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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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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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