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Hello Friends! We’re in week 11 of the #contentmentchallenge ! Can you believe it?!?!

Before we move on the our week 11 challenges, let’s recap some things from week 10:

Last week we talked about – (1) Creating more time for those you love and (2) Creating new ways to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones. Here is what I’ve been doing:

  • Plan a trip with your family/friends
    •  This year I have decided to plan a trip with my both my best friend and boyfriend in 2018 instead of giving them physical products for Christmas. This way we can have something fun to look forward to, something to plan together, and get some quality time in. I’d rather create memories with them instead of giving them things.
    • I’m flying home after Christmas to visit my family and spend some quality time with them before the New Year gets hectic. I’m excited about this since I missed Christmas with them last year!
    • Overall, I am trying to plan more time with my friends and family instead of giving them things.

 

  • Find ways to spend more time with your family and friends over the holidays
    • My boyfriend and I have been waking up on Saturdays to make french toast. This has become a fun little tradition we look forward to. It allows us to slow down one day during the week and enjoy each other’s company more.
    • We’re going to go find Christmas lights and drink hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. I’m super excited about this one!
    • I plan on watching lots of Christmas movies with my little sister when I go home
    • Attended/Attending several holiday parties to celebrate my friends
    • Tap dancing at nursing homes with my favorite tapping gals!
    • Spending more down time walking Peabody around my neighborhood

So friends, how have you started living this holiday season? What have you been doing? How are you spending/planning to spend more quality time with your friends and family?

I’ve been doing these few simple things to remind me to truly be present this holiday season:

  • I have been trying to slow down and take in my whole day. This may sound simple, but I rush through so many motions in my life, so this is not simple for me. I often run from one task to the next without even taking in what’s going on around me. So I’m aiming to move a little slower.
  • I’ve started to turn down opportunities and say no to things that don’t directly align with my goals. This means ‘saying no’ to lots of good things.

If you have any helpful tips to share with us, please leave them in the comments below!

 

WEEK 11 CHALLENGES

  • Continue to find ways to detach from your possessions. For me, this means focusing more on the people in my life. How can you live a more detached life? How can you instead remember and focus on the important things?
  • When you’re feeling a sense of ‘lack’ in your life, try to step back and express your gratitude with what you do have. This means practicing the habit of true gratitude. This is NOT a blanket statement of gratitude for your life, this is instead the practice of taking the time to thank those around you. Slow down and acknowledge these people and that tremendous role they have in your life.

 

Don’t forget to update us how you’re doing during the #contentmentchallenge ! I’d love to get your feedback and hear how you’re doing!

 

Photo Details: Photography @amandaoliviaphoto | Location @parkstudiosatl | Design & Styling @beautifulwilddesign | Mentorship Direction @cassievalentephoto | Hair & Makeup @vigilantecosmetics | Model @mccall.mitchell | Dress @elayavaughn | Ring @susiesaltzman

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Happy Monday Friends! It’s week 10 of the #contentmentchallenge and we’re going strong!

Before we move on…let’s recap!

Last week we talked about finding ways to give freely. What did you do to give more freely this past week?

  • I made an honest effort to give more of my time to friends, family, and fellow creatives when I could. I spent more time with my friends than I usually do. I tried to slow down and spend more time loving people. I also donated my time to several businesses that I love and admire.
  • I didn’t give more with my money in this past week, so I’m going to tack that challenge on this week. I’m going to buy a stranger coffee first thing tomorrow! Then I’d like to think about what organization I’d like to donate to this Winter.

As I was reading the Contentment Challenge book, I found these words written by Nancy Ray, and these just felt so right for where I am in this challenge:

Life is better lived when you actually start living.

When you start doing things.

When you take a deep breath and live in the moment. 

When you stay active.

When you replace stuff with experiences.

I love these words because they sum up how I feel in the Contentment Challenge right now. Especially the “When you replace stuff with experiences” part.

Spending time with people you love and creating intentional time with those you love is so much more valuable than filling your life with things.

So….

WEEK 10 CHALLENGES

  • Plan a trip with your family/friends. Make some time to create memories with those you love. Instead of giving more things to everyone this holiday season, plan some quality time with your family/friends.
  • Find a new way this holiday season to spend more time with friends and family. Don’t take this sweet season for granted, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed this time of year, but it’s worth it to spend time with those you love most.

 

Don’t forget to share your challenge journeys online using #contentmentchallenge . I’d love to hear how it’s going!

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Y’all today starts the third and final month of the #contentmentchallenge ! I can’t believe it!

