Improve Your Health in 30 Days With This Challenge...
For many of us, lockdown has flipped our daily routines upside down.
We no longer commute to and from work, sit in the office all day or are bound to specific windows of time to be able to eat, train and even sleep.
I had the idea for sometime after being inspired by other challenges I had seen online, but wanted to put my own twist on it that could relate more to the values of SP and my own coaching style, and to also be measurable with clear targets.
And so, I created #30strong30positive
The 30 Day Challenge
There are 5 daily tasks you must complete, consecutively for 30 days to complete the challenge. If you do not complete all 5 of the tasks within the 24-hour period, you break the streak and must start again from day 1.
30 Minute Walk
Most people do not move enough. Setting the time to a short 30 minutes will usually spur people to walk further distances or longer times once they are out in the fresh air. No matter how busy you are, half an hour can always be scheduled to get out and walk.
Alternatively, this one doesn't generally spur people on to do more reps, as it can be difficult. Your own workouts probably won't include 100 total lunges, never mind doing that amount every single day. This part of the challenge puts many out of their comfort zone and certainly in the beginning before adaption, will have your legs aching like a MF.
2 Litres of Water
Tea and coffee does not count towards the total. Again, very simple to do, but how often do you 'forget' to drink any water and only realise by the time you feel dehydrated or just get to the end of your day?
3 Portions of Fruit and/or Vegetables
The western diet is not based around fruit and vegetables. Typically, more meals don't have them than meals that do. This task can also inspire to experiment more in the kitchen, trying new twists on dishes, or even just changing a normal snack option to a piece of fruit.
Eat your damn veggies.
Act of Kindness
To go out of your way, at least once a day to do something because you genuinely want to do something nice for somebody else, without expecting anything back in return. In a time where we may be worrying about ourselves, not forgetting to reach out to others who maybe struggling themselves, or even people you haven't spoken to in a while - it might just make their day.
How I Feel After Completing The Challenge
This challenge is all about setting routine and having solid habits and rituals in place, every single day.
I had gone from working 12+ hour days, running my business and coaching clients in person, to doing it remotely from home - with 'free-time' that I have not had in years. The first few days of lockdown I would wake up and have no idea what to do with myself.
Meals were whatever was in, I was no longer prepping ahead for the next 3-days of a busy diary. Now was the perfect time to start experimenting with different dishes that going forward, add variety to the standard meals I would cook week in/out.
Walking has always been enjoyable as I can switch off and clear my head, or listen to audiobooks and podcasts. I created different routes dependant on how long I wanted to walk, so once I set off, I knew exactly where to go and how long I would be out for without having to think about it - but also to plan ahead for the rest of the day.
I would also make the lunges a part of my walk. Yes - i'm the guy who does walking lunges down the side of the dual carriageway. There is a particular spot along one of my routes, where on the walk back I would do my 100 walking lunges that fit perfectly between 3 lamp posts. Again, this became an easily measurable habit.
A few SP members started the challenge alongside me, but quickly found out that as simple as the tasks may be, some aren't as easy - depending on their own personal starting point.
For example, a couple found it difficult to drink 2L of water in a day. One person was so used to drinking cups of tea, that if unwilling to lower the amount, struggled to drink the water also. Another individual said that they would just forget to drink throughout the day and would then have to play catch-up and drink larger amounts towards the end of the day.
The best way I have found to do it is I carry my 750ml bottle every with me, and aim to consume a full bottle in the morning (waking-12pm), early afternoon (12-3pm) and then late afternoon (3-6pm). Larger amounts after that time disrupt my sleep to go pee at 3am or so.
There were days along the way where I would forget or be behind myself on some tasks, such as having to do 100 lunges before bed, or get out of bed after brushing my teeth, to then go downstairs and eat a portion of fruit that I really didn't want to at that point.
But this is why it is a challenge, and knowing that I was X amount of days in and would have to restart was not optional for me. For some, they may have said "sod it", and gave it up as a failure.
This was something that I outlined at the beginning to those who wanted to take on the challenge.
How many times in your life have you set out to do something, yet as soon as you reached an obstacle, you caved and gave up?
When was the last time that you started something, made the extra effort and saw it through to the very end? And how did you feel when you achieved it?
Circling back to the tasks, the final one for me and others - was something that took the most thinking.
A genuine act of kindness.
Most of us a good human beings. We like to help others, we are courteous and genuinely care. So this task had to be something you actively have to go out of your way to do, and not reflect on your day and search for something kind you had done that may 'fit' the task profile.
Compliment something you admire about someone.
Donate to a charity.
Call a family member or friend to check-in on them.
Take back a neighbours bin after collection.
Write out and send one of your favourite recipes.
... these are just a few examples, the options are endless and usually specific to whatever or whoever extended to.
Beyond The 30 Days
I can honestly say that during a time where 'normal life' has been put on pause, having this routine and these daily habits have helped provide more structure to my day and give me something else to focus on, instead of the depressing and uncertain news.
Going forwards, I now aim to complete a full year of 100+ daily lunges (which will end on my next birthday!), I will continue to prioritise fruit/veg and aiming to drinking at least 2L of water daily without fail.
From where i'm now based, SP is within walking distance - so I plan to walk there as many days as I can when i'm back to coaching clients in-person, most likely for the morning block of sessions.
And most importantly, strive to be the best person I can be not only for myself, but for others I care for too. Doing more as an extension of love without expecting anything in return.
#30strong30positive is simple, but not easy.
I have made it an interactive challenge. One, so that you can visually measure how far along you are towards the finish. And two, to hold yourself accountable by posting your progress to your social media 'stories' each day.
It's free to take part and doesn't cost anything but your own effort, daily.
If you lack routine and want to improve your health in some way - these 30-days will challenge you and force you to adapt, at the very least for the short-term. But before starting, ask yourself the two questions I mentioned earlier above. If you do not, prioritise the tasks, you will fail.
For more info, drop me a message and I will gladly advise and help you get started!