One of the best things I did for myself recently was a customized wellness challenge with my best girlfriends. It truly was a transformational experience. Let me explain what I mean. After a conversation with a close friend, we concluded that we were stuck in a winter rut and needed to pull ourselves out. So… we decided to do a winter wellness challenge. This in NOT just about losing weight, but lifting ourself up and becoming a better versions of ourselves. We customized it to make changes that were meaningful to us. You could (and should) make it whatever you feel you need to improve upon whether that is exercising more frequently, reading more, eating more vegetables, unplugging, or learning that new skill you’ve been wanting to learn. Stay away from vague goals like “eating better.” Yes, we all want to eat better, but in order for this challenge to work, it needs to be measurable. For me, it was drinking more water and not using electronic devices around my family or before bedtime.
Therefore, instead of vague goals like “drink more water,” say things like: “drink 12 oz of water before breakfast” and instead of exercise more say things like “on Tuesdays and Thursdays I will practice 30 minute of yoga from 6:00-6:30.” Now those are goals that you can track and earn points for. Speaking of points, the challenge is based on a point system. For every positive change you complete for the day, you get one point. Everyone is in charge of tracking their own points for the day. Every week you share your points with the group and the person with the most points at the end of the eight week challenge wins!
Here is what our challenge consisted of (but again, customize it for yourself):
· Eating whole foods (no preservatives)
· Exercise 5/7 days a week
· Get 8 hours of sleep a night
· Track food daily (use an app for this)
· No electronic devices during quality family time or before bed
· One random act of kindness every day
You could also get bonus points for incorporating a different workout challenge of the week such as 50 squats or 50 pushups a day. We rotated these weekly. Lastly, we each set a personal experience bonus point which consisted of something we’ve had on our personal “bucket list” but haven’t had the time for. Mine was to attend a class on essential oils whereas my friend attended a class on local wines. We each received one point for our personal experience. So what was the prize? It can be anything that you and your pals decide is prize-worthy, but for us, we had a girl’s day in early spring with shopping, coffee, and pedicures. The winner (me!) was treated for the day! It doesn’t get much better than that!
I love challenges like these because they lift your spirits and help you to bond even more with friends. I encourage you to give this a try, but make sure it has meaning for you. Even if you don’t have the a group to do this challenge with, you can do it by yourself and treat yourself if you reach your goal (which is what I’m doing right now). Make it work for you! What’s important to you? Is it losing weight or being more present? Is it cooking healthier or carving out time to do something you really have been wanting to try? Whatever that “thing” is for you, let me know! I may incorporate it into my next challenge!