By Leo Babauta
As New Year’s resolutions fade and we realize we need to try something else to get fit … I invite you to try a combination of two things that I’ve found to work really well:
- Mindfulness: As I’ve said many times before, mindfulness is such a powerful and fundamental practice that helps form any habit.
- Mini-challenges: I’ve found that short, 1-week mini-challenges are a hugely motivational way to form a habit like exercise or meditation.
So for February, I’m issuing the Mindful Fitness Challenge, and it will get you in better shape than you’ve been in for awhile!
OK, so how does this challenge work? It’s simple:
- Pick the mini-challenge level just above where you’ve been at consistently — for example, if you don’t exercise at all right now, just pick the “start moving” challenge. If you regularly exercise a few times a week, try the “daily exercise” challenge. If you exercise regularly for 30-60 minutes most days a week, do an advanced challenge. Do each mini-challenge as mindfully as you can.
- If you do that consistently for a week, pick another mini-challenge the following week. Otherwise, stay at your current level and try to get more consistent. Feel free to drop back to the previous level at any time if you feel this new level is too much for you. There’s no shame or ego in dropping to a previous level or staying at your current level. It’s not about the level you’re on, but about practicing wholeheartedly and mindfully.
- Commit to this challenge & do a weekly check-in. Do a post committing to the challenge on the #mindful-fitness channel on Slack (you can do that today!). And then check in each week on Monday, telling us how it went and what you plan to do the next week.
That’s it. Practice each mini-challenge wholeheartedly, not rushing through it. Bring mindfulness to each activity.
I’ve issued 13 mini-challenges, including ones like:
- Start moving
- Play every day
- Go longer
- Do something tough
- Pushup, chinup, running, and kettlebell challenges
- Yoga daily
- Multiple sessions throughout the day
I spell out more details for each mini-challenge in the actual challenge that I’m running in my Sea Change Program, with more than 1,000 other members!
If you join my Sea Change Program (with a 7-day free trial), here’s what you’ll get:
- Articles each week to help with the challenge
- A live video webinar with me on bringing mindfulness to fitness (where you can ask questions)
- A lively community on Slack where you can get accountability for the challenge, join a small accountability team, and get questions answered
I can guarantee you that if you actually use this challenge, attend the webinar, and become a regular in the challenge community on Slack … your life will be changed.
Source: Zen Habits