Monday, October 1, 2012

A Fresh Fall Start

As the chaos of September dies downback to school and work, back to regular exercise, back to the fall wardrobe, back to a sense of routineand we settle into autumn, with it's changing colours, crisp mornings and nights, hearty soups, and cozy sweaters, why not do a little something to keep you on your toes?

We've rallied the troops for a strong month of challenges for October. Some of the challenges that group members have set for themselves include:

  • getting up earlier
  • giving up grains and sweets
  • drinking more water
  • flossing once per day
  • stretching after every workout
  • reading a book a week
  • taking a cold dip in the lake each day
  • studying a new language

All of these are great challenges. But, in particular, we've had some interesting discussion within our Facebook group about waking earlier. Natalia has experienced great success with a special lamp (Phillips Wake-up Light) that replaced her alarm clock. Lots of people out there argue that you can increase your productivity by rising earlier each morning. However, Genevieve raised a great point: that night owls are highly productive people, just during a different time of day. See some of the links below that got us chatting about the topic.

zenhabits: 10 benefits of rising early and how to do it
The Globe and Mail: Can getting up earlier make you more successful?
BBC: Are you a lark or an owl?

As for me, I'm aiming to get up at 5am on weekdays and 7am on weekends. My alarm is already set for those times, I just always seem to hit the snooze button a couple of times (okay, maybe more like five or six times) before I actually get up.

In addition, I'm also incorporating the book-a-week challenge. I managed to keep my two-week challenge from September of finishing four books, so this one shouldn't be a problem. I'm also implementing a rule that for every cup of coffee, I have to drink at least one glass of water. I was up to four cups a day in September (because we got a beautiful new espresso machine and I just can't stop myself) and zero glasses of water (because I don't like it). So I'm hoping this challenge with help me both to reduce my coffee intake and increase my water intake. Speaking of water, I'm also planning to wash my face morning and night with cold water. I've posted previously about the benefits of cold water therapy (see previous post) and I have a nasty habit of not washing my makeup off until the next morning, resulting in a not-so-pretty face and a not-so-clean pillow case. Finally, I'm also planning to meditate each day. I'm starting small with five minutes each day for the first week and increasing the time by two minutes each week thereafter. So by the end of the month, I should be able to sit still with myself for a whole 11 minutes. If that's not a challenge, I don't know what is!

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