My 21 Day Challenge Reflections
Whilst I was spending a few weeks with my family in The Netherlands over Christmas and New Year, I set myself a fun little 21 day challenge (see my post for more details).
It was to walk in the woods nearby every day and to take a photo of something inspiring or beautiful to share on Instagram; the photo sharing was mainly to hold myself accountable. I find that sometimes stating publicly that I am going to do something makes me do it. Otherwise I know myself well enough that I might not follow through on my ideas (I always have plenty of ideas in my head, and I am forever talking about them all!).
This felt like a do-able challenge that would add much value to my life. It was also connected to my core values, such as Nature, Wellbeing, and Creativity to name a few.
What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would get out of this challenge. It felt like an important exercise on following through and bursting through resistance. There were days, especially in the beginning, that “I didn’t feel like it”. This was an eye-opener as I recognised this thought comes up A LOT for me.
As the days went on and I went for a walk even though I “didn’t feel like it”, it became clear that on these walks I allowed my mind to wander and find solutions. Not that I consciously gave my mind a task, it occurred naturally. I already know this happens to me when I go out for a walk: it refreshes me, replenishes my energy and very often I come home with the answer to a question I’ve been pondering.
So I wasn’t at all surprised to find my mind suggesting that I reframe “I don’t feel like it” to something more helpful, such as “how can I start to feel like it?”, or “what if I do feel like it?”. I found these questions far more empowering than my old statement that, to be fair, was limiting me.
I think my turning point was at the start of the third week of the 21 day challenge, when I noticed I was willing to go for a walk, in fact, I was looking forward to it even more than before. Don’t get me wrong, I love walking! It was just for some reason I was holding myself back from doing something that I love. Because somewhere in my head a voice was telling me that it wasn’t very productive, so why bother. Hmm. I now see that that was my Resistance, aka Fear! And who says that everything we do or be has to be productive anyway. Right? Yep!
Then on my final day I felt a bit sad as I was reluctantly walking home from being in the woods. I was going to miss these walks. I treated myself to a Bonus Day the following day, my reward for completing the challenge. And it was a stunning winter’s day, clear and crisp, sun shining, and I felt blessed and bliss. A warm glow in my heart expanded to fill my entire body. And the inspiring photo I took that day? It was a selfie in the woods. I’d captured that to remind myself in challenging times:
I can be an inspiration to myself.
What or who inspires you? How can you add more inspiration and joy to your own life?