5 unexpected things I learned while doing the Wellness Bucket Fitness Challenge

Version française de cet article

March is coming to an end, and so is the 30 day Challenge to which I registered a month ago. Like a lot of amazing things in life, I found out about the Wellness Bucket Fitness Challenge through a series of domino-like discoveries. Its founder, Mike Goncalves, is a member of the Live Your Legend Facebook group that got me back in to blogging recently. When he posted an article about his upcoming 30-Day Challenge, I thought: « Why not? »

I looked at the schedule of challenges and there seemed to be enough in it to get me interested. Some physical, like complete 100 squats or 5 minutes of abdominal planking; some global, like meditating for 15 minutes or writing your bucket list and some dietary, like drinking a green smoothie. The mix of the three made it appealing. Now, last year, I injured my head in a bad ski accident, and I have been afraid of exerting myself. I saw the Challenge as a good oportunity to get me out of my comfort zone. Also, even before my injury, I was never really the active type. But since the accident, I have had a dream: to walk the 800 km of the Compostelle Pelgrimage in France and Spain. Somehow, therefore, I have to get back in shape. 🙂

To increase my motivation and make it more fun, I got my husband to do the Challenge with me. We had a lot of fun completing all of the challenges together and it gave us something to share other than the raising of our children and house maintenance work 😉 We had a quick look at the schedule before signing up, and never looked at it again. We prefered to have a « surprise » every morning with Mike’s email and the details of the Challenge of the Day.

What I got from it was so unexpected that I felt I had to write about it and use the oportunity to thank Mike 🙂

So here it comes:

1- If you make something a priority, you will ALWAYS find the time. It was so amazing for me to realize that on my biggest workday of the week, I could suddenly find time to WORK OUT TWICE!!! Of course, my first reaction on the morning of Day 16 was: « Oh no! How am I going to fit that in?? » But I did. And I found time for every challenge. I realized that whatever goal I set, if I make it a priority, there will always be time. Only I can make it happen!

2- Getting out of your comfort zone might be alot more fun than expected. Who would have known I would ever enjoy a Saturday night at the municipal pool? I am talking about a cold Saturday night, where I would have prefered to sit in front of the fire and drink a glass of wine… Instead, we got in the car and headed to the cold pool. I don’t like the municipal pool. My kids would tell you that I would rather go to the dentist!!! In fact, when I take them to the pool, while they play in the water, I sit in the stands with a book, fully dressed. So beleive it or not, I swam 16 lenghts, it was not so cold, and I actually had a pretty good time! I was sooooo proud of myself for doing it! And you know what? The glass of wine in front of the fire, after the pool, was so much better! And for the challenges that were not actually fun, like the 7-minute cold shower, the feeling of pride afterwards was just that much greater.

3- Sharing your goals publicly will help you accomplish them. On Day One, we had to write down our personal goal and share it on the Wellness Bucket Challenge page. I was hesitant to write « Go for a walk every day ». I thought if I wrote it, I would have to do it. But if I did not write and share it, it would be up to me to go if I had time. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. But I did write it and I couldn’t be happier. In fact, my daily walk allowed me to enjoy the I-cant-wait-for-the-winter-to-end month of March. Now, I‘m in a routine I previously found hard to fit in as a full-time working mother and wife.

4- Having an accountability partner really helps to achieve goals. Everyday, I shared on the Wellness Bucket FB page my success with each challenge. And everyday, Mike took time to respond and give me some feedback. If I had just printed the schedule and started the challenge on my own, without reporting to anyone, I would have probably quit on day 15 (the cold shower day!) or simply found other priorities in the first week. Mike, as an accountability partner, you are AWESOME!

5- Being told you are awesome really IS AWESOME! I have been working as a teacher for over 20 years, and raising my children for almost 10 years. I know how important it is to boost the self esteem of your students or your children, but for the first time I really experienced the effects of daily positive reinforcement. Not just being told « Keep up the good work » but actually « You are awesome« . I think I got addicted to it, and I don’t really want the 30 Day Challenge to end… 😉 Thanks to Mike, I promised myself to tell more people more often that they are awesome: my kids, my students, my husband, my family, my friends, and anyone who shows some awesomeness! I already started with my kids and can see the effect of it in their eyes.

I hope that this post has inspired you to join in the next Challenge on your path. 🙂

Thanks to Mike Goncalves for a month of personal growth, you are AWESOME!

And thanks to my lovely husband for achieving it with me, and proofreading my first-ever blogpost in English (another challenge)! You are AWESOME too! 😉

For more details about the 30 Day Wellness Bucket Challenge, visit thewellnessbucket.com

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