What can you do in 30 days?

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There are a million “30 Day Challenges” out there, it has become a fad in our society. Sometimes these challenges are useless and silly, but some are really unique. Anything can be a challenge, the real test is you commitment. You have to do something every day, for 30 days, it doesn’t sound hard, but to some people it’s impossible to imagine.

About a year ago I watched a TEDTalk conveyed by Matt Cutts who had given a somewhat new meaning to this 30 day challenge business. His talk, titled “Try something new for 30 days” relieved the pressure associated with the word “challenge”. I know, people get excited theses days over the little things and I can’t count the number of times “challenge accepted” has been thrown out. Allow me to give some context here:

‘there’s no way someone can eat a whole pizza in one sitting’…’challenge accepted’

‘have you ever had had three shots of tequila in a row’…’challenge accepted’

‘No one can sing a Cher song in a karaoke bar and feel good about it’…’challenge accepted’

I’m sorry? The ‘challenge accepted’ catch phrase of this generation has reached celebrity-like status. It’s everywhere, used for everything. But getting back to my view on these 30 day challenges! I was really inspired by Matt’s talk. However, like most things that sound good, I never really got around to completing, or even really attempting to change anything about my life for 30 days. That is, until this year, and yes, this is about to sound like a new years resolution, but I assure you I had no intention of the overlap.

My 30 day challenge was yoga. In order for you to understand why, or how I came to this challenge let’s start by saying that I hate the gym. I’m a smoker of four years. I’m not flexible. I’m not even health conscious. Well, all this was completely true just over a month ago.

I had been doing yoga for about a year, following an amazing YouTube channel called Yoga With Adriene. I really enjoyed her videos and began appreciating the benefits: gaining some flexibility, sense of accomplishment, growing my strength a bit and taking some “me time”. It was all fine. I liked telling people I did yoga. It felt good to say that I found a work out routine I didn’t hate.

Here is where my one massive fault comes into play: boredom. I get so bored, so quick, in every aspect of my life. I hate to admit it but I need to be consistently stimulated and I embrace change without fully realizing it. I get bored at work – I’ve had more jobs than birthdays in my life, I get bored at school, in lectures, watching movies, in relationships, drinking the same coffee, tea, or wine becomes boring. I need consistent change, and watching the same videos (although there are so many on this channel) I began to get bored.

Thus, change happened. Adriene began posting news blurbs about beginning a 30 day yoga challenge in December 2014. Leading up to the new year she would remind her loyal followers about the challenge and encourage participation. I was interested, curious, but still on the fence about quitting yoga altogether. In light of this recent conflict I decided it would be a good time to take a break from life. Just one day, that’s all I wanted. As school and exams ended in December and work picked up I took one glorious day to spend with my mother. Sounds sweet right? Not exactly, her and I like to fill our time with alcohol, chain smoking, and life chats. That is the only three things that our day consisted of, and when this day ended 14 hours later I was a hot mess.

Waking up from this haze I thought I was dying, like many of us like to suggest, or plead, and beg that death would be welcomed at this point in our all-to-familiar hung over state. It wasn’t all bad though, it was in this smeared make-up, rats-nest-hair and blood-shot-eyes moment when I thought to myself: “did you smoke an entire pack of smokes? Did you smoke more than that? Why does your voice sounds like an push lawn mower? oh, my, god, I am never smoking again. Sure, I know what that sounds like, we all make false commitments to ourselves in the hopes that it will somehow change that way we feel in the moment. It doesn’t change.

I went a solid day and a half with my commitment. Then, like clockwork I lit a smoke, and, as if nothing in world was ever good I felt the same sickening feeling that captivated me during my hang over. One drag, and I threw the cigarette on the ground. No way in hell did I ever want to feel that way again. It really was time for a change; bigger than I had even realized, this wasn’t just yoga, this was my life.

December came to an end, January welcomed us, and I, an official non smoker was less than impressed with my holiday eats. What happened next was truly magical… I opened my laptop, hopped on my yoga mat and began day one on my 30 day yoga challenge. Feeling great, and fairly amped up, I grabbed my sneakers, blasted some tunes and..went for a jog? Wow, it had been months since I had any ambition, desire, or interest in jogging.

Now, 28 days later. I’ve practiced yoga every day for the past 28 days, I’ve also stuck with that whole jogging idea. Despite the bitter cold of winter, I have motivated myself to job 4-6 times a week. I haven’t bought a pack of smokes either. This is really fantastic.

I’m so enjoying the benefits of yoga, and although I mentioned a few earlier in this post I have a true appreciation for this art. My breathing has improved, along with my posture, flexibility, attitude, the list could go on!

What’s next?

More 30 day challenges! I’ll save this for another entry! But keep reading my blog and we’ll see how I maintain interest in my own life and attempt to eliminate boredom altogether!

Posted with love,

Ady

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