On 1st January I set myself 3 challenges and on 31st January they were all completed.
My challenges required daily actions and focused around yoga, meditation and journaling. These three activities I regularly suggest to my clients as they can all help to reduce stress and anxiety and they help to focus the mind. I decided to practice what I preach in a consistent way.
Most of us naturally take the path of least resistance and when doing anything that takes us outside our comfort zone. We naturally create barriers or reasons why something won’t work.
Although I wanted to do these challenges I knew I would have some psychological barriers which could jeopardise my success.
My 3 main barriers were: –
1. Consistency – I’m not going to find the time every day.
On day one my preferred time to meditate (before breakfast) wasn’t convenient. I didn’t want to fail at the first hurdle so I found another time later in the day. Surprisingly, this new time of day suited me better. As the days went by I was able to make small but significant improvements and enjoyed my meditation sessions.
2. Inspiration – What do you journal about every day? I could have easily used this excuse many times in the first couple of days.
I decided to find 5 minutes in the morning to dedicate to writing about events from the previous day. I took my inspiration from the previous days’ many events and activities that I was grateful and thankful for. I soon gained confidence and was writing for longer each day.
3. Motivation – What’s going to help me to show up on the mat each day?
Doing a 1-to-1 yoga video means if I don’t show up no-one but me would know; right! So to motivate myself I shared this challenge with my daughter who encouraged me with texts asking about my progress. Also, the energy and genuine gratitude expressed at the start of each video by the teacher somehow made me feel that I would be missed if I didn’t show up!
So 31 days later I can honestly say I feel fitter and stronger both mentally and physically. Some days I found it struggle but I have learnt a lot about myself from challenging myself in this way. I will continue to do yoga, meditation and journaling – but maybe not every day. I will now be able to suggest these activities to clients from a place of personal experience.
It has opened my eyes to accepting other challenges and I would encourage you to find something to challenge yourself. Something that requires consistency, motivation and allows you to grow and learn by taking small but significant daily steps.
It’s suggested that for consistency, a minimum of 31 consecutive days is ideal. When doing something like this, day 20 is usually the hardest day as this is the day when most people give up. You will need to dig deep to stay motivated to get to day 31.
Remember, it’s OK to start a challenge on any day of the year. It doesn’t have to be 1st January, there are 364 other days to start from too.
The yoga I did can be found by searching yogarevolution on YouTube. I’ve looked at a few yoga videos and found Adriene’s style and energy right for me but she’s not right for everyone. I would encourage you to find a video or class that’s right for you and your lifestyle.