The Gratitude Challenge

139 comments

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I recently made the connection that gratitude and practicing gratitude are two entirely different things. I feel very grateful for the blessings in my life, but on the other hand I know I’m not putting my gratitude into practice very often. It’s one thing to know I’m grateful, but it’s another thing to claim what those things are and bring them to my awareness on a daily basis. For a lot of people, this can mean the difference in feeling apathetic about ones life or feeling happy, grateful, and blessed.

As I mentioned in my Goals for 2012 post, I was struggling with more internal negativity than usual. Shortly after writing that post, I realized that my goal of reducing negativity wasn’t the best goal because I didn’t say how I was going to overcome it. Great goals always have a plan, right? I decided to change my goal up slightly. Instead of saying that I was going to reduce negativity, I now say that I’m going to reduce negativity by incorporating a daily gratitude practice in my life. My goal now has a plan!

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When I told Eric about my plan, he was eager to join me. Initially, my plan was to write down 5 things that I’m grateful for each day, but after telling Eric about it, he suggested that we do it together. Instead of writing it down, we would just talk about 5 positive things from our day with each other. It’s now a daily gratitude conversation. Not only does this keep us accountable (it’s like having a workout buddy!), but it allows us to share the goods things that went on that we otherwise may not have known about.

I’ve tried in the past to keep a daily gratitude log, but I always found that I could never stick with it. Having someone as my gratitude buddy will help me commit to this practice each day. We’ve been telling each other 5 things we are grateful for before bed and I’ve been blown away by what a difference it makes in our outlook. Not only do I enjoy hearing about things that have made him happy in his day, but I love to share things with him. I like to relate it to gift giving; is it better to receive a nice gift or is it better to watch someone open a gift you gave them? Sharing joy, increases the joy in our own hearts.

As an added bonus, it’s a great way to tell your partner something that they did to make you happy. How often do we do things for each other that go unrecognized? It’s the perfect time to say “I acknowledge what you did and that makes me feel grateful”. Of course, this can be done any time of the day, but sometimes all we need is a quiet moment to reflect on things.

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For all of you who have a hard time sticking with a daily gratitude practice, my challenge for you is to find a gratitude buddy. It can be your partner, mom, sibling, roomie, best friend….anyone you love and trust. Pledge to share 5 things you are grateful for each day. Some days will be easier than others to come up with the list, but that is the point. If you don’t live with the person, you can call them on the phone, Skype, or even just commit to emailing each other your list each night before bed. Or maybe once a week works better for you. You come up with what will be realistic for your life!

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Sketchie is thankful for boxes. :)

Since we started this daily gratitude practice, I’ve felt significantly happier and more positive than I have in a while. I totally underestimated how much of a difference it would make and now I’m a believer of the positivity daily gratitude can create. I find myself thinking about good things throughout the day because I know that I will have to come up with 5 things before bed. In turn, my positivity is increased all day long.

In my mind, practicing gratitude is simply bringing all of those daily experiences that we all have to the forefront of our minds. Gratitude does not negate the bad things that happen to us, but it’s a conscious choice to bring our attention to the positives in each day.

I’d love for you to join us with this challenge!

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For other Daily Glow posts, see:

Graduation Fears

The Silly Things We Say

Do What You Can…Today

What’s Your 6-Word Love Story?

Without Self-Love, I Have Nothing.

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

Kicking the Pop Habit: Eric 1 Year Later

Weekend Inspiration

How to Reframe and Negative Thought with a Thought Record

 

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{ 132 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn January 17, 2012

Gratitude is so important, and I have found over the last month (being home from college), that gratitude towards my parents is so much easier and even more important. It makes you feel wonderful, being grateful for what others do for you, and what you do for yourself.

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2 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 17, 2012

Ange, this is SUCH a wonderful idea!! I too have been keeping a gratitude journal on and off (more on these days than off, which is a good start!) but I love the idea of having another person there to actually discuss these things with. It sounds like it will be a great way for you and Eric to bond too. You’ve got me motivated this morning! :)

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3 The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh January 17, 2012

This is a truly inspired idea. I hope you don’t mind me swiping it for the Mr and I to practice. We’re grateful for our blessings too but the everyday seems very, well, every day. I think this will help us realize each day had hidden positivity we weren’t seeing before!

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4 Andrea @ Vegvacious January 17, 2012

I love this idea! My husband and I have very different schedules and it’s really hard sometimes to find the time just to ‘talk’. I think this would be a great thing for us to do even just a couple of times per week – it will give us a chance to talk and listen to one another!