This month is all about giving, and I couldn’t think of a better month than December to be generous. I’ve been focusing a lot on spending my time in the right ways, and being aware of my spending. I’ll be honest, both are equally hard for me!

So this week we’re shifting gears just a little bit….we’re focusing on being generous. I think the first two months have prepared me well to be generous in December. Take some time to slow down, look around, and think about how you can freely give in your life. Where can your money be better spent? Can you afford to give to a cause that you care about? Can you afford to pay for someone’s meal? Can you afford to buy a stranger coffee?

WEEK 9 CHALLENGES:

  • Think of ways that you can start to practice giving freely.
  • Be generous with your money! You don’t have to do something extravagant, maybe buy a stranger’s coffee, or donate to an organization you care about. No matter how big or small your gesture is, I promise it will brighten someone’s day.

Don’t forget to share your journey updates on social media using #contentmentchallenge. I love seeing your updates!

Happy Monday Friends! It’s Thanksgiving week…can you believe it?

I hope you are all taking some much needed time off this week to focus on the important things. While Thanksgiving is a time where we are supposed to be grateful, happy, and giving; we often get stressed and overwhelmed. We run around working till the last minute, shopping, baking, organizing, cleaning, and arranging. We have a million things to do, a million deadlines, and need to find time to fit in family. We get so sucked up in all these details, that we often forget to take time to slow down and appreciate this season.

I encourage you to stop where you are, take a deep breath, and think about what is urgent vs. important in your life. We all have a million things to get done, and let’s be honest….how often do you check EVERYTHING off your to do list? If you’re me, rarely. That’s because I consistently put too much on my plate and never leave enough time to get it all done. But here’s the thing….all those urgent tasks can often wait while I spend what little time I do have with my family and friends.

I especially feel this way around the holidays. Then I read this quote in Nancy Ray’s Contentment Challenge book.

“You can’t simultaneously be grateful and frustrated.” – Michael Hyatt

This was what I needed to hear this week. Thank you Nancy!

We can say we’re grateful, make gratitude lists, and take time to recognize all the good in our life; but if we are spending the rest of our hours frustrated and anxious, are we really practicing a life of gratitude?

WEEK 7 & 8 CHALLENGES

  • Every time you feel anxious, rushed, or frustrated, take a deep breath and gather yourself.
  • Remember this quote throughout this week: “You can’t simultaneously be grateful and frustrated.”
  • When you get overwhelmed, assess if that is a truly urgent task or can it wait?

I hope you all have a gratitude filled week!

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

  • Give a compliment to at least one person every day this week. Instead of keeping all the positive thoughts in your head, share them! Instead of thinking that Sarah looks beautiful in that skirt, tell her!
  • Vow to not complain, gossip, or criticize for a week. This will be hard at first, but gets easier with time. If you slip up, recognize it, and move forward! Take note of how much energy you are spending on negative thoughts. I’ll be the first to admit…this is a hard challenge for me, and I’m not proud of that.

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:

Photography @amandaoliviaphoto | Host @BelleLumiereMagazine | Stylist @eventshelddear | Location @richwoodontheriver 

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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:

  • It was hard. It was a busy month for me, so it was difficult to set aside intentional time for myself. I’ll be honest I didn’t set aside quiet time every single morning like I wanted to. I didn’t follow my rule of no phones in bed this month. I need to reassess how I prioritize my intentional time.
  • I didn’t write down what I was grateful for EVERY day. I need to set aside a specific time to do this.
  • I did clean out my closet! Success!
  • I did send notes and gifts to some family and friends letting them know I appreciate them.
  • I did unenroll myself in lots of emails! This was great for me to look at a decluttered inbox each day.
  • I have thought of practical ways to simplify my life and I plan to implement them this month.
  • I didn’t spend money on things I didn’t NEED! I count this as a huge win!

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:

  • Stop focusing on the lack in your life. Don’t focus on what you “don’t have”, instead focus on what you “do have”. If we are constantly focusing on what we don’t have, it is difficult for us to be content. How can we feel fulfilled if we’re always focusing on lack?
  • Make room in your thoughts and in your heart this week for contentment. When you catch yourself thinking of what you don’t have focus instead on what you have that gives you satisfaction. When do you often focus on lack the most? Is it in certain situations, certain places, or at certain times of the day? Recognize your patterns. See what you can do to break these patterns so you don’t focus on the “lack”.

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!

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Happy Monday Friends! We are starting our 4th week of the contentment challenge and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.

