30-Day Video Challenge – Comfortable on Camera

I have started a new 30-day challenge and it is designed to help me tackle my fear of videos! The 30-day video challenge involves recording a video that is at least five minutes long, every day for 30 days. My goal at the end of the challenge is to be comfortable recording videos and putting them up on YouTube. Then I will take the plunge into live videos.

Why did I decide to do a 30-day video challenge?

When Periscope first came on the scene, I wanted to try it. I thought it would be a great way to connect with people. Eventually (and I do mean eventually), I got up the nerve to do my first scope, even though I was terrified. I can’t even remember now what I talked about. I just remember feeling super awkward and self-conscious. That was my one and only scope.

Then, Facebook rolled out their live video. I knew the reach that this medium would have, but it felt out of the question. If I can’t do a video that disappears after 24 hours that people I don’t even know will be watching, how can I do a video that my friends will see?

My First Experience on Camera

Being on camera has always felt very unnatural and uncomfortable. I remember the first experience I had on camera was in elementary school. There was a program on a local TV station that featured kids from the local elementary schools. In fourth grade, I was asked, along with a boy from my class, to be interviewed on the program. I was really excited that I was going to be on TV! But when I got to the studio, the lights were so bright and I didn’t know what I was going to say. The host told us to wait until we saw the red light on the camera, and then we would be recording. The sight of that little red light was paralyzing. I froze, and when I finally did speak, I said as little as possible. And thus, my fear of recorded video began.

I don’t like feeling limited, especially when I know it’s a made up limitation I put on myself. I want to beat my video phobia! Videos are such a great way to connect with people from all over the world. I have a unique message to share, one that I hope will inspire others, but it definitely won’t if no one hears about it!

The other day, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of a guy who was talking about how to become more comfortable on camera. He suggested recording yourself for five minutes a day talking on camera as a way to practice without actually publishing it anywhere. It’s a simple idea, but honestly one I hadn’t thought of. I was thinking that the only way to get more comfortable was by publishing videos. Recording, but not publishing videos…now that’s doable. I thought, why not turn this into a challenge? By the end of the 30 days, I will have recorded at least 2 and a half hours of video. My hope is that I will be comfortable enough at the end of the 30-day video challenge to record a video that I will publish.

Break It Down

The moral of the story is to break something scary down into small, doable steps. If you’re still afraid to move forward, that means you’re still trying to take too big of a step. How can you make it less scary, but still be making forward progress?

Relentless Spirit – The Pursuit of Excellence and Staying True to Yourself

Going into my first triathlon, my weakest event was swimming. So, that’s what I focused the bulk of my time on during training. Around this time, I came across the book Relentless Spirit by Olympic gold medalist, Missy Franklin, and her parents, D.A. and Dick Franklin. The book felt very topical, as I was spending six days a week in the pool!

relentless-spirit

The message Missy’s parents surrounded their daughter with “was more about effort and the pursuit of excellence, rather than the excellence itself.” I love this. The pursuit of excellence, the effort applied toward a goal, the journey…not the result.

It’s easy to get this backward in today’s society, where it’s all about how much money you make, winning, and other measurable results. I struggle with this. I make progress, only to slip back into my old habit of trying to control outcomes.

Take the triathlon for a recent example. I decided not to put any pressure on myself. I just wanted to finish and to have fun. A couple of days before the big day, I went online to see the results of the previous year, just to get an idea of how long I could expect it to last. Then, without even realizing it, I got it into my head that I should try to finish with a somewhat competitive time. Less than 24 hours before the triathlon, I had a meltdown. Why was I putting the unnecessary expectation of finishing somewhere near the top of my age group for my first triathlon?! Two months prior, I didn’t know how to swim freestyle properly. The goal had always been to finish. Why was I moving the goal post with less than 24 hours to go?

Ultimately, I took a step back and appreciated the effort I put in to get to this point and the courage to sign up in the first place. I decided I would soak up the experience of the triathlon, rather than worrying about the result.

I find mantras to be helpful, as they serve as constant reminders of what’s truly important to us. I love the ones Missy wears as bracelets:

“She believed she could, so she did.”

“Enjoy the journey.”

“Be true, be you, and be kind.”

The first one reminds me that the belief part comes before the proof. The second one reminds me to enjoy the process, and not just hurry through to get the desired result. The third mantra reminds me to be true to myself, trust myself above all else, and to be kind to myself always. Seemingly simple, but so easy to forget, aren’t they?

