Over the last 10 years, we’ve embarked on quite a few 30 day challenges and we’ve also created 30 day nutrition and fitness challenges, encouraging and joining others on those challenges.
My most memorable challenges have been:
‘Febfast’, a month without alcohol, which we continued to do every Feb for 8 years in a row; It was always hard coming off a very festive Dec and Jan in Australia, but Feb became one of our most productive months and it was a great way to stop habitual drinking.
Giving up added sugar: this went beyond the 30 days and became part of our lives and we are still going strong after 7 years! After 30 days we'd changed our tastebuds and everything tasted too sweet, so we kept at it and it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done.
Meditating for 30 consecutive days using the headspace app – not one of my most successful ones, but I made progress and it gave me the confidence to meditate on my own.
Walking 10,000 steps a day for 30 days! Much harder than expected and we are in fitness!
Giving up coffee and alcohol for a month – nearly killed me (the coffee withdrawal more than anything) but it got me off my 6 coffees a day and the withdrawal was so bad, worse than cutting out sugar, that I’m always conscious of how many I now have a day, never more than two.
We like a challenge and 30 days is just long enough, any longer can be daunting. We are currently on day 4 of our 30 day hot yoga challenge and now that the dust has settled and we are into the routine of it, I’ve remembered what it’s like to add something to your life and do it every-day. Whether you are adding a daily exercise class / meditation session etc or taking away booze/sugar, it’s 30 days where you wake up every-day and you are having to duck the excuses creeping into your head, ignore the negativity and potential feelings of boredom and reach deep into your ‘will-power’ storage to keep moving forward. Repetition and consistency leads to results, but it’s tough.
Day 5/67, it has to be said, are significant, because the initial enthusiasm, energy, motivation and excitement are dying off and a feeling of almost depression sets in as you realise, this is it for the next 30 days, more of the same, no breaks, no days off, this is it! This realisation of what you are doing and the days stretching ahead can cause you to question the enormity of the undertaking.
If you can move past this feeling, whether it hits at Day 4/5/6 or 7, you can move onto the next phase: the work phase, where you are doing the work and using sheer will and determination to keep it all together and on track – you might be a bit cranky around this phase! If you can hang in there, your next bit is when you feel enjoyment and are looking forward to the end, but loving the present moment: this happens about half way through or just over halfway. Then it’s the end and you feel a bit sad as you don’t want to leave the 30 day bubble but are so pleased with your achievement.
This next week is going to be tough and sacrifices will have to be made; aching bodies and mental meltdowns maybe par for the course, but that’s why it’s a challenge. Try to take some real pleasure and enjoyment from next week and have things to look forward to (Blissballs after Sat/Sun classes!). There will be moments where you feel your body is falling apart and other times when you have a Eureka moment and perhaps go ‘whose leg is that coming over my head, oh it’s mine!’
Good luck this week and see you out there!
‘We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong, the amount of work is the same’.