X

Archive for 30 Day Challenges

My 365 Day Meditation Challenge

January 1st 2017 marks the start of my 365 days of meditation challenge. If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while you will know in 2014 I released a short book on Kindle called “Challenge yourself, I dare you”. Challenges, usually 30 days long have helped me learn and quit various things over the years. It’s a framework that works for me. I want to take these 30 day challenges a step further now.

The challenge:

  • 365 consecutive days of meditation
  • Each session 10 minutes long
  • Start date 1st January 2017
  • End date 31st December 2017

At the end of the challenge I will screenshot the Headspace app I will be using to track my meditation time and streak. I will add the screenshot here for proof. If this isn’t updated at the end of 2017 feel free to nudge me. Being held accountable I have found is a great way to get things done. Call it peer pressure. If you remember ask me about it throughout the year.

I will be sharing my progress on The OCD Stories podcast over 2017.

Why am I doing this?

I like to challenge myself. Why? I do not know. I just do. Meditation however is something that has helped me in recovery from OCD. The present moment is an OCD assassin. OCD lives in the future and past, it can’t stand the present moment. Meditation is a great way to teach yourself the skill of living more in the present. Beyond OCD I want to live more and more in the present moment so I can be fully engaged in the here and now, and experience life for what it is, in all its beauty.

Why not try a challenge yourself? It doesn’t have to be 1 year, it can even be 7 days. The goal is merely to experience life beyond what you would normally do and build a new habit (or break one).

To your success,

Stu

Check out my free course on mindfulness >>

Remove Vices With The App SINCE

I've found a great app that can accompany my book 'Challenge Yourself, I Dare You'. Whether you have or have not read my book, the app 'Since' is amazing at encouraging vice removal in your life. Vices are those things that hold you back.

The app 'Since' allows you to create squares for each of your vices, and counts the days you have not done said vice. If you fail, it even has a 'oops, start counting again' button.

The reason I love this app is because tracking your performance be that on a graph or numbered square it encourages the user to continue pursuing the goal.

Since App

Have you used the app? If you do use it I'd love to hear how you found it and what you are giving up for a better life. Comment below.

To your success,

Stu

Let me know about your challenge on social media using #30DaysIDareYou

 

30 Days Of Transcendental Meditation

Have you ever tried making a habit of meditation? Yep, I have too, and failed spectacularly. Having an overactive imagination, makes sitting still and emptying my mind like trying to empty the river at the bottom of a waterfall.

"Half an hour's meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed."

Saint Francis de Sales #LAD

Any way in need of bringing more focus too my life, and as another way of ridding myself of OCD, I'm going to try meditating for 30 days. And I want you... to do it with me!

Here's the challenge:

  • Meditate for 30 days
  • Twice a day
  • 15 minutes at a time

So the only challenge is making the time, then sitting still. Not hard is it :S

I started my challenge this morning (8th February 2015). I'd love for you to give it a go and let me know how you get on. Strength in numbers.

Engage with me on social media using #30DaysIDareYou. Drop me a comment below on your challenge, experience of meditation or experience with mental illness.

To your peace of mind,

Stu

Here's a useful video on how to meditate:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/0FBeTSQg2Mc[/youtube]
If you struggle with OCD, I sympathise with your pain. Struggle no more, check out Mark Freeman's great videos:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/prN6_Lt1VZg[/youtube]

Stripping My Life Of Routine Distraction – 30 Day Challenge

In The Way Of The Superior Man David Deida explains how one can find his/her purpose and truth –

Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. No candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine.

If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding form it.

Recently, I have found that I have lost my edge, my drive. I also feel that when I start to ask myself the questions that will drag me out of my funk, I distract myself and numb my ‘edge’.

For the next 30 days I will do and not do the following:

NOs –

  • No newspapers or magazines.
  • No TV/YouTube.
  • No movies.

Limited –

  • 30 mins of music a day
  • 30 mins of a podcast a day

Do –

  • Meditate 10 mins a day

The aim of this is to force myself to face my fears. The beautiful thing about the brain is that when you ask good questions, it has to give you good answers. This challenge will definitely give me the time to answer such questions.

I’ll be updating you on this challenge throughout the month on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, so stay tuned. Engage with me using #30DaysIDareYou

Have you tried a 30 day challenge yet? Go on I dare you…

To your success,

Stu

Challenge: 19/01/2015 to 17/02/2015

Update 31/01/2015:

OK, I failed. Decided to quit. I found it much harder than expected. I gave in to moments of weakness and never recovered.

On the bright side I have a healthier balance for how much content I consume. What I found whilst doing it was that when your brain isn't being over stimulated constantly you start to face your problems. Your brain will begin to give you good insights.

Although I failed, don't let that put you off. I highly recommend this for anyone in need of getting their life back on track.

I look forward to you beating me and achieving the 30 days.

Stu x

Challenge Yourself eBook

 

Personal Standards vs Will Power

Let me start by saying - we only have a finite amount of will power. From the moment we wake, we start using it up. Yet when we come to giving something up or learning something our entire strategy is based on this limited resource.

Let me explain. Let's say you are trying to be healthier (to you that might mean more energy, weight loss or longevity of life). When you begin your challenge of getting healthier, you start by selecting a diet. After some research you decide you want to adopt a Paleo based diet. And you start. This is what most people do. They change the outside (I.e. diet) and their only tool is will power. Not once do we consider any further internal changes.