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5 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 17, 2012

This is a really good idea. Aside from the gratitude piece of it all, I like how it’s another way to connect with your husband (or partner, whoever) at the end of the day. This sounds sad and/or pathetic, but I think it might actually be hard to think of 5 new things every day that I’m grateful for. Life can be so monotonous sometimes and when the same job takes up 8-10 hours of your day all day, every day, I bet I’d struggle with that. But, it’s a good challenge!

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6 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 17, 2012

Great idea! I am struggling with the same thing. Coming off the holidays (which I love, but it is a stressful season too!) and getting stuck in the grind from work and cold weather tends to result in more negative/whining for me. Time to turn it around a focus on the good!

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7 Andrea January 17, 2012

I love that whenever you have an idea, Eric supports you 100%. I realized this with my boyfriend last night, we were talking about one of my goals for this year and hearing him support me and encourage me to go through with it was so motivating, and I couldn’t stop smiling! I love this challenge and I am going to participate. Thank you, Angela! :)

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8 Jasper Naomi January 17, 2012

you should make a line of tea bag leaves with gratitude statements on them…although that might not be too good for the environment…they’re just so cute though! and you say the best things!

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9 Liz January 17, 2012

Thanks for the reminder Angela! I did start doing this with my husband at the start of last year and then it kind of fell by the wayside. After the yuckiness of the last few months, now would be a great time to renew this!

Side question – when you guys review these before bed, do you find that you sleep better? I’ve been taking AGES to get to sleep lately and when I do, my dreams are anxious and often not pleasant. Have a lot going on in the next few months, so I know that’s the reason, but I was wondering if it has been any help for you?

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10 AGS January 17, 2012

What a great idea! I think I’ll give it a try with my husband.

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11 Louise January 17, 2012

I am grateful for you! I have been following your blog for quite a while now and never stopped to comment on how much I appreciate everything you do for your readers – from recipes, to workouts, to ideas on how to improve our lives… I love everything about “oh she glows” and have put much of what you written about into practice to make my life better. My husband (who grew up in southern ontario) even knows exactly what I’m taking about when I say that a recipe or an idea is from “oh she glows”. I think I’ll suggest this idea to him – I like the idea of sharing positivity with each other. All to often, I feel like we share many of the negative aspects of our days. Thanks again for being awesome!

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12 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit January 17, 2012

I love the idea of having a conversation about what we’re thankful for with the ones we love. Kevin and I have been trying to figure out how to add more positivity to my brain (I have a dreadfully hard time staying positive) and this just may be the key! Thanks again for a great suggestion :)

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13 Emily (Edible Psychology) January 17, 2012

What a wonderful post, Angela! I love the idea of a gratitude buddy. I have been planning to start a gratitude journal ever since you mentioned it in your comment on my post… But it sounds far more fun to do with my partner. What a lovely thing to share each day, and I must admit, I had never really thought about how it would impact your entire day by making you think about things you are grateful for all day rather than just when you are writing them down or sharing them. I will now be starting this today, rather than planning to start it any longer.

Thanks for the inspiration, and I am so happy to hear that it is making a difference in your life! I love the way you come up with goals and then really put them into action.

~Emily~

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14 QueenieCarly January 17, 2012

It’s such a great experience to acknowledge everything you have to be thankful for in life. At first, I thought three things a day would be a challenge, but once I started and really got rolling, the list came so easily to me. Thanks for the reminder. I need to get back on track with this practice! (And I think I’ll include my boyfriend in the conversation. I’d never even thought of that!)

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15 Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles January 17, 2012

I really love the idea of a gratitude buddy – someone to help keep you on track while you help them do the same, but also someone to provide a different perspective. Sometimes it takes an outsider’s eye to spot the positive in a situation so it’s nice to have someone to bounce thoughts back and forth with! Perfect!

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16 Julie January 17, 2012

Hi! I found a really life-altering book called 1,000 Gifts. It talks about gratitude, and finding the beautiful among the ugly. Looking daily, and moments to be thankful for.
http://onethousandgifts.com/tag/1000-gifts

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17 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Thank you I will look into it!

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18 H January 17, 2012

Great idea! Also, I have a cat named “Sketch,” which is kind of close to “Sketchie!” :)

P.S. I’m a new fan, and I love your site!

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19 Kellie January 17, 2012

This is such an inspiring post. I love your blog, have had some great successes with your recipes, and just love the positive vibe you give off in your writing! Thanks for the reminder to be more grateful for the many great things in my life, and for sharing yourself with the world!

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20 Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner January 17, 2012

I love this! I slip into a negative headspace a lot too–I’ve always been really pessimistic and cynical–and one of my goals is to be more positive. My intention was to list three things that I’m thankful for each morning when I wake up, but I promptly forgot about that. I love the idea of a buddy to keep me accountable!

