21 things for 21 days — but you only get to pick one!
Yoga is not really my jam. I like it alright, for an afternoon, or a pause at a well-being conference, or during a weekend self-care retreat. I see the joy in movement and I encourage anyone who finds it helpful to keep up with their yoga practice. However, for me, I’m more interested in journaling!
But I learned a new term today that comes from the yogic tradition. It is called Sadhana, the Sanskrit word for making a daily intentional commitment to achieve a goal.
Goal setting is difficult as is, so new-to-me twists on the old SMART goal-setting strategies are always welcome.
I’ve done some reading and I see there are 21-day Sadhana’s and 40-day ones… and more! But for today’s purpose we’re going to look at the benefits of a 21-day Sadhana.
For starters, when you take on a new goal and put it into practice, you are creating new neural pathways in the brain. Just like walking from the house to the car, if you take the same path every time, the grass will get a distinctive worn-path, maybe even become a dirt path down the middle. In your brain, when you repeat a process over and over again, your brain learns a pathway to that action and it becomes easier to find with repetition. The first few days are the most difficult, but stick with it and the next week will be easier than the last.
Secondly, you will find the benefits from whatever positive change you’ve decided to make, whether it is to do yoga for 15 minutes every morning, or start to use a gratitude journal every night before bed. These are both activities that come with their own rewards.
And lastly, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish the 21 days successfully!
Here are some examples of things you could try for 21 days. (the idea is to pick just one!)
- Drink 1L of water every day.
- Do a simple yoga practice in the morning/evening.
- Choose a new affirmation and repeat it every day.
- Meditate for 5 minutes before you get out of bed in the morning.
- Give up a coping mechanism such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol, or other substance.
- Journal for 10 minutes in the evening before sleep.
- Include 3 things you are grateful for in your journal entry every day.
- Tell someone new every day about how beneficial you find journaling!
- Purchase an Oracle deck or find one online, pull a card to set your day.
- Walk for 30 minutes at 7pm every day, in nature where possible.
- Take a walk on your lunch break at work for 15 minutes, even just around the building
- Count your blessings before you start the day. Start simple (roof over head), get bigger (family, etc)
- Find some way to volunteer your time for 1 hour every day.
- If you aren’t already, make it a new habit to eat breakfast every morning.
- Text an uplifting quote to a friend each morning.
- Use beads (mala or 7-bead bracelet) for meditation or grounding once every day.
- Colour for relaxation (in an adult colouring book or print a page from the internet) once a day.
- Make your bed every morning.
- Promote your business on social media every day.
- Use essential oils or incense while you meditate for 15 minutes as part of your morning routine.
- Build a surrender box and put your worries in it before sleep at night.
21 things for 21 days — but you only get to pick one! There are so many other great options you could come up with. Involve a friend, or your family, and make yourself some accountabuddies (accountability-buddies). The best way to come up with a goal is to figure out the outcome you’re looking for and then you can more easily see the action you need to perform in order to reach that outcome. For me, I think I’m going to choose my own option and plan to eat 1 extra serving of fruits/vegetables or if I can’t, then take a supplement every day.
Can you last the whole three weeks? I have a pretty strong sense that you can! Send me a message and let me know how it goes, or if you’d like me to be your daily accountabuddy!
This blog-post is an example of what I do when I learn a new word — Sadhana. Wikipedia tells me Sādhana is an ego-transcending spiritual practice. What do you do when you learn a new word to help make it stick?