Today, I want to introduce you to something that has changed my level of productivity (and with that, my sense of personal achievement) by leaps and bounds. It keeps me motivated and moving each day no matter how I may be feeling that week. I call it the 10-4 Challenge, and I’m so excited to share it with you here because it seriously has made the biggest difference in my life.
Last year was a good year for me, especially with implementing goal-setting each month (more info on that on our blog post that you can find HERE). I felt like I was finally starting to move forward. I read so many books that year and Jo/Frank and I finally started building our blog/business/website thing that we had been thinking about for far too long. So looking ahead at this year, I wanted to maintain those same monthly goals, but I felt the need to add in some more intentionality to my days, to add a bit of structure, mainly because I knew we had specific things that we wanted/needed to accomplish; and, without smaller daily goals, I just knew I wasn’t going to be motivated all the time to accomplish what we needed to be done in order to move forward in my personal life and our new creative venture. Enter the kick ass
Now, here’s the breakdown of the challenge for me: ten minute increments (use a timer: trust me; this is crucial!), four different tasks. I chose: meditation, movement, reading, and writing. Why ten minutes? Because five was too short and fifteen seemed too long. I knew I could do ten minutes without overthinking it and talking myself out of it. Why four tasks? These four things are important to me, things I knew I wanted in my daily life, and activities that I knew would help me become the best version of myself. Together they are 40 minutes out of the whole day that I am choosing to be very intentional with, this is something I knew I could do, and as much as it would challenge me it wasn’t insurmountable. Starting small and reasonable was very important for me to start something and actually see it through for longer than a week.
Meditation: I get to work fifteen minutes early every day, so I can sit in my car and meditate for ten minutes before tackling the work day. It grounds me, centers me, and preps me mentally for the day. It is some much needed “me time” before I give myself to others, which, as a nanny, I am giving all day long! The best time to do this varies for each person, so just find what works for you. Any meditation in your day is better than none at all.
Movement: My movement is yoga and stretching, listening to my body and doing what it needs for that day. Movement/exercise is not my favorite thing, which is probably why I usually have to give myself a pep talk: “Steph, it is ten minutes, you can do ten minutes of yoga. Set your timer and get moving!” AND IT WORKS, GUYS. Use that timer. All I need to accomplish is ten minutes of movement, and as long as I have done that, I get a mental gold star. I get to check off that box. It’s good for my body and good for my spirit, and makes me a healthier person overall.
Reading: My reading currently is a Tony Robbins book, Awaken the Giant Within. By committing to ten minutes of reading each day I not only accomplished my monthly goal for January of reading five chapters, but I surpassed it—I read six! The sense of accomplishment and going above and beyond just fills me with joy and hope and pushes me to keep doing what I am doing, to succeed, to keep learning. I can do this! Go me!
Writing: Honestly, writing is not my strong suit. I struggle with it. I know in my heart what I want to say, but actually expressing that and putting it down on paper or in a blog is not easy for me. This is one of the reasons I decided to implement the 10-4 challenge because I knew if I was not intentional about writing every day, I wouldn’t do it. I could always come up with something else to do. What I have found, though, is that writing pushes me, challenges me, and I am actually now learning to like it. This past month I wrote four different blog posts! Who knew I was capable of such things? Not me, but I know now! If I hadn’t created space in my day (just ten minutes!) to explore that, I would have never discovered that part of me.
Probably what I love most about this 10-4 Challenge is that it is completely customizable for each individual person. I do this little program Monday through Friday and give myself space and grace to do some or none of these things over the weekend, because that is the structure that leaves me feeling the most centered and rested and myself. So, what would it look like to implement a bit more intentional structure with something like this in your life? What could your daily challenge be? What things do you want in your life, but can never seem to find the time to implement? What if you sat and worked on it for just ten minutes? What would that look like? Think of what you would accomplish in just one month! Just start somewhere and try something, and change it as needed. Maybe you do two tasks for fifteen minutes each, one task for twenty minutes, or maybe this is something you do one month and not the next. The possibilities are endless. If you need a bit more structure to your day and are looking for a simple way to feel like you are moving forward and are accomplishing something every day, this may be the thing for you. You can do this. Just give it a try. You are capable. So much more than capable. I believe in you, and I am cheering you on all the way.