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21 Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe January 17, 2012

What a great idea! I’ve noticed an increasing negativity in my life lately, and my husband has too. This would be great for us to focus on the positive!

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22 Erica Gruebler January 17, 2012

This is a really great idea! My husband and I have tried doing this every morning but have never stuck to it. I think I will try doing it towards the end of the day. I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing all of your great posts!

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23 Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans January 17, 2012

I like this idea but its something I would like to acknowledge to myself as a part of peaceful meditation at night before I go to sleep. I do need to think more positively and I think reflecting on the day in that way would be very helpful towards my overall mood.

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24 Jenn from Much to My Delight January 17, 2012

What a wonderful ritual you have started! You have definitely inspired me to do the same. Love this, Angela.

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25 Natalie January 17, 2012

I just LOVE posts like these! I really like this idea, and have been struggling with negative thinking as well. Looking forward to trying this with a loved one :)

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26 Heather January 17, 2012

I wore a “gratitude” charm on a necklace for years and each day on the way to work I would touch it and say a handful of things I was truly grateful for. It really served me well to have that small reminder with me. I need to find a new routine now that I work from home – love your idea of having someone to be accountable to…

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27 PoochesForPeace (Anna H) January 17, 2012

Oh my gosh I love this! I am going to try to recruit the boyfriend as my graditude buddy! :)

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28 Cat @Breakfast to Bed January 17, 2012

I love this idea, I also love the idea of including my 3 yo son. I think it’s a good thing to start young.

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29 Sharon @ Bit of the Good Stuff January 17, 2012

This is such a wonderful idea and thanks so much for sharing it with us! As well as increasing our own positive outlook and gratitude for our precious human life, it could also really help to improve relationships. So often we take our partners for granted and forget to tell them how grateful for we are for all the things they do (big or small). By telling them how grateful we are on a regular basis, their happiness increases and, in turn, so does ours. Win Win! :)

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30 Natasha January 17, 2012

Angela – thank you for this post…I also read your self love post…it was real, and so true….I have struggled with my own self love for the past 4 years (and earlier with an ED) after gaining some serious weight due to being very sick (I had a tumor removed from my Uterus) – while I’m on the road to recovery, and there are still issues – the weight is slowly coming off, and I am healthier now than ever before – I can still be very hard on myself…ugh.
Rob and are completing our inspiration board this evening, and I need to regroup – seriously…you are so beautiful for sharing your heart, and soul….and a thousand times – thank you.

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31 Erica January 17, 2012

Great post! Practicing gratitude is something I think most of us struggle with. Recently I had a revelation from observing my kids: Gratitude is not an innate thing we are born with. It has to be learned, and like most things that are learned, it does indeed need to be practiced. As someone who also struggles with self-criticism and anxiety, remembering everything I am grateful for on a daily basis is really important to my well-being.

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32 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 17, 2012

Making a choice to be happy, to be grateful, to be positive; to not succumb to negative thinking, a negative mentality or mindset is such a great message and so important.

I try to do all those things and appreciate the reminders and think it’s great you’re doing this challenge!

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33 Starla January 17, 2012

I love this ! I too am grateful for you, I love your blog and when I need a positive spin on the day I always go to ohsheglows to see what is new. Thank you for always being inspiring and encouraging. :). I will try to pay if forward !

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34 laurie January 17, 2012

My husband and I take an evening walk together every night so this will be a perfect focus for our discussions!

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35 Tricia January 17, 2012

You turned a passive negativity (NOT dwelling on the negative) into a positive choice to dwell on the good stuff. How wonderful to have a partner/husband who supports those decisions in such a concrete way! No matter how we feel to the contrary, we all have something for which to be grateful, even if we can’t see it right now. Thank YOU, Angel, for the reminder.

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36 Denise January 17, 2012

I do something similar to this almost every night at dinner with my family. We each talk about the best thing that happened to us that day. I think its a great way to share the positive things that happen to us during the day with each other and it also teaches my children to recognize the happy parts of their day.

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37 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty January 17, 2012

I used to do this with the teens I worked with! Every time they would seem really annoyed with me – after a few weeks I decided to quit because I was frustrated with their attitudes. After two days of not doing it, they told me that they really missed it!! So it became a tradition for us!!

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38 Marina January 17, 2012

Beautiful post, Angela!

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39 Jessica January 17, 2012

LOVE this idea- as you said, I think it’s a great way to be more connected to your husband/partner and really share with them how they make up such a big part of why you’re grateful for so much. This is especially great to do in the winter months when things have a way of bringing us down more easily!

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40 Cyndi January 17, 2012

Love this idea, thanks for sharing. I will be implementing this – what a great idea!

