And here we thought one 30-day yoga challenge was just that, a challenge. Meet Danne, a Natick, MA educator and 30-day challenger extraordinaire. Seriously – Danne’s been completing a one-month challenge (or “Lent” as she calls it) every month for the last four years. We couldn’t help but ask her to dish the deats on what she’s been up to (and secretly hoped her dedication would rub off on us too).
one goal at a time, one month at a time, for a whole year
As Sophia from the Golden Girls would say...Picture it: Boston, Massachusetts. It’s a cold December night in 2008. A discouraged 25-year-old-girl in the midst of a quarter-life crisis is sitting down to write her New Year’s resolutions. This last year has been kind of a letdown and she can’t seem to shake the feeling that she isn’t making any notable progress on her goals—on the things that really matter most. After scribbling down an intimidating number of resolutions, the hopelessness starts to settle in. “How can I actually expect to get anything done with such an overwhelming list?”, she wonders. That’s when the epiphany hits: Why not create a hybrid between a New Year’s Resolution and the concept of Lent; one goal at a time, one month at a time, for a whole year. And just like that, a blog (and lifestyle) was born.
12 months of lent
Having grown up in a Catholic household, I’m no stranger to practicing Lent in the more traditional sense. With my blog, 12 Months of Lent, my goal is to take Lent’s underlying concept (personal sacrifice and dedication for a set period of time) and use it to push myself towards making headway on my goals. Each month, I assign myself a different challenge, or “Lent”, to complete with the intention of living a more purposeful and fulfilling life. The best part? It works.
rising to the challenge
So, what type of challenges do I take on? Well, I spent a month picking up every piece of litter that I came across, another month not making any trash (it’s much more possible than you think), a month attempting to become a diehard Red Sox fan, a month getting rid of 100 things a week and other months committing to much simpler tasks, like writing in my journal each day, taking more photographs and doing more yoga.
the good, the bad and the ugly
"Sixing" was a challenge where I limited my wardrobe to only six items (totally amazing and especially awesome for travelling).
Attempting to eat the government’s daily-recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Epic fail.
Most Dreaded Challenge:
The 21-Day Dietary Cleanse. It was pretty tough to be psyched about going without my beloved pizza and Pinot Grigio for three weeks.
what’s the point?
People ask me all the time why I do these funny challenges in the first place...what’s the point? The answer is simple: it’s become second nature—a habit, a positive ritual that impacts my life in the best way possible. Four years in, and I honestly can’t picture my life without it.
Are you challenging yourself to do anything this month? Check out Danne’s blog for inspiration. Also, keep your eye out for her coverage of Wanderlust Vermont right here on our blog next week!