Let's play this hypothetical scenario out.

It's day one and you are excited about your goal of eating better. Not a problem. Day 2 the novelty is still there, and you are trying new recipes. Day 3 and 4 friends and colleagues start showing an interest, this boosts your ego. Day 5 and 6 people stop caring about your diet, and the novelty of a low carb diet is starting to feel boring. Day 7 from the word go you are bored of eating a vegetable breakfast, the salad at lunch is tiresome. Your boss just called you a 'dick', and it's raining. On your route home you crave a KFC. It takes all your will power to keep driving past the establishment. Day 8, you skip breakfast as you can't face it. It's Sally's birthday at work and she's brought in donuts. You try to stop the urge, and you nearly do (congrats). But you're feed up, bored and can't even remember your reason for going on this ‘stupid’ diet. Thinking f*ck it you reach for that sugary treat and ram it into your beautiful face.

I can confidently right that, because I’ve behaved similarly. It's annoying. Because now I/you feel down that we quit. We also know we will start again, this may go on for years. It's a vicious cycle.

In my book 'Challenge yourself, I dare you' I cover many tips and strategies for seeing something through. From those tips I have achieved many tough challenges. The below advice is a bonus to you, as it's not in the book.

The goal isn’t to rely on will power. Will power should be there to get you through your really challenging days.

To find it easier and more enjoyable you need to look within.

I will use the above hypothetical scenario and link it to my life. About 9 years ago I drank a lot of refined sugared drinks. I would consume about 2-3 glasses a day. After a scare from my dentist (better, more entertaining story in the book) I decided to stop drinking this filth for 30 days. I relied heavily on will power. I achieved my goal but each day was an awful mental battle, making my days less enjoyable. However what this did do for me was start to change the way I looked at nutrition and health. Over the following 5 years I started putting better liquids and foods into my body. I was also training for basketball, a lot. In hindsight I realise now that the outside world was changing because I was changing my inside reality. I started seeing myself as an athlete. In my head whenever I went to grab some junk food I would tell myself "athletes don't eat that" or "I don't drink that, I'm an athlete". Here's the key. I increased my personal standards.

I started seeing myself as an athlete, and athletes or at least good ones, respect their bodies. I could have also picked the belief that my body was a temple. And you don't bring dirt into a temple.

What is it you are struggling with? What personal standards do you need? Can you label those standards I.e. temple, athlete, sage?

Give it a go, and give your will power a rest - he's been tortured enough.

If it makes sense to you, try it, and let me know below.

To your success,
Stu

This Is How You Improve Your Grasp On The English Language – 30 Day Challenge

My latest 30 day challenge comes in the form of 'learning a word a day'. The English language has over, well no ones really sure how many words. Some people state over a million, some just over 100 thousand. Either way that's a lot more words than I know. Shakespeare apparently knew around 66,000 words. Arguably one of the most famous linguists ever, still only knew a fraction.

I'm far from Shakespeare, but I want to be a better writer, speaker and communicator. I want to fully express how I feel day to day, not confined to the limitations of a small diction.

As my book Challenge Yourself, I Dare You: A Better You In 30 Days has just launched, I thought I'd up my challenges. I'm currently mid-way through a yoga 30 day challenge. As this is a time effective challenge, I wanted to start immediately alongside my yoga challenge.

I will be detailing the words I learn daily. Feel free to join in with me.

1. Polemic - to engage in a controversial debate
2. Transfuse - to transfer something to something else or someone i.e. knowledge
3. Bemaze - bewildered, Stupefied
4. Despondent - feeling down or hopeless about something
5. Perpendicular - vertical or an upright position
6. Regale - to verbally entertain or amuse someone
7. circumspect - unwilling to take risks
8. Superfluous - unnecessary. Beyond what is needed
9. Denizen - a person, animal or plant that lives in a certain place
10. Lethologica - someone who cannot recall a precise word
11. Pluvial - moisture, water, ice originating from rain
12. Noosphere - the biosphere including human activities such as forestry, urbanization etc.
13. Contiguous - touching, in contact, bordering
14. Tumultuous - uproar or loud noise. Excited, confused and disorderly.
15. Venule - a small vein
16. Filacious - composed of threads

17. Revulsion - a sudden change in feeling

18. Symbiosis - a long term interaction with two or more biological species
19. Petulant - childishly Sulky and bad tempered.
20. Disparage - to belittle or discredit something or someone
21. Hempy - mischievous
22. Subjugate - control or dominate, under conquest
23. Gregarious - enjoying the company of others. Sociable.
24. Inscrutable - incapable of understanding
25. Saccadic - discontinuous or sporadic movement (usually used when discussing eye movement)
26. Prophetic - accurately predicting the future
27. Curtail - to reduce, cut short
28. Edify - to instruct, morally or spiritually
29. Echelon - level or rank in society or an organisation

30. Deiform - Godlike or divine in nature or form

Have you started a 30 day challenge yet? Go on I dare you!

To your success,
Stu

P.S. You can get my book here - Challenge Yourself (Amazon) >

Challenge started on 15th September 2014.

Contact Me

Using the contact form to send me an email

Keep in touch or say hi

Please note: I only answer emails once a week, please be patient, I will respond in time.