The February Challenge started 15 years ago because a group of friends wanted to help each other shed the pounds they gained over the holidays. They chose February because: the holiday parties were finally over; it gave them something to focus on in the dead of winter; they wanted to jump into spring already in shape for summer; and it was 28 days, exactly four weeks. They figured they could do anything for four weeks…if they did it together.
It worked and has become an annual event. The rules might change little from year to year but the goals are the same: Get in shape and lose a few unhealthy habits.
Many people give up on health related goals because lifestyle habits are tough to change. Plus, we live in a culture that promotes excess. So instead of trying, we make excuses…it’s too hard; I have no self-control; there’s too much stress in my life; I don’t have time; I do worse when I put pressure on myself; I don’t like to exercise and I love food so it’s hopeless.
The dialogue that runs through your head is also a habit. The messages you repeat to yourself over and over again determine your success or failure in reaching any goal. You know the saying: “If you think you can…you can. If you think you can’t…you won’t.” This year, for the first time, we’re going to try to change that dialogue.
Bottom line: If you want to get in shape, join the February Challenge. Come on! Yesterday’s mistakes were homework. Today you can succeed. Besides, it’s free. There’s no opt-in page and you won’t show up on any lists.
Below is an overview of the 2013 rules. Details and rational for each rule will be provided during the upcoming week.
Rules for everyone:
- ½ cup warm water with ½ a lemon first thing every morning with intention (the dialogue)
- 4+ cups of fruits-veggies/day ( 4 cups=8 servings)
- Avoid feeling full
Extra rules (Pick at least two):
- 10-10-10 challenge (sit-ups/squats/push-ups)
- 6+ glasses of water/day (in addition to other liquids)
- 7+ hours of sleep/night (or 49 hours/week)
- 1+ hour exercise/day (or 7 hours/week)
Recruit your friends and get ready to test yourself. On the February Challenge Facebook page, you’re invited to make comments, ask questions, make recommendations or just whine. The more conversation, the better (Please don’t advertise). You can also post comments here.