Every Day Betterment: A 21 Day Challenge for September 2018


So a little while back… apparently “3 months back” (from when I began writing this post)… I asked everyone on Facebook the question above. And, now… it’s a blog post 🙂

This is how today’s post will work.

  1. The first section shows the Facebook comments for your convenience.
  2. The second section journals when I first attempted each activity or category of activity within the first 21 days of September… attempting in some way to consistently capture as many of these all in one day for the first twenty one days of September that I could (or, could remember).
  3. The third and final section dives into my reflections on this challenge.

Enjoy!


Section One

For your convenience, here were the responses as posted chronologically to that Facebook post…

PS. Sorry not everyone’s avatars are populating… #PrivacySettings

Ben Ederer Listen to good music

 Vincent Gutierrez Read at least as much as you look at a screen for entertainment.
Stanton Rehkemper Exercise every day
Tonya Yanok Stop, unplug from tech, clear your mind, and BREATHE… just a few deep breaths can help. Ideally doing this for longer, and even better, outside in green space after a workout, but some days don’t allow for it. It calms the nervous system so you can mentally and physically conquer the day with more clarity.
Dustin Jordan meditate/appreciate what you have
Jared Casazza Prioritize sleep. Decreased sleep quality or quanity is detrimental to every aspect of waking life.
Lissette Holland Meditate or be with Spirit in prayer
 Kelly Duggan Find something to be thankful for
Mark Luttrell Be kind to one another.
Andy Lodato Build relationships
Cameron McIntosh Treat others better tahn you would like to be treated. I treat patients like I would want my family members to be treated. I have used tons of frameworks in pediatric, orthopedic, and neurologic PT with everyone one being successful not because of what I do as a clinician but just who I am as a person and how I treat others
Michael P Gowen Appreciate and be thankful for the important things in your life.
Look up from your phone to appreciate the views in life
Jeff Baldwin Positive Affirmations
Brian Harder Be a little better than you were yestersay
John Brengle Make someone else happy
Paul Jones Help someone.
Rahul Singh Rikhy Put down your phone
Brian Harder Also. Stand on the shoulders of giants. That’s been a HUGE deal in my life.
Mike Makher Sleep a full eight hours, daily
Bryan Stewart Lots of great ideas! I try to get a little podcast and reading time everyday, at least 20 min each. Absolutely feel better!
John Lee Huang SMILE! Also drink a glass of water with squeeze of lemon first thing when you wake up 🙂
Carrie Jose Gove Walk – every person I know over the age of 90 who is still active and healthy and happy does this one thing daily.
Trace McClintock Journal each day
Jordan Gibson Make your bed, every morning. 
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
Ray Berardinelli Take action!!!!
Jordan Mather Everyday at 3pm stop Everything and say 3 things you are thankful for. Works like a charm.

Section Two: Journal of Attempts

Let’s be honest. With every challenge, you make some marks… you miss some marks. The entries below chronicles the first twenty one days or so of September 2018… and, my extended attempts at these activities / my attempt as keeping entries. (LOL!)

Day-By-Day…

  1. Day One
    • Listen to good music: Capricho Arabe – Tarrega Michael Chapdelaine – Solo Guitar – Steel Strings. I’m actually learning this song; found out later, it’s a masterpiece and can take a lifetime, LOL!
    • Help someone: Someone was begging for food in the local Rubio’s. I tried to offer this person to buy them an entire meal. After some back and forth, they just wanted a slice of of quesadilla.
    • Exercise: Tried to surf the hurricane swell that came in from Hawaii. Almost made it past the breakers on my new shortboard. Instant regret once I got into no-man’s-land. Paddled back. Heh… 😛
    • Make someone else happy: Despite much protest, I prematurely put on my “T-Rex” costume for Halloween. My son couldn’t stop laughing. My wife was “terrified.” And, I was thoroughly embarrassed — worth it 🙂
  2. Day Two
    • Read Manga of Lost Stars
    • Spent some intentional time reflecting and being thankful
  3. Days Three – Five
    • Made bed in the morning
    • Put down my phone and spent an entire evening with my son
    • Journaling via this blog post
  4. Days Five – Ten
  5. Days Eleven – Fifteen
  6. Days Sixteen – Twenty
  7. Day Twenty One

LOL… you’re not misreading, nor is there a loading problem. I failed to journal the remainder of my efforts. Though, I wouldn’t call this challenge a fail… really.


Section Three: Reflections

The first thing I noticed when just gathering the challenge actions were how mindful they were. Most had this theme about self improvement, self prioritization, and self reflection. The remainder were generally others oriented — using the self to better those around us.

Something my wife reminds me to do is that being others oriented shouldn’t come at the cost of being self-deprecating.

After all, in order to care for others… you must first care for yourself. This is a big lesson that many who are in healthcare must learn, and learn over and over.

