Gratitude is like a muscle that can be exercised. It takes time to build.

One UC Berkeley study found that it takes about 30 days of practicing gratitude before the effects are felt — but then they last for months.

So, to help you on your way, we created a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge, which can be done as a couple or alone. The daily prompts are easy to follow with our printable PDF, and they cover health, nutrition, fitness, relationships, and soul.

30 day gratitude challenge ryan and alex duo life

30-day gratitude challenge

Spending time focusing on gratitude is incredibly powerful and an important time to reset. While most think of gratitude as a solo exploit, we also think doing it as a couple or a family is deeply gratifying as well.

This list of gratitude prompts, while geared for couples, can also be done alone, with your kids, or anyone else who could benefit from 30 days of gratitude.

A gratitude challenge can be grounding and can put any small, daily annoyances in a greater perspective. We love doing this 30-Day Gratitude Challenge together because each day’s activity is bite-sized but impactful.

The activities we’ve selected are based on our research to give you the most ‘bang for your buck’ to make a difference in your life.

Speaking of science, how can making a habit of gratefulness bring more happiness to your life and relationship?

The Science of Gratitude

A study performed by psychologists from the University of California, Davis, and University of Miami asked three groups of people to either write a few sentences on things they were grateful for, a few irritations, or to document events with no emphasis on negativity or positivity.

After ten weeks, the participants who wrote about things they’re grateful for rated their optimism and quality of life higher than the other groups. Interestingly, they were also more likely to exercise and had fewer doctor visits.

In regards to couples, a study conducted with pairs found that those who expressed gratitude for their relationship were happier than those who did not. Additionally, the couples were also more confident in expressing their concerns about the relationship.

The Benefits of a Gratitude Ritual

A 30-Day Gratitude Challenge is important because it will make you:

  • Feel more optimistic
  • Be more satisfied with your quality of life
  • More likely to exercise
  • Have fewer doctor visits
  • Happier with your partner
  • A more confident communicator in your relationship

Fortunately, gratitude can be grown and cultivated with practice.

What to Expect From Our Gratitude Challenge

With this gratitude wellness challenge, we guide you through thirty daily prompts and activities.

Our gratitude challenge ideas can be completed in any order you want, and are grouped in five categories: health, nutrition, fitness, relationship, and soul.

If you would like a printable calendar to mark off completed gratitude prompts and journal about your experience, download our free printable 30-Day Gratitude Challenge PDF in the form below. 

Printable 30-Day Gratitude Challenge PDF

Download The Printable 30-Day Gratitude Challenge PDF and Journal

It takes about 30 days of practicing gratitude before the effects are felt, but then they last for months. This challenge guides you through thirty daily gratitude ideas and prompts. Print the PDF, mark off completed gratitude prompts, and journal about your experience.

The 30-Day Gratitude Challenge

Gratitude for your Health and Wellness

This is task number one on our gratitude challenge template, however, feel free to complete the 30 days of this gratitude challenge in any order you’d like.

These six tasks are here to make you happier and more grateful for your health and wellness.

1. Spend Time Outside in Nature and the Sun

So, let’s begin.

Take a few minutes today to head outside together. Spending time in nature is therapeutic. Express gratitude for the fresh air, earthy smells, the birds, and access to clean spaces.

Plus, getting Vitamin D from the sun has been shown to boost your happiness even more.

2. Unplug and Relax With a Book or Board Game

We all know how much a phone on the table can ruin the vibe when on a date.

So, commit to a few hours unplugged this evening and take it old school. Play a board game (here are our favorites) or read a book together.

No screens allowed! Take time to appreciate the joys of small, simple comforts like these.

3. Give Yourself Permission to Sleep In

The importance of sleeping well cannot be understated, so take some time to express appreciation for your safe home and bed tonight.

To reap the full benefits of this gratitude challenge idea, let yourself fully relax and shut off your alarm for the morning.

Small wins like sleeping in or going to bed early help to rejuvenate your positivity while helping with other health goals like fitness and diet. I’ll tell you, this sounds heavenly now that we have kids!

4. Be Grateful For Your Body, No Matter What

Your body does incredible things, so spend some time appreciating everything it has done for you.

While you may not be fully healthy or not be where you want in your weight journey, take a moment to pause and say thanks.

As a couple, share some meaningful affirmations to your partner and tell them what you love about their body. Their body is good for you, too!