I recommend the book, Relentless Spirit, to people who are interested in:

  • swimming/the Olympics
  • raising strong, confident children
  • the mindset of someone who has achieved at a very high level
  • learning to stay true to yourself when others have strong opinions about what you should do

Our True Heritage – Poem by Thich Nhat Hahn

Part of my morning routine includes meditation. Immediately following the meditation, I read this poem by Thich Nhat Hahn, a Buddhist monk and peace activist. It speaks beautifully of gratitude, grace and the infinite abundance all around us.

Our True Heritage

The cosmos is filled with precious gems.
I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning.
Each moment you are alive is a gem,
shining through and containing earth and sky,
water and clouds.

It needs you to breathe gently
for the miracles to be displayed.
Suddenly you hear the birds singing,
the pines chanting,
see the flowers blooming,
the blue sky,
the white clouds,
the smile and the marvelous look
of your beloved.

You, the richest person on Earth,
who have been going around begging for a living,
stop being the destitute child.
Come back and claim your heritage.
We should enjoy our happiness
and offer it to everyone.
Cherish this very moment.
Let go of the stream of distress
and embrace life fully in your arms.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Here are my favorite lines of the poem and what they mean to me:

Each moment you are alive is a gem.

  • Be grateful for this moment. Each moment is precious, but we can easily let them slip by if we’re not paying attention. It’s so easy to be preoccupied with trivial things or distracted by the next item on our to-do list.

It needs you to breathe gently for the miracles to be displayed.

  • Anxiety clouds our ability to see the miracles all around us. Take a deep breath. See the good in this moment.

You, the richest person on Earth, who have been going around begging for a living, stop being the destitute child.

  • A little tough love here! We have more gifts than we can even count, yet we’re always focused on what we don’t have. The tendency is to always want more, yet we don’t fully appreciate what we already have.

We should enjoy our happiness and offer it to everyone.

  • There are many sad things going on in the world, from natural disasters to those brought on by man. At first blush, it may seem wrong to be happy when so many people are suffering. But I have to remind myself that adding my suffering to the mix isn’t going to help anyone. If I cultivate happiness instead and share that with others, that’s something positive I can contribute. We tend to underestimate how much impact a smile, a kind word, or other small gesture can have on a person who is suffering.

Let go of the stream of distress and embrace life fully in your arms.

  • Just as we choose to hold onto worry, stress and fear, we can also choose to let go of them. Letting go frees us to fully express ourselves and show up for life.

I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I do! If you’re not familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh, I recommend reading some of his many books on mindfulness and peace.

Training for and Completing a Triathlon: What it Taught Me

For the last two months, I have been a woman on a mission. That mission was to complete a triathlon. Or more specifically, finish the 1000m swim portion, and then complete the triathlon.

You see, I’m not a strong swimmer. In fact, I wasn’t able to complete a single lap prior to the start of my training two months ago. I never learned the proper form as a kid. It turns out that swimming is very technical. Competitive swimmers make it look easy, but there’s a lot that goes into it. Training was rough in the beginning. I stuck with it though, and started making major progress. There were ups and downs. Some days the doubt crept in and I thought for sure I was going to drown in the lake. All I knew to do was keep at it, and that’s what I did, six days a week.

With swim training in progress, I began to prepare for the bike portion. I toyed with the idea of renting a proper racing bike for the weekend, but decided against it. Those bikes are completely different from what I’m used to, and it didn’t seem like a smart idea to throw a big curve ball into the equation at the last minute. So, I went with my very old, creaky road bike that I hadn’t ridden in probably 10 years. It needed a healthy dousing of WD-40 to get things moving, like the tin man needed oil in The Wizard of Oz. It took some work getting the seat adjusted to a good height, filling the tires with air, and getting used to the gears (the ones that worked, anyway). Though the bike was far from ideal, I would make the best of it and cross my fingers that it held up for 16 miles on race day.

I knew the run would be the easiest part for me. Once I transitioned off the bike, I would be home free! It’s funny because I didn’t start running until three and half years ago. For most of my life, I was so NOT a runner. One of the reasons why I wanted to do a triathlon is because running became comfortable for me and I wanted a new challenge. Who would have thought several years ago that this is where I would be? Certainly not me, or anyone who knew me back then for that matter!

