It’s August, and summer is slowly fading away. I will miss every minute of it, but I have to admit that I adore fall and I get pretty excited about new seasons. Change makes me feel like something incredible is about to happen. So despite my love for summer, when the time comes, I will welcome fall with open arms.
Preparing for a new season also makes me think about the seasons past. It makes me reflect on what I’ve done and what I want to do. Have you been giving any thought to what you’ve accomplished so far in 2015? Has it been what you expected? Are you disappointed or thrilled about how far you’ve come in the last 7 months?
I’ve been asking myself these very same questions, lately.
Do you have this nagging feeling that there is more–more to do, more to accomplish, more to make of this year?
Don’t ignore that feeling. Please, don’t!
Do you know why I’m begging you to pay attention? Because disappointment and regret are wasted emotions, and I don’t want you to go down that path when it could be avoided. Those feelings don’t serve you or your dreams well. In fact, all they do is add frustration to your life. Who has time for that? I sure don’t.
Instead of dwelling on what didn’t go right in 2015 (or–let’s be real–dwelling on what went wrong long before 2015), LET IT GO and join me for the #30DayShift challenge. I plan to make a shift in my mindset so I can go further and end this year on TOP, and I want you to join me on this journey.
You are probably wondering, why do this challenge now? Why not wait until January and start 2016 off on the right foot?
You know why I refuse to do that and why you should, too? Because it’s kind of wack to wait. If you are dissatisfied with how things are now, act NOW. What’s waiting going to do? It’s like waiting until Monday to start a weight loss or fitness program. You know darn well that waiting is some BS excuse so you can live with your bad habits just a little bit longer. I know that’s the truth because I have done that too many times to count.
Let’s not wait until January. Let’s collectively refuse to spend the rest of 2015 planning, planning, planning–without ever ACTING. That is not productive at all, and I know you want productive. You want to feel like you are actually making moves in life. It’s what we all want.
So let’s do this. Let’s join hands over the next 30 days to support one another and make a shift where a shift is needed. Let’s help each other out as we move to a different place, a different belief about what we can do, and a different way of thinking and being.
Don’t you deserve that much? I know I do, and I want to bring as many women on this journey with me as I can. If you are truly sick and tired of feeling like there’s got to be more and you just keep wondering what that more is, this challenge is for you.
I want to you to believe there is more with every fiber of your being and go after it. You have to believe it that much. You have to want more for your life as much as you want air and food. It has to matter to you like that.
By now I am sure you’re thinking, okay, so how will this thing work? Here’s how.
To help you stay with me throughout the next 30 days, I created a list of daily affirmations for you. I also created a checklist to help you stay on track (just in case you like checklists because I LOVE checklists). Access the checklist by clicking here and use it to help you remember what’s coming up when you don’t have access to a computer, tablet or smart phone. I hope both help you on this #30DayShift journey.
And one more VERY important thing. I created a private Facebook group just for #30DayShift. It’s an opportunity for you to connect with me and meet other members of the CandidBelle community during this challenge. I believe this community can be invaluable if a number of you join, so please don’t be shy. Access the #30DayShift private Facebook Group right here.
Are you ready? Heck yea, you say? Then let’s go!
Identify something in your life that doesn’t serve you and let it go. I know this is easier said than done, but it’s incredibly hard to move forward when you have a bunch of stuff weighing you down. Whether it’s a draining friendship, reliving a painful experience, or a commitment that you no longer have the room for in your life–make the decision to let it go. If it doesn’t serve you and the vision you have for your life, you won’t miss it as much as you may think and letting go will feel better than you ever imagined.
Include at least 10 minutes of morning prayer and/or meditation into your daily routine. Starting your days off with prayer, meditation, stillness, or a combination of all three allows you to start your day in a peaceful place. When you start your day off in peace, you walk through the day differently–with more calm and confidence. And sure, it would be nice if we could all meditate for hours like our homie, Deepak Chopra, but for most of us that just won’t happen anytime soon (if ever). You’d be amazed at what a different 10 minutes can make, though. One of my favorite meditation apps is Calm. Give it a try if you haven’t before. It’ pretty awesome. And if you feel like you need a prayer guide, one of my favorites is Joyce Meyer’s The Confident Woman Devotional.
