Every year just after New Year’s and after the resolution phase, we head into the challenge phase. The two-week challenge to kick start your health, the three-week challenge to restart your meditation practice, the 21-day challenge to manifest your year, the one-year challenge of weekly writing prompts, the fill-in-the-blanks… and on and on it goes.
I confess: I’m a self-help junkie! I love the idea of reading a book with the hope that by the time I’m finished, all will be well. I like the promise that if you follow these simple steps or open this email and spend just five minutes of your time, your life can be renewed.
Or, is it something that spans back years and is more complicated than that? Is it the promise of; if I kissed a prince or wished upon a falling star, change would happen just like that?
Yes, I fell for it — again! I took up not just one but two challenges this year and paid money. A one-a-day five-minute challenge that promised wonderful things at the end, if I just believed and focused. And the other, a weekly writing prompt to rewrite my past, present, and future.
Here is how my 21-day challenge went…
I’m very excited, and I’ve picked my focus for the challenge. I can’t wait to see what unfolds and mark my calendar for the finish day to celebrate.
I change my focus for the daily challenge not once, but twice, and add a second.
I forget to open my email (or did I?). Maybe I was just procrastinating and did other stuff that seemed much more interesting or assured myself the other “stuff” was much more pressing.
I panicked because I hadn’t done day three. I’m a good student, and I felt like I was falling behind in my studies. So I doubled up and did twice the amount of work.
I ventured onto the Facebook group to see what other people were writing. Bad idea! I have “comparisonitis”, so I rewrote what I had written for day five three times! I figured someone else’s “yes” sounded much more concise than mine and obviously, they could articulate my “yes” better than me.
I dreaded opening my email and thought, how do I get out of this and then decided to write this article instead.
Here is how my weekly writing challenge went…
Love it! I was brilliant and focused. I set a timer for 10 minutes, grabbed my tea, and did a brain dump. It was great! I was brilliant! I set my sights on being the next best novelist!
I never opened the prompt and to make myself feel better, I unsubscribed from the website and newsletter!
I never received a prompt because I managed to cancel my subscription, and all was well in my world.
So why do we take up challenges?
We aspire to make change, real and lasting change, and the New Year seems like the ideal time to start. A new page in the calendar brings a new page in our diary, a new clean white sheet of paper, in which to plan and conquer just what we want to change about ourselves.
What if we’re already perfect or beautifully imperfect in every way? We’re manifesting queens, amazing writers, loving moms, interesting partners, loyal friends, great students and colleagues, truly beautiful people in and out. We just need to be reminded of our greatness, our kindness and aspire to be more of what is already inside us.
So instead, I challenge you to celebrate what you don’t want to change about yourself, what is already there that you just need to see on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis – and by the way? You don’t have to shell out money for this challenge, it’s free of charge.
Here you go – “my don’t-take-up-the-challenge” challenge worksheet (because what type of life coach would I be if I didn’t give you a challenge?)