As the date of the triathlon approached, my nerves started growing. Then I thought, just go out there and have fun. It’s an adventure. If I’m not going to have fun, then what’s the point of doing it in the first place? This calmed my nerves, until a few days out, when I decided to look up the times from the previous year. I looked at the finishing times for the women in my age group, mostly to get an idea of how long I could expect the swim to take. I had a general idea of what my bike time would be based on my pace during my 8 mile test ride, and I knew exactly what to expect on my run. The problem was, I started thinking about the times and wondering if I could be somewhat competitive. I’m used to pushing myself in CrossFit and it just naturally extends into everything I do.

Despite the pressure I was unconsciously placing on myself, all was well…until I had a complete meltdown the day before the race, that is. That morning, my fiancé and I drove to the packet pick-up location to get my bib number, swim cap, timing chip, etc. Immediately after, we went to rack my bike in the transition area (it was mandatory to do this the day before to minimize chaos the morning of the event). I was still doing OK at this point. When we got home, I had the bright idea to Google advice for first-time triathletes. That might have been a good thing to do during training, but definitely not the day before the triathlon. Cue the freak out. Everything hit me in that moment. An open-water swim in a lake is nothing like swimming in a pool. I’ve never done an open-water swim before. I’ve never swum that distance before. I’m not used to swimming around a bunch of other people. What if my bike breaks down? Am I going to get penalized for breaking one of the rules?

That night, my fiancé calmed me down, as he always does. He told me that as soon as I enter that water, even if I end up having to get pulled out, I’ve won. Most people wouldn’t have the courage to do what I’m about to do. By even attempting to do it, I’ve won. He just told me that I’ve put in the work leading up to it. I’ve done all I can do. Just go out there, do my best to finish, and have fun.

When I woke up (very early) the next morning, I was at peace. My time didn’t matter. My ranking among the other competitors didn’t matter. Just doing the triathlon was going to be an accomplishment in itself. I was going to enjoy this crazy adventure. And that’s just what I did.

For the first half of the swim, we were swimming directly into the rising sun. My goggles were fogging up, and I was having a hard time seeing the yellow and orange buoys. At one point, I got a little off course to the left and had to swim back to the right and around the buoy. Getting hit in the arm or leg by another swimmer as they pass by is to be expected. But around the halfway mark, a girl came up behind me and completely ran me over. I had to stop and gather myself before continuing on. My swimming wasn’t pretty. I ended up using almost all of the strokes. I used my legs way more than I wanted to. But at the end of the day, I made it 1000m around that lake without assistance. I won, big time.

As I came out of the water, my fiancé was right on the other side of the fence, and I high-fived him on the way to the transition area. Now it was time to get on my bike. The bike course was very hilly. The chains on my bike were creaking up a storm. Normally you say, “On your left” when you’re about to pass someone, but I didn’t really have to. They could hear me coming! I did my best to work through the gears with what little experience I had, and the fact that the chain wouldn’t shift to the smallest chainring. All of those CrossFit workouts involving the assault bike really came in handy here, as I’m sure my quads were putting in a lot more work than those of the competitors who had better bikes. What a relief as I rounded the turn leading up to the dismount area.

That left me with the run. It took a couple of minutes to get my legs acclimated, but once I got going, I actually felt great. I could see the finish line from across the lake, and as I got closer, I could hear the music and excitement from the crowd of supporters. Once I rounded the last turn and saw the finish line up ahead, I found another gear and finished strong. I did it! I’m a triathlete!

If you’re considering signing up for a triathlon (and I hope you are!), here are my top 7 tips for first-time triathletes:

  1. Sign up before you’re ready. You’ll never feel ready. Also, the time cap helps you focus on training.
  2. Do it to have fun and to finish. Don’t worry about finishing in a certain time and definitely don’t worry about how you’re doing in relation to the other competitors.
  3. Focus on your weakest event in training.
  4. Find a beginner-friendly event (most sprint distance triathlons will be).
  5. Don’t invest a ton of money on fancy clothes or gear. Use what you have. You can always get those things later if you decide it’s something you’d like to do more of.
  6. Have family/friends there to support you.
  7. Make sure you are properly hydrated and fueled before, during, and after the event.

Here are a few resources to get you started. Just remember, don’t wait until right before the event to look at them and psych yourself out!

Impermanence and the Art of Getting Rid of Things

In a previous post, I talked about how we can get rid of things others have given us without feeling guilty. What about things you’ve purchased yourself, childhood keepsakes and other items of sentimental value? Here are five ways to categorize the things you’ve acquired yourself and how to get rid of them guilt-free.