Say “no” to something you don’t want to do but feel pressured or obligated to do. I know that sometimes you think you can do it all because–well, so many of us really think we can do it all. It’s one of the most challenging misconceptions we deal with as women. I have definitely struggled with “superwoman syndrome.” But then reality hits and I realize that I am buggin’ because doing it all is for the birds. If you are anything like me I am almost certain you have something on your plate–even if it’s small–that you may not want to do anymore. Stop doing it today. Yep, just like that. The world will go on and you will be better off.
Declutter your work space. I really want to tell you to declutter your home, but we all know that won’t happen in one day. Maybe I’ll make that a separate challenge. Anyway, try to declutter your workspace today. Whether that means an entire office or just a desk, go for it. When you work in a space that is clutter-free, it allows you to be more creative, gain more clarity, and focus more on the work you do. Just by decluttering your space, it changes the way you look at the projects ahead. That change in thought matters immensely. If you are interested in decluttering in a major way I definitely recommend, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
Reach out to someone you love who hasn’t heard from you in a while. We all have people we care about that we just haven’t reached out to in a long time. Reach out to one of those people today. Even if you don’t have time for a long conversation, send an email. Taking the time to focus on how someone else is doing, and expressing that they’ve been on your mind, allows you to remove yourself from whatever needs your immediate attention and focus your attention on making someone else feel good. From experience I can say that taking the time to make someone else feel loved and cared for always helps me shift my mindset.
Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. Meeting new people opens our minds, widens our perspectives and expands our worldview. I know it’s easy to feel like you’ve got all the friends you need, but adding new people to your life can create a small shift in how you see things, how you do things, and how you move through the world. It can also open your life to new experiences and opportunities, and nothing helps you shift into a higher place than new experiences and opportunities.
Send an email to someone you’d love to work with but have been scared to reach out to. Fear can be paralyzing, but what’s the worst that can happen if you email someone you really want to work with? They don’t respond. Or maybe they do and they say no thanks. No biggie. If it goes down like that, life goes on and you get to move on to the next one. Stop waiting for the perfect moment to reach out to someone you want to work with. Reach out to them today.
Journal for at least 5 minutes daily. Do you keep a journal? You should. If you don’t, start one today. The actual journal doesn’t need to be fancy and you don’t need to write anything elaborate. I think 5 minutes will do (I am all about tiny steps). Five minutes is enough time for you express gratitude and reflect on the day you’ve had. You can even find time to state your intentions for the next day. When we take the time to write down how we feel, the experience stays with us and it potentially changes our future behaviors.
Do one thing that scares the mess out of you. Do you know I was scared when I started putting this challenge together. Why? Because I hate letting people down, and I wanted to create a challenge that I truly felt could be meaningful and transformative. Well, despite my fears, here I am. What are you scared of? We are all scared of something. Whatever it is, step out on faith and do something that scares you today. Place that call. Write that letter. Buy a ticket to that event. Do something that makes you feel really scared and watch your thoughts and your life begin to change. It’s never about waiting for the fear to fade, because sometimes that just doesn’t happen. It’s about taking action despite the fear. That, my friends, is what we call courage. I know you can do it.
Increase your water intake (if it’s 32 ounces or less, double it). Don’t even think about giving me the side-eye. I know you are thinking, really, water? But can you honestly say you drink enough water? Odds are you don’t and you actually may even hate the stuff. My brother hates water. So does my mom. But if I am going to be completely real with you, water can change your life. Stay with me for a sec here. When I consume at least 64 ounce of water a day, my skin is clearer, my mood is better, I am more regular, I am less tired, and my ability to focus increases. If you are not a water-drinker, I beg you to give it a try. So simple, but truly worth doing. This whole challenge is about change, right? Unless you try to do something consistently, you will never know what impact it might have.
Watch the sunrise. For me, sunrises are such a beautiful reminder that no matter how dark it is, the sun will always rise. There is no doubt about that. When you use moments in nature as reminders for what life brings, you find that there are reminders everywhere about how to live well. Being in tune with those natural reminders changes how you experience your day and it truly serves as a way to diminish stress and shift your expectations. Even if you are not a morning person, give it a try just once.
