Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Years! Step away from the resolution and accept a challenge

I dare you, no I double-dog dare you to forgo the usual New Years resolution and accept a challenge when the clock strikes midnight. Kiss the girl, eat the grapes, fire the cannon and walk around the block with a suitcase: but no resolutions!

Why? Because they fail, resolutions are like writing a to-do list for the first week of January. Without fail those that resolve to loose weight will clog the gym for a week or two, then leave the rest of us again come February. Those that vow to eat healthy will be back to their drive through and huge portion sizes in no time, produce left in limbo in the salad draw. Resolve to improve your relationships? How do you do that?

So instead I dare you to accept a challenge (or all of them) this New Years Eve and turn anual failure into accomplish.

Challenge Your Mind

Pick out a good book, not from Oprah book club or the NY Times list, a real good book and read it. Start with one, one book that will help open your mind, change your point of view, or show you new lenses to view the world through and read it. I dare you.
Challenge Your Body

Don't just aim to "be healthier" or "go to the gym," set a real goal with a real end point. Challenge yourself and register for a 5k, a lifting competition or a 30 day app challenge.

  • 30 day Squat challenge - App Store 
  • 30 day Crunch challenge - App Store 
  • 30 day Plank challenge - App Store 
  • 30 day Yoga challenge - YouTube 
  • 5k road race (couch to 5k program) - Google local road races 
  • YouTube - there are more fitness videos than you can shake a stick at! Just pick one and do it, I really like PopSugar, Fitness Blender and BeFit channels. 

Challenge Your Spirit

Do what? Challenge what? "But my spirit is so fragile, I'm barely surviving!" While its hard to hear, the best advice you will ever get is: fake it 'til you make it.

  • Put on a happy face - several studies, including "Effects of Self-Generated Facial Expressions on Mood" from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology demonstrate that you can effect your mood by facial expression. As in, assume the posture of happiness (smile, lift your head and put a bounce in your step) and soon enough you will actually feel happy. 
  • Delete Facebook - yeah, I double dog dare you with a cherry on top. Stop, just stop posting everything good, bad or otherwise happening in your life. You do not need he outside affirmation that your life matters: it does. Facebook and its constant barrage of garbage, bad news, sensationalism and engagements does nothing for you. Nothing. 
  • Learn a New Skill - A new skill, a new source of pride. You are never too old to learn something new, never to old to find a new source of pride and pleasure. And, it's super easy in the age of technology: you can be a cooking master with the help of an app or two. My favorite is Jamie Oliver's cooking app. Or.... Check out the Unconventional Quilting page and find some inspiration from a new found quilter.