In September I decided that I wanted to focus on building healthier habits in my life. I believe that setting boundaries and having balance in life is really important, but I often struggle with maintaining boundaries when people ask me to show up for them - I’ll ignore the promises I make to myself in order to show up for others. Essentially, I have an issue with setting boundaries and KEEPING them. Once I realized this I wanted to find a way to learn how to set bounders for myself and honor them.
I’m somewhat competitive by nature, and I really enjoy the benefits of working out (not so much the working out part, I actually hate that), so I decided to commit myself to walk/run/jog a mile a day for 100 days. Throughout 2018 I have been consistent in the gym and with this consistency I’ve noticed that working out does wonders for my mental health. I need the release of endorphins to make it through the day without crying or wanting to drop out of school. My reason for starting this challenge is two-fold (1) I wanted to give myself an hour a day of ‘me’ time - where I wasn’t worried about my business or school (2) I wanted to make a commitment to myself and keep it.
Over the last three months I have learned so much about myself, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. The first 30 days were the easiest, I was excited about showing up for myself, and it felt great to check a workout off of my to-do list day after day. I went to the gym at 6:45 am every day; building up the routine of going at the same time helped with staying consistent. Around day 45 I hit a wall, it was an extremely stressful week at school, I was homesick, and I felt physically exhausted. I wanted to quit. It took everything in me to make it to the gym between day 45 and 60. The thought of running a mile felt like hell. During this stage, I realized how powerful it is to have your thoughts and spirit aligned. After I got out of the rut and school began to feel a bit more manageable, running a mile a day started to feel less like a chore and more of a getaway from my work/school obligations. Day 65 to 80 felt as if they flew bye, similar to how the entire month of November felt. Day 80 to 100 were trying, I was over it and to make it worse, it was finals season. At this point I needed to go to the gym for my mental health, so that's why I went - it wasn’t for the challenge or keeping a commitment to myself.
Overall the challenge was great, and I definitely would do it again, I just don’t see myself doing it for 100 days. If you’re thinking about doing the challenge yourself the rest of this post is for you! I’m going to run down the pros and cons and explain the ‘rules’ of the challenge.
To be honest, the main con of this challenge is that it’s long. Additionally, the mile gets easier as you go - so doing 1 mile basically turned into 3 miles by the end of the challenge. Another con is the wear and tear on your body, I consider myself to be in good shape, but this challenge certainly took a toll on my knees. The pros of this challenge genuinely do outweigh the cons. First, you’ll lose weight even if that wasn’t your intention (I lost roughly 10lbs across the 100 days, read more on my weight loss here). Second, you begin to build on healthy habits in your life. Doing at least 1 mile a day caused me to increase my water intake, have a consistent sleep schedule and improve my flexibility. Lastly, my personal favorite pro of this challenge is the mental clarity the comes with running on a regular basis. Everyday I drag myself to the gym, and I leave feeling a lot better than I entered. I have never regretted going to the gym.
Before I started the challenge I created rules for myself to help me stay accountable, I highly recommend setting ‘rules’ at the beginning rather than halfway through the challenge. I didn’t have too many rules, but they all made the challenge as realistic as possible. Rule 1: Make it through the first 30 days without taking a rest day Rule 2: don’t skip more than two days in a row, if you go three days without making it to the gym it’s incredibly easy to fall off from the challenge Rule 3: Rest is required — at least two days of rest throughout the month. I started my challenge on August 29th and finished December 13th.
If you start the challenge be sure to tag @itsbredanielle or use the hashtags #1mileaday #WSBMile1! Wishing you all the best, if any questions weren’t answered in the post feel free to send me an email!