This month I tried - a personal challenge
A few years ago, I had this challenge "This week I tried". For about 6 months, every week, I tried something new. A new sport, a new place, a new practice...
A couple of years later, I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and absolutely loved it. She talked about the idea to work each month on a different topic to increase your happiness. I thought that was not only very challenging but very brave.
Last year, probably inspired by both these challenges, I decided to take it up a notch and started my own sort of happiness project:
To try one new thing for a whole month instead. There's only so much can you can do in a day but doing a little bit of something every day for a whole month can get you much further.
The aim is to adopt a specific habit or behavior during one month, to see whether it is worth adding it to my regular routine.
Here are some of the challenges I have done last year:
1. No alcohol (Sober October)
Not as hard as I would have imagined. I found original ways of "celebrating" with drinks that please me but don't need to have alcohol. (eg: in summer, I make a fake margarita with water, lemon, a pinch of salt)
It made me realize that most of the time, when I drink alcohol, it is more for social reasons, to share something with my friends, than because I really want it.
Now before ordering a drink, I ask myself what I really want: if I'm craving a glass of wine, great. If I'm not 100% convinced alcohol is what I want, then I go for a non-alcoholic drink. That helped me reduce my average alcohol intake, making me feel much healthier on a daily basis.
2. No Sugar
Right after New Year, I decided to take on another challenge: to get rid of ALL simple sugar. I had so many brunches and parties planned with my friends. That was very challenging because we are not just talking about saying no to dessert. It is really crazy to realize how many products contain (often hidden) sugar. Even savoury food that really shouldn't. Store-bought pesto, most condiments, ready-to-eat meals, even most chips have sugar. It helped me to become more aware of what I eat, to read the ingredient list before purchasing a product, and select more carefully what I put in my body. It is also much easier to do when you cook at home.
Also, I realized that most of my sugar intake came out of habit or boredom. In these moments, I just had a glass of water or something healthy and moved on.
The biggest takeover is that I was very impressed to see how much energy I had throughout the month. I felt less tired in the morning and during the day and felt so much better in my body.
3. Meditation challenge: 30 min meditation/day
As a yoga and breathwork teacher, you could think this was a piece of cake. Well... this was one of the hardest challenges I have done. I am used to meditating but meditation 30 minutes every day is long.
I'd be very good for a few days, meditating as soon as I woke up. But after a week or so, it got so hard. Sometimes I'd forget the whole day about it (or would keep procrastinating!) and then had to go to bed later than planned because I really wanted to complete the challenge, trying not to fall asleep while meditating.
As with most hard things in life, it was also one of the most interesting months.
A lot of things came up to me during my sessions. I was so much more in tune with my intuition, it felt so much easier to make important décisions. I felt much more creative but also able to structure thoughts with more efficiency.
I was already convinced of the importance of meditation, it just made me want to be even more consistent in my practice.
4. Hydration challenge: 3L of water/day
In Sri Lanka, a doctor in Ayurveda told me that my bones and muscles were very dry. He recommended me to drink 2 to 4L of water per day. So I thought, why not, it shouldn't be that hard right? It's just water! TBH, I was sure I was already drinking a lot.
Well, I realized I didn't drink enough at all. I really had to pay attention throughout the day to meet my challenge. It was really interesting to see that most of the time when I'm hungry, it's because I'm actually thirsty. The more I drank water, the less I ended up snacking. Now that was a side effect I liked!
With the new year coming up soon, I want to keep doing these challenges. Here are some of my ideas so far:
Breathwork every day
Priming every day: the Tony Robins way of starting the day
Deli-scipline : 1 task I don't want to do - completed before noon: the anti-procrastination challenge
Detox Juicing - replacing 1 meal by a juice
Colder water showers every day in the morning, inspired by the Wim Hof challenge.
Low social media usage - max 30min/day of only work-related stuff & no phone after 8pm
Workout every day
Eye yoga every day - yes it's a thing, and it works wonders if you're wearing glasses!
Waking up at 6 every day - I can feel this one would be tough!
Reading 30min every day
Acupressure mat every day - you know, it's a fakir mat with tons of tiny little spikes that is supposed to have wonderful effects on circulation, stress, sleep...
What do you think of these kinds of monthly challenges Does that inspire you to start one yourself? Come chat with me. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!
Follow me on Instagram @myyellowhorizon to follow my challenges and other inspirational content.
Love & Inspiration,
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