Monthly Challenges

In 2013 I made it my resolution to give myself an unspecific number of weekly goals, goals that ranged from trying new things, implementing new routines, nutritional/dietary goals, fitness goals and other whatever goals.

I had a lot of fun doing it. They were often times challenging, but I always seemed to learn something from each one and had a great time doing it. It kept things interesting, and it was nice to have something to focus on, even if they were random little goals.

I felt a strong urge in the middle of the night last weekend that I wanted to do something like that again. I felt that I might have been a bit too passive in how I was going on with things recently, and a step towards being more active seemed like the right solution.

Like anytime I get a strong urge to do something new, I acted immediately on it(!), letting my mind wander and asking google to tell me what the internet was thinking. I came up with a bunch of things that I wanted to do with myself. The one that I am sharing today is my desire to re-start my challenges. The idea got me excited, so I knew it was the right choice.

I think I will still add in from time to time some weekly or other random challenges for myself, but I want to do some longer, month long ones. I felt that the weekly challenges I found that had an impact and I felt served me well, I kept them up afterwards. So if it is easy or I enjoy it, making it a month long is nothing but niceness. If, however, I was challenging myself with something that ended up being difficult to do, even for a week, I was really happy when the week ended. With that said, I really enjoy challenges, and I find that the harder something is, the more you get out of your comfort zone, the more you learn about yourself and your relationship to…. whatever comes up from that specific challenge. So month long challenges it is!

The motivating factors behind my specific challenges will be based on ‘ego busting’ (more on this another day), based on living a healthy lifestyle; a healthy lifestyle being related to food, exercise, relationships and mental outlook. I will also do some just purely out of curiosity and fun.

For this month, I have decided to jump in full speed and do three goals. For one month I will:

1. Have no sugar in my diet aside from fruit and honey (sparingly).

2. Get rid of a possession every day.

3. Stick to my morning/night routine.

 

No sugar.

I picked this because lately I have been going nuts on desserts. I think I have had four cheesecakes in the last two weeks, having two full cheesecakes yesterday alone. Though it was national cheesecake day yesterday, I was unaware. I have realized that I am addicted to sugar and sweets (mostly pastries). I watched a video the other week where a doctor spoke about sugar, saying that it was a recreational drug. When I think of sugar as a recreational drug, it makes total sense to me. There isn’t really anything wrong with recreational drug use in itself, but you have to recognize if it is having negative effects in your life and determine if it is serving you or not for the better. Sugar doesn’t seem to be.

Bye bye stuff.

I don’t own much stuff, at least relative to other people. Yet, I still have way too much. I have so many things that I haven’t used for years, but just take up space. I am going to either throw away or donate to value village a possession of mine everyday for the month. I really have no idea if this will be difficult or not. I will not be throwing away food or books, and I won’t be silly and choose something small like a pen or a battery or something. We shall see what happens.

Morning and Night Routine.

Having structure is a nice thing, at times. Having the tone for the day set is important, at least for me. I think that the way you set your day, and close it off, are some of those little things in life that provide quality.

Morning Routine:

  1. Wake up at 5am (I currently wake up around 6:30. I will gradually shift down to 5am. The exception to this will be if I have a late night or overnight volunteering shift the evening before.
  2. No cell phone or internet in bed
  3. Shower
  4. Meditation routine
    1. Burn Incense
    2. Breathing Exercise
    3. Meditation
    4. Read Quote
    5. Express gratitude
  5. Hot lemon water and breakfast
  6. While water is boiling, walk out into backyard and take a moment to be present and appreciate the day ahead that I am able to experience
  7. After breakfast I may use cell phone/computer/internet

Night Routine:

  1. Take a moment (either in bed or in meditation room) to reflect on and review the day that passed asking: Are there some decisions I would have liked to have made differently? How did my choices, in the moment, affect the remainder of my day?
  2. A very short meditation
  3. Read a quote
  4. Express gratitude
  5. No cell phone/internet in bed

 

Wish me luck!