30 Day Key Habits Challenge

We all want to do more.  To live more life in less time.  

That takes focus and discipline.

In order for that to happen, we need to hit the reset button.  So, I'm making a 30 Day Key Habit Challenge.  I'm doing this to scratch my own itch, but I would love it if you joined me.  

Here we go:

The primary theme of the challenge is simplicity and health.

I'm not going to focus on too many habits.  That's a sure recipe for failure.  Instead I will focus on just these 5 things:

  1.  Rest
  2. Mindfullness
  3. Fitness
  4. Learning
  5. Nutrition

The problem is, quality self-care is viewed as excessive.  Our culture is saturated with themes of self-sacrifice which is limiting many aspects of our personal lives and our culture as a result.  It's time to move forward.  


Rest

 Yay rest!

Yay rest!

Benefits of getting enough proper sleep

  1. Positive impact on mood
  2. Better sex
  3. Build more muscle
  4. Improved memory and learning
  5. Safer driver and less likely for accidents
  6. Lower cortisol levels (this is a BIG one - bodyfat percentages will be lower)
  7. Healthier skin
  8. Better financial decisions
  9. Improved speech
  10. Improved focus and productivity
  11. Increased reaction time
  12. Healthy heart

The consequences of not taking advantage of enough sleep is astronomical.  That's why sleep is at the top of the list for the challenge.

Rest Habits:

  1. Set a bed time.
  2. Set an alarm with no snooze button.  (if you have to physically remove the snooze button then do it)
  3. No screens at least 30 minutes before bed.  (set a reminder)

Notice how I didn't say "transition into blablablabla waking up 15 minutes earlier for x days."  That's because we are going 100 percent into the deep end of the pool.  


Mindfulness

 Practice mindfulness every day.  Your mind will thank you.

Practice mindfulness every day.  Your mind will thank you.

Practicing mindfulness is the best indirect key to focusing better.  

Benefits of practicing mindfulness

  1. Decreased stress
  2. Improved memory
  3. Increased ability to focus
  4. Increased emotional stability
  5. Increased cognitive flexibility - more able to handle stressful and negative situations
  6. Increased emotional intelligence
  7. Decreased fear
  8. Increased immunity functions

Just like sleep, the cost of not practicing some sort of mindfulness is astronomical.  We all need to practice some form of mindfulness.  

Mindfulness Habits

  1. Meditate every morning for 10-20 minutes.  Note: "more" does not equal "better."  It's all about consistency and returning to the practice.
  2. Journal one page every morning following meditation.  Keep it short.  Here are the three things I'm journaling: (taken from the Five Minute Journal)   
    1. I am grateful for: (list three)
    2. What would make today great?  (list three)
    3. Daily affirmations.  (write three)

Fitness

 Don't make fitness complicated!  Find something you love to do and DO IT!

Don't make fitness complicated!  Find something you love to do and DO IT!

I love lifting weights and moving.  It has helped me in so many ways in the past and it continually helps me now.  I'm not going to prescribe a specific avenue of fitness for you, but you need to move.  For me, that's lifting weights (resistance training).

Benefits of Resistance Training

  1. Increase muscle strength
  2. Increase flexibility and balance
  3. Increased muscle to fat ratio
  4. Prevents cognitive decline as we age
  5. Increased stamina
  6. Disease prevention (diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression, obesity)
  7. Improved posture
  8. Increased bone density
  9. Improved self-confidence and body image
  10. Better sleep
  11. Increased self-esteem
  12. Enhanced execution of routine tasks, increased performance

And that's why it's one of the habits that we must have.  It's non-negotiable.  

Fitness Habits

  1. Move every hourIt's not enough to go for a 10 minute walk every day if we are sitting the rest of it.  Make a positive choice to live a more active life.  Move every hour.  Even if it's getting off the couch and walking to the room and back, it all ads up.  Set a reminder on your phone or do what you have to do to keep moving.
  2. Get some form of traditional training in 4-6 days per week.  That means weight training, running, etc.  As long as you like doing it, you'll keep doing it.  Find something you like.

Learning

 Take a book with you wherever you go!  You'll read more.

Take a book with you wherever you go!  You'll read more.

Benefits of Life Long Learning (LLL)

  1. Helps us adapt to change
  2. Improved career capital (bigger paycheck)
  3. Fulfilling life - Research has shown that life-long learners self-report as living fulfilling lives.
  4. Increased wisdom
  5. Indirectly makes the world a better place
  6. Fosters a curious and hungry mind
  7. Helps develop our abilities

One of the best ways to learn is reading.  Nobody can cut us off from it or take it away.  It's available to all of us.  NOTE: If you 'can't afford' a book per month then your priorities are off.  Make it happen.  

Reading Habits

  1. Take a book with you wherever you go - You'll read more.  
  2. Read at least 30 minutes every day (that's just one episode of your favorite show).  
  3. Read with a pen - don't be afraid to mark up your book, dog-ear, and sticky flags.  
  4. Email me - When you finish a book, email me about it.  I want your general comments, a rating from 1-10, and your top three learnings from the book.  

Nutrition

 Eat real food!  No ingredients labels.

Eat real food!  No ingredients labels.

The nutrition habit is simple: eat whole foods.  That means no breads, boxes, etc.  Basically, if it has an ingredients list, then don't eat it.  Here's why:

Benefits of Eating Real Food

  1. Packed with important nutrients
  2. Low sugar content
  3. Improved heart health
  4. Sustainable - healthy for the environment
  5. Increased fiber
  6. Helps regulate blood sugar
  7. Healthier skin
  8. Lower triglycerides
  9. Overall improved health (less medical bills)
  10. Increased healthy fats
  11. Increased antioxidants
  12. Increased dental health

The key habits to develop focus and discipline:

Rest

  1. Set a bed time.
  2. Set an alarm with no snooze button.  (if you have to physically remove the snooze button then do it)
  3. No screens at least 30 minutes before bed.  (set a reminder)

Mindfulness

  1. Meditate every morning for 10-20 minutes.  Note: "more" does not equal "better."  It's all about consistency and returning to the practice.
  2. Journal one page every morning following meditation.  Keep it short.  Here are the three things I'm journaling: (taken from the Five Minute Journal)   
    1. I am grateful for: (list three)
    2. What would make today great?  (list three)
    3. Daily affirmations.  (write three)

Fitness

  1. Move every hourIt's not enough to go for a 10 minute walk every day if we are sitting the rest of it.  Make a positive choice to live a more active life.  Move every hour.  Even if it's getting off the couch and walking to the room and back, it all ads up.  Set a reminder on your phone or do what you have to do to keep moving.
  2. Get some form of traditional training in 4-6 days per week.  That means weight training, running, etc.  As long as you like doing it, you'll keep doing it.  Find something you like.

Learn

  1. Take a book with you wherever you go - You'll read more.  
  2. Read at least 30 minutes every day (that's just one episode of your favorite show).  
  3. Read with a pen - don't be afraid to mark up your book, dog-ear, and sticky flags.  
  4. Email me - When you finish a book, email me about it.  I want your general comments, a rating from 1-10, and your top three learnings from the book.  

Nutrition

  1. Eat whole foods.

I would love it if you joined me for this challenge.  And here's where success int he challenge happens:  Comment every day in the forum on how you're doing and what you might be struggling with.  I'll reply to every single comment for accountability and motivation.  

Know a friend that would want to join you?  Good!  The more the merrier.  "If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together."

It's going to be work, but we got this.