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41 jenna January 17, 2012

:) brilliant idea! this is a great way for everyone in the family to be held accountable for their actions and feelings! A great way to get kids and adults involved in loving and respecting their life!

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42 Katie January 17, 2012

Have you been reading Brene Brown?? I was JUST reading about the difference between being grateful and practicing gratitude. I’ve been working on this in my own life, and I think having a gratitude buddy makes all the difference. It’s just too easy to get out of the habit – kind of sad, but true.

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43 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Hey Katie! No I haven’t…but what book is it?

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44 Sarah January 17, 2012

Angela, me & my two best friends absolutely LOVE not only your recipes, but your insight and most of all humor! Reading this post today gives me hope that you’re inspiring a better world by setting an example of practicing gratitude and love! My husband and I have been doing this exact thing every night for a few years now and it’s changed our lives in amazing ways (although we only do 3 things were grateful for, we need to step up our game…lol!). We also add one thing we appreciate about each other. I find it’s a sweet way to recognize each other as well as all the abundance in life. It was even one of our wedding vows to continue to do this, so we’re stuck with it!! Ha! Thank you again for your generosity, delicious healthy foods, and your continued humor! :)

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45 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Thank you Sarah! That’s so awesome that you included it in your vows…kudos to you both for sticking with it.

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46 Jolijn January 17, 2012

Love this post! Thanks for inspiring me :)

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47 Jennifer January 17, 2012

I think this is a great idea! It not only holds you accountable by having your husband be your gratitude buddy, but is also helps to stay connected to him and build your relationship as a couple. My husband and I have been making a point to pray at dinner time every night. This not only keeps us connected with God but also with each other. He brings up things he is thinking about or concerned about that he might not have brought up otherwise. It helps me to know how he’s feeling and be able to better support him.
Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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48 Kathleen January 17, 2012

Isn’t it amazing what gratitude will do for you?! Study’s show that people who practice gratitude will make you happy, healthier and less depressed than those who don’t — http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/09/practicing-gratitude-can-increase.php. In our house, we have a gratitude journal that’s open in the foyer. Anyone who visits the house is free to write down what they are thankful for. It’s amazing to look back and see a year of gratitude in review.

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49 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

that’s a great idea!

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50 Michelle January 17, 2012

I am totally with you on this one! Positive energy is something I truly believe in, and changing our thoughts little by little is the way to go!

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51 kaila @ healthyhelper January 17, 2012

I can just picture you and eric having your gratitude convos! So cute! And such a positive way to add some humility and appreciation into your day! I love it!

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52 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

hah it is pretty funny to watch I’d say…

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53 erin @WELL in L.A. January 17, 2012

Thank you for sharing! Expressing my gratitude : ) There are numerous studies that show living a life based in gratitude increases our longevity. Long lives for those with a healthy outlook combined with healthy eating and movement.

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54 tara January 17, 2012

aw this sounds nice! my husband and I do something similar. before we start eating supper we always say something we are thankful for, a nice little tradition we started one day and it’s stuck.

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55 Emily January 17, 2012

Hi Angela,
Thanks for this great post! I try each day when driving into work, to think of what I am grateful for in my life and it always brings a whole new light to things and a smile! Have you read a book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne? It’s about the power of positive thinking and being grateful is one the subjects spoken about in the book! It’s a quick read! On days that are not going well for me, I will pick up the book and read is over again ;0)

Good Luck and Thanks again

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56 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Hi Emily! No I havent but I would like to read it. :)

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57 Lea January 17, 2012

Years ago, an audience member on the Oprah Show, caught Oprah’s eye. She just glowed with happiness. (I saw her, she absolutely did.) Oprah asked her why she looked so happy. She answered that, from the time she was a small child, her parents, when she was being put to bed, would ask her to tell them what the best part of her day was. So, she would not only go to sleep with happy thoughts, she would go through her day looking for all the positive things, ‘cos she would have to find the “best” one to share when she went to bed each night. This small daily practice was really not so small at all……..

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58 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Wow what an amazing story Lea! I can totally see that. I think going to bed with positive thoughts is a great way to end the day and set the tone for the next.

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59 Lisa January 17, 2012

Sounds awesome! Question: do you write them down throughout the day or commit them to memory? Or do you just come up with them on the spot at night?

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60 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Hi Lisa, We don’t write anything down (although you certainly can!)…and usually just think of them on the spot. Sometimes I find myself more aware of positive things throughout the day though which is nice.

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61 Karen January 17, 2012

Brilliant concept, Ange…you are so insightful! Thanks for sharing!

