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Starting off, over one year ago…

Practicing gratitude, not unlike meditation, has gotten a lot of attention these days for having many benefits. I imagine if I was a writer for Cosmo magazine, I’d probably have to claim something like this:

Being grateful has proven to:

  • make you more bedable (their word, not mine)
  • give you stronger thicker hair
  • firm and tone your inner thighs
  • help you achieve multiple orgasms and a more dynamic wardrobe
  • increase circulation and clear your complexion
  • give you the confidence to comport yourself in the boardroom and the bar

I mean, this is all probably going to soon be proven to be true…So, yeah, I get it. One of the initial reasons why I decided to leap into this year-long commitment was due to the glowing reviews of practicing gratitude. But this wasn’t too far from the kind of self-improvement stuff I’ve done over the years. I’ve just never before made it a public parade.

Would I do it again? Yes, but not now. I don’t want ‘gratitude’ to lose meaning. Do I feel different? Yes. No. Maybe. How can I tell?

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Here’s what I learned:

/1/ Don’t take it too seriously. I gave myself permission to skip days, but I still had to post 365 times. This is why I didn’t finish on my birthday and why towards the end of this challenge I started to post in the mornings and evenings to make up for lost time.

But the reason I skipped days was because in the past I’ve made the mistake of “pouring pink paint over the problem” that Marianne Williamson so perfectly coined in her book A Return to Love. I didn’t want to do that again. So, if the day was particularly grueling or shitty, I said, not today. No guilt! But I told myself that the next day I had to start again.

I think this is the why I was able to finish a year of gratitude posts. I didn’t make it look easy as much as I decided to be easy on myself.

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/2/ I liked the attention. Surprisingly, I started to receive a few “you’ve inspired me to do the same thing” messages. Then I got a few more “by the way, I love your gratitude posts” from friends on Facebook, and then a smattering here or there throughout the year. What can I say? It was positive personal attention when that wasn’t the point of the posts in the first place.

Trust me though. There were plenty of times I wanted to quit. I had committed to a YEAR of these damn things. Whenever I’d complain about having to come up with a daily post, the bf would encourage me. “Oh, you should just stop at 300 already. You’ve done enough.” Reverse psychology for the win!

This practice made me realize that people do gravitate towards optimistic messages. And it has left me with a stronger impression on what is said, how we say what we say, why we share, and what I want to use my voice for.

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/3/ It gave me purpose on social media. This was big deal because I was new to Instagram and prior to this hashtag challenge, I was simply posting what I thought were pretty pictures from travels. Suddenly, I had to log in every day, and the habit stuck. I liked that the hashtag gave me parameters and even a tiny community to follow if I wanted to.

Because I often feel like I don’t really know what I’m supposed to post on Twitter, FB and IG anyhow, like I’m doing it wrong. #365grateful made me feel like I knew what I was doing, and it has made me brainstorm what my next #365 project will be.

I’m addicted!

#365grateful instagram challenge sreenshot

Here’s what I’m thinking: #365daysofmagic

Of all the things I was contemplating, like #365happiness and #365mindfulness, #365daysofmagic feels like it has both ‘happiness’ and ‘mindfulness’ with a dash of ‘wonder’ thrown in.

Here we go again 🙂

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Have you ever committed to a year-long project? What has been your experience?

24 replies on “I did it! #365grateful challenge completed.

  1. Congrats on finishing 365 gratitude posts on IG! It sounds like a long time…but it also felts like you just did it yesterday 😛 I really enjoyed following along and you actually take very darn good photos. I think you are right about people gravitating to positive messages – we all want to be happy at the end of the day, or at least be happier or try to find a reason to be happy. No one likes finishing the day not happy…

    A couple of years ago I committed to writing at least 500 words a day on any topic that was on my mind, or on a topic I wanted to write about for a while. It was tough, tough to come up with ideas and some days tough to find time to sit down and do this. Like you, there were days I missed and some days I spent up to an hour catching up on my missing words. In the end, I did it and still have all those words somewhere. Don’t think I’ll ever do it again since these days I really don’t like routine 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writing is a much bigger time committment even if it is only 500 words. Only 500 words! Hahahaha.I contemplated doing a 365writing challenge, but I decided against it because I wanted it to be something I could share on IG + I wanted to remain mindful of what I was saying.I think during bad weeks my ‘writing update’ could end up being a vent/rant/angry post which is what I want to stay away from! Sure, once a month, okay, but then what would have stopped me from writing gratitude posts again?

