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The 30 Day Inspiration Challenge

A personal challenge is when you commit to doing something for thirty days in a row that you are not already doing consistently. It takes inspiration and motivation to commit to yourself and to stick with it until completion. It could also be to do something new every day in a certain area of interest. 

During this pandemic quarantine time, it seems that the opportunity is there to try a thirty-day challenge. It can be fun and doesn't need to be overwhelming. It can be creative and in an area that you already have a gift or desire to focus. You need to be inspired and motivated to have the commitment to follow through and stick to it. 

The Yoga Challenge I Will Never Forget

The idea of a personal challenge was presented to me by a yoga teacher in 2014. I had just started hot yoga classes and loved them, and was starting to go to a class every day. One morning a yoga teacher asked if I had ever heard about a ten-day challenge—one hot yoga class every day for ten days. No, I answered, but I am going to try that. Since I already had a certain number done (I cannot recall, but I think it was three days), then seven days more, and I will have succeeded at this challenge. I was inspired and motivated. Towards the end of the ten days, the yoga teacher asked if I had ever heard of a thirty-day challenge. I answered no but was ready for it since I was enjoying the daily hot yoga. Then towards the end of the thirty days, I had the idea of extending the challenge to 100 days. I already had thirty almost done, so I needed seventy more days. Was I up to the challenge? Could I commit to it? Was I willing to not have anything get in the way of completing it? The answers were a strong yes. The word started getting around the studio about this sixty-year-old man who was doing a one hundred day challenge.
The yoga teachers at the studio said that I was "like a machine", as it became "automatic" for me to show up every morning. Since the classes happened seven days a week, it was easy to go every day. My energy and motivation continued as I started finishing forty, fifty, sixty days in a row. At some point, there was a request by more than a few students to the studio to offer a group challenge. Then the yoga studio provided a sixty-day challenge that would start on a certain day. There were a few guidelines, and record-keeping was being kept by the studio. I also joined that challenge, and it would go beyond my hundred-day goal. I ended up finishing both challenges after one hundred and fourteen days and as I got closer to that final number, I realized that it is not about the destination and number as much as the commitment and focus. Just starting it and sticking with it is empowering, and "the joy is in the journey". 

What are the Benefits of a Thirty Day Challenge?
After reading about the 100 day challenge, a thirty-day challenge may not seem so daunting. 

The benefits of completing this are many. 

> a personal achievement - mission accomplished!
> the experience of the journey - thoughts, feelings, insights
> the "unexpected benefits" - these may happen 
> building a new type of discipline - a positive habit
> inspiration as a result of the completion

Sometimes this challenge "takes on a life of its own", and you start to see unexpected benefits. It can be private, or you can share it on Facebook. 

What are Some Ideas of 30 Day Challenges?
It can be anything that you want to focus on. Physical, mental, spiritual, social, creative, or social.

> Writing in a journal every day - thoughts, feelings, about the pandemic, the new normal, personal challenges, and goals. It is a private journal, and you have the complete freedom to let it all out.
> Physical exercise is a common challenge: a new routine, 30 days in a row.
> A spiritual practice - meditation, yoga, reading inspirational content, affirmations
> a creative expression - art, crafts, writing, new ideas
> entertainment > watching a live concert on YouTube every day, playing online games, watching a new movie, documentary or series every day. 
> education - register for an online class, or commit to research and study a topic daily for 30 days
> travel - a 30 day motorcycle tour of U.S. National Parks

The famous quote from William Hutchison Murray describes a part of the process of commitment:

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!"

So if a 30 day challenge is something that catches your attention, and gets you inspired and motivated, then go for it, and enjoy the process.