Start declaring daily affirmations. Here is a list of daily affirmations that I love. Even if you only choose a select few to get started, it will really start to have an impact on how confident you are and what you set out to do. If you don’t like affirmations but you’ve never tried them, please just give it a try. There was a time when I thought they were pretty corny (I’m just being honest). Then I gave it a try and realized that they work. The best way to shift you mindset is to try things you’ve never tried–even the stuff you kind of don’t want to try.
Write a “promise letter” to yourself. It’s so easy for us to make a promise to a loved one and go out of our ways to keep that promise, but we always break the promises we make to ourselves. How crazy is that? Use today as an opportunity to write out a letter of promise to yourself. What do you promise to do for yourself over the next month? Do you want to workout more often? Do you want to stop eating out so often? Do you want to save more? Whatever it is, make a promise to yourself, sign it, and stick to that promise the same way you would stick to a promise you made to a close friend.
Create (or revisit) your bucket list. Do you have a bucket list? I do, and I try to take a look at it often. Life is amazing and there is so much to do while we are here. Today, take the time to make a list of everything you want to do–no matter how big or small–before you kick the bucket. Take a look at my bucket list. I have actually never shared this with anyone but my husband, but maybe it will inspire you to create your own list. 🙂
Write a letter to your future self. What would you like to be saying to yourself on August 15, 2016? Give it some thought and write a letter to your future self. Make it as long and as detailed as you’d like. And if you want to take things a step further, email that letter to yourself using the site, FutureMe. It’s a great (and free) tool that will let you schedule the email to arrive in your inbox on the date you select. I have a few emails coming my way over the next 2 years.
HALF WAY THERE (feel free to do a happy dance or eat a bowl of ice cream)!
Create a vision board… TODAY! Have you been dragging your feet on creating a vision board? Did you create one and have it sitting someplace where you only see it once a week? Is your vision board so old, looking at it makes you realize your vision has changed? Or, are you a vision board skeptic? Whatever your story is, create a vision board today! Grab a few magazines and get a pair of scissors, a glue stick, a marker, and a board. Now get to work. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you can always add to it later, but take that first step and work on something today. You will be glad you did. And here is a cool tip. When you complete your board, take a few pictures of it and use the images as the background on your phone, computer, or tablet. That way, your vision board is always by your side.
Do something you thought you couldn’t do. Is there something you feel like you can’t do because it seems too hard, or the thought of it makes your too nervous? Do it today. We can’t let our nerves and doubts get the best of us and keep us away from our blessings. So whether it’s a tough conversation or a fitness class you’ve been avoiding because it’s called Killer Bootcamp, take the plunge and do it today (or at least signup for it and commit to it).
Finish something you started. Do you have something you started and then just stopped working on it? Is the need to complete the task just lingering over your head? Try to complete that task (or at least pick up where you left off) today. Unfinished tasks damage our mindset and leave us feeling like we have way too much to do. Finishing a task, however, leaves you feeling empowered and confident. It also makes you want to move on to the next thing.
Write a love letter to your body. It’s unfortunate but I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t have body image issues. The problem is that body image is attached to self confidence and our level of confidence is connected to our level of success. Take the time to reflect on all that your body does for you every single day and spend today expressing gratitude, love and appreciate for the body you have. It may feel strange (or even corny) at first, but it’s empowering and will leave you feeling stronger.
Invest in yourself. When is the last time you really invested in yourself? What are your dreams? What would you like to accomplish? Today is an opportunity to finally say “yes” to yourself. Is there a conference you want to attend? A fitness program you’ve been dying to give a try? Whatever it is, invest in yourself and you will see how much that decision will begin to shift your mindset. You are worth the investment.
Expect great things. They say that your level of success will meet you at your level of expectancy. What are you expecting for your life? Are you expecting to win? Are you expecting greatness and abundance? Think about what your real expectations are for your life and spend today expecting greatness and developing a plan to achieve it. A great way to begin expecting greatness is to spend more time focusing on your talents and gifts. Take some time today to make a list of what your gifts are and keep that list in a visible place. When you know who you truly are and what you’re good at, it’s easier to expect greatness in your life.
Do something unexpected for a friend. When we do for others it allows us to put our own experiences and expectations in perspective. Take the focus off of yourself today and think about a friend you could do something nice and unexpected for. The smallest gestures can really brighten up a friend’s day and touch her heart. Also, remembering that you have the ability to impact others in a positive way reminds you of all the amazing things you can do to make this world a better place. The world we live in is far from perfect, but doing good for others reminds us that we can make a difference.
