This post was sponsored by Frost Bank and all opinions are my own. Thank you to the brands who make Cup of Charisma possible.
Have you ever just felt so happy you could do a twirl?! I’m on Day 19 of Frost Bank’s 30-Day Optimism Challenge and I’m feeling so rejuvenated and energized this month. Overall, focusing on my levels of happiness has been an uplifting act that’s spilled into every facet of my life.
If you’re unfamiliar with Frost’s 30-Day Optimism Challenge you might want to start here. This daily challenge encourages participants to build up their community, self-reflect on their own life, show generosity to those around you, and set goals to accomplish what you want. Since I’ve completed 20 days of the challenge and want to share my favorite moments and key takeaways with you!
Community = Everything
One of my favorite parts of the 30-Day Optimism Challenge is that building community is such a center point. By fostering relationships with the people around us, we can strengthen both our trust and compassion. One simple task that I initially struggled with was Day 2: Introduce Yourself to a Neighbor You’ve Never Met. This task sounds SO simple but as I would take my daily ride up the apartment elevator to my unit, I started to understand how awkward it could feel to break social norms and actually extend a hand to a stranger.
Lucky for me, I have a few lovely people I’ve smiled and waved to over the last year or so of living here. FINALLY, I took the time to ask their name and get to know a little more about them. Ever since Day 2, I’ve been able to smile at my neighbor and actually call him by his name, a sign that we’re seen and acknowledged in the world.
When I woke up on Day 10, I was so excited to take on the task of celebrating someone else other than myself on social media. As a blogger, our job is to put our lives out there for the public but I sometimes fear that it seems a little narcissistic if you don’t know me personally. I don’t put myself online to try to boast or gain recognition, but rather to spread a positive message. From the outside looking in, I feel like there might be ways others can misconstrue this.
I try to celebrate my friends and family when I can, but using my platform to recognize someone else was a really positive exercise for me. I decided to repeat this several times throughout the last few weeks because I loved the activity so much, but the first person I chose to recognize was my friend Alex Michael May who was emceeing the incredible Yellow Conference, a gathering for social good entrepreneurs in Los Angeles.
By celebrating others and acknowledging their successes, we are establishing that we ALL can succeed and uplift one another.
Clear the Clutter to Unlock Your Mind
I once bought “The Magical Art of Tidying Up” and bombed MISERABLY as I read how beneficial it was to eliminate items that don’t spark joy. From tossing out photos I loved to hold onto to adapting to owning fewer shoes, I really struggled to get behind Marie Kondo’s critically-acclaimed approach.
I work at my desk from home and fighting the urge to work through mess is difficult. My head isn’t straight when I have piles of papers from the week prior, a dirty load of laundry in the hamper, or PR mailers piled high in cardboard boxes. I took the time to really eliminate the clutter and get into a system with how to keep my office clean on Day 11 and it’s allowed me to have more clarity in the office. I also organized my digital space on Day 3 with Frost’s challenge to delete all of the apps and it was MINDBLOWING. I had so many apps taking up space on my phone that I hadn’t used in ages. I’m grateful to say my desk is clutter free and my phone has at least half of those red notification bubbles to worry about. Cheers to that!
Put Your Goals Out Into the World!
If you know me, you know I LOVE goal setting. Here’s the thing: it takes accountability to stick to those goals. Over the last three weeks in accordance to the 30-Day Optimism Challenge, I took on two new goals – one physical and one financial.
On Day 8, I defined my physical health goal was to start the nutrition program Stronger U and work out on a more consistent basis. While I’m still working my way to going to the gym at least four times a week, my energy is high and I’m eating as healthy as ever. I’ve been counting macros, cooking from home, and staying accountable with the help of a nutrition coach and a close friend.
Day 15 was a much-needed day to goal set financially. I’m SUCH a procrastinator when it comes to looming financial responsibilities. (For example, guess who still hasn’t filed her 2017 taxes? This extension-loving gal.) Since heading face first into entrepreneurship, I’ve realized that I tend to struggle with knowing where my money is coming from. With the help of two close friends, we’ve all met to create our budgets and outline what we feel comfortable spending on everything from dining out to buying shoes. I’ve also started to read “Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms” by DailyWorth founder Amanda Steinberg to get a little motivated in the process.
Nurture Your Community
According to HelpGuide.org, volunteering benefits not just the organization but YOU. “The right match can help you to reduce stress, find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.” There are so many ways to make a positive impact, but your community is perhaps one of the most impactful ones. For Day 19, my friends and I also hosted a MASSIVE clothing swap where we each traded clothing to be more environmentally friendly and donated 15 bags of items to the local women’s shelter. What will you do this month to make a difference?
The 30-Day Optimism Challenge is happening NOW, but it’s not too late to take part! If you’d like to join me in the 30-Day Optimism Challenge all you have to do is sign up here. There is also a helpful Facebook group where you’ll be able to engage with fellow optimists around the world!
Who’s ready to spread happiness?
Photos by Banavenue Photography