I will say that it was around this time that I issued another challenge to myself: Be In The Moment.

I had already committed to being “less on demand” while using social media or even in the awareness of being plugged in and/or glued to the screen. This processed helped me really enjoy the Fall/Winter seasons of 2018, and quite honestly… thanks to all these wonderful friends of mine… helped me usher in one of the best holiday season experiences I can recall in recent times… all because this challenge caused me to be far more in the moment and aware of my immediate happenings… rather than being plugged in and notification dependent.

My Encouragement To You

Try this out for yourself! Post something similar on your social platforms, gather a cluster of challenges… and, do your best to follow them through. I doubt it’s realistic nor reasonable to try and upkeep EVERY SINGLE ONE. However, experiencing each and doing one’s best at each attempt — it was a truly edifying and empowering series.

6 WEEK FITNESS CHALLENGE: WEEKs 4, 5, 6, and Fin.

So, this was tough one. Everything was super smooth leading up to week 4. I was on track to losing 1.3 – 1.6 lbs per week…. exercising regularly; eating very well… the only admission I have is that I could’ve lifted more. Ironically, my life long hate of running has turned into enjoyment.

Overall, as I reflect on this experience — the adherence to diet was quiet easy… it was meal planning that was difficult. I was consistent with Muay Thai and even stepped up for a brutal Friday night Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sparring session. All that said… it was a business trip that ultimately derailed me during the final week.

Yep… flying out to the East Coast, there was practically no good way for me to meal prep or dose my diet. I did get in some great CrossFit workouts at my business, Recharge|HoCo-CrossFit.


All together, I found that this was a wonderful experience as both a challenge and as a journey of learning. I found that picking up something I hated in running has turned into a new form of enjoyment. I learned that being at home is easier to adhere to plans than on trips… obvs…. 😉  I also learned I really needed to lift more and that fitness from an input/output perspective is all about time… time…. TIME. TIME!

Viewing food as fuel was helpful.

Being consistent with a prescribed schedule which I could just turn my brain off to, was very helpful.

I think the things that will stick will be a more mindful dosing of meal planning, running, and upping my game in terms of lifting, calisthenics, and bringing kettlebells back into my life in a regular way.


Challenge — OVER!

Result: Excellent.

6 WEEK FITNESS CHALLENGE: WEEK 3

So, this is my week 3 report. Things are going well, but not awesome.

1st, I couldn’t get as much workouts in as I wanted; family is still sick; I feeling completely worn out from this grueling pace of things… and, I really can NOT eat anymore chicken… *sobs*

The good news is: Running is actually fun now; I started sparring in Muay Thai; I’ve committed to getting back into BJJ — my coach knows #accountability; and, my family took a wonderful trip to Disneyland. #OurHappyPlace


Week 3 has been nuts. And, honestly, I’m already half way into week 4. Week 3 is when I feel the weight has been shedding FAST. I’m down probably 8+lbs from when I started. I fear I’m getting more cardio in than weight lifting… it is something I’m hoping to fix for the remainder of the challenge — that weight lifting element.

Time. Time. TIME. T I M E is the ultimate limiter this past week. Also, having looked at my recent bills, it is true — eating healthy is more expensive… I think a lot of it has to do with perishable portions. The other, is that buying whole foods (not the store) requires more frequency of purchases since things expire. It’s making think about an MBA project about regional and local food stuffs I did; and, perhaps, how this could positively affect the local economies should it be adopted at scale.

In any case… week 3… I feel this challenge has truly turned the corner. Traveling was very difficult in terms of adhere to diet or even finding food stuffs congruent with my prescribed meal plans. Working out was basically running. So…. I’m actually happy to be home in that regard and hope I can turn this Week 4 around and really get into the lifting through the end of the challenge.

That’s all for now!

See you for week 4.

6 Week Fitness Challenge: Week 2

Well, this last week was a semi-success… at least for me. The dieting of this challenge wasn’t a “challenge” until I attended a private conference here in town. This lead to all sorts of disarray. Nevertheless, I’m still on track for shedding 1lb per week. Some days are better than others. Ironically, the thing I have the most challenge with is the strength training at moderate intensities and high reps… well, maybe not so ironically as I’m used to high intensity, low repetitions.

What *IS* ironic is that I’m starting to enjoy my runs. Yup, burning a couple hundred Calories via running is actually becoming less terrible, LOL!

The thing I like about it most is the measurability of it. It’s not hard to launch my running app and go until it says my aimed Calories were burnt. The same could be said for a treadmill… however, I find the small hill trail around my home far more difficult than the same caloric measures given by the treadmill settings.

All in all, it’s going really well. I’m definitely not starving and still struggling to finish all my meal plans. The workouts are taking longer than I’d like. And, while my body feels super tired, in general… it’s manageable and the results are enjoyable — looking forward to the soon to be grueling pace! 😉