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 cover health, nutrition, fitness, relationships, and soul.
30-day gratitude challenge
Spending time focusing on gratitude together as a couple is incredibly powerful and an important time to reset.
Especially during pandemic, a gratitude challenge can be grounding and put any small, daily annoyances in a greater perspective.
How can gratitude 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.
Fortunately, gratitude can be grown and cultivated with practice. With this 30-Day Couple’s Gratitude Challenge, we guide you through thirty daily prompts and activities together.
Read the article here for the full description of the gratitude wellness challenge.
Our gratitude challenge ideas can be completed in any order you want. If you would like a printable calendar to mark off completed challenges, download our 30-Day Couple’s Gratitude Challenge PDF.
Download the Gratitude Challenge PDF
Gratitude For Your Health
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.
This first six tasks will 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 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.
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 along 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 Your 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 passed down several generations.
Don’t know any by heart? Call up a grandparent 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 we share in our article, ‘50 Inspirational Marriage Quotes,’ 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 With Fitness
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 awhile.
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 twenty-three 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.
Even better, if you can find a sports movie on our list of best movies for married couples.
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 in my longterm goals into view.
Make some new music memories while exercising together. What’s on your playlist?
Gratitude With Your Relationship
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 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?
Get some blast from the past going to appreciate how far you’ve come and who has been most important in your lives.
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 then your family.
And whether or not you admit, how you date, and the relationships you have. Send a nice note to an older family member, and perhaps even ask for some wisdom and relationship advice!
23. Organize a Group Phone Call with Old Friends
What positive habits can you take away after our quarantine? One we hope to continue beyond this gratitude challenge is scheduling group phone calls.
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
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, it’s 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 with your partner 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 a 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
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.
Download the Gratitude Challenge PDF
There are infinite ways to show gratitude, but we hope that the daily prompts in this 30-Day Gratitude Challenge have guided you and your partner.
We’d love to hear what you’re grateful for in the comments below. We’re grateful to you for stopping by!
I have questions. What do I do?
Ask away in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you to address your questions and update this article accordingly.
Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for your comment!
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The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”
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