Two months back, in the month of June, I was simply bored and wanted to do something exciting, something which I can cherish when I look back. During the same time, I came across an article or advertisement (can’t remember what it was exactly) about taking 1 million steps for Diabetes UK over the period of three months from July to September. As three months sounded too much and I couldn’t see myself doing it. But, I took the inspiration. That was enough for me to think why not design my own 30 day challenge and also mix it up with an upcoming birthday. Mixing too many things is a recipe for disaster but luckily this one was not.
Luckily birthday was falling in time too. Hence, I decided to do a 3,60,000 steps challenge over a month which meant that I had to take 12,000 steps daily on average. I decided to mix walking and jogging to achieve this. I also thought why not just accept donations instead of a birthday gift. So, I decided to do a fundraiser for WWF UK. A story time thread on Twitter about why I chose WWF. It’s a cute thread, I promise.
How much did I raise? I was able to finish my goal of £125 and my employer happily matched the amount as well. So, the total of £250. You can read the full story on my JustGiving page.
Did I finish my #steppingupforpandas challenge? Yes, I did and now, I want to look back and tell you what I learned over those 30 days.
Consistency is the secret ingredient
Being regular is the secret ingredient for your goal’s success sauce. If you want to be successful at something, do it consistently. For me, there was no choice. One missed day of 12000 steps means that it goes to backlog and if I had kept adding to my backlog, this post would not have been possible.
Habits take a lot of work
Habits are difficult to form. Well, forming a good habit and deforming a bad habit is difficult. There were days at the beginning of the challenge when it looked too much to do. Couch to daily walking/jogging is no piece of cake. Right? But, then after doing it daily for two weeks, there were days when in the middle of the day, I used to look forward to the evenings. It was like a drug. I gradually became addicted to it. It was cheerful.
“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.” ―John Irving
Self-motivation is the best motivation
Whether you want to create a new habit or want to leave a bad one, unless you motivate yourself, it’s not going to happen. And, to motivate yourself you need a prize, something like candy. My candy was a feeling that of freshness. I wanted to feel more light, fit and refreshing at the end of the challenge. A candy doesn’t have to be sweet always. 😉
Raising money is hard
Doing a fundraiser for a charity is hard. Raising money is hard. Raising awareness is harder. But, You must not give up. I chose WWF as my charity for a reason.
Considering the state of the environment these days where the World is facing the wrath of nature in the form of earthquakes, droughts, floods and high temperatures. I often find myself thinking about non-humans with whom We share this World. The globe is warming up and We, the humans are playing a big role in that. We often forget that We cohabit with others and We don’t have any rights to ruin the environment and make it unbearable for them. According to the latest report, #plasticpollution, if not controlled, will lead to more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. Where I can’t save the World on my own, but I can reflect on my actions, try to do better (for example, carrying a cloth bag for shopping) and contribute to them who are working on it. WWF is such an organisation and I hope they will continue to do the good work for making this World more tolerable for everyone.
Your goals might change midway.
And, it’s alright if they change. My goal changed too. Somewhere when I was in the third week of the challenge, there was a 5k run happening for Cancer Research UK on my birthday. So to top up my #steppingupforpandas challenge, I decided to do a 5k on my birthday. And was it a good decision? Yes, indeed. I finished my 5k after a month long of walking/jogging. Do you see the power of habit?
Here is my finisher medal for my first ever run. 🙂
As you can see from this post, I definitely have few things to cherish for. I miss the challenge so much that I might do another one. Who knows?
So tell me, Have you done a 30 days (or more) challenge ever?
What lessons did you learn?