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Challenge: Change Your Life In 10 Days

Challenge: Change Your Life In 10 Days

If you’re feeling down, overwhelmed or just in a state of disarray we have a challenge for you. Courtney Carver from Be More With Less has created the following as a way for anyone in a similar situation to begin changing their life in just ten days. Good luck: Confession: I’ve been wallowing lately. While I think there is a time and place to wallow, without a proactive stop, it can go on longer than it should and turn into something that it shouldn’t. When wallowing or worrying loses purpose, it’s time to move on.

How do I move on?

I’ve created an awesome way for all of us to move on together. If you are ready to put an end to the wallowing and worrying, I hope you’ll join me. Actually, this 10 day challenge is for anyone at anytime, but will be especially helpful during times of transition, emotional discord and uncertainty. The best part? You don’t have to wait to get started. With the exception of a quick trip to the grocery store, you have everything you need. You don’t have to escape from your life, but for 10 days, you’ll discover what adds joy, health and tranquility to your life by eliminating everything that doesn’t. Clearing out the excess will make room to experiment with some new healthy habits. While I believe that the best change is slow and steady and often happens inch by inch, a challenge is a great way to set clear boundaries and make time and space in several areas of your beautiful life. Consider this a self-imposed wake up call.

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10 Day Declutter Your World Challenge Rules

  • Start where you are. Don’t wait until you are ready or decide to start after … (insert excuse here). Just start where you are.
  • Keep it simple. Eliminate everything you can, but remember this is not a project in suffering. Adjust the rules if you need to.
  • Write about it. Commit to the challenge by leaving a comment on this post and write about your 10 day adventure. Report back with the results (the good, the bad and the incredible).
  • Create your own boundaries. This is not one plan fits all. You are unique and will benefit most by creating something for your lifestyle. Outline your challenge on paper like mine above and keep it in plain sight (I taped mine to my laptop) so you can review your commitment every day. At the end of the challenge, decide what habits you most want to incorporate into your newly decluttered world.
  • Remember that it’s only 10 days. Don’t be afraid to get extreme and a little uncomfortable. Make daily commitments that will energize you. Eliminating sugar from your diet  might sound scary, but you can do it for 10 days. (you’ve had colds and company that lasted longer and you survived)

How to Create Your Own 10 Day World Declutter Challenge

We all have different needs and are in different stages of life. That said, our worlds are all in one world and there are some universal things that we could all benefit having more or less of. For instance, imagine your life with less meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, processed foods, Facebook, television, worry, and fatigue and then think about life with more real food, exercise, sleep, quiet moments, love and connection. Commit to one small change or go all the way in each of the following areas of your life.

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Shape Up

  • Food. Make one small change by eliminating meat or sugar or go all the way and get rid of everything but whole, vegan food. Keep things simple by identifying one meal for breakfast and 2-4 meals for lunch and dinner. You will save time, money and mental energy by enjoying the same few meals during your 10 day challenge.
  • Move. Make one small change by committing to a 10 minute walk everyday or go all the way and aim for 100 minutes of moving your body daily. A 30 minute walk + 60 minute yoga class and 10 minutes of push-ups, sit-ups and stretching = 100 minutes. Creating time may mean eliminating TV, phone and internet.
  • Sleep. Make one small change by giving your body a signal to sleep like taking a bath or drinking a cup of tea and reading for a few minutes. Go all the way by eliminating caffeine and alcohol all day and TV/Computer use after 6pm. Move all of the electronics (TV, computer, phone) out of your bedroom along with anything work related. Keep your room cool and as dark as possible to encourage peaceful sleep.

Pare Down

  • Home. Make one small change and place a box by your front door. Fill it with items to donate for 5 minutes every day or go all the way and choose a whole space to declutter over the course of 10 days or choose another decluttering project like going paperless. Commit to no shopping aside from essentials during the 10 day challenge.
  • Work. Make one small change and don’t check email until 10 am or go all the way and declutter your work space and cut/reschedule any non-essential meetings or commitments.

Tune In

  • Brain. Make one small change and commit to sitting in silence for 10 minutes a day or go all the way and start a daily meditation practice and unplug after 5pm every evening and for 24-48 consecutive hours during the challenge.
  • Heart. Fill your heart with gratitude and connection and commit to writing a letter or calling someone you love everyday for 10 days. If possible, choose someone different each day and let your 10 day world challenge brighten 10 other worlds.

If you can’t read my writing in the image above, my challenge includes: 100% vegan diet with 4 meal choices for 30 meals, no coffee or alcohol, nothing to eat or drink after 7pm with the exception of tea or water, 100 minutes of exercise a day, a commitment to go paperless and to review and eliminate work projects and commitments, meditate 5 minutes a day, write 1000 words a day, 1 thank you note a day (mailed) and a 24 hour digital sabbatical. Quick reminder: Your world is not the world. During your 10 day challenge, don’t think about fixing anything or anyone around you. It doesn’t matter if anyone is on board or supportive. Give yourself permission to just work on you so that you can offer your best self to the world. Use the 10 day challenge whenever you need a shake up or proactive stop, or try it seasonally every September, January and April as a reminder to focus on what matters most. This isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.

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How to Participate

  • Write out your challenge and post it somewhere easy to see everyday.
  • If you write about this on your blog, share it with me.
  • Use #10daydeclutter on Twitter.
  • After your 10 days, come back and comment on your experience.

Disclaimer: You are responsible for your own challenge rules and to know and work within your ability. If your life improves dramatically, please don’t blame me. If you lose weight, sleep better, feel healthier or start to understand what you want most out of life, I am not responsible.  If this challenge opens your heart and quiets your brain, please don’t hold me accountable. Challenge: Declutter Your World In 10 Days | Be More With Less

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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