Embarking on a Successful New Years Resolution.
After the holidays and post New Years. It is hard not to become inspired to make some changes in our lives. Whether we add a new fitness routine. Change up our eating habits. Or make monumental lifestyle changes.
For me this inspiration happened back in the fall. Starting with small, obtainable changes. Building into bigger challenges. The foundation was laid, helping me accomplish personal challenges that were once viewed impossible.
My biggest takeaway has been setting myself up for success. Being authentic on what I can actually do. And having a support group that has my back during the moments when I want to call it quits and walk away.
As I scrolled through Social Media. Yes, I still do the scroll. And many times too often. But my feed is becoming filled with inspiration, positive messages and a bit of comedy. This was a change I made in the past few weeks, I'll post more about that on another date. Sorry that I digressed, but as my thumb rolled over the screen. I came across a post by Tom Bilyeu, #feelgood14. It was a collaboration with Wim Hof. Combining cold showers with self care.
The reason for my excitement about this post and challenge, is that 3 months ago I took part in a similar challenge. One that opened my mind to the possibilities of mindfulness. Combating stress. Sickness. And empowering myself to overcome a challenge that mentally seemed, well unapproachable.
A ice cold shower.
What grabbed my attention when I read the post about this challenge. Was that overcoming a 10 second cold shower teaches the mind that we can overcome anything.
This simple theory resonated with me. It carried a similar mantra of one that a dear friend, and the best trainer I have ever worked with taught me. Ryan Steinhoff of Foundation Fitness. During the midst of a beat down of a workout, better know as a high intensity interval training session, or as we called it Adult PE. He would look at us and say "anyone can survive anything for a minute." Then followed up with a smile and a laugh. As we told him we are dying. His response, "don't worry, you pass out before you die."
These words always helped push me. And break down the task of a challenging workout, race or business venture.
As I took to the cold water challenge. I knew that as uncomfortable as it would be. It was attainable. From this task I graduated up to ice baths. Staying in cold water for minutes, no longer seconds.
A few weeks later. I took on the challenge of paddling 30 plus miles on a prone paddleboard. One that you lay down on and use your hands in lieu of standing up and using a paddle. And my previous experience only had me on this vessel for 60 minutes. And a distance of four miles. But as I watched the time and miles tick by. The messaging and mental strength built in the cold water helped paved the way for a successful endeavor.
Whether you are interested in joining this challenge with me. And I will be modifying the no sugar aspect as I find it too challenging for me to find foods without sugars. I replace no sugar with, no artificial sugar or candy. I am a sucker for gummy bears and sour patch kids. Make it obtainable for you.
What do I mean by that?
Meditation sound impossible? You only have 15 minutes in the morning to dedicate to yourself? No problem.
Start with the workout.
Take on a 14 minute workout. You will get a full blown, sweat fest going in this short time. And the rewards will be worth it. Take the last minute to sit or lay. Focus on your exhale breath. Ideally through the nose but if that is too much, the mouth works too. If 15 is too much go down to 10 minutes or even five minutes. Just get a routine going. Stay on it for a minimum of three days, but five days is the goal.
When you get in the shower. Take your normal shower with warm water. Then as you are about to end it. Go back to that exhale. Long breaths. After five of them. Turn the shower to cool. Keep on the breath. Then bring the water to cold. You don't have to have your head in the water. But your body. The head being submerged can trip off the hyperventilation and panic feelings as well as the ice cream headache. That will send you reaching for the warm water. And boycotting the mission. we want this obtainable, start easy.
I prefer to count my exhales. It gives my mind something to hold onto. And I rotate from facing the cold water to having it on my back after the 10 count.
Stay with this for three to five days as well. And let it build into a routine. The goal is 14 days. If consecutive is possible, then go for it. But make sure you set yourself up for success.
No matter what duration you use. Or when you go about doing it. Be supportive of yourself. Tell people that share similar visions and ask if they want to join. It may only be one person. Or someone on social media. It doesn't matter, find that common link of tackling a challenge.
Keep in mind, you don't have to be a spokes person for it on every social media channel. Or at the water cooler. Because you will have people who tell you, "you are crazy" and "you are going to get hurt" or "that is stupid." That is their story and do not understand what you are trying to accomplish. It is ok, but this is your story, do not let others away from your journey.
Today was my first day of this 14 day challenge. And I am still feeling the benefits. My workout was a yoga class and cross country skiing. Then a meditation with a mix of breath holds and steady breathing. I had a black coffee with MCT oil and Cacao and a smoothie with spinach, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, acai, bananas and cashew butter.
If you are interested but are still a bit weary or do not understand where to begin. Message me. If you don't have any other cheerleaders, I'll be yours. Let's do this and learn some fun habits for 2020.