July – Sleep training
I sort of completed these two challenges at the same time for a total of 62 days vs. the usual 30, but who’s counting?? The two challenges worked really well together actually so I decided to just roll with it. (smile)
I was in Alabama in July just long enough to get my time zones thrown off, so completing the sleep training upon my return to Arizona wasn’t actually all that difficult (I wish I could claim that was my plan all along, but really I’m not that clever!). Sleep training is essentially training your body to go to bed at a certain time and to wake up at a certain time every day. I found the key to be consistency – i.e., 7 days a week. I’ll admit to cheating by an hour or so on the weekends, but for the most part my body was fine with the schedule. I also put away the electronics – tv, phone, etc. in favor of playing with Oxford or reading a book about 30 minutes before bedtime. A lot of advice I read recommended an hour or more, but I found that 30 minutes was good for me. Like most things in life, it’s all about adapting a strategy to best meet your individual needs!
I chose to go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6am. It’s really remarkable what a consistent 8 hours a night can do for your outlook on life! I particularly enjoyed having extra time to myself in the mornings. I could be productive or just do stuff I wanted for the hell of it – it was fantastic! Fantastic enough, in fact, that I have zero intentions of giving it up!! It makes such a difference in my attitude not going straight from bed to work.
August – Yoga
I went through several yoga apps on my phone before finding DownDog, but it’s by far my favorite now. You can select your level and the amount of time you have for yoga and it will create a custom routine for you each day. I really like the fact that it switches up the routine! There is a paid version with more features, but so far I’ve been fine with the free one.
My goal was a minimum of 15 minutes per day, but I’ve averaged somewhere between 20-30 minutes. Instead of waking up and immediately getting ready for work, I now spend my extra time on the yoga mat. The stretching in particular has worked miracles for all the muscle aches/stiffness that usually accompany my mornings and my mood has definitely reaped the benefits! I’ve also started wrapping it all up with a moment of gratitude at the end of each session. A minor tweak to my day, but a huge difference to my outlook!
October – PMP Study
Once I get back from Iceland I really need to focus on studying for this PMP Certification. I’m hoping if I can focus at least a couple of hours per day, I’ll be ready before 2017!