Wednesday, April 23, 2014

the 30 day challenge…here’s mine.

Love card with watercolor floral bouquet. Valentine’s Day vector illustration with heart form


If you’re a regular to my blog you might remember THIS post, when I introduced Matt Cutt’s 30 Day Challenge to you.

Well, today I thought I’d give you an update because I decided to do it; I decided to come up with one thing I’ve always talked about doing, but never have.

And to do it for 30 consecutive days.

Actually, I could have chosen quite a few things for my first 30 Day Challenge but sometimes the universe has a way of grabbing our attention and telling us what we need to pay attention to, and for me, it was my physical body.



I didn’t mention it here but a few weeks after our move, I tweaked my back again.
In the days that followed I felt terribly discouraged. It wasn’t only because of the pain, but because I had been promising myself for years that I would begin yoga as a way of strengthening my spine and my core strength.

And somehow, even though I had considered it a priority, I hadn’t done it.

I really wanted to do it. I always planned on doing it. But somehow my well-intentioned yoga always got put on the back burner while other ‘less important’ things got scratched off my lists.

Can you relate to this? 

Because here’s what I did. After listening to Matt Cutt’s upbeat talk I decided to embark on  my own 30 Day Yoga Challenge. Yep, in the midst of all this crazy house-hunting and with most of my belongings in boxes, I found a hot Yoga Studio in the neighborhood with some amazing instructors and I signed up.

And the first day I was so nervous. My back felt old and stiff and when I looked around the class it was obvious I was the absolute worst one in the entire place. And even though I’d been warned about the heat, my body still felt shocked.


Day Two was better.

But on Day Three I left the studio so discouraged I felt like crying. I sat in my car and thought,

“What happened to my young, gymnastic body? I used to do back walks on the grass for fun!”

And instead of feeling positive about my new challenge, I actually felt sad about my loss of flexibility and sore enough to wonder if my body could take 27 more days of these yoga classes.

But here I am.

On Day 17 of my 30 Day Yoga Challenge. And how is it going?  Well here’s my simple answer: one day at a time.

If you’re thinking about joining me on your own 30 Day Challenge I have to clarify something.

This is not a beauty post. This is not about having tighter abs and looking thinner in 30 days. Although if that’s your goal, fine. But before you choose your challenge, I would encourage you to open your mind and consider pushing yourself into new territory.

Because asking yourself, “What is something I’ve always wanted to try?” is another way of asking, “What kind of person do I want to become?”

And it’s a chance to reflect on the kind of skills and qualities and talents that you’ve always admired in others and to ask yourself,

“What’s stopping me from being that kind of person?” Starting right now.

The first step is introducing one little change into your life today. And taking it one day at a time.


“When you see someone who has a lot of knowledge, they learned it over time. When you see someone who has a lot of skills, they developed them over time. When you see someone who has done a lot, they accomplished it over time. When you see someone who has a lot of money, they earned it over time.

The key is over time.

Success is built sequentially.  It’s one thing at a time.”

--The One Thing, by Keller & Papasan


According to Cutts, who completes 30 day challenges regularly, we have a better chance of transforming ourselves with “small, sustainable challenges” because these are the kind that are most likely to stick.




After finishing my 16th day of yoga I’ve noticed something totally unexpected; as each day passes it’s actually getting easier to fit yoga into my day. Midway through I’ve stopped the internal debate, wondering if I’ll really go. And I just do it. But it requires planning ahead, slowing down and having alternate plans in case I can’t make it to a class.

And while it’s true that my body is changing for the better, so is my spirit.

Matt Cutts says that success breeds confidence. And he’s right.

It’s those days when I didn’t feel like going to yoga and still did, that have impacted my confidence the most. These are the times when I walk out of class—sweaty and tired---but feeling in touch with an inner strength.

Make no mistake, sharing this with the world makes me feel shaky. I realize I’m only half way there but it’s my hope that by being open about my challenge, it might inspire you to identify something in your life you’ve always wanted to do.

And just do it.

I’d love to hear about your decision.

And if you need a few uplifting words along the way, email me and I’d be happy to support you.









A special thank you to my friend Vanessa for recommending this book after I tweaked my back. It’s absolutely fascinating, quite short and it includes five ancient Tibetan exercises which are considered by many to be life-changing.

If you haven’t met Vanessa please go right over and become a follower. Besides being a kind, supportive friend, she’s got a blog brimming with beauty and style and she always has something interesting to say.



And me? I’m so grateful for your visit today. If you liked this post you can become a follower too. So we can continue this conversation.

Tell me what you think.




linking up with these special friends:





Tamera Beardsley said...

Hugs to you my dear … loving your inspirational share!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Leslie for the encouragement and sharing how hard it is to just get started on something that we may have wanted to do for a long time.....I'm definitely inspired and am in need of a new challenge! I'll be on my way over to Matt Cutts and Vanessa! Have a good day.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Hello Leslie! HOW NICE TO SEE YOU! I have been there, as far as my back is concerned! You too have been making some changes in your life! I do think your approach to practicing yoga is a great start. We often get to busy, then stressed and then our bodies start to "speak" back to us. The other day, I just stopped and looked out at how the sun was shining on the lake. For those several seconds that I took, I felt a calm I have missed. Get up early, get ready to rush to work, meet the day's goals....but finding time to take care of our whole being is often forgotten. Enjoy and THANK YOU SO MUCH for your lovely visit today! So nice to see you and to know you liked the post. BIG HUGS!

Christy James said...