Take a technology break for 24 hours. Clearly I love technology, but a break is necessary at times. Last year, I stayed away from social media for an entire week and it was AWESOME. For the next 24 hours, take a break from social media, email, devices–even television. Use the time to relax, read, and listen to music. This time will give you a sense of peace and clarity you probably haven’t felt in a while. That peace will also allow you to see where shifts need to take place. When you are done I have a feeling you may want more than 24 hours off.
Enjoy a day of clean eating. What do you typically eat? Even if you have a healthy diet, use today as an opportunity to make it even healthier. Spend the day only eating clean foods. Stay clear of any added sugar, coloring, or preservatives. Healthy eating does lead to a healthier state of mind and that clarity can really change the energy you carry with you and how you feel throughout your day. It also helps you realize how small changes can have a major impact.
Develop a self-care routine. Putting yourself first should not be negotiable. What do you do for self-care? Manis? Pedis? Bubble baths? Going to the gym? We all need a self-care routine (that we actually practice). If you neglect to take care of yourself, you will begin to see the negative consequences of that decision in all areas of your life. A self-care routine that involves pampering, rest, and exercise will shift your life in so many ways.
Develop a personal mission statement. Do you have a personal mission statement? If not, create one today. We all need to be clear on what our mission is in life. If you need some help getting started, here is a great NY Times post about creating a mission statement. When you are clear on why you are here and you have a statement that expresses that clarity, moving forward with your goals becomes easier.
Prioritize your values and make a list of things you do that are not in alignment with those values. Make a list of what you value most. After you do that, create a list of the things you spend time on that are NOT in alignment with what you value. Then ask yourself why those things are a part of your life and if it’s time to let those things go. Whether it’s toxic people or bad habits, if it’s not in alignment with your values, it needs to get the boot.
Write down what you want your ideal week to look like. I can sit here and tell you exactly what my ideal day and week would look like. Take the time today to outline your ideal day and then your ideal week. Being clear about how you’d like to spend your time allows you to look differently at how you’re currently spending your time. Going through this process can help you determine what needs to change in your life. This is a great way to figure out what you need to do and what needs to go.
Choose a wellness accountability partner. This is actually related to the plan you created on Day 25. If you want to make self-care a priority and you insist on being well, it is really helpful to have a partner to hold you accountable. Think of someone in your life who appreciates the value of wellness and self-care and would be willing to serve as your accountability partner. This partnership will help you thrive and it will open your eyes to the importance of having an accountability partner in different areas of your life.
List 50 things that bring your joy. Does 50 feel like a lot. It shouldn’t. Sit down, get comfortable (maybe even grab a drink), and make a list of 50 things that bring you joy. Even if you think listing that many will be hard, don’t give up. I know you can do it. Once you finally do your mind will begin to shift and focus more on the positive aspects of your life instead of dwelling on anything negative.
If you want to spread the word and have your friends join the #30DayShift challenge, share this tweet.
Tweet: I just started the #30DayShift challenge w/ @TheCandidBelle. Join in and see your life change in the next 30 days –> http://bit.ly/1MxrPbS
I’ll be all over Twitter and Instagram this month, so use the hashtag #30DayShift and let me know what you are up to. I can’t just throw this out there and leave you hanging. I don’t roll like that. This challenge comes with a listening ear and plenty of emotional support. 🙂
Use the last day of August (we can’t just ignore day 31) to reflect on this experience. How has your mindset changed? What are you expecting for the last four months of 2015? What are you planning to work on? What were the most impactful days of the challenge for you and why?
If you skipped a few days because life got in the way, don’t worry about it. September is a new month and you can always revisit the days you missed.
Just remember that this challenge is designed to help you begin the process of shifting your mindset so you can transform your life in ways you desire. I don’t claim that this challenge will “fix” your life, but I firmly believe that committing to it and taking advantage of the support offered during the 30 days can really have a positive impact on your life by helping you shift your mindset.
Thank you so much for joining the #30DayShift challenge. I hope it had a meaningful impact on your life. If you followed the activities listed for each day you should have noticed small shifts in your mindset over time. These small shifts build up and can result in meaningful changes in your life.