This Saturday marks the beginning of the next Whole Life Challenge. It is an 8-week lifestyle challenge that targets virtually all aspects of well-being – eating well, exercise, stretching, and mental aspects. We do this challenge as a gym for multiple reasons:
- It gets results. Yes, it gets results in the way that people often talk about results in the fitness community – inches lost, performance improvements, etc. But more importantly, it gives you a framework and structure to try out different lifestyle elements and see how they impact you. You might not always do them diligently, but you’ll have a framework for how to prioritize what matters for YOUR life. (And yes, I still struggle with adequate hydration and mobilizing regularly – and they are WAY more important for how I feel than hitting a metcon hard. But every time I do the WLC I get a little bit better.)
- The community aspect is the best part. Community is part of the magic of CrossFit. I love going to the gym because I know I’m going to see awesome, interesting people and get to see them test their limits and do things they didn’t think were previously in their wheelhouse. I get to see the same thing during the WLC. Reading people’s daily reflections is my favorite part.
- It’s not about being perfect. Really, it’s not. It’s about building a sustainable lifestyle and set of habits.
Goals & Habits
Within the context of talking about the WLC, I want to bring up goals and habits. Your goal might be to lose weight or improve some aspect of your performance. But to achieve–and maintain–that goal, you likely need to modify your underlying habits.
In the past week, I’ve come across three great resources that I wanted to share because I’m using them to help nudge me towards the habits that I want to have (the aforementioned hydration and mobility!):
- “Turning New Year’s Resolutions Into Action With the Facts” – A great article from The New York Times about the science of habits.
- Toggl – A free, super easy to use online time tracker. A lot of times, we like to say we don’t have the time when we just would prefer not to do something (this is what I tell myself about stretching. Really.) Or, we get frustrated for not accomplishing a Herculean to-do list because we’ve allocated too little time to accomplish the task at hand. I’ve been using this to get a better sense on where I do – and don’t – have time to devote to making changes.
- Habit Bull – I’ve only been using this a few days and can’t believe I didn’t look for an app like this earlier. It’s an Android app (Free or $3.49 or so for the full version) and allows you to set daily habit goals and track them. There’s a widget on my phone that I tap to indicate daily habit progress: Yes, I did my rehab exercises. Yes, I drank adequate amounts of water. No, I did not drink insane amounts of coffee.Ignore the impulse to try to change everything at once. Start small and enjoy the daily feelings of victory. (For other recommendations for other operating systems, see this article)