New Year’s Challenges

Happy New Year Friends!  In this new year, I am proposing a crazy, almost radical idea for you.  Let’s make 2014 the year of the non resolution.  No resolving to do something that we will lose interest in within a few months.  No cutting of carbs, sugars, gluten, snacking, late night eating, etc. Instead, let’s make 2014 the year of the Challenge.  By setting up a series of challenges, we will (hopefully)  break away from our usual habits and create more awesome ones.   If you are anything like me, you have all these ideas of what you WANT to do but no idea on how to actually EXECUTE them.  My goal this year is to challenge my mind, body, palate, and soul in ways that scare, strengthen, and stimulate me.  To that end, I have laid out a year’s worth of challenges.  Join me for all, join me for some!

Note: Some of these challenges may switch months based on life changes and school vacations.

January-March: Just Tri It!

I have signed up for a Sprint Tri-athalon in March.  Seeing as how I loathe running, cold water, and biking hurts my lady parts, this should make for an interesting time.  I’m not doing it alone though.  I’m working with an awesome  coach who is running a training program that forces me to get in the pool and on the bike once a week. I’m also doing a Couch to 5K app with my phone.  A lot of people have asked me why I am doing this.  And to them I say, “Why not?  If I can do this, what can’t I do?”

April: Crafty Mommy

I have all these projects I want to do.  I want to decorate my kids room.  I want to make more creative lunches, I want to make scrapbooks.  But then I blow them off with the excuse of, “well, I’m just not crafty.”  Well, I am calling bullsh*t on myself.  I have been meaning to make family photo albums since my daughter was born.  Come hell or high water, this is the month it will happen.  Otherwise my kids will go to college with no actual physical photos of themselves.

May-June:  Vegan Queen vs Paleo Pride

More and more research shows that inflammation and SAD (our standard American diet) are wreaking havoc with our bodies.  With that in mind, I wanted to try out different ways of eating to reduce inflammation.  So I chose to take two different styles of eating, Vegan and Paleo and try living two weeks of each one.  I admit readily that two weeks isn’t sufficient time to determine huge results but for me, this challenge is more about the planning and execution of the diet.   I need to make it work within the confines of my and my family’s lifestyle. If I dig it, I will go longer.

July: Get level. Plank Challenge

Each day of July we are planking.  Each day we are holding it longer.

August: Zen. Time to Meditate

I love meditation but don’t do it consistently. I always feel happier and calmer when I do.  10 minutes, every day this month.  I’m using the Simply Being app on my phone.

September:  Family Fun Food.

The best way to eat healthy is to cook real food. But with less and less people cooking and schools no longer teaching Home Ec, where are the next generations supposed to get excited about cooking?  So this month the kids are in the kitchen – where they often are, but this is geared specifically to them.  We are making (in no particular order): Sushi, red velvet cake, scrambled eggs and toast – this is the first food I ever learned to cook – and wild card.  Meaning, the kids plan the meal, they shop for it, they cook it, with help of course.

October: Travel the world.  India and the Mediterranean

I keep harping on how I want to learn to cook Indian food.  I keep reading the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.  This month, I conquer both.  4 meals, 2 from each region.

November:  Baby Got Back

Squat challenge. The number gets bigger every day.

December: Rehab (But I said, no, no, no)

This challenge isn’t really a December thing. In order to accomplish all the things I have laid out before you, I need to ensure that the vehicle for all of this is primed and ready to go.  To that end, I need to care for myself.  To rehabilitate the damage that has been done and to strengthen my body to avoid injury or pain down the road.  So I will be seeing the Chiropractor throughout the year and actually doing the exercises he prescribes.  Dr. Craig will take note of my progress and relapses (remember, I’m a regular person just like you). I will let you know at year’s end how I did.

So those are my challenges for 2014.  How are you challenging yourself this year?  I’d love to hear it.  Follow along on social media as I’ll be posting updates and pics to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Google+ and putting recipes on Pinterest.   Use the hashtag #challenge2014 so I can see your adventures and cheer you along.

Courtney & her family, Dr. Craig and their kids

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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at http://RoslynWellness.com.