Category Archives: Challenges

Weekly Challenge 9: Stretch

Weekly challenge 9 will be structured slightly different than previous challenges. Because I’m trying to reduce the number of apps and things to update as well as to schedule things on my calendar, I’m dropping my personal use of coach.me. That said, if it works for you please keep using it to motive yourself!

This weeks challenge is a simple one, but one we probably all forget about. I want you to simply stretch every day. From what I’ve read our bodies start to tighten up as we get older and that can lead to other problems or at least make them worse.

So add stretching to your habit tracker, calendar, or task list of choice. If you still want accountability or to chat, just use this blog’s commenting features.

Weekly Challenge 8: Go to Bed!

Weekly challenge 8 is the compliment to what we were trying to achieve in the week 1 and week 4 weekly challenges.

Numerous studies have shown how important the amount of sleep we get is. It affects important things like our mood, memory, and ability to control ourselves/impulses. Take a minute to read this article by the National Sleep Foundation, this article by Sleepdex, and the info-graphic at the bottom of this post. Then, set a timer/alarm that’s at least 7 hours before the alarm you set in week 4 (which you’re still doing, right?). You may even consider setting an alarm for the amount of sleep you want plus a buffer so that you can wrap up what you’re doing or prep the next day so you’re ready to go when your alarm goes off in the morning.

Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m more of a night owl than a super early morning person so I’m getting up at 6:15. From what I can tell I need about 6.5-7 hours of sleep so that means I need to be asleep by 11:15 to 11:45 (asleep, not just getting into bed). Based on that I’ll be setting an alarm for 10:30 as a reminder that it’s time to start wrapping things up. What about you? What’s your schedule? How much sleep do you need?

To join the challenge follow this link or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you went to be at your scheduled time be sure to “check in” on coach.me.

Suggested Sleep Time

Weekly Challenge 7: Be Present

Sorry for the delay, so hopping right to it… Here’s to the lucky #7 weekly challenge!

This weeks challenge is all about being present in our daily interactions. About taking the time for our loved ones. Let’s start with getting acquainted with the “do not disturb” function on our phone. Look it up if you don’t know how it works. Now, everyday before you go to work and when you come home I want you to turn “do not disturb” on. Maybe even consider setting your phone somewhere you’re not going to look at it.

Don’t like that idea? Then turn off notifications. I’ll be doing a mix of the two. Might even turn off sound/vibrate on sms/messaging. The point here is to help get rid of that temptation to always be checking your phone, and it does not help if it’s always nagging you for your attention.

So, needless to say, if you have a job where you’re on-call and responsible for any sort of critical function you should either wait on this challenge or not participate (though I’d recommend waiting). Outside of that, I hope you’ll join me in giving your family and loved ones more attention.

To join the challenge follow this link or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you’ve ate nice and clean without any junk be sure to “check in” on coach.me.

Weekly Challenge 6: Eat Clean

If you’re been following along at home with the weekly challenges you should now be getting up earlier, have smooth clean teeth, be more relaxed, and writing all about it! Seriously though it’s been interesting to see what is sticking and what is not.

This weeks challenge is to try and clean out our systems a bit by “eating clean”. What do I mean by that? Whatever you want it to mean. We’re all adults and know whats not good for us. For me, my stomach has been queasy for a while now nearly every morning. Of the 3 things I think it could be, two of them are diet related so my focus will be on no sweets and no alcohol. I realize that I could have made these into 2 separate challenges, and maybe I’ll extend one or the other depending on the outcome of this weeks challenge.

What about you? What is “eating clean” going to mean to you?

To join the challenge follow this link or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you’ve ate nice and clean without any junk be sure to “check in” on coach.me.

Weekly Challenge 5: Floss

Hope everyone who participated in the 1st 4 weekly challenges has had great success, and is excited for this weeks. Waking up earlier hasn’t been too bad, but I had limited success w/ meditation. How about you?

This weeks challenge is to take up a habit that many dentists say is even more important than brushing your teeth. That habit is of course, flossing. If you’re anything like me you probably don’t do this nearly as much as you should.

You may have even gotten on a kick once or twice, but then fell of the bandwagon. Well here’s a chance to get back on or get started. Either way there’s no shame, and I’d love for all of us to have healthier teeth and happier dental hygienists ๐Ÿ™‚

To join the challenge follow this link or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you have nice clean teeth, be sure to “check in” on coach.me.

Weekly Challenge 4: Slightly Alarming

This week we are going to build off of week 1s challenge to wake up every day at the same time to an alarm clock without hitting snooze.