You are so inspiring! Thanks, Leslie! XO XO

michele said...

you go! i am always the worst student in my yoga class on those days i make it there. good for you that you are sticking with it and letting go of old ways of thinking. IF THE WORLD WAS BLIND...omg that is so so so mind blowing and helpful. i am challenging myself right along with you. discovering that speaking to women about their skin and makeup is actually a very intimate and sometimes sacred activity. learning (or re-learning) i am stronger and more powerful than my heart thinks. thanks for sharing yours.


Karen said...

I'm new here, but I feel certain I'm going to be inspired with each visit, even though I may be slow to start a 30 day challenge. Is there a 10 day challenge for beginners? :-)

AntiqueChase said...

this is such a great post! Sorry to hear about your back. I want to do the 30 day challenge but don't know what my challenge should be.. and that's the hard part. I would love to do yoga too but jeez I just don't know!

chillcat said...

A lovely post and I also had this lesson hit home hard the other day - I am super fit after a season of free-heel skiing and I continue to swim and jog, but I still don't stretch enough and have that limber advantage that people who do yoga do. I would love to do the challenge that you are doing Leslie, but it is not the right time for me. Alas! I will begin stretching here at home for a start, and why not for the next 30 days? Deal!

I love the list you included - these things are so uplifting, such core values. We really make ourselves ill if we do not live like this! Xcat

susan hemann said...

Good for you, both with the follow through and for posting this story to your blog. I have been on my own 30 day challenges lately. I realize you are talking about yoga, but it is a wonderful post on expanding the challenge into other areas. i so admire your courage.

Linda said...

Oh Leslie you are so cute!! I loved the part about sitting in your car and not being as flexible as you were in your teens. Been there! Done that! I tried sitting on my legs the other day and whamm did that ever hurt....
I try to stretch every day.. but I don't think there's any hope for this old body.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I tweak my back a few times a year, so I totally feel your pain! I've actually stopped buying really large pieces of furniture because they are just too darn heavy to move. And I've done yoga off and on for a few years now and I love it. I'm not all that good at it, but I feel stronger and taller on the way out. I've let my workout routine take a back seat lately. I think I need my own 30 day challenge! ... Thanks for the inspiration!

Carla from The River said...

Thank you. Your honesty is what I love about you.
At this time I am on a 30 day challenge to get a jump start on my day. I am real good at hitting the snooze button. And I want to change that, because my mornings feel so rushed. I always make it, but I dislike the rushed feeling.

Pitter and Glink said...

Such a great, inspiring post! Now I'm trying to think about what is on my list of things I've always wanted to do... :)

Richella Parham said...

I'm proud of you! Soon you'll have met your 30-day challenge--thanks for sharing your inspiration with us. I hope the yoga is really helping your back!

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

Oh Leslie, you always inspire me... you truly do. Whether you realize it or not, you have a way of speaking to your blog followers and making us stop to question our present day lives, our future lives and perhaps our past lives. Thank you.

Leslie said...

Leslie, thanks for stopping over! I'm all over the map with the move, building process, and blog change. The blog is still in transition and hopefully it will be where it should be in a couple more weeks. This post is perfect as I am trying to stay focused and have patience with myself and my life right now. Yoga forces you to do that.. living in the moment and focusing on what matters and letting the clutter go that creates stress. Good for you for doing this! I've studied Baron Baptiste yoga and appreciate the effort in doing a challenge like this. Careful with your back! I've got chronic sciatica and it's a "pain" ;)

I need to make sure you are on my blog roll (I'll check right now). I hired someone initially that did not work out and in the process, I lost my blog roll and have had to manually add everyone back. Thanks for your patience.


Unknown said...

Good morning Leslie! I have wanted to get back to comment on this post. I applaud your ability to share this experience and your process in such a genuine way. You are making it happen and feeling the confidence that comes from doing just that. I'm also impressed, that in the midst of the chaos, you carved out time for self care. Love this post and you are inspiring! Thanks for your kind comments about our bloggers trip. It was lots of fun and also an interesting personal journey for me. I'll share more on that. Just as I was getting up the courage to ask you to meet up sometime you moved south ;). I'm sure it will happen someday my friend-I would love it.
Happy Friday,

Sarah said...

I think you continually inspire me! I like the idea of a 30 day challenge. I need to take one on. Also need to get back into yoga. I much enjoy yoga, but got out of the habit.
Happy Weekend and hope your back improves.

Art and Sand said...

I am so far behind in reading blogs and I sat down to read you latest post right after making lemon bars (and eating a few) for a dinner party tonight. It is incredibly windy and thus cold today and the last thing I want to do is go out right now, but your post reminded me to persevere. So, when Steve gets home from his errands, I am going to the gym and breaking a sweat.

My 30 days for May are preparing for a high school reunion for 15 at my house and in Ojai and making all the decorations for a baby shower. But, I will challenge myself to get to the gym on the days I don't play tennis.

Hang in there because you are halfway there in your challenge.

Lori said...

Good for you to not only get out there and do it but to stick with it when you got discouraged! As always I take something away from every one of your posts and this one is telling me to get off my butt. xo

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

I can totally relate. Over time and sticking to it, is the key to anything. Keep it up.

cindy hattersley design said...


You inspire me with your realistic approach to life in general. I would love to join you on a 30 day challenge when I get past this crazy point in my life!

Sheepskinsandfairylights said...

Hi Leslie, Can't tell you how timely this post was to read (only just catching up after moving my Daughter to her new home and other day to day chasing my tail!!)
You have inspired me to start the 30 Day Challenge and I watched Matt Cutts speech too.
I have put a link on my post to yours and to You Tube!!
So, roll on tomorrow!
Thank you! Vikki, XxX

Van@Luxuria said...

Awwwh! Thank you SO much Leslie for the shout-out. You are an angel. What a wonderfully inspiring post xx

Unknown said...

Always your follower :) Loved your way of handling matters. It encourages a lot.

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