.
Are you joining me and completing your own contentment challenge? If so, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know the new actives your trying and how your closet clean out goes.
Writing a post talking about my contentment issues was hard. It’s never easy to admit when your heart is not in the right place. But after going through so many seasons of frustration with myself I’m glad to be sharing this journey with you all. I think there is great value in being open with where you are.
I think some of you may struggle more with contentment of ‘things’. If so I think many of Nancy Ray‘s guidelines below will be helpful for you! If you’re like me and have discontentment with what I like to call your ‘Work = Worth’ problem, I have things added in for you too!
I do think there is value in getting rid of physical clutter and addictions to material things when trying to clear your mind and be in a more content state, so I’m sticking with Nancy’s guidelines as well. However, I’ve added in a few more guidelines to personalize this for the things I struggle with most.
Here are the Guidelines:
Each month will have a theme with different thought prompts and an activity you will be challenged to participate in. I’ll be sure to post these on the 1st of October, November, and December. Posts of my struggles and encouragement will be sprinkled in along the way!
Share your journey using the hashtag #contentmentchallenge ! Feel free to share both your victories and struggles along the way.
I hope you’ll join me! More soon on preparing before the #contentmentchallenge !
“Showing up correct”, (as my friend Michelle likes to say) is
hard HARD. Showing up honest and vulnerable is difficult. It’s possible some people won’t relate to this (hey…those aren’t my people anyways 😉 ), but I think it’s more likely that many people will identify with where I am.
Not physically, but mentally.
Living in a world full of ‘more’ is tiring. I feel like in all my worlds the ‘more’ you have the better. The more money. The bigger the house. The nicer the car. The better the camera. The cuter the clothes. I think you get the picture…
While spending money hasn’t been the biggest challenge for me (I’m not worried about keeping up with the Joneses most of the time), I still get feelings of inadequacy on the regular. Being happy and content with where I am is HARD for me to do. Really. Hard.
Am I working hard enough?
Maybe if I just work harder that will get me to where I need to be?
Am I doing enough to have a successful career?
Maybe if I am more organized I’ll be more efficient with my time?
Am I even good at this? Should I be doing something else?
Why didn’t that client book me?
Is my boss happy with my progress?
How can I possibly fit everything I NEED to do into today AND do it well?
Do you ever say any of these things to yourself? Because I do on the regular…
You see, I’m super type A and I love goals. I wrote yesterday all about my crazy internal dialogue. Don’t pretend like you don’t have them…
I am constantly pushing myself to the limits. I always want to learn more, take on new challenges, and improve who I am. This is a good thing. This is one of my biggest strengths, and I’m thankful for that. But this is also one of my biggest weaknesses. This can be debilitating at times.
Any of my Type A friends feel me on this one?!?!
This pushing myself to the limits sort of person that I am can be incredibly frustrating for me at times. About once a month I have a moment where I feel utterly in a daze and get irritated that I get myself into this place. WHAT AM I DOING?!?!
When I take a step back, I also realize this is hard for those I’m closest to. Trust me, sitting at a table alone writing ‘just one more blog post’ while your partner watches a movie alone is not fun. Hanging out with your friends, but being consumed by your own thoughts is tiring. Being so caught up in your own head thinking of your To Do lists to the point where you can’t sleep is not fun. Getting sick and having your stress amplify your autoimmune disease is not good. I’m not proud of this list.
This is not a good place to be in, and I know it.
What does this all come down to???? I am not content.
The idea of contentment is hard. Being content where you are. Being content with what you have. Being content with your heart. Being content with your progress. This is a struggle.
The idea of being content is difficult for me (as you’ve surely picked up by now). I’m not sure that I’ve ever really felt content with where I am in life. Ever. Yes…I just said that. So…
One of the most inspiring women I know created a little thing called The Contentment Challenge (P.S. – I recommend checking out her guidelines and journey through this process. It’s truly inspiring.).
I will give up shopping for clothes, accessories, household decor, and “stuff” for 3 months to focus on my heart and min on the root of true contentment. I will actively pursue fulfilling activities that will replace my addiction to material things.
While Nancy‘s focus is mostly on giving up shopping for material things, which I also intend to do, I would like to focus more on growing a content mind (since this is my biggest problem).
As I start this challenge, I’m preparing my heart and really thinking about what a content heart looks like to me.
If this is something you struggle with (material things or mentally), I encourage you to check out The Contentment Challenge and think about if this is something you could benefit from.
Who’s with me?!?! I’d love for you to join me in doing my version of The Contentment Challenge, or Nancy’s, or your own!
Each day this week, instead of focusing on all the pretty of the photography world, I’d like to focus on being content and setting up The Contentment Challenge to start on October 1st! Each day I’ll leave a series of questions or notes that I’m thinking about before I start this challenge next month!
What does contentment mean to you?
Are you content where you are, right now?
Does your happiness lie in a goal you are hoping to achieve?
What does a content life look like?
Where do you find yourself today, at the start of this challenge?
I feel like good (and hard) things are ahead of us y’all!
Does anyone else have To Do lists like this? Does anyone else have days that feel scattered and full like this? I hope the answer is ‘Yes’, because this is how every day of my life looks. Usually this is fine (actually more than fine, great!), but every once in a while I get stuck.
I get caught up in the busyness of life. I get caught up in the To Do lists, and I start to care more about getting those check marks done ( because I said I would do them) instead of slowing down and making sure that my personal health and relationships are taken care of first.
Every once in a while it’s like I look up from my To Do list and realize that I haven’t checked in with everyone in my life. Where did the time go? I haven’t called my mom or dad or anyone in weeks!
It’s at this point in time that I usually get frustrated with myself. Frustrated that I haven’t been prioritizing the important things (health and relationships).
It’s in these moments that I realize that I can’t do it all well. It’s in these moments that I need to take a second look at that list and decide what HAS to get done, and what HAS to get done NOW. Usually almost everything can wait.
Because it’s more important that I do my relationships well. Always.
It’s time I start to add intentional time for my relationships on my To Do list. I need to block out sections of time for friends and family (oh, and me!)!
So this Saturday I’m going to give myself a little grace. I’m leaving my To Do list behind, and I’m going to spend quality time with my best friend exploring little towns in Georgia. It’s time we actually go somewhere instead of catching up behind the screens of our computers. It’s time we actually look at each other and find out how the other is really doing. Relationships matter more than my cluttered planner full of To Dos, and they always will. I think this is the best way to start my Saturday.
Who are you spending time with today? If your plate is full, at least take a few moments to look up and spend time with some of your favorite people.
August is wrapping up and I’m already starting to think of all the great things September has in store! I often get so excited about the month ahead that I forget to slow down and reflect on what went well and what I’m grateful for in my current month. So before I get too ahead of myself….