This past year of November 2022 I decided to start yet another 100 Day Challenge. I look at this experience more like a journey rather than a challenge because I learned so much about myself during this time.
Why 100 days though? 100 is a magic number for me because it is long enough to make an impact on my goals, but it is short enough to feel attainable. It is a fast-track method to create new habits that will stick. When I do get to day 100, I feel like I kept a promise to myself. After all the most important thing is to take care of yourself first so that you will have the mental and physical capacity to care for those whom you love.
Did Limiting Beliefs hold me back? Yes, of course! I would tell myself “No one cares about what I am doing so why do I even try?” But my True-Self interjected and said “Who cares about what others think? After all it is me who will benefit from this challenge. I am doing this for myself not for others. Doing something that feels difficult will only give me the courage, growth and ultimately confidence that I am seeking.”
The way I kept myself going was to track my progress on a printable calendar. Each day I completed my challenge I put an X in the box. As I watched the calendar fill with Xs my heart started to swell with happiness. It showed me that YES, I CAN and YES, I WILL! It showed me that I AM POSSIBLE if I just put my mind to it and do the hardest thing and that is to SHOW UP!
The 5 things I learned about myself throughout this amazing journey:
1) Accountability to myself is quite hard!
Showing up to myself is hard!
It is easy to just say no, hit snooze and roll over with the covers over my head. We tend to move towards what is easy rather than taking the difficult path. Even though I make a promise to myself, I still found it easy to be okay with skipping a day. Of course, later on in the day I would probably be kicking myself for not showing up when I don’t find time later to get my movement, meditation and journaling practice in. I personally found that mornings are the best time for me to get my challenge in because life happens in the afternoon and evening. So now I celebrate me for showing up first and foremost to myself. After all, if I show up to me then others can trust me to show up for them!
2) Setting up my day for success!
Whatever, we do in the morning when we start our day is setting the tone for the rest of the day.
When I got up to move, meditate and journal first thing in the morning, I felt I had the best energy in my body and mind to move through the day with ease. I did not get overwhelmed from making decisions throughout the day, I felt that I had more patience to deal with obstacles and detours that presented themselves, I was becoming more productive at work, business, and home, and I actually felt like I was running ahead of schedule instead of behind and had time to slow down and enjoy the process throughout the day.
3) What I do in the present moment will create my future self.
Each day I showed up to my practice I started to notice tiny shifts and improvements in myself.
I started getting stronger, walking a bit faster and best of all feeling confident enough not to hold on the treadmill handlebars! My meditation practice (although I have been doing this one for over 7 years now) got deeper. I started releasing deep subconscious thoughts even more than I did in the past. Diving deeper into my practice allowed things to bubble up to the surface for me to face once again and this time try to let go of rather than storing them. The journaling was the key component of this practice for me. This part of my journey started to help me feel freer in my mind!
4) Journaling was a game changer for me!
I found this part of my challenge to be the hardest to do!
Sitting down to journal has always been hard for me to do. Some of the stories I would tell myself to get out of making this a practice were “I don’t know what to write about,” or “I feel blank in my head,” or “I have writer’s block so I can’t right now and maybe I will come back to this later when I have some idea of what I want to journal.”
So, disciplining myself and giving myself adequate time to just write helped me unpack so much of the tangled thoughts that bubbled up during and after meditation.
Journaling is a form of meditation. It is just putting pen to paper and allowing a free flow of conscious thoughts to move out of my head and onto the paper. As I continued to journal, I noticed how much more freedom I was giving myself in my present thought process! The best part, I was not turning this writing in to someone to grade or critique. It was my personal flow of thoughts streaming freely onto the paper. I did not worry about grammar or punctuation. It did not matter as it was just something to allow me to dump my mental junk out of my head into my journal. Each morning after I finished this process I felt as though I was given a clean slate to start over and make that day better than the day before. This gave me clarity, clear focus, and the capacity to think clearly.
5) I started to get closer to and even achieve my goals even faster!
Throughout these 100 days of showing up and being consistent on my practice I noticed how I was doing the same thing with other aspects of my life.
I started being more consistent with my diet, my sleep habits, my boundaries, relationships and more! Each time I hit my goal of showing up to my morning practice I felt more empowered to continue in improving my personal development. I started noticing more on which habits served me and which did not for my own health and wellbeing. I felt courageous and confident enough to try new things or even pick up good habits I lost – for example, I started strength training in the gym in the weight room right after I teach a yoga class rather than just running home to be lazy!
Now that I have completed my 100 days of my challenge to no other than myself, I chose to continue it as part of my morning routine. Today as I write this it has been well over that 100 days and I do not feel completer without starting my mornings with movement, meditation and journaling. I have created a new habit that will be part of my wellbeing for the rest of my life. I love the way I feel and will continue this because of all the benefits and energetic changes it has to offer.
A 100-day challenge is all about seeking self-improvement and personal development. Your challenge can be physical, professional, emotional, financial, personal or any other area of life. It is designed for you to get closer or even achieve and sustain your personal and professional goals.
Hi! I am Madhavi and I am the Chief Motivating Officer at Prana Health Yoga & Wellness.
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