It is said to take anywhere from 21 – 66 days to build a new habit, with the time really varying from person to person. I started this 30 day journey as a way to get back on track with some of my daily habits that had slipped lately and refocus my priorities. I wanted to concentrate on the following:
- Gratitude: I had lapsed from writing daily gratitudes
- Mindful eating: I wasn’t logging my food
- Fitness: I had added some extra pounds I wanted to lose
- Mindset: I wanted to see if yoga would be more beneficial for all of my ailments than my typical mindless treadmill walking
- Rest: I wanted to get my sleep habits back on track
So here is my final check-in of my 30 day personal challenge for the month of April.
“Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.” ~Shiv Khera
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What I Learned
- I showed up for myself. There was no contest, no prize at the end, and no one but me really knew whether I stayed on track or not. I committed 30 days to me to see what results I could achieve. Call it self-love or self-care, but we should all be making our personal wellness – mental and physical – a priority. We cannot do anyone else any good if we don’t take care of ourselves first. Mother’s often have a hard time doing that, and it’s taken me a lot of years to come to these conclusions, but you can’t drink from an empty cup so take care of yourself first!
- I really like yoga. There are so many benefits of yoga, but these are the ones I enjoy the most: it helps build strength and flexibility, it helps my back and osteoporosis (weight-bearing exercises improve bone health), it helps my lymphatic system fight infection (I had a relatively quick recovery from strep), and it gives me a sense of inner strength and inner peace. Yoga has far more gentle movements and flows, which I believe is beneficial for fibrmyalgia, and it’s also approved by my physical therapist as a better alternative to walking on the treadmill. 🙂 I had to visit the doctor last week to get my hip adjusted, and many of the PT exercises I have to do at home have some foundation in yoga (bridge, pigeon pose, hip flexor stretches).
- I need to log what I eat to maintain my weight. Over the years I have always achieved better results when either “dieting” or “maintaining” if I log what I eat. I know I eat a relatively clean diet, but I had gotten out of the habit of logging my food. I absolutely love the MyFitnessPal app: it sync’s with my AppleWatch (affiliate link), you can adjust the macros to suit your individual dietary needs, it adjusts your calories for your workout, and it has a huge inventory of foods to select or you can scan the bar code of your food.
- I enjoy starting the day with a positive mindset. Beginning each day with gratitude sets the tone for your day. You can say your daily intentions when you wake up, write them down in a journal, or, if you prefer, save them for the end of the day. But research shows there are many benefits of practicing daily gratitude. People have: “positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.”
- I can miss a day or two of working out. I had a few flare ups of my back/hip and a bout with strep this past month, so I didn’t work out every day. And I didn’t work out my hardest on those days I did work out. Your body needs time to heal and recover, to prevent further damage or illness. Setbacks are temporary.
- I like seeing results. You cannot improve what you do not measure. Long before Carrie Underwood was doing it, I logged my food using the Weight Watchers plan. Logging my workouts, weight and food allows me to see my progress, know if I am eating too little or too much, and motivates me to continue.
- Workouts: I finished the Yoga with Adriene 30 Day Journey “True”, which I highly recommend if you are new to yoga. It builds up gradually and there are adjustments for the level of practice you are in. I took two days off while recovering from strep, and a few days I only did very gentle yoga – not a lot of calorie burning going on. I noticed today on day 30 that I was able to hold myself up longer, and not collapse into the floor or, even though I still wobble a little, I can stand on one leg longer without falling!
- Weight: I lost 4.4 lbs. or 3.4% of my body weight. I was aiming for 5-7, so I still have a little bit to go, but I am pleased with that since I was sick and injured part of the month.
- Food: I logged 30 out of 30 days in MyFitnessPal.
- Gratitude: I wrote 30 out of 30 days in my gratitude journal.
- Sleep: This is an area that has been problematic for years and I will be continue to work on to improve. Six hours a night (if I am lucky) and waking up several times at that, just doesn’t provide enough rest and recovery. This last week I thought maybe it was hot flashes waking me up, so I incorporated some Clary Sage essential oil with my normal Lavender essential oil at bed time. That helped me sleep three nights in a row and then Sunday night I didn’t sleep at all. Not one wink. Sigh… The struggle is real.
Although I am not one to typically take selfies or share personal information such as my weight, I am hoping to inspire others to make small changes that can lead to big results. So here goes… I wore the same shirt to try to see results from day 1 to day 30 (why did I wear stripes?!?!). The biggest thing I notice is that I have some definition in my arm muscles,
thanks to yoga using my own body weight, and my belly has gone down a bit, although not as much as I would like. My pants are more comfortable, so I am headed in the right direction.
I will continue to focus on getting sleep and better quality sleep. And I plan to continue the practice of yoga to work on my overall health, peace, and well-being. I can’t wait to see how strong I can become!
I hope you have inspired you to begin some new habits or consider your own personal journey, whether it be writing your gratitudes, logging your food, or starting a workout program. We shouldn’t put off until tomorrow that which we can start today.
“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.” ~Tim Fargo
Do you have some habits or issues you would like to work on? I would love to hear about your personal challenge. Consider challenging yourself for 7, 14, or even 30 days! Your tomorrow begins with TODAY!