My own 60 day challenge

I’ve been in a rut. Bad habits, bad coping mechanisms. Loads of stress. You could say some of this started from a personal trauma from almost three years ago now. Lots of healing has had to happen since then. And while the overall trajectory of this path has been positive with a lot of growth, some bad habits have rooted that I, in all honesty, haven’t really focused on enough to change — habits like nightly glass(es) of wine, sleeping later on weekdays and a general lack of consistency in drinking water, meditating and running.

I’ve half-heartedly tried to change things. I’ve entered weight-loss challenges at the gym only to fall off the wagon. I’ve asked my trainers to hold me accountable, only to ignore their emails. I do have to say I’ve been working out more consistently in terms of hours per week than I was a year or so ago, but I’m all over the board with when and where and I hardly remember the girl that I used to be who made it to the club at 6 am 4-5x per week. When I start tracking my food and water, it usually only lasts a day or two. And while I feel like meditation has brought some real benefit to my lifestyle and overall mood in recent years, I’m haphazard in my approach and don’t really make time to make it happen with consistency.

Because of this laissez-faire attitude to my overall well-being, I’ve been forced to heal injury and suffering through other sources that include my chiropractor, my acupuncturist and massage therapy. Stress and bad habits take hold in tough areas in my neck, shoulders and especially my adrenals. And while I am super-super thankful to have these healing practitioners in my life, they are treating the symptoms, not the cause. I need more pro-active self care in my life and that starts with some healthy habits that need a little boost.

Back in May, I surprised myself with a little obsession with my Apple Watch and my daily 540 cal/day move goal. I managed a 36 day streak where I hit that goal daily and it motivated things such as jumping jacks in a hotel room at the end of the day just to keep the streak going. It had me feeling really good about making movement a priority every day not just on workout days. Since then, I haven’t had a “perfect” week, let along a “perfect” month. And as the autumn season has arrived as well as a bundle of more stress, I’ve missed more workouts and walks than I’d prefer to admit. I kept telling myself, “Next week or next month, you can get it back then…” But unless “next time” happens now, it’s not gonna happen. It’s time for my own 60 day challenge. It’s time to beat that May streak and invest in some pro-active self care.

So, here are the rules:

  1. No drinking on weeknights
  2. 5:30 am wake-up calls
  3. Clean(er) eating with accountability
  4. Hydration as a priority
  5. Meditate with consistency

And here is how I’ll measure success:

  1. Alcohol free 4x week, track with Streaks app
  2. Set alarms (plural) — Philips Light, Sleep Cycle App, iPhone Alarm
  3. Track eating with MyFitnessPal app, EVERYDAY/EVERY MEAL
  4. Track water consumption with Waterminder app, goal 80 oz. / day
  5. Meditate and track with Breathe, 7 days/week

On the plus side, I have some things in my favor. First, technology and all the apps and fitness devices that can keep me motivated and accountable. Second, we have a health program at work that connects to all these great devices and actually rewards real $$ to action.

What is working against me is a busy time of year at work and the holidays upon us. I also know from my many, many years of diets, healthy changes, weight loss and weight gain that almost ALL of the experts recommend small steps for change. They say to pick one thing a week and focus on that. But I’ve been trying that and, frankly, it isn’t working. Just like breaking my weekly move streaks, I’ll hit my water goal, for example, 5 days in a row only to dehydrate myself the rest of the month. I also know the most success I’ve seen in the past few years have been those when I’ve gone on actual detox diets which required an all-out commitment for 10-14 days. I’m kind of an all-or-nothing gal. That said, I’m not going totally radical. I’m not giving up gluten or sugar or all-things-starch. I’m not even giving up alcohol. But the above are 5 BIG changes. They are things I succeed at one-off mulitple times per month, but not every day or week with consistency. So that’s going to be my big goal, my big move.

5 things. 60 days. I’ll take some notes, either offline or online, to check in on my progress and how I’m feeling.

And by new years? Who knows… But at least I’m doing something now and that’s more than I can say that I’ve done in a long while.

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