Yay! Day One of our challenge has arrived! Best day! This is the day we change our lives!!! We won't have any problems staying on track and in 28 days we will barely resemble the people we once were.....um, no. Wrong.
Day 1 of a challenge is the best day because we haven't faced real life during the challenge yet. We haven't had our first craving or stressful day yet. All we have is promise. A promise of being a better version of ourselves combined with a slightly fuzzy memory of what has derailed us in the past.
Here is what I can promise you. In the next 28 days, you will screw up. Simple as that. You will fail. Period.
There, I said it. I said what they don't want to say and you don't want to hear.
Now comes the good news. It is not all or nothing! Yes, I called it failure for the dramatic effect, but when you don't do something perfect, that's not failure. That's life baby!
So, Day 1 challenge. Ditch the "all or nothing" mentality. Period. That's it. That's your challenge.
You're probably thinking, "What the heck kind of challenge is that?! This blows. I'm out of here!"
Well, try it for a day first. Really pay attention to how many times you face that very mentality.
"I ate a burger for lunch, my whole day is shot."
"I broke down and smoked a cigarette, guess I'll start again tomorrow."
Today's assignment is to recognize any time you do anything good for yourself. If you are part of our challenge group (it's not to late to sign up here), feel free to share your list of good things you did for yourself with your teammates by posting on the group page.
This shift in your mindset will help prepare you for other challenges to come in the next 27 days (and beyond). This day is all about what you did RIGHT! There will be no such thing as failure.
For example, I have a desire to eat a raw vegan diet but I just can't seem to make it happen. So I am currently doing a "Raw Til 4" thing. This is where I eat completely raw until 4 pm each day. I don't focus on the fact that I'm eating cooked foods in the evening or even on the fact that I, literally, just had a handful tortilla chips with my 2 pm avocado and tomato afternoon snack. I'm focusing, instead, on each and every time I take a bite of a ripe, life-giving piece of fruit and how I'm sending the message of "I love you and I'm taking care of you" to my body. The "naughty" stuff? That's just life!
I understand that, if you're still in a place where eating cooked food after 4 pm doesn't seem like much of a failure (and I may have even gotten an eye roll), let me give you a better example. Earlier in my journey to health and wellness, I would have huge binges of horrible foods late at night that made my stomach feel like it was going to rip open. I started shifting my focus even then. I would start to think "Okay, I just did something a little damaging to myself, so what can I do good for myself?" I would read motivational material that informed and inspired me. After my food started to digest a little, I would give myself a little "internal baptism" in the form of a big glass of water (something that, at the time, was definitely something to be proud of because I used to despise drinking water). I would sometimes work out at 2am just because I was wide awake and bummed about the way I had spent my day, the foods I had ate, etc. Or I would gently wash my face, floss my teeth, moisturize at the end of a day of "failures" just to feel a little redeemed.
I stopped focusing on the pizza I ate and started focusing on the salad I ate before the pizza. Instead of beating myself up about the healthy meal that I never ate at all, I focused on the walk I took when I didn't feel like it and how good I felt afterward.
Bottom line, I shifted my focus from what I was doing wrong for my body and my mind to what I was doing (and could do) right.
In case you are having a hard day and can't seem to think of anything good to do for yourself, here's a list of ideas, and don't forget to check back other days throughout the challenge when you just need a pick-me-up in the form of a good deed for yourself by yourself.
- Take 3 deep breaths! It's simple and takes a few seconds. This actually signals the body to relax and reduces cortisol levels (which can be beneficial both mentally and physically)
- A big glass of water
- Go to bed early
- Wake up earlier
- Go for a walk
- Eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable
- Post a note somewhere highly visible saying something positive to yourself (more on this another day)
- Log off the computer!
- Reduce your t.v. watching time
- Do something you've been putting off (more on this one too!!)
- Post a message in our group asking for support
- Start making your own checklist of things you'd like to start doing good for yourself
What can you do right for your body and your mind today? Set a reminder on your phone. Post notes around your house and/or workspace to remind you of this notion.
I look forward to reading your successes!
Now is a good time for me to reign you back in and make sure you're not still desperately searching for the huge assignment that's going to change your life. But remember, "all or nothing" is gone! Day one. It's gone. At this very moment, you MUST stop expecting that you are going to somehow, after a lifetime of not doing so, change your entire life in a few short days. It doesn't work that way. As I often tell my clients, "this is not a movie montage, this is real life." So shift your focus now from the big picture, to the tiny little corner of the picture and zero in. We are going to do this in 28 little baby steps.
I made you a rather negative promise at the beginning of this message. Now I'm going to make you a more assuring, yet realistic, promise to wrap this up.
If you accept each little challenge (or even just most of them) I give you over the next 28 days and do them to the best of your ability (or even just most of your ability), you will reach the end of these 4 weeks as a slightly better version of yourself, capable of slightly better things.....and then maybe we'll do another challenge.
And if you're just still completely under enthused by the prospect of small, manageable changes, ask yourself how those big, all at once, always on Mondays and New Years changes have been working out for you. In a month from now, you will be one month older no matter what you do. Resolve to be one month better!
Haven't joined our group yet? It's not too late. Sign up here.
And don't forget to "like" my page on Facebook where I post motivational material on a consistent basis to keep you focused on what's important!