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What committing to a Challenge really does for you?

Updated: Jun 11




It takes 20 days to break a habit 🙅‍♀️ And, as my January's 30-day Sugar Detox Challenge came to an end, it brought some reflections that I decided to share with you. Committing to a challenge over a period of time isn’t just about breaking habits; it’s a transformative journey that reshapes your mindset for life. With consistency you witness the positive ripple effect it has on your wellbeing, your perception, and in time you soon make better, more conscious decisions and life choices.


This was my 2nd Sugar Detox and surprisingly this time I felt no cravings or even regret that I’m missing out if people around me eat sweets. This time, I also didn't have to replace this habit with a different one. Two years ago, during my first 30-day No Sugar month, every time I yearned sugar, I reached for a cup of coffee to take my mind off of it, and allow me to persevere - my addiction to sugary snacks was stronger than me. But, I did complete my No Sugar Challenge successfully, and felt very proud about it!


Now, I have a greater understanding of how the body reacts and what it thinks it needs, or perhaps I should say, what the mind thinks and wants? The body for sure, doesn't want to indulge on sugar as often as we do nowadays. I know that replacing sugar for coffee, was really replacing Sugar Rush, for a Caffeine Rush, neither of them are bad, or good. But, something that is seemingly neutral, can quickly become a problem if over-consumed. Consumed to the point that one have no control over it's own behaviour. What do I mean by this? I'm sure each of us can admit to opening a pack of biscuits to only have couple, but before you realise the whole pack is gone. Or, maybe 'you just have to have it' otherwise you feel like your day will be ruined. Or perhaps something tastes so good, you can't stop eating it, until you feel sick with pain in the stomach and taste buds completely ruined for the night. Only to wait few hours to do it all over again. This perhaps, can be taken to many different areas of life, but for the purpose of this post let's stick to sugar. In all those scenarios, I'm afraid to say, it's not you having a snack; the snack is having you.


Do we realise we are hurting our body with over-indulgence and our unconscious actions? The answer is no. At the end of the day, the body regenerates very quickly and soon the symptom disappears. When I was in India, we talked about the Body and Mind connection and something really stack with me. Our Guru said; "Unconscious Mind is selfish, it doesn't care about what The Body needs. It only cares about its own pleasures and desires. The Body and Mind is already connected, we don't need to connect anything, we need to become aware of this connection." When you give this some thought, it becomes apparent this couldn't be more true.


How often do we really think about giving our body love, awareness and nutrition is deserves? The body can only handle so much. There is a limit to everything, if we spend years mistreating it, if it can't physically keep up with all the stuff it needs to detoxify, rest, digest, regenerate and restore. Eventually, we begin to have problems.


So, what do challenges like Sugar Detox really do for you?


What changed after my 1st Sugar Challenge?

After my first No Sugar Challenge, I quickly realised my relationship to sugary food changed. From the moment I got back to my normal eating habits, I found myself eating one or two biscuits and understanding, I have had enough. I gained control over my cravings, I became more curious about my eating habits. I learnt to say 'no'. I came to understand my own mind and trained it to withstand peer-pressure and other challenging situations. The connection of mind and body was restored, slightly.


What I learnt from this Sugar Challenge?

By comparison, I noticed that I didn't struggle as much. My prior challenges that I put myself through made me much stronger, improved my will power and helped me build trust within myself and towards my own actions and resolutions. There is a saying 'fake it until you make it'. Whilst it is some-what true, I believe that if you prove to yourself you can do something, if you put your energy into keeping your own promises, you soon start believing in yourself more and more. The more you do it, the more you can believe in yourself, your own abilities in doing new things. All without the need of faking anything.


A journey to self awareness and improving will power

It takes a leap of faith and trust within oneself to embark on a long challenge that last over 20 days. It also takes a lot of forgiving and acceptance, if for some reason the challenge doesn't go as easily as hoped, or perhaps gets stopped half-way. The mind needs to be trained. I remember committing to No Sugar few years prior, only to withstand 3 days. I remember I was very disappointed within myself, and thought I can't do it. But, don't let this stop you, never give up or doubt yourself. The limit is where we set it. Instead, I began committing to weekly challenges. Once I successfully passed them, I extended the time. It is worth to mention, that noticing all the efforts you can make at this moment in time, is very important. Completed 3 days instead of 7? Well done! You still extended the window of your usual habit. Take a break and perhaps try again in a few weeks or months. Just because you didn't do it the first time, doesn't mean you can't do it at all. It only means it needs some further work, training and improvement. Rome hasn't been build in a day, remember?


Everything takes time. And... Good things, take time. One time I committed to a vegetarian diet for a month, only to realise my auto-habit of preparing certain/usual meals kicked in. It wasn't until the first bite of the chicken sandwich that I remembered 'I'm not eating meat this month!', I stopped and made myself a different dish. Sometimes, auto-pilot takes over, and that's ok. Auto-pilot is an important feature of our body that allows us to save energy, and also to perform important actions of our body like breathing or digesting. Step by step, you will slowly become more conscious of this auto-pilot, and it won't be kicking in as often in your day to day life.


Ideas for Challenges you can try

Committing to a challenge over period of time isn’t just about breaking habits; it’s a transformative journey that reshapes your mindset for life. Here, I prepares few challenge ideas that I have already completed and can recommend trying:


👉 365 days no alcohol (read about it here)

👉 30 days no sugar

👉 30 days no meat

👉 100 miles in 30 days activity (run, walk, hike)

👉 30 days yoga challenge

👉 30 days breathing and meditation

👉 30 days journaling

👉 30 day no social media


But really, you can make your own challenge. Think of something that perhaps you do, that isn’t so good for you, your health or wellbeing. Or, think of something you could add to your daily life that will benefit your health or life. Then simply commit to do it daily for 30 days even if it’s for 10 minutes. If, 30 days seems too long and unachievable right now, shorten this time slightly. But, ensure you are still pushing your limits here!


It is never too late to start - and the goal isn't to refuse yourself something - it is to show up for yourself and your health consistently and for it to become your practice. Allowing this to create magic in your biology and daily life 💫 This is also part of yoga. Being mindful of what you consume and how you consume it. Bringing attention to the qualities you put into your life. This practice is an act of self care and an act of commitment to oneself 🤍


30-day Yoga Challenge

FYI in April you can join me for a 30-day of yoga challenge live, so if this sounds like something you'd like to do, fully immersing yourself into practice of yoga, and just see, with no expectations, how it can change your daily life. I will be honoured, if you choose to join me. 🤩🧘‍♀️ This is how my journey with yoga started 6 years ago, and I never looked back. Now, being a Yoga Therapist, this challenge really means a lot to me and I'd love to share it with you.


Let me know how you found this blog post, and I will be so grateful for your thoughts on this topic.



Namaste,

Sylwia x

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