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#fail - What I Learnt From ‘Failing’ My Summer Challenge

Picture this; It’s the 22 of July, school is out for summer, my out of office is on and I’m happily enjoying being in Italy surrounded by fields of sunflowers and vineyards with the sun shining brightly… what else could one need?

A challenge, that’s what!

I would take myself out for a walk (long or short) every. Single. Day. Why? Well… I wanted something productive to do in the summer, I love being in nature, walking gives me some alone time, and we’re constantly told that 10,000 steps a day is optimal to staying fit and healthy. It was a no brainer then!

Day 1: Out I went, phone in hand to capture evidence that I was sticking to my challenge, podcast on and I felt great.

Day 2: As above

Day 3, 4, 5…….14: Same again

My walks were taking me leisurely through meadows of sunflowers, down steep cliffs to secluded wild beaches, along the beach for post lunch passeggiatas and sometimes just for a trip around the shops…

Sounds perfect. So why then did it all derail? Why, when others set themselves challenges all the time and stick to them, couldn’t I do it…?

Somewhere between 81 percent and 92 percent of New Year’s Resolutions fail. A research study by psychology professor John Norcross

Well, it looks like sticking to a new habit is actually hard for A LOT of people. So, I decided to stop judging myself and start to get curious. Here’s what I learnt:

1. I didn’t prepare properly. When I was on holiday I could walk any time of day. When I got back home I had to fit it into my old routine and I wasn’t ready! What I needed back home was more of a plan… maybe an audio book I would commit to listening to every day, maybe childcare at specific times every day, maybe an alternative plan when the weather wasn’t on my side. Whatever it was, I let the perceived barriers win over my commitment to the challenge because I didn’t plan my days properly.

2. I got bored. I really did want to get out in nature every day, walk 10,000 steps (and prove it) and finish my challenge. Buuuuuut, I got a bit bored of doing the same thing every day. When the walks took me somewhere new I loved them… when I was faced with walking the same route every day, I got bored! I realized I needed to break my activities up. So, I started to get up at the same time every day and walk, or do Pilates, or do yoga, or walk again, or do some weights… every. Single. Day. And I was happier than if I was just walking daily.

3. The goal was too big. It didn’t seem too big. I mean, if I can’t just go out for a walk every day then what the hell, right?! Wrong! The reality is that I went from not walking to trying to fit in a one hour walk, every day. I should have broken the goal down into smaller achievable goals. So maybe week 1 was just 10 minutes a day, week 2 - 20 mins daily and so on…

4. I was more motivated by the goal, not the journey. Walking can take you to places you couldn’t get to any other way… I loved this! But what about the repetitive walks? I should have made them more entertaining, or more rewarding, or maybe walking daily just isn’t for me. But, even if I don’t walk every day it’s definitely worth it when I do do it! 😉

So, here's to the 'failed' challenge, to the lessons that arose from the path I walked and the wisdom I gained along the way. Will I walk this road again? Absolutely. For in the world of wellness, the balance between striving and surrendering is the real accomplishment. Whether daily strides become a harmonious habit or a sporadic joy, the journey is where the magic lies. And that, perhaps, is a victory in itself.

If you're wanting to make some positive changes in your life and need some extra support on your journey then get in touch and book a coaching call with me, Claudia Dumond.

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