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62 Amy January 17, 2012

Great post – I love that you guys are doing this together. It gives me hope for the future of being involved with someone – having that kind of similar outlook on life is essential. I just was feeling the same way about expressing gratitude for all of the positives in my life, rather than getting pulled down by negativity, and I started a tumblr to record 3 things every day that I feel grateful for. It is now the way I start the day. I’m not a full vegan or vegetarian, but I love your blog – beautiful pictures and great recipes. Anytime anyone I know starts talking about vegan cooking, I try to direct them your way. :)

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63 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Thank you Amy, that’s wonderful you started a blog for gratitude! Thanks for reading.

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64 Andrea January 17, 2012

Interesting synchronicity ~ I decided to do your original idea: write 5 things I’m grateful for, every night before bed, for all of 2012. I love that you decided to share gratitudes, instead :-) So sweet! I think being more aware of what I’m grateful for really makes a difference in daily life! A gratitude buddy is a fabulous idea :-)

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65 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 17, 2012

I just forwarded this to my mom and husband. I think this a great idea! What better way to end the day then to talk about the good things that happened rather than the negative.

Thank you!

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66 Grace - Love Your Healthy Life January 17, 2012

Thank you so much for sharing this Angela. I love the idea of a gratitude buddy, and it sounds to me like a fantastic way to become closer to a person you love. I’ll definitely be doing this! xx

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67 Quinn Harper January 17, 2012

I love this! I have been doing something similar and have noticed a difference as well. I have started a “gratitude check” every morning and evening-listing 5 things each time. Love it!

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68 Amber K January 17, 2012

What a great idea! I think I’ll have to start doing this with my husband on a regular basis. We’ve talked about things we’re grateful for before, but not too often.

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69 Moni'sMeals January 17, 2012

Another one of my favorite posts from you.
And by the way this Eric=such a keeper! I love this so much and I plan on also sharing this with my husband to see what he thinks…he is similiar to Eric… always on board. :)

I too start say a journal but do not always stick with it and I love this “buddy system” idea.

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70 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Good luck with it!

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71 Anna @ The Guiltless Life January 17, 2012

This is a really great idea because as a society we’re very focused on the future and what’s next rather than appreciating what we already have – most only do it once a year on Thanksgiving (if at all).

It’s great as well that you have a husband who sees the world the same way you do – that makes for such a strong relationship.

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72 Stephanie January 17, 2012

This is such a great idea! I did something similar with my SO at the end of the year (what we were most grateful for about each other), but daily is an even better idea!

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73 Laura @ She Eats Well January 17, 2012

I love this idea as well and have been thinking about gratitude a lot. I recently bought a gratitude log journal thingy to keep by my bed so I could reflect at night, on the positive things in my life. I feel like you are taking it to another level and we could all benefit from such reflection.

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74 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes January 17, 2012

great idea! I will be telling my family about this :D

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75 jo @ includingcake January 17, 2012

Love this idea! It is so easy to fall into a negative mindset and forget that it is actually ourselves who have control over how we choose to perceive life. This was a lovely post and a great way to remind oursleves to notice the small things that could otherwise roll on by unnoticed.

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76 Danielle January 17, 2012

What a great idea! I imagine this would be great to do with children as well. Every night before they go to bed they have to think of something they are thankful for or something positive that happened that day. A wonderful way to instil gratitude early on!

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77 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Yes it would! See the Oprah comment above :)

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78 Ally Chick January 17, 2012

Well done Angela and Eric :) This is a beautiful practice and it really helps you see beauty in even mundane things. My husband and I do a similar thing, and it just helps us to really appreciate life and all the little things that make our lives what they are. Keep up your great work and reap the benefits :) xx

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79 Ellen Clifford January 17, 2012

I am a huge fan of the gratitude list at the end of the day. More often than not once I start thinking about my day I remember all sorts of little things that were awesome about it and come up with more than five. Definitely helps put life in perspective.

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80 Karolina January 17, 2012

I think the regular practice of gratitude is very important for a healthy life (the premise behind my Thankfulness Project Monday posts). Keep up the good work!

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81 emma January 17, 2012

awww this is such a great idea! I write a gratitude journal – it feels great to end the day with something nice…but I’m gonna try this with Phil :-)

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82 Sonia the Mexigarian January 17, 2012

Such a great idea. I do find myself to be quite negative recently and want to bring more positivity in my life. I definetly will bring this up with Eric (my Hubby), since I know he needs so gratitude in his life as well.

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83 Kilee January 17, 2012

Angela, I love, love, loved this post. I have experienced the exact same thing with my anxiety and negative thoughts. If I focus on the positive and what I’m thankful for, I am much more happy and feel better. Keep up this practice.

I have a “gratitude” list on my iPad and I add one thing I’m grateful for each morning.

