Daily Challenge: Self-Appreciation

Today’s daily challenge relates to self-appreciation. Sometimes, it’s easy for us to appreciate the people around us – but somehow, quite difficult for us to appreciate ourselves. We find it hard to accept compliments, but are quick to praise others for something we like about them.

We’re putting an end to that today. It’s time to appreciate ourselves. Throughout the course of the day, I want you to work on three lists for yourself.

The first list: things that you can do well. What are you good at? Whether it’s making a great pizza, knitting, skateboarding, or listening — everyone is good at something. Come up with 5 things (or more!)

The second list: good qualities about yourself. Slightly different from the first list. Are you kind, giving, generous, sweet, caring, courageous? List at least five positive adjectives you’d use to describe yourself.

The third list: things you want to improve at. While this is all about self-appreciation, it’s important to recognize that you’re not perfect; no one is. But being able to recognize your weaker points, flaws, or the parts of you/your life that you want to improve, will only help to make you an even stronger person.

Self-love is a beautiful thing, folks. Below are some of my favorite quotes on the subject:

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself. – Steve Maraboli

To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance. – Oscar Wilde

Daily Challenge: Give to A Charity

Today’s daily challenge can be completed in many different ways, but it’s a simple one: give to charity.

The first step: pick your cause. What are you going for? Gay rights, poverty, homelessness, animal rights, Alzheimer’s, a cure for cancer, etc. There are so many good, legitimate causes out there to champion for – but you have to start by picking one!

Next: research organizations. This is where you have to decide if you’re looking to assist on a local level, a national level or a global level. Do you want to donate to your local animal shelter? Or do you want to donate to a nationwide organization campaigning for a cancer cure? How about a global initiative aiming to end poverty? Charities and causes at all three levels are equally as important and equally as worthy, but it’s up to you to decide what you want to do.

Give it some thought, then research at least three to five different organizations related to your cause. Figure out what your donation would go toward. Research the organization itself; make sure it’s legitimate and that your money will really be going toward the cause. Then pick an organization – or give to all of them, if you want to and have the available funds/etc.

Whether you give $5, $50 or $500, charitable organizations will accept donations of any denomination and they’re all appreciated. Of course, you can also donate in other ways, such as donating your time by volunteering with an organization (obviously more time-consuming than a financial donation), donating items such as products, baked goods, etc., or by donating to the cause by spreading awareness about it and the organizations that champion for it.

Daily Challenge: Write A Letter (Yes, A Real One)

It’s been a while since I tried to do any “Daily Challenge” posts, but I’d like to start them back up. These posts are designed to inspire readers to: feel better about themselves, improve their lives and the lives of others, be more positive, feel energetic and feel truly alive!

Today’s challenge: write a letter. A real, pen-and-paper, old-fashioned letter. It can be to anyone: your spouse, your cousin, a best friend, an old friend, your child, your parent… write them a letter. Talk about your day, your life; your current mindset, what you’re feeling; your plans for the rest of the week. If you haven’t spoken to them in a while, figure out why and talk about it. Ask how they are, too, of course.

Whether or not you actually send the letter is up to you, but ideally, I’d hope you would send it. Yes, I know stamps are increasing in price every day, but c’mon. A piece of paper, an envelope and a stamp likely won’t break the bank and could help you reconnect – or connect deeper – to someone in your life. In a modern age absolutely flooded with technology (and there’s nothing wrong with technology!), it’s just nice sometimes to receive a handwritten letter from someone. It shows that you took the time and initiative to sit down and figure out what you wanted to say – after all, you can’t just press “backspace” if you want to erase something.

And who knows, maybe the person will even write back to you. Maybe they won’t. Maybe, your old best friend from high school will think it’s a bit weird that you wrote them a letter to reconnect all these years later. Maybe your old friend who you fought with those years ago won’t even open the letter and will simply toss it away.

But maybe, just maybe, it’ll help you in some small way, even if you choose not to hit “Send.” (Err, wait. I mean, fold the letter, put it in an envelope, seal it, stamp it and address it. Wow, it’s a bit more work to send a physical letter than an e-mail, isn’t it? It’s well worth it, though.)

Daily Challenge: A Technology-Free Meal

How many times have you eaten a meal with family or friends, only to have half of the people at the table otherwise distracted by their cell phones? Technology can be a wonderful thing, but… it can also be a pain sometimes. Is there anything more frustrating than trying to sit down and have a nice dinner with someone, only to have them sit there texting, Facebook messaging, Tweeting and Instagraming instead? To be honest – it never really bothered me, and *I* have definitely been that person who uses their phone during dinner…. but I think about it more and more, and in all honesty — it’s pretty dang annoying and slightly disrespectful, and I’m trying to get out of the habit of doing this. To me, it says that you don’t really care about the person you’re sitting down to share a meal with, and you’d clearly rather be somewhere else. Like I said: a little disrespectful.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all just put our technology away and focused on real, intimate, face-to-face conversation, even if just for one meal?

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The Newest Year

Here we are. The new year is finally upon us, and with it, many wonderful things (and some that will be not-so wonderful, but let’s brush those aside for now.) The beginning of a new year is always a time for reflection. Reflecting on the year – or years – past, yes, but moreso, reflecting on the future. Considering what we want to change in our lives, setting goals and resolutions (some of which may last weeks, others just days, maybe some, months).

Overall, the beginning of a new year is a great time for us to examine our lives and the path we’re headed on, and determine where we want to go from here.

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