1. Purchased and Have Owned a Long Time

Things aren’t meant to be kept forever. In Buddhism, one of the three characteristics of existence is impermanence. Clothes become well-worn or go out of style. Our tastes change. Our circumstances and our needs change. In short, we aren’t the same people we were yesterday. It makes logical sense that we would want/need different things as we evolve. Moreover, we can only grow to the extent that we’re able to release the past. This frees up space to be fully present.

Appreciate the use you got out of these items and let them go. There will be more like them (or better) in your future.

“It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.” Thich Nhat Hanh
2. Purchased, But Never Used

There’s a strong tendency to feel guilty because you paid money for something that you never used. I’ve been there. In hindsight, you probably shouldn’t have bought it. But, it’s already done and there’s no use beating yourself up about it.

If you haven’t used it by now, you’re not going to use it. Keeping it only accomplishes one thing – giving yourself ammunition for negative self-talk every time you see it. End the guilt loop by getting rid of it. If you can’t return it, sell it. Even if you recoup just a fraction of what you paid for it, chances are you’ll feel a lot better about the situation. If you can’t sell it, donate it. Give it to an organization who can really use it. Switch your thinking from guilt about wasteful spending to gratitude that you’re able to help someone in need.

3. Things From Childhood (Yours or Your Kids’)

Clinging is a cause of suffering, according to Buddhism. We can cling to positive or negative past events, people, thoughts or ideals, material possessions and our expectations of future events. When we’re clinging to something from the past, we are blocking the flow of new things to enter our life. We aren’t able to be fully present or grateful for the here and now.

This reminds me of a woman in an episode of HGTV’s Property Brothers: Buying and Selling. She didn’t want Jonathan to rip up these dated, reddish brown tiles in the entryway of the house she was selling. When he asked why she was so attached to them, the woman said she could see her kids’ first days of school as they walked over those tiles. If you’re holding onto something from when your child was two, and they’re now 12, you’re wishing they were 2 again. What’s tragic is that you’re not fully enjoying them today, at age 12.

Similarly, we might hold onto items from our own childhood that have special memories for us. We’re wishing, perhaps not to be children again, but to feel the way we felt then.

Ballet Costumes Ballet costumes (above right) from when I was four or five years old.

Baby Clothes

Just a few of the baby items that I got rid of during the 30-day declutter challenge.

Stuffed Animals

We’re in a different season of life now. Things will never be the same as they once were. Holding onto the past prevents us from enjoying new experiences. Let go and see how much lighter you’ll feel.

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety or possessions – we cannot be free.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
4. Other Items of Sentimental Value

I’m not saying that everything with sentimental value has to go. I’m just suggesting that you be really intentional about what you keep. These items should be on display and routinely enjoyed. If they’re in a drawer or in a box in the back of the closet – are they really that important to you? For example, I’ve kept my race bibs. I have them displayed on the wall in front of my desk. Every day, they serve as a reminder that I did something I never thought I could do. Whenever a thought of “I can’t…” starts to creep into my mind, I look at the bibs and think, “Remember when you said you couldn’t run?” In short, they serve a purpose. Will I keep them forever? No. I’ll keep them as long as they inspire me to keep doing things I thought I couldn’t do.

Race-Bibs

My mom is another great example of this. My grandmother had a beautiful collection of tea cups and, when she passed away 29 years ago, my mom inherited them. They have been on display in my parent’s living room, in multiple houses, ever since. She gets to enjoy them every day. Go through your keepsakes and either put them on display or let them go.

5. Things That Are Broken

This is an easy one. If you were going to fix it, you would have done it by now. Clearly it’s not that important to you. Let it go.

“The root of suffering is attachment.” - The Buddha Click To Tweet

I hope this helped to put into perspective the ways in which we cling to our possessions and thereby our past. If we recognize what we’re doing, we can become more intentional about what we hold onto in our lives, both physically and emotionally. Here’s to finally cleaning out that closet!

30-Day Declutter Challenge – Lessons Learned

A couple of months ago, I completed a progressive 30-day declutter challenge. On day one, I got rid of one thing, and on day 30, I got rid of 30 things. In total, that’s 465 things! Here’s what I learned through the process.

