I *love* this quote!

January Challenge: Being True to You

Here we are in a New Year with a clean slate, a new start, new hopes and dreams to pursue... are you ready? 

Or do you feel like things will never change for you?  That you're just WAY TOO BUSY to make the changes in your life that you dream of?  I'm here to tell you something - - - you're wrong.  *grin*  This month's challenge is about being true to yourself... discovering what it is that YOU want for YOU!

Sorry to be blunt, but you DO have time to take care of you.  You, in fact, should be your very first priority when setting out on your day.  I *know* what it is like to put yourself last - I did it for over ten years.  I ignored the horrid state I'd let myself slip into.  I pretended that other things were more important to do than concentrating on my own health.  The truth was, I was ashamed to look at how bad I'd gotten in being overweight and in lack of fitness.  It was easier to sit my morbidly obese butt down on the couch at night after stopping at a fast-food drive thru (oh, and by the way, pretending that I was buying for a family rather than one person!!!) and watch television than to face the facts.  Something needed to change.

So... here is the January challenge that I submit to you to think about joining with me: Examine your inner-self and let yourself dream BIG dreams.  Write your January goal down. If you're used to being lethargic and sedentary, it is hard to BELIEVE that you truly can be walking 10-20 miles a week or running a 5k or - heck - just walking around the track ONCE or around the block ONCE.  But you know what? You can.  I know you can... and you - in your very depths of your being - know that YOU can.  But you have to believe that you can... and once you believe it, you'll attain that goal.

If you're overweight and want to lose weight, don't set yourself up for failure in your goals.  Don't say to yourself  "I'm going to lose 50 lbs by March".  That is 50 pounds in 12 weeks which means you're going to need to lose over 5 lbs a week.  Maybe you CAN do it... I know people who have.  But nutritionists have taught us that a healthy, maintainable goal for weight loss is somewhere between 1 and 3 lbs a week.  If you set your goals realistically to lose 2 lbs. a week... you'll have lost over 100 lbs. in a year.  Think about that achievable, HEALTHY goal: That is A LOT of weight!

I always suggest to friends to set small, achievable goals and then to set a new goal once that first one is attained.  So let's start by setting a 5lb goal of weight loss if you're looking to lose weight.  And then - once you have slain that first five pound dragon - let's go for the next five pounds. How 'bout that? : )

The first week of January, for the True2U challenge, put at least an hour aside by yourself, with no distractions, and think about what you truly want for your health and fitness.  Not what your spouse thinks you should do... not what your college roommate is doing, not what your Mom keeps telling you would be good for you.... what YOU want.  Maybe it is just to be able to do a DVD tape once a week and keep that promise to yourself.  Maybe it is that 5 lb goal.  Maybe it is to perfect the Lotus position in yoga.  You know what it is... if you're reading this, you've probably already had *that* thought go through your mind.  Week one of the challenge is just that:  examine your heart and set your goal solidly in your mind.  Write down your goal somewhere that you'll see it for the remainder of the month.  It doesn't have to be where anyone else sees it - it is up to you - but put that goal somewhere that you'll see it every single day of January.

The second week of January, the challenge is to begin to achieve that goal.  Figure out how you're going to achieve your goal.  Do you need to buy new pair of sneakers?  Do you need to ask someone to watch your children for an hour a week or barter with someone to trade an hour of babysitting so you can get out of the house and walk or go to the gym?  Maybe you need to visit the local library to borrow a DVD to try?  Whatever it is - week two of January is you concentrating on YOU and making your goal a priority in your life.

Onto week's three and four of January and this is where the fun starts!  Usually our challenges involve a certain number of "on track" days and "allowed days off", and January's challenge is no exception.  Between Saturday, January 16th and end of day, Monday, January 31st you have 12 days that you should be moving or working toward your specific goal.  That gives you four days off that you can "slip" during those 16 days.

Here is my True2U challenge plan.  I'm posting it here so you can have a concrete example of how this month's challenge could work for you.

WEEK ONE: My goal for January is to concentrate on daily meditation (something I do not currently do even though my HLG avatar sure looks like meditation!) and resume going to the YMCA three times a week.

WEEK TWO: I spent today writing in my journal my plans for how I would accomplish this and talked to the people who would be impacted by any changes in my daily routine.  I organized my gym bag for the Y and moved my yoga mat and daily devotional books to the space in my home where I'll be meditating first thing every morning.  (*I* did these things today, but you don't need to... these are steps to accomplish for week 2 of the challenge.)  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday weekly are my YMCA days... Saturday and Sunday are my bonus days when I hope to get there one of the two days to take a pilates or yoga class.  But M/W/F = YMCA.

WEEKS THREE & FOUR:  Rock 'n roll, baby!! I will be solidly in the midst of daily meditating and going to the Y three times weekly.  It will become my routine by then.  In these weeks, you should be moving, being grateful that you CAN move and are sticking to your goal and planning!  Feel great that you are doing what you set out to do and be proud of yourself.  Post here to encourage others and give yourself a pat on the back. : )

This month of January is going to set you up for the rest of the year.  You're going to accomplish great things in 2011 and feel so proud of yourself. 

And February? - you know that month when every t.v. commercial talks about finding your perfect partner and love being in the air... finding your perfect match?  We're going to have a February challenge about loving yourself - just as you are! : )

Here's to a great January for us all, friends! 

Dream. Believe. Achieve!
Jan / HealthyLoserGal