5. Hug Yourself and Your Partner

Psychotherapist Virginia Stair once famously said, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

A 20-second hug, as well as 10-minutes of handholding, has been scientifically shown to increase oxytocin levels that reduce stress, ease depression, boost your immune system, and lower risk of heart disease.

6. Empower Yourself and Tackle a Big Task

Believe in yourself and be grateful for what you can achieve. If something has been stagnant on your to-do list (asking for a raise, organizing your wedding photos) tackle it today.

Lean on your partner for emotional support and see how much you can accomplish.

Gratitude for Food and Nutrition

We should all be grateful for food. These next six tasks on your 30-Day Gratitude Challenge Calendar are focused on celebrating and sharing food.

7. Cook Up a Family Recipe

Express gratitude and respect for your family traditions, particularly for the recipes that have been passed down several generations.

Don’t know any by heart? Call up a grandparent or an aunt and make sure to record their story around it.

8. Eat Local and Meet the Farmers

Shop together at your local farmer’s market or look for local produce at your grocery store. Appreciate what the farmers cultivate seasonally around your home.

We love supporting our local farmers and enjoy the taste and nutrition from locally grown food. Plus, it adds a bit of local culture and flair to your meals.

9. Donate Canned Goods to a Charity In Need

Nothing will put into perspective better how fortunate you are to have groceries than being able to spread the love and donate some. Declutter your home and pantry and donate them.

10. Volunteer at a Local Food Shelf

As Elbert Hubbard said, “The love we give away is the only love we keep.”

You’ll be able to remember the big picture and have a new appreciation for your nutrition by volunteering together.

11. Bake Cookies As a Gift to Your Neighbors

The way to the heart is through the stomach. Show your appreciation and gratefulness to your neighbors by giving them a plate of homebaked cookies.

Plus, cooking together with your partner is a fun and fulfilling activity.

12. Appreciate Your Body With a Healthy Vegetarian Meal

Give your body some loving nourishment by eating a clean, healthy meal together. Why vegetarian?

It’s something different for a lot of couples while having a wide bevy of health benefits from lowering cholesterol to creating a healthier microbiome.

Here are a few ideas to get more vegetables into your day.

Gratitude for Your Body and Physical Health

These next six tasks in the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge will make you more grateful for your body and physical abilities.

13. Appreciate Your Body with a Recovery Stretch

While many remember to work out, plenty forget that they need to rest as well.

Turn your rest day into a dynamic stretch or try our Couple’s Yoga Flow Routine together. Appreciate your body’s range of motion and flexibility and help your partner improve.

14. Reignite a Childhood Hobby

Ryan played soccer growing up while Alex swam. It’s been fun teaching each other how to play each of our sports and play “coach” for a while.

A trip down memory lane like this brings back feelings of appreciation for the sports we love and how we grew into the people we are today because of them.

15. Exercise With Your Partner

The benefits of working out with your spouse have been well studied in the scientific world.

According to studies, couples who do fitness together end up “feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner.”

Plus, when you are working out together, you’re sweating, breathing heavily, moving quickly, and releasing endorphins.

Not sure where to start? We created this great cardio Couple’s Workout Routine filled with partner moves. Have fun with it!

16. Test Your Balance and Try a New Partner Yoga Pose

Did you know that therapists have started using couples yoga to increase intimacy?

Yoga makes you feel good, plain and simple. It’s also a great way to express gratitude as you focus and get feedback from different areas of the body.

Spend some time today trying these 38 partner yoga poses and see what new heights you can reach!

17. Watch an Inspiring Sports Movie or Documentary

What better way to appreciate your favorite sports than by watching some of its greatest moments?

Whether you’re into Chariots of Fire or Miracle, learning about your sport’s history is a great way to show gratitude.

18. Create a Feel-Good Workout Playlist

Not only can music improve performance by 15%, as we share in our article ‘7 Ways to Level Up Your Running,’ it’s known to stimulate memories while decreasing stress.

I can attest to the memories. Listening to the songs I trained for during my first marathon still motivates me and brings my long-term goals into view.

Make some new music memories while exercising together. What’s on your playlist?

Gratitude in Your Relationships

The following six tasks in the gratitude challenge will put a smile on your face and make you feel grateful for all the incredible people in your life.

