The Challenge Recap

Back in January, I shared that I wanted to do something leading up to my March birthday that was fun, interesting and a challenge. I asked for your help.

That was one of my best ideas ever! You guys came up with some wonderful ideas, here, and on the Perception Studios Facebook page.

I celebrated my birthday this past weekend and, while I’ve been updating with sandwiches, I wanted to do a final recap of the experiment.

The Challenges

I took on four major challenges, and they ended up being, well, surprising and interesting and wonderful and hard! I bumped up against some blocks pretty much every week. I learned oh-so-much about how I work. And also had the opportunity to change some patterns that no longer support me.

Here are the details:

45 – 45 minute moving sessions. What most people call exercising or working out. I thought this would be pretty easy since I was already active and training regularly. While I met my goal (even surpassed it!) I was surprised to discover I prefer to do fewer, longer workouts each week, rather than something every day. For example an hour of running followed by an hour of yoga. Or 30 minutes on the Stepmill followed by a 60 minute Zumba class. A long hike, run or mountain climb, followed by, well, preferably nothing.

Let me stop for a moment and just say, Zumba! Seriously. This is the most fun I’ve had at the gym in, well, ever. Ironically I was typing that sentence when I realized if I was going to make it to Zumba I needed to leave immediately. What did I do? Start to finish the sentence. I realized the irony, stopped and zipped over to the gym for the class.

To get something in nearly every day, I noticed that I’d walk or ride my bike to do errands, rather than take the car, so I could get credit for moving. I also found myself doing a lot more stretching and yoga during the day. These things feel like they’re sticking, which is wonderful.

The side benefits include feeling stronger and leaner. I’m also sleeping really, really well, which I suspect is at least in part from moving pretty much every day. These are all things I thought might happen and would be nice, but wasn’t really counting on.

45 – 45 minute stillness sessions. This is a combination practice of Dance of Shiva, meditation and writing. I’ve done combinations of these things off and on for years.I really love how it feels having done it, and it was really hard to create any kind of a routine for it. I did manage to do more than 45 sessions, but it seems that 45 minutes a session was an ambitious way to start. I’m sure I’ll have much more success being flexible with the amount of time, and which parts I do.

These sessions have been very powerful. The clarity and creativity over the last couple months has been fantastic! I definitely want more of that in my life. I’ll be looking at ways I can anchor it in, and make it a natural, easy part of my day.

45 random love notes. This surprisingly was the hardest to do. I didn’t come anywhere near to doing 45. I left about a dozen real ones around town, and posted a few more on the Perception Studios Facebook wall and on twitter. It was fun to see some of them hang around for awhile. In fact, there’s still one in the parking garage of the gym I go to!

While I did get stuck trying to come up with messages I loved, the biggest hurdle was feeling like I was littering or grafitti-ing when I left the notes. I wrote the notes on post-its, so they weren’t permanent, but still. It was funny to bump up against those feelings while doing something I hoped with bring a smile to a stranger’s face.

45 by 45 in 45 for $45 sharing $4.50. Coaching 45 different people, by the time I’m 45, in 45 minute sessions for $45 per session, with $4.50 of each session going to fund loans through Kiva. This was the most ambitious of my challenges.

While I did not meet the goal of coaching 45 different people over the last two months, I did have sessions with some really amazing people! And I still have some more to look forward to in the next couple of weeks.

I’m going to be funding a Kiva loan or two, as soon as I can decide who to make the loan to. Also, if you’re curious about Kiva, they are currently offering free trials to new users. This means they give you $25 to loan, at absolutely no cost to you.

I also discovered that these shorter, focused sessions can be really powerful, particularly for people who aren’t ready or interested in six to twelve months of coaching.

If you’re disappointed you missed out on the 45 x 45 sessions, or are just feeling stuck with something now, you can get the same thing in a Catalyst Session. They’re now a regular part of my offerings.

Thank you

Mostly, I want to thank you for your ideas, your support, your sweet sweet birthday wishes. I’m glad you’re exploring and playing with me!


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