Day 10: Challenge Yourself

On Day 6 we discussed exercise as a creative expression, essentially allowing exercise to be a part of who you are, rather than something that you just do. That is the foundation. First, you must really tune into what types of exercise lights your fire. Then, you can use that activity to challenge yourself, because if you don’t enjoy it first and foremost, using it to challenge yourself is going to make you miserable. For example, I really enjoy doing high intensity circuit training. I love pushing myself to the max for short periods of time. I love seeing how my body changes and progresses and gets stronger and fiercer from these types of workouts. But… this style of workout might be utter HELL for someone who enjoys long-distance swimming (something that I am not a fan of). Same for other sports. Someone who loves to play hockey might enjoy doing agility and endurance drills more so than bodybuilding style training. My point here is that challenge is so important, yet make sure that you are setting your goals based on your passion and what feels empowering to you. It’s not about challenge for the sake of challenge, but challenge for the sake of fulfillment and enjoyment.

Making health and fitness fun

It’s really common to get so disconnected from yourself that you honestly don’t know what goals feel challenging yet fun. You feel upside down and backwards. That’s ok, and that’s what this whole 30-day challenge is about -- teaching you how to tune in and learn to listen to your intuition again. Fitness goals that are challenging are… still challenging. When I am doing my circuit training, you typically won’t see me singing and dancing in the midst of burpees. But a little while afterward you might. That’s the difference. Challenges that are empowering are ones that make you feel really awesome just for the mere fact of doing them.

How to spot an empowering challenge… when it nails you in the forehead

Empowering challenges pop into your head without warning. They feel exciting, like:
I have to do this. This is so me. Wild horses couldn’t keep me from doing this. This goal seems so perfect for me, I can’t wait to get started…
That kind of thought process. Sometimes, we start out with a thought process like that, and then the doubt-creeper creeps in. The all too familiar for most, “What if I’m not good enough?” self-talk. Now is when I say something that might surprise you. The purpose of setting a goal is not for the sake of actually reaching that goal. The purpose is for you to have the opportunity to become more of who you are… to let your creativity and passion and excitement to flow through you. That is what goals, fitness, health, and LIFE itself is all about.

Results = good feelings, or… is it the other way around?

I feel great after my workout, not because I have achieved my goal of {whatever}, but because challenging myself and doing the workout – i.e. traveling the path toward my goal, taking those baby steps, and celebrating my daily victories – feels good. Many people would say that this thing that makes us feel good is called “progress,” and when we see progress (results) along the way, we feel good. I disagree. I believe that you see results along the way, because you set an empowering goal, which makes you feel good, which then produces the results. Not the other way around. Challenges are meant to allow for the expansion of who you are at your core, not to prove your worthiness. The point in a challenge isn’t to be able to check one more thing off of your list of to-dos. The point is to do things that let you experience growth and joy. The path to the goal is what matters most, and then if you do reach the goal, that is like the super-awesome cherry on top. So, whew!! Based on this fantastic info, you can put those “Am I good enough?” fears to bed once and for all, can’t you?! Now you know they are simply irrelevant! Get out of your head and follow your heart. Challenge yourself to new levels and don’t second guess once your intuition gives you the full-steam-ahead signal. Guide yourself by inspiration and exciting challenges and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish as a super awesome cherry on top. What types of challenges are inspiring you today?
Did you enjoy today's challenge? Check out the entire Live Well 360 30-Day Challenge series.
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