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84 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

I love that you keep a running list…then you can always read it over!

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85 Dr. Cat, The Happy Rehab Doc January 17, 2012

I LOVE this idea! Thanks so much for sharing it! I do a gratitude list most every day but the idea of a “gratitude conversation”–that is awesome. I’m going to talk to my husband about this! I’m sure he’ll be up for it as well! Thanks! :-)

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86 luminousvegans January 17, 2012

I love the idea of a gratitude buddy b/c it is hard to find time, but having a buddy would help put it into practice more.

I am also really enjoying your blog since stumbling on it a few days ago. I just read your “about” section and really appreciate your honesty about the inspiration for the blog….plus your food is amazing! I’m seriously going to have to just spend one day looking at all your old posts!

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87 Joann@womaninreallife January 17, 2012

I just returned to my gratitude journal after a (very) long break. Funny, I was just talking about this on my blog. I guess a lot of us are thinking about starting the new year off right. I love your idea of making it a gratitude conversation. Double the impact!

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88 Christina @ HealthyCosmos January 17, 2012

I absolutely love this! Actually taking the time out to state things for which you are grateful has such a profoundly positive effect on one’s attitude and overall life. I promised myself that I would be more actively grateful, and I am going to take a page from your book and state them out loud each day. Thanks for the inspiring post!

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89 TeenyLittleSuperChef January 17, 2012

What an awesome idea, Angela! It definitely is one of those things that’s easier said than done, but really should be done in order to actually achieve anything. I take on the challenge and have now initiated my husband as my gratitude buddy (he just doesn’t know it yet). I’ll start by telling him and everyone who reads this that I am greatful for having such a loving and caring husband who loves me despite all my crazy antics, ideas and mood swings. He rocks my socks and I heart him so so much.

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90 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2012

Love that!

And this “he just doesn’t know it yet” heh

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91 PoochesForPeace(Anna H.) January 17, 2012

Angela I have a question! I was watching this show “The Chew” today and they made a “pizza roll” calzone type of thing. They explain it here: http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/Michael-Symon-Pizza-Roll
Do you think I can use your pizza dough recipe that you posted here: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/08/02/how-to-make-homemade-pizza-dough/ for this endeavor? I’m hoping to make a vegan version! Maybe with some vegan pepperoni if I can find some. Let me know if you think the dough you made will work! THANKS!

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92 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 18, 2012

I can’t see why not! It’s just pizza dough rolled up right? Let me know if you try it! I’ve been wanting to make one of those.

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93 poochesForPeace(Anna H.) January 18, 2012

Yea basically just pizza dough rolled up with yummy fillings. I will probably try it Friday or Saturday, so I’ll let you know!

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94 Ashleigh @ simplehonestreal.com January 17, 2012

This is such a wonderful post and I can’t wait to implement your ideas! Thank you :)

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95 Janessa @ Epicurious Vegan January 17, 2012

What a great idea! A gratitude buddy. Love it.

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96 Clair January 17, 2012

Aw, this is so lovely. I’m going to talk to my bf about it right now!

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97 Dana January 17, 2012

I LOVE this idea. I think it is so important to slow down and recognize the little things in life that make us grateful/happy. It is so much easier to focus on the negative, but I agree that simply refocusing your mind on the positive is an instant mood booster. I try to do this daily as well, so I will definitely be joining you in the challenge!

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98 Laura@mypurposefullife January 17, 2012

I love this idea! I will certainly be doing it, and will try to recruit my boyfriend to do it with me. :)
This is an aside, but, Angela, I have to tell you that you have inspired in ways that most people I know in person haven’t even done. Your blog was one of the first ones I found when i was desperately searching for something to help me with my eating disorder. When I found your blog 2.5 years ago I was going into my senior year of college. I was on the “path of the ‘good’ student” to head to grad school right after college, even though I knew I needed to take some time off to figure out what I really want to do with my life and to figure out what I needed to do to beat my cycle of restriction and binging. I went to grad school anyway, but it felt so wrong in my gut the entire semester. I quit after a semester, enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (which I’d been longing to for years), and in May 2011 started my own blog. Immediately after quitting grad school (last January), though, I got a job as a full time nanny (AND cleaning lady, personal chef, child psychologist, tutor, personal assistant to the parents…) in Manhattan where I now live with my boyfriend. I loved working with the kids, even though they have a number of behavioral, developmental, social, and psychological problems, that make them difficult at times, but was not treated well as an employee. In the 40 weeks of work I did for them (over the course of the year I took 5 weeks off for unpaid vacation), I was either not paid, or only partially paid, for 23 of those 40 weeks. I had been bringing it up since May and today, I finally quit after the parents guilted me for being unreasonable about the money situation (hello, this is Manhattan and I have to make a living!) I have no job, no plan, no money, and I hated saying goodbye to the kids. But I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I have read and re-read your posts about quitting your job, beating your eating disorder, etc. literally over and over. When i left grad school, when I started beating my eating disorder and told everyone about it via starting my own blog, and today, when I walked away without a plan, I thought of you. You have inspired me so much to take charge of my own life, health, and happiness. I apologize for such a long comment (and for possibly sounding like a creep, haha), I just wanted to let you know that you are one of the most inspirational, honest, down-to-Earth people I’ve ever “met”. I am so grateful I found your blog because, even though you didn’t know it, you have helped me (many times over) begin to shape my life into a life I want to live. Thank you.

