40 days Approach



Possibly the best way to generate the content you need in Step 2 before moving on to Step 3 is to make a commitment to write about a positive moment and articulate a strength that caused or allowed that moment (Step 1 and Step 2) every day for 40 days. Another possibility is to use 40 Moments, 40 Strengths, 40 Days to deepen your practice in Step 5.


A wonderful side effect of this commitment is that it makes reflecting on positive moments and articulating strengths into a habit.


Timeframe: 2 to 5 minutes per day for 40 days.




Choose the most convenient way to record your moments and strengths whether it is electronically or on paper. You can easily make your own small notebook to carry around, such as the one pictured at this link. If you choose not to work directly in your LOG, you can transfer your entries into your LOG later.


Think about your daily schedule, look at your calendar, and choose a time that is convenient for you. Tying this practice to something you already do every day can be very helpful, such as at lunchtime, or after my shower.


Every day at the appointed time, reflect on the past 24-hour period, and note a positive moment. Allow some time for that “nothing good ever happens to me” thought to pass, if that is a tendency of your mind. There was probably a moment in the past 24-hours that felt a bit better than the other moments, whether you felt a sense of accomplishment, pride, serenity, affection, or any other positive feeling.


If you miss a day, simply write about 2 positive moments and articulate 2 strengths on the next day. Give some effort to not missing a day, but don’t give up, no matter what!

Tips to help you practice:

Use the positive feeling words and the strength words if you get stuck. Use these words to prime the pump, but try to revise them into your own words that really describe your feelings and strengths.

Schedule a strengths-focused dialog. It is really helpful to have the support of another person who is also working toward articulating their positive identity.

Let it be pleasant. You are taking time to recall positive moments and think of ways you are a great person. It’s fun!