You may have noticed that I recently took a little unannounced break from my blog. It wasn’t intentional, I just managed to get sick with a ridiculous bug that I passed around to my family (sorry guys, my bad) and I also just needed a bit of time to make it through the 18 month sleep regression alive. Ooh yeah, the 18 month one was a doozy – I was up so many times a night it was like having a newborn again, only without the giant leaky boobs.
During the few weeks I took off, I spent many hours reflecting (usually in the middle of the night, curled up next to an angry little t̶i̶m̶e̶-̶b̶o̶m̶b̶ toddler) about the last 12 months and whether or not I’m doing everything I can to get myself to where I want to be. Well, ‘not really’ was the answer to that question. I’ve learnt so many amazing techniques for stress, read so many books on how to overcome anxiety, listened to every audiotape available about being successful and living a mindful and grateful life. And yet I’ve become incredibly slack with putting these things into practice. I learn them, I agree with them, I blog about them, and then I gracefully let them slide by the wayside, much like I do with cleaning under the toilet bowl lid. (We can pretend I didn’t just admit that if it makes you more comfortable…)
So I decided I needed a boost. A little kick in the toosh, you might say. A 30 day challenge. It was time to put all of my wellness knowledge into practice instead of just pretending that the knowledge itself was enough to get me by. Time to stop talking shit and time to start doing shit. I wrote up a plan of six very straightforward, manageable goals to do daily for 30 days, with the aim of looking after my mind, body and soul. Oh yeah, the magic three. Sort these three areas of your life out and you’re living the dream. Usually when I write my list of things to do for the week, I’ll write things like ‘buy washing powder’ or ‘clean bathroom’, but I never write a to-do list for my wellbeing. So this time I made sure that my to-do list focused on me, instead of the house or the groceries, or you know – things that I pretend are in need of my urgent care but really aren’t going to spontaneously combust if I don’t tend to them right this minute.
Here is what my list looked like:
- Meditate once daily. Can be guided meditation or visualisation, or just a meditation freestyle.
- Use three affirmations a day
- Exercise every day
- Eat nourishing whole foods
- Write a gratitude list everyday
- Do one thing that brings me closer to my goals, dreams or desires. This can be writing, blogging, filming, or even just reading something inspirational that aligns me with what I want.
It sounds somewhat simple – but this was deliberate. I’m incredibly good at giving myself a target that is reachable for a day or two but then something happens that throws me off and I lose focus. Like the time (six weeks ago) that I made it my goal to go to the gym every morning at 6am. It was great for a week or two while Lila was enjoying sleep-ins, but then she got the early-bird memo and my routine went out the window. Blast those wily toddlers. So this time I made sure that everything on the list was doable, and more importantly – consistently doable. I know that doing these things everyday for 30 days is going to result in some seriously good stuff. It takes 21 days to form a habit, and to break a habit. I need to break the habit of letting my mental health crawl along unaided, and form the habit of actually being mindful, being conscious, and being proactive in my quest for a life I enjoy living.
I’m on day 10 of my 30 day journey, and so far – so good. Surprisingly my favourite part of the day is meditation time, and I’m actually enjoying solo meditation! Unsurprisingly, I’m feeling far better about myself, and instead of feeling overwhelmed and time-poor, I’m realising I that I actually have as much time as I need. It’s amazing what a couple of days of conscious living can do. The best thing about this whole 30 day challenge is that I’m less stressed out. Not yet less anxious, but at least I’m no longer swearing at the washing machine because the dirty laundry pile never seems to get smaller, or feeling resentful at 4am when Lila has woken up for the third time. Sure, I know there are things that are going to pop up over the next 20 days that are going to make me feel crappy, but as long as I knock off every item on my list everyday, I know I’ve looked after my own well-being enough to make a difference.
If you want to stay updated with my 30 day challenge, you can head on over to my YouTube Channel. And if you want to join me, even better!