ios_emoji_smiling_face_with_open_mouth_and_smiling_eyesEvery November my Facebook feed is filled with people providing a daily update on the things they are most thankful for – friends, family, their pet, sunny days, whatever it is that they are feeling grateful for on that specific day. I love gratitude practice, it both focuses you on what’s important, like healthy, happy kids, loving family and good friends, and it changes your approach to life. Instead of grumbling about the things you don’t have (a better car! a bigger house! a more interesting job!) it brings your attention to those things you do have (a car that works-most of the time, a roof over your head when there are so many homeless, a steady job with a reliable paycheck). When you actually start to think about it, it doesn’t take too much to start feeling grateful for what you have.

This year, I’m taking gratitude to the next level and turning it into happiness practice. Below are ten proven ways to become a happier, more fulfilled person. These aren’t the types of things you broadcast for 30 days on Facebook, there more about self-reflection, goal setting, and connecting to others in an authentic way.

Giving: doing things for others
Relating: connecting with people
Exercising: taking care of your body
Appreciating: noticing the world around
Trying out: continuing to learn new things
Direction: having goals to look forward to
Resilience: finding ways to bounce back
Emotion: taking a positive approach
Self-acceptance: being comfortable with who you are
Meaning: feeling part of something bigger

These are also things I can share with my son and my family, doing things together and communicating in a way that enable us to feel more emotionally connected, healthier, and happier is a goal that I have for this year. Just like a 30 day gratitude practice, doing these things consistently and deliberately will surely have a ripple effect on our day-to-day life.

Are you doing a thankfulness challenge?