Last week we talked about recognizing what we are grateful for in our daily lives. Flip back through that list. What sticks out to you? What is good in your life?

WEEK 4 CHALLENGES

This week I’d like you to make a list of the things that DO bring you contentment! I’d love for you to share your list online using #contentmentchallenge to encourage others!

Here’s my list:

  • Quality time with my friends and family
  • Hard and focused work
  • Reading
  • Quiet mornings before the day gets going
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Living a healthy life
  • Giving thanks for my current season of life

Last week I also asked you to THINK about ways you can simplify your life. This week I’d like to start DOING things to simplify your life.

Here’s my list:

  • Own less stuff – I am slowly going through everything I own and getting rid of the excess
  • Learning how to say “No”. This one is HARD! I’m going to say “No” to everything that isn’t a solid “Yes” to me. I want to leave more room for those “Yes” moments.
  • Spending at least one day disconnected. That means no internet, no social media, nothing… This is hard, but it feels amazing!
  • Limiting negativity. I’m limiting my contact with those people who are Negative Nancys in my life.

I’d love to hear HOW you are simplifying your life and WHAT you are doing to bring contentment to your life!

Happy Monday Friends!

Today starts week 3 of the contentment challenge! If you’re just joining us, be sure to read about weeks 1 and 2!

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

  • Keep up with your journaling and fill your time with activities that bring you joy. This helps me look back and see how I’m progressing day by day!
  • Start writing down 5 things you are grateful for every day. Recognizing all that you have to be grateful for helps set your mood for the day. I recommend doing this before you go to bed. I love doing this and it helps me go back through my day and realize all the good I have in my life.
  • It’s time to now donate all those clothes you’ve gone through! Find a charity or organization that you support and take your items there.
  • Think about PRACTICAL ways you can simplify your every day. How can you live a simpler life?

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!

Week 2 Challenges:

  • Keep up with your journaling and fill your time with activities that bring you joy.
  • Unsubscribe from all those emails you get that tempt you to shop or are cluttering up your life! That’s right…scroll down to the bottom and get those emails out of your inbox! Unroll.Me is a wonderful service that can help you with this!
  • Take intentional time out of your day to spend it with those you love. Put ALL your screens away and have some face time with your people. Life is meant to be spent with people, not screens.
  • If you haven’t gone through your closet yet, just devote 30 minutes this week to going through a section to get you started. Take small steps!

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!

Month One – Generosity

Challenge

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.

Try a new activity

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? 

  • I’m going to replace consuming activities with walking Mr. Peabody around the neighborhood or journaling. These two activities bring me so much joy, and I don’t do them nearly enough. I often find that when I slow down and go for walks with #peabodythewheaten , all the ‘problems’ in my life start to feel small. Journaling helps me think through my current season of life and understand my true priorities.

Journal

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.

P.S. – The Minimalists have useful and short posts on consumerism and another on contentment! Check them out!

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  1. A WordPress Site | October 2017 Goals

    October 2nd, 2017 at 2:36 am

    […] Complete the first month of the contentment challenge […]

  2. A WordPress Site | The Contentment Challenge – Week 2

    October 10th, 2017 at 3:41 am

    […] officially completed week one of the contentment challenge. I’m already proud of you. This first week was […]

  3. Marquette

    October 12th, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I just caught up on this post and the other two you linked to and I LOVE this so much! The timing is perfect with so much of what I’ve been feeling lately. The More culture is tiring and draining, and I’m opting out.

    We gave away all our excess clothes when we moved two months ago and haven’t bought anything new, but today I was able to get rid of a few pairs of shoes that didn’t get sorted through in the move!

  4. ashaver

    October 16th, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Friend! You are so wonderful! I totally agree. The culture of more is so tiring. I am happy to hear that you’ve graciously given away so much. Living in a life gratitude is so much better! I can’t wait to talk with you more soon. Thanks for sharing!

  5. ashaver

    October 31st, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you! I am so glad to hear about your journey through contentment as well! We need to set aside a time to catch up for sure!

  6. ashaver

    October 31st, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    It makes me so happy to hear this! I’m still going through my house and my life to see how I can simplify. As you learn more tips I’d love to hear about them!

  7. A WordPress Site | The Contentment Challenge – Week 3

    October 16th, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    […] week 3 of the contentment challenge! If you’re just joining us, be sure to read about weeks 1 and […]

  8. A WordPress Site | November 2017 Goals

    November 1st, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    […] month one of The Contentment Challenge. You can read my updates here, here, here, and here. It’s been so rewarding and challenging (in all the good […]

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