A Year of 30 Day Challenges Part 1: Choosing A New Year’s Resolution While Remaining Kind to Myself

I haven’t done New Year’s Resolutions in years. When I tried in the past I’d always start with great intentions and visions of a new and improved self; then something would happen. I’d feel like I’d blown it and then, because of my all-or-nothing personality (more on that in a follow-up post), the entire idea would get thrown out the window. After years of this I decided that I’d had enough of trying to be a new and improved version of me and that instead I should accept myself as I am. As I type this I realize that this self-acceptance was actually a perfect and necessary resolution of it’s own.

However, there is a dangerous pitfall waiting on the road to self acceptance. It can easily become an excuse for holding onto bad habits and resisting new, better habits. I think this may be a necessary obstacle on an important journey but I also think that at some point you have to realize that you can  find a healthy balance (yep, there’s that word again) between accepting yourself and trying to better yourself. For me, this is that point. So, this year I’ve come up with a way to jump start some of the goals I’ve had on the back burner for too long without setting myself up for failure and the tailspin into berating myself that sometimes follows such self-perceived failures.

In the past year I’ve discovered that 30 day challenges are a really great tool for me. This blog is the result of my first 30 day challenge. After that initial challenge I also did a challenge to exercise every day for 30 days (which I did!) and another blogging challenge when I felt I needed another push. Each time I felt like I’d learned something about what works for me and what doesn’t, how to fit the things that work into my life on a regular basis and, perhaps most importantly, how these things make me feel, both physically and mentally.  Since this method has proven to be so successful for me I’ve decided that for the new year I’ll do a new 30 day challenge each month.

Having a central theme to tie these goals together seemed like a good (perhaps necessary) idea and choosing that theme was pretty easy. Earlier this year I did a random blood glucose test at home and discovered that I (most likely) have diabetes. I say most likely because I do not have health insurance and I didn’t want to be labeled with a preexisting condition. However, I also didn’t want to ignore a very serious chronic disease so I gave myself 6 months to get my blood sugar under control. I completely changed my eating habits, started exercising more and continued testing my blood sugar at home. When I finally went to the doctor 6 months after that initial at-home test my A1C panel came back within the normal range (high normal, but normal). So, I have no official diagnosis but I’ve had enough high readings at home to know the truth. I am diabetic and I need to keep my eye on the ball in order to avoid serious complications. And since my eye has most definitely NOT been on the ball lately I’ve decided that these challenges are going to focus around a healthy lifestyle and managing my diabetes.

Up Next: Setting myself up for success…


6 responses to “A Year of 30 Day Challenges Part 1: Choosing A New Year’s Resolution While Remaining Kind to Myself

    • I’m glad you read it too! 🙂

      As for the home testing, my FIL passed away in January and when we were cleaning out his house I found his glucose testing supplies. On a whim I put in a clean needle and tested my blood sugar. It was over 350! That’s HIGH if you don’t know. If you know anyone who is diabetic they probably have the supplies for you to test your blood sugar (just be sure to use a clean needle for the finger stick). A fasting blood sugar (usually first thing in the morning) won’t be over 100 for someone who isn’t diabetic. After meals it may go up to 140 but should be back down to less than 120 or less within two hours.

  1. I’ve been inspired by your 30 day challenges! I’m 27 days into my first one ever (no eating out) and am pleasantly surprised to find that I don’t feel cheated or like I’m missing something. Instead, I feel inspired to continue on with another 30 days…how long can I go?!
    I also realize that the beauty of this type of challenge is that it serves two very important (to me) purposes:
    1. Creating a new habit or letting go of one, which supposedly takes 27-ish days.
    2. I can do anything for 30 days! Having the “light at the end of the tunnel” allows me to feel like I just have to go a bit more…then a bit more…and so on.
    Most importantly, IT WORKS! Thanks for inspiring me, again.

    • Those are some of the things I love about the 30 day approach as well. I’m so glad your challenge has gone well and you haven’t felt deprived. That’s AWESOME!

      And I think we have a pretty inspiring circle of women, including yourself! (In fact one of my upcoming challenges is ‘no eating out’ inspired by you!) I’m glad to be the giver once in a while since I’m so often the receiver. 🙂

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