I was shocked when I noticed that most of the things I was getting rid of weren’t things I had purchased, but we’re things given to me by others. When I thought about it further, I realized that many of those things weren’t even bought for me, but were essentially hand-me-downs. Well-meaning friends and family would say, “I thought you could use this.” Many other things were giveaways or other free items I acquired over the years.

Getting rid of things, particularly those that are still perfectly good, can be difficult for a lot of people. It certainly was for me, until a few days into this challenge anyway. Add to that the guilt of getting rid of something that’s been given to us, and the task is made that much more difficult. There’s a question we can ask ourselves, the answer to which can free us from that guilt and help us finally declutter.

When someone gives you something, what is the intention behind it?

I’ve found the intention falls into one of five categories.

1. Unloading

Just like you, friends and family feel guilty about getting rid of things. Well-meaning though they may be, they’re unloading their clutter onto you. Giving the items to someone helps relieve them of their guilt, but they are unknowingly shifting the burden of their clutter onto someone else.

We have a choice of whether or not to assume this burden. We can simply say, “Thank you so much. That’s very thoughtful of you.” Then, immediately donate, recycle, sell, or throw away as appropriate. What we don’t want to do is unload it onto someone else, or we’re just perpetuating the same cycle of guilt and burden. This way, the giver gets to relieve their guilt and we get to maintain a clutter-free home. Everyone wins.

2. Obligation

Sometimes people feel obligated to buy things for us, particularly for our birthday, Christmas, or some other special occasion. They might not know us very well, or at least our tastes, so they buy us something they like, or something they think we would like. Obligation giving is how we end up with ugly Christmas sweaters, an endless supply of candles and more ties than one human being could wear in a lifetime.

Just because they feel obligated to give us something doesn’t mean we’re obligated to keep it. If we know someone who needs the gift in question or would absolutely love it, regift away, I say! The important aspect of giving is the intent behind the giving, not how much money was spent on the gift. Just keep in mind the cardinal rule. We don’t want to burden the person with another thing cluttering up their house that they aren’t going to use. Otherwise, donate the item to a local shelter or charity. If it has value, try selling it and spend the money on something you’ll actually use.

3. Shopaholics Anonymous

The giver can’t stop buying things as a way to fill some sort of void in their life. Eventually, they realize they have way more than enough stuff, so you become the recipient of their shopping spree hauls.

In my experience, telling this person that you don’t need or want anything falls largely on deaf ears. They have an addiction and, unfortunately, you’re the recipient of the hangover. If they don’t listen to your plea, politely thank them and return/sell/donate the gift.

4. Expectation

Someone gives you a gift, with the hope of gaining something in return (approval, love, a favor, etc.). This one is similar to obligation giving, in that there’s an uncomfortable feeling involved in the process. Why are they giving me this gift in the first place?

There is the possibility here to outright refuse the gift. If it’s not that easy, make it clear where you stand, so you’re operating with full integrity. You don’t want to lead anyone on. And, again, return/sell/donate the gift as you deem appropriate.

Free promotional products also fit under this category because the intent behind these “gifts” isn’t altruistic. Luckily, these are easy to beat. Simply refuse the items. You don’t need another koozie, reusable grocery bag or keychain. We get a little jolt of pleasure in the reward circuit of our brain from getting something for free. But the hangover of having 20 koozies, hundreds of pens and reusable bags galore cluttering up our homes just isn’t worth it.

5. Pure Intention

Now to the good one, giving from a place of pure intention. These gifts are much harder to part with because of the meaning behind them. Let’s say someone uses their creative talents to make you something. It might be an article of clothing, a home decor item or a blanket.

If you love it, by all means use it and cherish it, but when the appropriate time comes, don’t feel bad about letting it go. Give someone else the opportunity to get enjoyment out of it (but only with their consent, such as through a yard sale purchase).

If you don’t like the gift that was made for you, not to worry. There is a graceful way out of this one too. You can be immensely grateful for the time, effort and thought put into the gift. You can express your deep gratitude to the giver for their effort and the thought that went into it. This is genuine, because you are speaking your appreciation for the intent behind the gift, not the gift itself. The person got joy out of making the gift for you, and they feel appreciated because you expressed your gratitude. This is your gift to them. Now you can do what you wish with the gift, guilt-free, because it’s not about the object itself. It’s about the exchange of love and gratitude between the giver and the recipient.

