Is there something to this 40-Day Transformation thing? Jasmine and I are determined to find out! Join us for the next 40-Days as we detox, meditate, stretch, strengthen and grow on our personal 40-Day Vibrant Wellness Journey.
Step 1: Contemplation and Journaling
Jasmine and I each take time to contemplate the question, “What might there be for me to learn/recieve from the 40-day Reset, Renew, Revitalize Journey?”
After we sit with this question, each of us spent about 20 minutes writing about the feelings, thoughts and messages that came up during the contemplation.
Step 2: Defining our Aspirations and Intentions
Setting our aspirations for our 40-Days will help to keep us focused on our broad desires and also give us a framework from which to set our daily intentions. (Check out my blog on intentions).
For me, when creating concrete goals or aspirations, I follow this formula:
- - Write aspirations in the present tense, as if they’re already a statement of truth. Instead of “I’m going to eat healthy food” I would write “I eat whole, healthy food as a form of self-care.” Instead of “do an unsupported handstand.” I would write “I enjoy unsupported handstands that feel strong and stable.”
- - Make goals time bound and measurable. For instance instead of saying “I want to do more yoga”. I would write, “I practice yoga three times a week in a teacher-lead class and three times at home for 60-90 minutes”. Or, in this language I would write “I weigh xxx pounds by October 27th,” or “I am xx% body fat” or “I run a 5k in xx minutes on September 7th”.
- - Dream Big, but not crazy! While I want to allow myself to dream big dreams, I also want to make sure that my goals and aspirations are within my reality. I love to run, but I’m not terribly fast. Setting a goal of “I run a 17 minute 5k in September” is beyond my reach and sets me up for failure. A more realistic goal might be to shave some time off my PR (personal record). By looking at a training program designed to get me to that time, I can assess how long I need to reach that goal and then state “I run a xx minute 5k on October XX”. Similarly, floating through my vinyasas is not a reality for me at the moment. I don’t have to give this up as an aspiration though. Instead, I might look at breaking “Floating” down into smaller pieces and set markers around that -- for example working on Lolasana first with big blocks, then with 1/2 blocks, then with hands on the mat, then rolling my shins parallel to floor, then step one foot back, etc.
- - Start by seeing the big picture. In my case, I want to feel content and healthy, and ultimately I wish to live as an expression of loving kindness. In living my “today”, I move toward that ultimate desire by devoting myself to what feel like more easily digestible pieces. I know that in order for me, personally, to feel content and healthy I must address my physical, mental and emotional/spiritual being. That means addressing what I eat, how I move my body, how I speak to myself and others, how much rest I get, how much time I spend outside, how much time I have with my family and also by myself, and there is definitely a component of how much fun I have! When I set goals/intentions, I address each of these. (Check out tomorrow’s blog for both Jasmine and my 40-day aspirations.)
Step 3: Sharing our Hopes and Visions (out loud!!)
From experience, I realize that sharing my dreams and goals out loud is a powerful and important step in the “becoming” process. By sharing my dreams/goals/intentions, I hold myself accountable and also admit to myself and the world that there is a specific direction I’d like to be headed. In the past, there were times when I shared my desires for the “future me” quietly, with fear of being judged and perhaps some self-consciousness or some bit of asking for permission. What I learned is that the more I spoke the desire, the more confident and clear I became in “owning” or integrating the vision into myself. It became a statement of fact. One without shame, without fear and without need for external acceptance or permission. I have grown strong in many ways from this “out loud” practice. If you don’t have someone to tell your dreams to, or if it’s still a bit on the scary side, write them down -- seeing them on paper can have a strong impact too -- like a contract (or promise if you prefer) with oneself.
Step 4: Prep Work
If your intention, for example, has something to do with eating whole healthy foods, and your 40-day Journey starts tomorrow, set yourself up for success -- go shopping and stock the house with fresh food. Pick out recipes that you can make ahead and fill the fridge with easy options that will meet your need for this form of self-care. If your intention is to go to a 7a or 5a yoga class, set your clothes out before bed (check out Jasmine’s blog on this). If your intention is to meditate daily, create a spot where this can happen…it doesn’t have to be big or fancy, but make it inviting and easy. Also, try to anticipate obstacles you might face. For instance, I’m on vacation this week. While this presents great opportunities for me to meet my fitness and time outside goals, eating in the way that I want is more of a challenge. I definitely need to spend some time coming up with airport food strategies. This helps ensure I’ll not have excuses to “fall off the wagon” when faced with booth after booth of unhealthy food options.
Step 5: Find an accountability buddy
Jasmine and I will serve as each other’s accountability buddies. And in a way, you will be there for us too as we blog about our
experiences over the next 40-days. Get friends to meet you at the park or at yoga class, tell them that you’d love them to check in on your progress and ask how you’redoing. And choose people who will be supportive in a way that feels good and healthy to you.
Step 6: Go! And have fun too!!