I made it! I completed six ten-day challenges, and two of the challenges I am still continuing. I can see myself staying with one permanently which is drink a 16 oz. glass of water first thing every morning. I like getting the fresh water before I do anything else.
The other one is no eating out or ordering in, and I'm on day seventeen of that one. Anyone who knows me knows that this one was tough for me. I chose this challenge because I absolutely hate to cook, but I was eating out two to three times a week which added up to a lot of money. So I knew this was really going to be a challenge, and I'm proud of myself for completing it and continuing it.
The first few days of the challenges were the hardest for me, but once I got into a rhythm, it became easier, much like when I set myself a goal to write every night. I've been doing that so long that I can't imagine not doing it now.
Completing a challenge, no matter how small or large, gives you a sense of accomplishment so I'd encourage you to give it a try, even if it's just for three days. Pick something you never thought you could do as one, like I did for not eating out. Really challenge yourself. You'll probably find it easier than you think.
Most challenges are for thirty days. Go thirty days without spending money or without eating out. But the challenge of a thirty day challenge is that it is, well, a challenge. Some of us, like me, need to take our challenges in small increments. Thirty days seems too long which is why a lot of us don't make it to the finish line. And not making it to the finish line can be hard on those of us trying to change.
So I'm focusing on changing my life ten days at a time. I know it takes longer than that to build a habit, but I also know I'll never build a habit if I don't start somewhere. And if I make it through ten days, I'll keep going, depending on whether or not it's really something I want to add to my life.
For instance, one of my new challenges is to listen to or watch a Ted Talk every day. I really enjoy motivational and educational speeches, but I'm not sure if I want to watch one every day forever. So we'll just see how these next ten days work.
I'm starting with three separate ten-day challenges so I don't overload my brain. If I'm feeling too stressed out about it, I'll drop down to two or even one. When I get to the end of the ten days, I'll feel like I accomplished something. And I will have.
Over ten years ago, I challenged myself to write every day. It wasn't about word count; it was about getting words on a page. One day became five which became ten, and before I knew it, I'd written every day for thirty days. Then I kept at it. I have not missed a day of writing in over ten years...even when I was in the hospital. (I had to ask the nurse for a piece of paper and a pen!)
So if you're thinking about undertaking a challenge, but you're just not sure about sticking to it, aim for a bite-sized challenge. Three days or five days even. You might discover that you really enjoy doing what you're challenging yourself to do, and before you know it, it'll become a habit.
I'll let you know how my challenges turn out on August 19th. I'm not guaranteeing I'll make every one, but we'll see!
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!