Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. We know we need to get moving on something but we just don't quite have the gumption to get moving on it.
This is a struggle that many people have. So what can you do to get things moving? One fun way to get out of this rut is to create your own challenge.
Think of something you are struggling with. Maybe it is that you need to get in some cardio, maybe you need to clean up your eating, maybe you need some relaxing time to reduce your stress, maybe it is a combination of things. Look at what you need to be working on and figure out what you can do to accomplish this.
#1 If cardio is a weak point but you know you need to be doing it, then make a challenge of getting in a 3 mile run for the next 30 days. Or a 5 mile bike ride. It does not need to be excessive, just something to get you in the habit.
#2 If you have been wanting to clean up your eating, then make your challenge to eat vegetables at each meal and replace all your desserts and sweets with fruit. Obviously you can get more extensive with this but those are a couple ideas to start with.
#3 If you need to lean to reduce stress, then challenge yourself to meditate for 30 minutes in the morning, or even 10 minutes if that is all you have time for.
#4 You can combine things as well. If you need to reduce your stress but need to workout, then put on some calming music and do 30 minutes of yoga in the morning and focus on staying calm, in a meditative state the whole time. This helps because obviously you are getting your workout in, but you are learning how to keep your mind calm even during exercise. Plus if you are like me and wonder how you are going to fit everything into your day, then this 2 for1 option saves time. You can get as creative as you want with your challenges.
Be realistic about your challenge
Make sure you only take on what you think you can stick with. If you make a challenge to do an hour of running, an hour of weight training and cooking all your meals, yet you do not even have enough time to sleep right now, then that is going to be unrealistic to stick with. A half hour workout that you can stick with is better than planning and hour long one, when you know that you are not going to be able to see the regular hour long workouts through the month.
If you need to clean up your eating but you hate cooking, then changing everything at once is going to be torture that you will soon give up. Instead focus on just changing one or two things. Like I said above just add in a 1/2 cup of vegetables into your meals. If frozen vegetables is all you have time for, that is fine, it is better than no vegetables at all. Replace the candy and other sugars with fruit. That is easy enough since you can keep plenty of fruit on hand.
How long your challenge should be
How long you should do this for is up to you. Start with 30 days and go from there. It takes at least 30 days for a new habit to form so you do not want to go any less than that. And while many people do 60, 90 and 120 day challenges, this can sometimes put too much pressure on you. 30 days is long enough to get a habit formed but it is not so long that you feel like it is too big of a challenge to take on.
Get people involved
Get friends involved in your challenge. This does not mean that you have to meet up in person all the time, although creating a workout group to do challenges with can be a great way to stay committed. You can make it simple, create a FB group and you all can check in and you can post your successes in the group as well as what struggles you are having. Having people to hold you accountable will do wonders for your commitment level. It is also good to have people to help give some advice and feedback on how to stick with it when you are having a hard time. If you do not know enough people who are interested in doing this then see if you can just find one friend to do it with you. If you can not find anyone to do it with you, then you can do it a lone.
Check in regularly
Make sure you check in regularly with the group. Check in daily and let everyone in your group know that you accomplished your challenge for the day. You can even post if there were any specific wins with it, if you overcame some struggles and what you did to over come them. This will help everyone in the group learn from each other.
What if you have no one who wants to do this with you?
You can find a current online community! There are a lot of online communities and there are more than likely plenty that already work on what your specific challenge is. If not you can also find a general community and see if anyone wants to join you for an online challenge. Or you can just find a friend that will be your accountability partner even if they do not want to be doing the challenge themselves. That way you still have someone to keep you accountable.
If there is no one in person or online that you can work with then don't worry.
You do not have to have people to do this with. It just can be helpful with motivation. You can keep yourself accountable by giving yourself some kind of reward to work towards. Granted the act of accomplishing this challenge should be reward enough, but if it is not then set a reward like a trip to a day spa, a new pair of pants or anything that motivates you. The only thing you should not use as a reward is food. You do not want to get used to thinking of food as a reward.
You can create a healthier life starting today, you have the power to change where you are headed. Have fun with this and make it a game to help you along your path to better health.