19. Thank One of Your Mentors

Take some time today to send an email or give a call to one of your mentors, either in life or at work.

And if you don’t actually know your mentor — perhaps a celebrity? Post on their social media. You’ll be surprised who will write back.

Taking the time to reach out and show gratitude for a mentor (or perhaps, a couple that you both look up to) provides hope and inspiration.

20. Connect with Old Friends

When was the last time you went on a double date?

Laughing and chatting the night away helps you appreciate how far you’ve come and lets your friends know how important they are in your life.

21. Share Why You’re Grateful for Your Spouse

This 30-day gratitude challenge for couples has focused on many activities that you can do together, but now it’s time to focus on each other.

Think of why you love and care for your spouse, and thank them a lot today. Want to make your thanks more meaningful? Express it in their love language.

22. Mail a Card to Your Grandparents or Parents

No one has been as instrumental to your formation as your family.

Send a nice note to an older family member, and perhaps even ask for some extra wisdom!

23. Organize a Group Phone Call with Old Friends

We move a lot, and it’s been immensely rewarding and heartfelt catching up with friends from around the world. It also brings us closer as a couple, as we remember all of the different places we’ve lived.

24. Invite a Loved One Over for Dinner

Practicing gratitude as it pertains to relationships takes a bit more effort than some of these other activity ideas. For this one, make a nice home-cooked meal for a neighbor, friend, colleague, or family member.

Make it particularly special if it’s not what you normally do or who you would normally ask.

Staying connected with the people in your life takes action, and there’s no better way to show your appreciation than through a home-cooked meal.

Gratitude with Your Soul

These final six tasks in the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge center around your soul, spirituality, and outlook. As you’ve heard before, we can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.

These gratitude challenges will help you reframe your perspective and feel grateful from your head to your soul!

25. List Silver Linings From Three ‘Bad’ Situations

We can never know how the story ends, and in times of stress, the world can sometimes feel like it’s falling apart.

In this gratitude challenge, take time to appreciate your resiliency and think about the silver linings that can happen, even from a bad time.

26. Tour Your Hometown Like a Tourist

Sometimes when you’re living somewhere, its beauty becomes commonplace. So, fall in love with your home again and feel grateful for the opportunities it gives.

Sign up for a walking history tour or visit parts of town that you’ve never been to. All of these will reinforce your love and appreciation for your home.

27. Document Life Lessons

Every family and every person leaves a legacy.

Spend time calling older family members and documenting their stories and life lessons. Or, just spend time thinking about childhood memories that have stuck with you. What did you learn from them?

While no childhood is perfect, be grateful for the times you had with your family and recognize how it’s helped you grow.

28. Ground Yourself with Meditation

Meditation is good for the soul because it increases your awareness of your body and thoughts.

While we’re no experts at meditation, we like using apps like Balance that offer guided meditations. Even if we feel like we weren’t that good, we still feel uplifted and grounded.

29. Bring Back a Family Tradition

Connect with your heritage and your family together by bringing back a family tradition, or melding one that combines both of your family’s.

Whether it’s cooking, reading, or tinkering, knowing that what you’re doing was done before you for generations, is gratifying and grounding.

30. Make a DIY Spa Day Retreat At Home

Get the soulful benefits of a full day of refreshing and resetting. We share full schedules for a DIY Self-Care At-Home Retreat and a 1-Day DIY Marriage Retreat At Home.

Try one (or both) and focus on your gratitude for the day. After twenty-nine days in this gratitude challenge, reflect on all that you’ve learned, and appreciate your progress.

Printable 30-Day Gratitude Challenge PDF

Download The Printable 30-Day Gratitude Challenge PDF and Journal

It takes about 30 days of practicing gratitude before the effects are felt, but then they last for months. This challenge guides you through thirty daily gratitude ideas and prompts. Print the PDF, mark off completed gratitude prompts, and journal about your experience.

30 Days of Gratitude Closing THoughts

There are infinite ways to show gratitude, but we hope that the daily prompts in this 30-Day Gratitude Challenge have guided you in fulfilling, healthy, and helpful ways.

While some activities are more involved than others you may have found on the internet, these are the ones that we really thought would move the needle. They’re thoughtful, many are backed by science, and touch multiple areas of your life like health, fitness, nutrition, relationship, and soul.

We’d love to hear what you’re grateful for in the comments below. We’re grateful to you for stopping by!

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Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.

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