What I’ve learned after 30-days of habit-changing activities.
I’m all about reflection because it brings me back to the why. Why did I want to do XYZ in the first place? Did I achieve what I set out for? Was it worth it?
Today I want to reflect on the 30 Day Challenge I did leading up to my 26th birthday and discuss what I learned. But before, I want to explain why I did the challenge in the first place.
I talked in the original post about putting my best foot forward into my 26th year of life. I wanted to feel relaxed, grounded, calm, and centered, especially with some of the big changes I have coming up (Hello, Sweden!). But I also wanted to try some fantasies on for size. One was being this etherial yoga goddess who wakes up before 6AM every morning, does some pretzel poses while reading Joan Didion, and feels perfectly happy to never look at her phone. So for 30 days I got to be that goddess, and it really wasn’t all I had cracked it up to be.
- Daily Yoga Practice: What I found was that 30 minutes daily feels like a chore, whereas 15 minutes feels like a treat. I really loved starting my morning with yoga, but not at the expense of waking up extra early to do it (so much for pre-6AM wakeup, right?). So I’ve settled on 15 minutes of yoga each morning (or a class) and it is working really well for me. I opt for a guided yoga session and I love the quirkiness of Yoga with Adriene.
- Daily Meditation Practice: On Day 16 of my 30-Day Challenge I cracked the 1,000 minute mark of my mediation practice! I still find myself very back and forth on mediation. During the first few days of the 30-Day Challenge, I really enjoyed my mediation time directly after yoga. But after about Day 5, it began to feel tiresome and I was often falling asleep. I think I might have to implement a 10% improvement rule where I meditate a few times weekly instead of daily.
- Daily Book Time: I was able to get a ton of reading done during the 30 days! I finished three books! The best summer read was Liane Moriarty’s Three Wishes. But honestly, this challenge didn’t seem like much of a challenge because I love to read. What I found was that I just needed to give myself permission to read. And once I did, I always completed more than one chapter a day.
- Tech-Free Nights: Honestly, I’ve found that since completing my MBA program, I’ve been on my phone more, not less. Yikes! If I’m feeling at all starved for human contact, I look to Instagram. But the bulk of my screen time did take place during the day, as I used nighttime to be with Nick. Bringing on tech-free nights as a challenge more showed me how phone-dependent I am rather than help me curb an addiction – but hey, the first step is recognition, right?!
- Daily Gratitude and Happiness Practice: As long as I am not dead tired at the end of the night, this is an easy thing to complete. I love ending my day with some reflection on my happiness and gratitude for the day, and it is the number one thing I would recommend out of all of these challenges.
Bonus: I’ve done a great job of writing on weekdays, but have slacked on trying new recipes. If you have one I should give a go, comment below.
Overall, I’d highly recommend customizing your own 30-day challenge. It lets you see if things get easier/harder, if they are worth the effort, and shows you how long it takes to feel the effects of your dedication (if ever).
What would you do for a 30-Day Challenge? Let us know below.