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99 Sam@I Tell Stories January 17, 2012

Great idea!

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100 Sam@I Tell Stories January 17, 2012

I will be doing this with my husband and my daughter when she’s older. :)

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101 Katie January 18, 2012

My boyfriend and I do something similar after reading a cool book called The Happiness Advantage. There are a few interesting tips in there and we say 3 things each day that made us happy or we are thankful for – I love it!

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102 Ashley Dodge January 18, 2012

This is a really wonderful idea! I have been finding myself with a little too much negativity internally as well. I love this post- and will try to do the gratitude challenge as well! :)

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103 shamima January 18, 2012

Thanks for the great idea…and I totally agree that it is one thing to set a goal ie. be less negative, but it makes such a difference to have an idea of how you will achieve the goal.

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104 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 18, 2012

I love, love LOVE this idea. My husband and I kind of have an unspoken rule that we aren’t allowed to complain about our jobs over dinner, which definitely adds more positivity to our evenings. I’m going to present this idea to my husband. Making a point of focusing on the positive is just something that I don’t do nearly enough. I guess that if you make a conscious effort to do it each day, it will ultimately become a good habit! :)

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105 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers January 18, 2012

You are so lucky you have Eric. I would love to do this with my Husband, but he wouldn’t participate. When I do stuff like that, he thinks I’m weird. I really do love the idea, and I will have to work at finding someone to be my gratitude partner. Thanks Angela!

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106 Cindy Robinson January 18, 2012

I think you’re on the right track for sure. I like to think of myself as a grateful person, but like you, I wasn’t practicing every day or often for that matter…until now!! You’ve inspired me to start practicing, and feeling grateful, not just saying it.

Thanks so much Ange! I’m so glad you’ve been more positive and happy than you’ve been in a while! Hugs!!

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107 Amber from Berlinswhisy January 18, 2012

Thank you for this! In an attempt to identify and work on my own negativity creeping in, I’ve taken your challenge and I’m looking forward to it! :-)

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108 Stalking Sarah January 18, 2012

A friend of mine from college started this — http://lookforthegoodproject.org. It’s kind of like Post Secret, but about gratefulness!

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109 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2012

cool, thanks! Will check that out.

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110 Elizabeth January 18, 2012

In November, I posted one thing that I was thankful for each day as part of Thanksgiving. I remember how great it felt to always have something so great to be happy about each day. I was actually a little bummed when it ended. Thank you for the reminder! I will see if my other half wants to be my gratitude buddy. :)

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111 Brandy January 18, 2012

Question for your – I keep a gratitude journal, but find I write the same things over and over and over again! Granted these are things I am always grateful for, but I feel like I might be missing the point with the constant repetition. What types of things do you express gratitude for every night? And do you find yourself repeating them?

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112 Tegan January 18, 2012

Hey Ange,
I’ve been struggling with feeling more gratitude in my life recently as well and also struggled to keep up with a gratitude log. I have found that interrupting a negative thought train while it’s in the works has helped me feel more positive through the day rather than waiting for my partner to get home. I feel that this creates new positive thinking habits rather than reinforcing negative thinking habits. It’s a very tough lesson to learn, and I wish you the best at learning it!
Oh, and I’ve also found this video to cheer me up too. Hope you enjoy!
http://youtu.be/ahv_1IS7SiE

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113 Colleen January 18, 2012

This post could not have come at a better time especially after I watched this Gratitude clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2ofrX7jAk). I am grateful for your post and ideas of who to be more accountable to our gratitude. I will find a buddy and put this into practice.

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114 Kari @ bite-sized thoughts January 19, 2012

This is a wonderful way of upping gratitude, and no doubt decreasing negativity. I like the idea of thinking about things via conversation rather than writing them down. You also made me think to ask if you’ve read 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman? It touches on some of these things and is an easy read despite being packed with research :)

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115 Katie January 19, 2012

This is such a great thing. I have been doing something similar for a while, writing down three things each day that made me happy or I am grateful for. Did you know they’ve done studies on people with depression and found that if you say, out loud, each day three things that made you happy that it will actually change the wiring in your brain? They’ve done PET scans and seen actual changes. It’s really cool that you and Eric have committed to doing it together.

