The 2021 Contentment Challenge begins in just a few short days and I’m finishing tying up loose ends of the prep work. This is the second time I’ll partake in it, and I can’t wait to see what the Lord teaches me! The Contentment Challenge is a 3 month reset. It’s a fast from all of the things that clutter your life (like shopping and dining out) and a commitment to it with things that truly fill your soul. Of course saving money is obviously a natural byproduct of the process, but not the main goal. Nancy Ray, the founder of the CC, says, “It’s simply taking a stance (a very different kind of stance) that states that things don’t equal happiness. Convenience doesn’t either. People do, experiences do, and ultimately, your relationship with God is the one thing that can satisfy.” Coming off of the holiday shopping season, this feels like a breath of fresh air! It can feel a little overwhelming at first, but I wanted to share a few things that I did last year that really helped that I’m doing again this year that might be helpful to others!
Pre buy gifts for occasions during the challenge
In our families, there are 6 birthday during the Contentment Challenge window, so I’m trying to buy as much as I can beforehand. That way I won’t be tempted to shop during the challenge and I can keep focus! I probably won’t get everything purchased, but at least giving myself a head start will help greatly.
Find books to fill your time with
There are a few books that I’ve read in the past that I’ll read again, where I usually learn something each time. I’ll be re-reading A Simplified Life, Cut Flower Garden, A Year in Flowers, and reading for the first time Grace not Perfection and Free of Me. The book Discovering Dahlias was gifted to me for Christmas and I’m excited for it to go live so I can add it to my reading list as well! My husband and I have also decided to start a joint devotional, The Love & Respect Experience. It’s one that again, we’ve had it in our personal library for about 4 years but just done it. As a part of one of our new years goals, we’re establishing a weekly routine of getting into the word using this devotional. And so far, we *both* LOVE it and would highly recommend it.
Invest your time in hobbies that add (not distract) to your true contentment
This part reminds me a little bit of training a puppy… Instead of filling my time scrolling on social media where temptation lies in wait (*ahem* all those Madewell and home decor ads), I try and use my free time to do things that do add to my true contentment, like yoga, gardening, hiking, and time with family and close friends.
Find solidarity with accountability partners
There’s great strength in numbers! I really struggle with keeping up with goals when I try to do it all by myself. I’m sure I’m not the only one! I’ve told some of the friends that I interact with on a more frequent basis about my goals and plans, so that they can remind me when I’m feeling vulnerable and insecure. Mindfull fitness has been a huge struggle for me, partially because I have some body image issues (a blog post for another day) and partially because when I try to do it all myself, I fail because I’m weak. I’ve started doing yoga a couple times a week with an accountability partner who has a similar goal in mind which has been so amazing! Are you joining in on the contentment challenge this year? Comment below or shoot me an email and I’d love to be an accountability partner to keep you on the course to contentment!
I’m eager to begin this new challenge to see what the Lord is going to show me. Are you thinking about joining the Contentment Challenge, but not sure where to begin? Send me an email and I’d love to chat!