What’s in a challenge? Quite a lot for me it appears! It’s a way to create the time to fit a new thing (often a habit) into my life. It is a way to begin from where I am, rather than feel overwhelmed with where I want to be. It’s a manageable way to move, to get somewhere. And often the challenge is the gateway to something bigger, greater.
I’ve done a few challenges over the past five years. All of them have improved some part my life, brought about positive change or led me somewhere new. I once bought nothing new for a year, quit sugar for 8 weeks, got our possessions down to a suitcase each (and about 3 x 3 metres of packed stuff), walked 800kms to raise enough money to educate 28 girls. Yep and there have been more, these are just some of the memorable ones!
Mostly, I set a challenge that matches where I am in life. Where the flow needs to go. This year I needed to put some energy into my health. I was pretty low on energy and motivation. Also on inspiration and confidence. I added some small group training to my yoga but the big one that steered my life back on course was my run streak. My personal challenge.
Running everyday has been a way back to energy, motivation, confidence and inspiration for me. I’ve been doing it for 20 weeks and I feel the river is about to turn. Soon I won’t run every day because I need to get a bit more intentional with my running. I’ve committed to a half marathon to raise money for One Girl. I’ve also started cycling and there is only so much a girl can do!
Today I wrote up a 15 week plan for my running training. I added a plan for my writing streak. This is day 15 of a month long writing streak and day 135 of running every day. Is it leading to anything? Yes it is. The run steak led to a stronger body that I could commit to a bigger challenge and a stronger mind that focussed me on my writing. Writing each day has proved to me that I can. More than that it’s opened up a way for me to complete my manuscript. I will write this story up later this month, it’s still evolving.
And then I thought about another habit I really need to improve. Perhaps I could set myself a challenge for that. So I did. I added a drink three water bottles of water challenge to my day. I really do need to drink water, I think it will change my life! And then because I’m improving my capacity to get shit done I added a plan to get shit done. I’ll add to that the each week.
It’s weird isn’t it how sometimes we are ready and able to take on new things. For sure though we can’t get anything new done or add to our lives without first letting something else go. And for sure we need to start where we are with small steps, with an action. I enjoy a lot of spontaneous time so I’ll never schedule myself silly, but if I am to take a step up with my running and writing some intention and focus is required. Imagine what can happen with 15 focussed weeks! Would you dare for a small thing that would change your life?!