      Although, I think my next topic/challenge is a bit daunting. I keep wanting to post, but I told myself that I deserved a break, too! Thanks for following along, Mabel. I appreciate it. So much nicer to have friends cheering you on 🙂


      1. To me, 500 words is a lot when I don’t know what to write and nothing when I have a lot to say 😀 Haha, the more upcoming blogs I write, the harder and longer they seem 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Way to go, Lani! That’s serious dedication and such a great idea! The only thing I can think of that I did like this was journal weekly during the first year of both of my children’s lives about their personalities and milestones. I’m grateful I stuck to it, but it was challenging to remember sometimes. These endeavors are such great memories to look back on though!~Anne☮️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great journal challenge. I’ll have to recommend it to new parents! And look at you with another blog. I had no idea! Thanks, Anne!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations! It does seem like just the other day when you started, and I was impressed and pleased then. I’m doubly impressed that you finished! Go you!

    I love this idea too, and actually I might try it myself. I’ve dabbled this last month with keeping a gratitude list every day, so I feel I might be able to graduate to a one-year commitment. I love that it keeps one aware of gratefulness. Even when you don’t feel it, you’re aware that you don’t and of the reasons why. I think that’s far more valuable than blithely being grateful, and both are better than not being grateful or ungrateful at all.

    I can’t wait for your next #365!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’ve done it so wrong before. I definitely wanted to avoid ‘I’m happy. I’m okay.’ smiling through the pain thing. Trust me, it can go in that direction quickly if we are not careful. *raises hand*

      You know, it’s kind of funny. I’m scared to get started on the next one! Just about talked myself out of it this morning, but I’ll do it. I swear!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Having done a similar challenge last year, I totally know how hard, yet rewarding, this is. Congrats! I loved following your posts and can’t wait for the next one. And I love your BF’s reverse psychology technique — smart man 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Heather. You’ve been great with your 52 weeks challenge.These kinds of things are actually a nice way to do social media. I like the intention behind it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interestingly, even though writing a blog post takes a lot more effort, I’m finding this challenge much easier than the 365-day Instagram challenge. Doing anything every day is hard!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. I’m sure I did, but I figured it was okay as I was pretty sure no one was policing me. 😛 And I think sooner or later you start to go beyond the obvious things you are grateful for. Cheers!


  5. Congrats on getting through the full 365, Lani! Not taking it too seriously and giving yourself permission to skip days are two factors that probably really helped get you through it. Awesome work. Looking forward to seeing the next 365 days of magic!

    *Nearly* halfway through my own 365—it’s getting tough. Working from home every day isn’t the most inspiring, but it forces me to think more, which isn’t a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, your challenge is WAY harder. But you’ve managed to make it look creative and thoughtful. Thanks for being part of my journey!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations. It sounds like you had a great attitude, and even if you didn’t end up with stronger thicker hair and multiple orgasms, you must be happier. (I just realized we weren’t friends on Facebook, so I sent you a request.) Did you do your challenge mostly on Instagram? I know you talked about it on your blog, but, not doing Instagram myself, I’m sorry I missed the details. I have a Twitter account, but I never use it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did the majority of it on IG because I didn’t want to double post too often. Haven’t seen your friend request…Did you chose the right Lani Cox? Hahahaha. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations!!! I’m new to IG, just several days old. I actually only signed up so that I could comment on the posts of a particular couple. Don’t know if I’d be posting stuff there, really, as I don’t really travel, hardly go anywhere, don’t go to various restos and food joints because they cost too much (plus where I do go, food aren’t Instagram-able), and don’t exactly have a good camera.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi! I have been reading your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have a question about moving to Cambodia I was wondering if you could shed some light on. My husband has been offered a job that would be based in Phnom Penh, and we are trying to get an idea of costs of things in relation to the salary offer. One thing that is confusing to me is l have read that we will need to pay 20 percent income tax to the Cambodian government, is this true/enforced?
    Thanks for any help in this matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There might be more cost comparison info on Thailand and you could do some research for it to get a sense of how much things cost in PP that way. Overall, I’d say Cambo is slightly more expensive. And as far as taxes are concerned, yes, they do take them out. You might be compensated for half or something like that at a later time, but expect taxes to be taken out. Good luck!


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