And the voice said, “What on earth were you thinking?”

How was your Bank Holiday?  Did you get up and moving around, even just a little? I wanted to share a bit more news about my charity challenge.  I’m doing this because I’d like to share what I’m learning with you, so that you can use it too.  It can be applied to any goal, target, challenge, and it doesn’t have to be a physical one either.  Here’s what I’ve learnt during week 2 of my training:

  • A little positive self-talk, to get yourself going is a good idea, as you won’t always be in the mood.  It’s all too easy to take that extra 5 minutes in bed, or to go for the easy option and do something else, instead of what you really need to do.  Sometimes, you have to override the negativity with a bit of a kick.
  • The delight of “here come the feelgood hormones”.  Nothing like a good kick of endorphins to tell you when you know things are going well.  And they stay around for a while after you’ve finished exercising too, so use their benefits in other areas.
  • The benefits of a day off.  This is simple “kindfulness”, as the insightful Shamash Alidini would concur.  Going hell-for-leather day in, day out, is exhausting, and if you don’t give yourself some space and time to recover, you’ll damage your chances of success.
  • A chat with any experts you know, or a colleague is well worth it.  Get yourself a sense-check and good advice from those that have the experience, to make sure you’re on the right track and trajectory.  You can’t be expected to do this all alone, and, as I’ve said before, people really do like to help.
  • It’s interesting how priorities change when you’re working towards something new and challenging.  Be prepared to become a little obsessed with your new challenge, and embrace that.  It’s your brain enjoying the stimulation of something new and interesting.
  • I’m  definitely at the conscious incompetence stage of my challenge.  A little bit of  “What have I taken on?” is creeping in.  But the trick is not to push that away.  Think about it.  Remember the reason for starting in the first place.  Focus on the progress so far, rather than the rest of the mountain to climb.

If you’re interested to know more, the lovely charity I’m supporting is Supershoes, a children’s cancer charity, based in Milton Keynes.  I’d recommend a visit to their Gallery, where you can see the beautiful, customised shoes like the ones by Super Artist Elanor in the picture here, given as gifts to children with cancer.

And if you’ve got 13 minutes, I can also recommend this TED talk about the benefits of exercise…  If you don’t entirely believe me about getting moving, here’s a neuroscientist to give you the facts.  (just saying!)

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About Marianna Beckwith