Similarly, someone may buy you something with the best of intentions. They saw the item in a store and just knew you would love and appreciate it. Let’s say a friend or family member buys you a dress that you absolutely love, but you already have more than enough clothes. Pick out an item from your closet that you hardly wear, you don’t love as much as the new item or you’ve gotten a lot of use out of. For every new item you acquire, if you get rid of a similar item, you’ll never accumulate more things.For every new item you acquire, if you get rid of a similar item, you’ll never accumulate more things. Click To Tweet

Lastly, someone may buy you something you truly need. Perfect! This means they were listening. Buying diapers for new parents might not be as thrilling as buying cute baby clothes, but it’s what they need.

I’ve talked about guilt-free ways to let go of items that were given to you by others, but what about items you purchased, childhood keepsakes and other sentimental items from the past? I’ll address how to release our tendency to cling to the past through possessions in my next post. This was a huge breakthrough for me during the 30-day declutter challenge. I hope it will help you as well.

My Experience with 30-Day Challenges

How did the 30-day challenges come about?

I first became aware of the concept while reading Steve Pavlina’s book, Personal Development for Smart People. He refers to them as 30-day trials. They are a good way to try new things, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and accomplish massive results in a short period of time.

What was the first challenge?

Actually, it was a 100-day burpee challenge.

One of my CrossFit coaches mentioned the challenge to me as a way to add accessory work that would strengthen the muscles needed to perform push-ups and pull-ups. I thought, why not give it a shot?

The 100-day burpee challenge is progressive, meaning on day one you do one burpee and finish with 100 burpees on day 100. You don’t have to do all of the burpees unbroken. They can be split up into sets (such as sets of 10) that you perform throughout the day.

I was able to do strict push-ups well before the end of the challenge, and I was able to do pull-ups at the end of the 100 days as well. (It wasn’t just the challenge – I was also doing regular CrossFit workouts 6 days/week).

In light of the success of the burpee challenge and the sense of accomplishment I felt after completing it, this got me thinking… What other challenges can I do?

As I was approaching the end of my burpee challenge, I listened to a podcast in which Chris Harder talked about reading 30 books in 30 days. I knew it would be intense, but I love to read and learn from others’ experiences. With an ever-growing list of books to read, this seemed like the perfect challenge for me. I ended up reading a wide variety of books and I learned a lot through the experience.

With the 30 books in 30 days challenge under my belt, I thought I’d try my most difficult one yet… the 30-day declutter challenge. This one, like the burpee challenge, is progressive. On day one, you donate/recycle/trash one item, continuing to day 30 when you get rid of 30 items. At the end of 30 days, that’s 465 items that are no longer cluttering your home! I got more accomplished in this 30-day period than I’ve been able to in years.

Next, I tackled no TV for 30 days. This really wasn’t that bad. I set The Bachelorette to record on my DVR and life went on. I normally don’t do more than one challenge simultaneously, but since this one was actually saving me time, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to add a physical challenge to the mix.

This time I chose to do a 30-day plank challenge. I decided to start with a 30-second plank on day one and increase the time by 15 seconds each day. On day 30, that’s a final time of 7:45. I wanted to finish with a nice, round 8 minutes though, so that’s what I did – an 8 minute plank! Before this challenge, the longest I had held a plank for was about 2:10. I definitely notice more definition in my abs and can feel how much stronger my core is during my workouts.

Now I’m 13 days into my 30-day no coffee challenge. I wanted to do this one because, frankly, I was drinking too much coffee. I love a cup of high-quality coffee in the morning. To me, there’s nothing like the aroma of freshly roasted beans brewing away in my coffee pot. After my morning meditation and protein shake, I like to enjoy a cup of coffee while reading. However, lately I started to notice that I’d refill my cup again, and sometimes again. I habitually drank more for no other reason than it was there. I noticed that I wasn’t getting the same enjoyment out of the refills as I did with my first cup. So, I decided to hit the reset button and give my adrenals a break for 30 days.

As I approach the halfway mark, I’m thinking about what my next challenge will be. Here are some of my ideas:

  • 30-day progressive push-up challenge (unbroken)
  • 30-day poetry challenge (read a different author’s work each day)
  • Read nothing but fiction for 30 days
  • 30-day blog posting challenge
  • Do something in nature each day
  • Try a new food each day
  • Random acts of kindness challenge
  • Listen to a new podcast each day
  • Listen to one TED talk a day about a subject that’s completely new to me

Here’s to tackling the next challenge!