Photo by Nancy Ray Photography
Last Friday was the last day of my three month contentment challenge, and while I admit I slipped up once or twice, I would still consider my experiment a success!
The first month was definitely the hardest, as I became aware of how often I used to pull into Starbucks for a latte on a post office run, or throw something into my basket at Costco that wasn’t on the list. During month two, it became easier as my habits started to change. I wouldn’t bother going down the aisles that contained household items or clothing at Target or Costco, and got used to drinking my afternoon coffee at home. By month three, I nearly forgot I was doing the challenge at all because the impulse to buy unnecessary things was almost completely gone.
For me it wasn’t about being perfect and focusing on a set of rules and restrictions, it was about breaking the habit of instant gratification. It was about resisting the temptation to pick up a drive through dinner at the end of a long day, and instead taking the time to prepare a meal with what was already in our fridge. These three months taught me to pause before hitting “buy now” on Amazon and evaluate if the item I was purchasing was a need or a want. I learned to appreciate what was right in front of me instead of focusing on acquiring more.
Now that the challenge is over, I will continue to cultivate a spirit of gratitude and contentment in my life. Should I ever find myself slipping back into my old habits (and I'm sure I will at some point), I’ll give myself some grace and challenge myself to another round!
For more information on the contentment challenge, check out Nancy Ray's original contentment challenge post.