February 2020 – 5 challenges

A few years ago I decided to follow the basics of Minimalism.

I made a decision to do this. I decided to try to create a more intentional life for me, and like ripples in a pond, for my family too. I wanted to change my life from living on autopilot to living more consciously.

I have found that I am productive when I set myself – or join – challenges. It’s like my version of a to do list, which helps me commit, see change, and hold myself accountable. Challenges are for me the place where theory can more easily become reality.

And because I am trying to make life changes, I need a list from which to work. Challenges help me work down my “life list.”

This February I am testing different areas of my life with 5 self-imposed challenges. These all support the my chosen creation of a simple and beautiful life, based on those basic principles of Minimalism:

  1. No spend month (finances)
  2. Cash grocery envelopes (finances)
  3. Meditation every day – 21 day Deepak Chopra Health meditation challenge again (spirituality)
  4. 4 yoga Down Dogs a day (health)
  5. Water every day & only weekend wine

No spend month

I chose February to try out a no spend month as for me February is when my year routine begins. In January we still have overseas visitors and family with us and school holidays.

In our situation although work begins again in January, it makes no sense to kick off habit change and challenges which require routine.

So this month I will not buy clothes or household items or anything that is not necessary. And food, fuel

Cash envelope system – for food

A no spend month is about clothes and objects. Food is always a necessity, but this month I intend majorly simplifying our meals.

Although I have come across this idea before, I recently watched a video by McKenzy Potter from Adopting a Lifestyle talking about how she has saved so much using the cash envelope system.

So I have decided to give it a try this month.

21 day Deepak Chopra Health meditation challenge

The 21 day Oprah and Chopra Perfect Health meditation challenge is run via an app which I have downloaded.

It starts in a day and I can’t wait.

What I can say is that having accountability for me is key. I have a small meditation WhatsApp group where we tick every day once we have meditated, and it works.

Thanks to having done a few 21 day meditation challenges, I am in the meditation routine and meditate most days. It honestly is a life changing tool.

And these blossoming changes are the result of developing a new healthy habit by simply doing something small on repeat every day.

4 yoga Down Dogs a day (health)

As I have been battling a bad back and want to start running again (and enter a few races), I need to slow down and support my back. I need to strengthen my core and bring my old yoga practise back more gently than ever before.

This February I will do 4 down dogs every day as gently and slowly as I need them to be.

Similar to the meditation challenge, I will aim to make small, fairly easy changes. Just 4 simple yoga moves a day. I think and hope a small action such as this could result in relatively large health benefits.

I will have to release any ego involved in my forward bends, as they won’t be close to the flexibility of my past.

I will focus on my core and supporting my back.

Sure it’s a small number, but rather start with doable challenges which can grow over time. I find starting big makes it so much easier for me to stop.

Water every day & only weekend wine

For the second time in half a year I have decided to hit pause on drinking alcohol.

In October I drink zero alcohol and continued to drink very little in November. A couple of family birthdays knocked me off course.

Why again? Because I felt so good the last time.

But this time I am focusing on drinking water. Choosing water first. I have joined 2 challenges. I have softened the alcohol challenge. This time I am enjoying a drink at weekends. I have a 10 year wedding anniversary coming up and a wedding to attend.

I considered this – am I being half-hearted or am I making choices which suit me in the present? I decided it is the latter.

So as this is the simple and beautiful life of my creation, I am at peace with the rules I am setting.

After all, currently, my beautiful life includes the odd glass of bubbles!