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116 Ashley January 19, 2012

What a great idea to have a daily gratitude conversation. I’ve tried writing down 5 things everyday too but then I forget. I’m going to try out the daily conversation with my husband!

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117 Lindsay January 19, 2012

I love this idea! I was talking with my mom last night about how discussing what we’re grateful for in front of the kids would be a good lesson for them. I think I’ve found a new dinner time ritual. :)

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118 Katie January 19, 2012

Love this! It’s amazing how much better I feel on the days I stop to think about what I’m grateful for. It really does make a difference!

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119 Anna January 19, 2012

What a wonderful concept. You and Eric sharing your 5 things each night reminds me of my childhood – almost every single night growing up, my Dad made my family go around the table and had each family member say what the best part of his or her day was. Not only did it put things into perspective, but it made us feel more fortunate and kept us in the know about each other’s lives. Beautiful! I think it is SO important to be actively in tune with your energy and emotions.

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120 Anna January 19, 2012

(And crap. I meant to leave my link for my blog but left it for my email in that last comment. I am grateful that I re-read comments AFTER you post them. Awesome.)

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121 kategivesthanks January 19, 2012

i started this year with a similar goal and started a blog where i post something i’m thankful for every day! here it is if you’re interested: http://www.kategivesthanks.wordpress.com !

i love the gratitude buddy idea!!

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122 Samantha @ Ferraro Kitchen January 20, 2012

I am SO In for this! I have to be honest…I have been struggling with depression and anxiety lately..stress from starting at a new college and trying to please everyone around me..I have been feeling VERY down on myself. My mom tells me I always put myself down..isn’t it sad that I don’t even notice that? Yet I compliment others, but not myself…weird.
I will take you up on this challenge. I’m going to find a gf to do it with it…I need some girl power in my life now :)

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123 suzanne January 20, 2012

LOVE this post Angela! You are so right – practicing gratitude is key to our feeling all that we have been blessed with – and even bringing more of that to us on a daily basis. I too have had journals for gratitude which come and go. The other night we decided to practice gratitude as a family at dinner and I really want to do that each night. You have inspired me to make that happen!
I also want to offer a suggestion for you to take or leave. When you set your goal of ‘reducing negativity”, it is framed in the negative – thereby keeping the focus on ‘negativity’. If you reframe the goal to say “I am positive’ – you will create that (‘I am’ are the most powerful words in the universe so whatever you say after them, you create). Hope you don’t mind my piping in like that :-)

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124 Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie January 21, 2012

I absolutely love that first picture! This is a great exercise to do, especially in college where stress is plentiful!

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125 linda @spiceboxtravels January 21, 2012

Wonderful!I had three resolutions this year, all focused on well-being– a weekly family hike or bike ride, preparing more vegan meals for the family (which is how I found your wonderful blog), and practicing gratitude. For me, that has taken form of a gratitude journal, and asking my kids to tell me verbally one thing they’re grateful for on the drive home from school. I hope we can all keep it up. I’ve just followed you on Twitter, hope to see you there! (I’m @spiceboxtravels).

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126 Amy January 22, 2012

I love this idea and starting doing it myself.

Ive just been writing them down before I go to bed and it really does change your attitude and demeanor. It’s so nice to have such peaceful thoughts before drifting off to sleep!

Thanks for posting. Stay posi! :)

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127 Melissa January 23, 2012

I’m seriously grateful for having happened on your blog the end of last year! You’re my Vegan Oprah

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128 Dara January 23, 2012

Angela,
Please please please.. discover an easy way to make homemade vegan soy-free yogurt.
I am on my 7th attempt and 12 hours into the process, it looks like another failure. :(

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129 Fatou January 29, 2012

I love this idea! I try to list things I’m grateful for when I remember, but its not constant therefore not as effective. I love the idea of doing it with somebody. My husband for a while was doing five things he was grateful for each day before bed, but it was to himself and his stopped. I think we’ll do it together now and see how that goes. :-)

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130 Margaret December 24, 2012

The impact of practicing gratitude is far-reaching. It not only displaces negativity but increases the flow of good things into your life. The idea and its history are presented clearly in Rhonda Byrne’s books, the first of which is called ‘The Secret’. I think you are onto something good and thank you for sharing it.

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131 Cate December 31, 2012

New to your site, and found this gem of an idea. Love it! Did you maintain it throughout 2012?

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132 Angela (Oh She Glows) December 31, 2012

for the most part – yes!

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