Friday, January 01, 2016

2016: A Year of Thirty Days

I love a good challenge. In 2014, I tackled the challenge of cleaning out my junk room, which I called The Purge and you'll be happy to know the room is still fairly clean. I'm happy to know I can keep a room clean for longer than one day.  

Before The Purge, I did what remains one of my favorite blog and life projects thus far: My 30 Before 30.

In January of 2015, I did a 30 Days of Yoga challenge, which became almost 365 days of yoga

In September of 2015, I did a Whole30 challenge, which started changing the way I think about food. 

Are you seeing the trend here? I can commit to a challenge. And if the word "thirty" is in it? Psshhh, I'll commit to it so much harder. 
You'd never doubt this girl's commitment to Sparkle Motion. 

2016 means I've had this blog for ten years. I didn't start my blog with a purpose, which beginning blogger sites say is a no-no. I think ten years ago I was supposed to decide if this was a teaching blog, travel blog, lifestyle blog... and I never did it. I've had fun moving from topic to topic, from trip to trip, and creating my soundtrack along the way. I'm going to keep doing that.

This special anniversary calls for a new blog project, which is why I've decided to take on a year of thirty day challenges. I'm calling it A Year of Thirty Days-- creative, right? I'm sure other bloggers have tackled this task in the past--and after a Google search, I found one--but I "thought" of this challenge after a Pinterest binge, where I'd meant to go to sleep early so I could tackle the next day with abandon but instead fell into a Pinterest hole, pinning every 30 day challenge that sounded like it could make my life more sparkly and fun.
Before The Purge, I pinned so many 30 day declutter challenges and 30 day cleaning challenges that you'd think my house looks like it belongs in a magazine. It doesn't, because I never did those challenges.
Me, in a nutshell.
I wondered what would happen if someone just lived their whole life by thirty day challenges-- if they actually did the challenges they pinned. Would their lives improve? Would they gain new and amazing habits? Would they crumble under the pressure of doing something every day for thirty days? Would they give up because of laziness?

I've decided to be that person-- for one year.
Some of the challenges already have infographics and plans-- thanks Pinterest! Others, I'll have to put together on my own. Here's the plan so far:

January: Whole30 #2 and Yoga Camp
The holidays left me feeling very unhealthy and I'll be getting back into a routine with two challenges I've completed before. I didn't do them at the same time, so we'll see how this goes. I've got some great friends signing up for both of these challenges and I can't wait to talk about it with them! My main goal is to wake up early to complete my yoga for the day and make a delicious breakfast. When I was a teacher, I woke up at 5:00am every day-- now it's hard to get out of bed before 7:00am.

The Tentative Other Months: If you've heard of a great thirty day challenge, please send it my way and I will try it out. No fitness challenges, please! I like my yoga and triathlons. A plank-type challenge could be fun, but I want to go beyond the fitness challenges. 

The month is short and we're going to Washington in March on vacation, so it seems like a good month to save some money and assess my spending. The self-love part seems like an important follow-up for the month after a Whole30.

March: Read Books Every Day and Drink a Ton of Water
I'm going to set aside some time to read-- I'm hoping for an hour a day. When I was an English teacher I had to read everything new in YA to stay up on the trends. I also read and re-read the books I was teaching many times throughout the year. Now that I'm out of the classroom, I've fallen out of that important habit. Drinking more water is something I always vow to do-- maybe with a chart I'll actually do it.

April: Writing or Music  or Life History Interview Challenge
I will be traveling for work for two weeks in April, so I need something I can do on the road. I'm not married any of these April ideas, so if you have anything you want to throw my way that doesn't have to be done at home, please do.

May: Make Detox and Green Drinks
I heard a podcast about how drinking green smoothies every day can make you feel awesome, even if you don't do anything else. I'll try it and let y'all know how it goes.

I suck at cleaning. Maybe I'll be better at it if I make it a challenge?

July: Some Kind of Relationship Challenge
I'm going to take other relationship challenges and create my list from those. Some of the ones that already exist are a little too saccharine for me--ie "Slow dance in the living room together to your wedding song." That's not our way. I usually don't involve the Hubs in my blog projects, but I'm going to try it this month.

For the second anniversary of The Purge, I will spend this month purging even more stuff from my house.

September: Whole30 #3 and Piano Practice Challenge
September is a great month for Whole30, so even though I plan on going full Paleo this year, it will be a good time for a reset after a hectic summer. I'm also going to practice piano every damn day and relearn a few of my favorite songs. This goes back to a Thirty Before Thirty goal that I never completed.

Go off of social media for thirty days? I don't set myself up for failure. This challenge is just the right amount of minimalism for me!

November: NaNoWriMo
I WILL get to 50,000 words in 2016. I've attempted two National Novel Writing Months. This year, I'm tackling this with abandon. I'm going to join the NaNoWriMo community in my town and go crazy on this word count. 

December: Letter and Note Writing Challenge
I love getting letters and notes. When I was a teacher, I used to write a letter to every single one of my students at the end of the year. Sometimes, that was 120 letters. I've gotten out of the habit of writing letters and notes, so I commit to writing thirty-one of them in December and mailing them out. It will be a great way to end 2016. 

So there it is, my Year of Thirty Days. I'll try to create pretty infographics for the months that don't already have them. Wish me luck!

Best. Montage. Evah.

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