This week, we’re going to wake up 30 minutes earlier. Don’t say I didn’t warn you that the challenges would build off of each other ๐Ÿ™‚

Again, the rules are you need to use an alarm clock and no snooze button. By the end of the week, you need to be waking up 30 minutes earlier. Whether you want to jump right in and start w/ 30 minutes or work your way up to it by the end of the week is up to you. Personally, I am going to jump right in.

Of course, if you’re getting up 30 minutes earlier I would also highly recommend that you start going to bed 30 minutes earlier as well. Sleep experts do still recommend 6.5-8 hrs of sleep a night – even for adults.

What will you do with your 30 minutes in the morning? I’m planning to continue the meditation habit or try to do some working out.

There will be no “new” habit on Coach.me this week as we can continue to use week 1s habit. Looking forward to seeing the early risers!

Weekly Challenge 3: Meditate

Hope everyone who participated in the 1st 2 weekly challenges has had great success, and is excited for this weeks. Feel free to continue to keep up the previous challenges as there may be future ones that build off of them ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have the feeling that some of you have already dismissed me as a new age wacko from the title of this weeks challenge alone, but there have been plenty of studies that have shown the long term benefits of meditation. Whether your goal is reduced stress, increased relaxation, or clarity of purpose meditation may just be the key.

Speaking frankly this has been a habit I’ve tried to build up for quite some time and have had little success sticking with so I’m hoping this challenge and all of you will help to keep me accountable.

But where to start? There are a number of apps out there and I’ll list a few I know of below. I’ve also read numerous blog posts and listened to a number of podcasts on the subject so a quick “google” should point you in the right direction. At the end of the day it all seems to boil down to this…

  • Find a quiet place
  • Sit still
  • Count your breaths
  • When your mind wanders (and it will), return to your breathing

To join the challenge follow this link or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you complete your meditation, be sure to “check in” on coach.me.

Some apps to help with the meditation habit:

The Gratitude Journal

As you likely know this weeks challenge to to journal every day. I’m glad that I’ve been successful everyday, but if I am honest I have been successful at doing so this entire year!

What is new for me is the keeping of a separate “gratitude journal”. I’m not sure where I first heard about the practice, but if you read up on productivity, life hack, and minimalism topics (like I have a tendency to) it will undoubtedly come up.

Originally I tried to incorporate it into my daily journal, but found I just wasn’t making time for it and it wasn’t called out enough. What has been working for me is to do the gratitude journal 1st thing in the morning which helps set a more positive track for the day, and then journaling about what happened during the day right before bed.

If you’re not keeping a “gratitude journal” I would strongly encourage it. Even though it’s only been a few days it’s still fun to read, and they help bring a smile to my face.

Weekly Challenge 2: Journal

Hope everyone who participated in the 1st weekly challenge had great success, and is excited for this weeks. Feel free to continue to keep up the 1st challenge as there may be future ones that build off of it ๐Ÿ˜‰

For week 2 the challenge is to journal daily. Whether you call it a journal, diary, log, or chronicle the point is the same: to record your daily experiences so that you can reflect back on them. Plus, someday it may be interesting for your kids or family to read about your daily life after you’re gone.

But what to journal? Anything you want really, but here are a few ideas:

  • Your feelings or workout
  • What you had to eat
  • What you did that day
  • What you’re grateful for
  • That you’re doing this crazy weekly challenge some guy named Mark came up with

But where to journal? Choose what you will, but my preference is the Day One app for iPhone and Mac. Other options could be Evernote (cross platform), Journey (Android), or good old paper and pen.

Again, you may be asking what the challenge is if you’ve been a long time journaler, but if you’re like me you may have tried and stopped or been quite inconsistent. Here’s a chance to build up that consistency, and like the 1st weekly challenge this may be a foundational habit to challenges coming up. ๐Ÿ˜‰

To join the challenge click here or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you complete your journal entry, be sure to “check in” on coach.me.

Weekly Challenge 1: Nothing Alaming

Welcome to the first in a series of weekly challenges. This first one is “nothing alarming”, and anyone should be able to do it.

Simply pick a time you’re comfortable waking up. Set an alarm, and wake up when it goes off.

What’s the challenge here? For some it may be waking up to an alarm. But here’s the kicker… No using the “snooze” and you have to wake up at the same time on the weekend (and tomorrow if you have it off).

To join the challenge search in coach.me for “WC01” or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you wake up to your alarm, be sure to “check in” on coach.me.