I’m not the type of guy to do a meditation challenge.
I’m a type-A personality who is ambitious, competitive, and in need of control. Those character traits often help me in business or with my fitness where I strive for excellent results.
But I’d be fooling myself if I said my type-A personality didn’t have its negative effects. This personality causes me to lack patience with people, complain when my time is wasted, and struggle to relax.
And I know that I don’t want to run through life always on the go, without taking the time to enjoy it. That’s not the good life.
So what am I going to do?
I’m going to do the best thing for me: I’m starting a 28-Day Meditation Challenge.
Why I’m Doing A Meditation Challenge
Depending on your previous experiences with meditation, you might believe it’s this out there spiritual technique that only weird people do.
However, meditation has a real purpose and unique results.
It’s meant to declutter and refresh your mind. It’s cleaning up and organizing what’s important in your brain before you speed through the day from activity to activity.
If you don’t do it, you end up like most of the world in an anxious, stressed, and out of control mental state. If you do meditate, you’ll discover the benefits of meditation:
- Improves focus: It makes sense that priming your mind for the day results in better focus to tackle your to-do list. When your worries are assured and your outlook is positive thanks to meditation, you can dive 100% into your work without distractions.
- Encourages appreciation: Slowing down to just think and be thankful of the bed you have to sleep in, the coffee you get to drink, or the people in your life will encourage gratitude. Meditation quiets the inner voice that complains about other people who have it better. And you’re free to be at peace appreciating what you have.
- Decreases stress: Meditation gives your brain the time and attention it needs to address emotions. If you’re always on the go, you’ll continue to ignore your feelings until they all come out in one outburst. Meditation gets you to effectively manage stress so it’s not bubbling up for an explosion.
- Develops self-awareness: Being attentive to your mind during this process leads you to have a deep understanding of yourself. You’ll learn what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling a certain way. Then you can recognize who you are and express your true self, which is good for your well-being.
- Slows aging: It’s a fact that stress causes aging of the face and body. Yet meditators regulate their stress to decrease its effect and actually change their brain’s components. Similar to intermittent fasting, meditators take care of their brain and body. So they look and feel younger than their non-meditating peers.
- Increases happiness: Scientific studies show that meditation increases the positive emotions in your brain and decreases the negative emotions. I think you’re also happier when you’re in tune with yourself and pursuing what gives you joy, which are the fruits of meditation.
This meditation challenge will push me to be mindful of all that I have, not all that I desire.
It will encourage me to appreciate the moment and the people around me, instead of dreaming about the future.
And it will help me to enjoy the beauty of life, and stop complaining about the small things.
Just think about if you heard about a product that had all of those benefits. How much would you pay for it?
Meditation is free, and the benefits of meditation are priceless.
Your Favorite Stars Meditate
Most people, including you and I, are impressionable. If our favorite celebrity does something, don’t be surprised when we try to mimic it in some shape or form.
That’s why fans go crazy when they get the recipe to their favorite actor’s salad. Or why a product is sold out in 24 hours after a singer mentions that they love it.
But we often ignore what the influencers do to become super successful. For example, we’ll buy an outfit to look like them on the outside, but not do their workout routine to have a body like them.
We’d be far better off by following less of their trends and doing more of their habits. And let’s start with meditation, because all of the influencers below have found tremendous value in meditation:
Steve Jobs – “If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.”
Oprah Winfrey – “Prayer is you speaking to God. Meditation is allowing the spirit to speak to you.”
Angelina Jolie – “I find meditation in sitting on the floor with the kids coloring for an hour, or going on the trampoline.”
Kobe Bryant – “I try to have at least 15 minutes of still time and just kind of sit in my thoughts in the morning and just kind of meditate.”
Jennifer Aniston – “I also do Transcendental Meditation morning and afternoon. It’s so helpful to me, especially in this crazy industry.”
Hugh Jackman – “Nothing has ever opened my eyes like Transcendental Meditation has. It makes me calm and happy, and, well, it gives me some peace and quiet in what’s a pretty chaotic life!”
When these celebrities have an insane work schedule, constant meetings, publicity events, charity appearances, commercials, and their personal life to handle, they still make time to meditate.
There are also hundreds of other top achievers who meditate that I could have used as an example.
If they make the time for it, that’s a sign that you can—and need to—meditate if you’re serious about your success and happiness.
28-Day Meditation Challenge
It’s easy to say you’re going to do something, and then later justify why you’re not (or forget about it entirely).
But if you set up strict rules, then you’re more likely to remain accountable to yourself and accomplish what you set out to.
Below are the rules I’m following for the 28-Day Meditation Challenge:
1) Meditate immediately after I wake up for five minutes each day during week one, 10 minutes each day on week two, 15 minutes each day on week three, and 20 minutes each day on week four.
2) Look out for three small things I appreciated during the day.
3) Think of three things I’m grateful for in my life before going to bed each night.
I’m keeping this challenge simple because I have little experience with meditation. There’s no reason to implement yoga or stretching techniques when I’m a rookie.
Instead, I’ll be sitting on the ground with my eyes closed, and focusing on my breathing.
And I want to point out, as I said in previous Brian’s Personal Challenges, the true goal of these challenges is not to do it for week or a month and then stop. There’s not much value in that besides the tiny short-term benefits.
The only way to change your life is to continue these habits, in this case meditation, after the challenge. The challenge is designed as the kickstart for the lifestyle change.
And when you follow through to stack powerful habits one after another in your routine, you’ll become version 2.0 of yourself. You’ll become more positive, thoughtful, productive, fit, and happier.
These challenges aren’t the end, they’re the means to an end. That’s the vision behind these personal development challenges.
Quick Note On Meditation
Millions of people get scared off or frustrated when they try to meditate because it feels weird or they don’t know what they’re doing.
The key realization is you can’t do meditation wrong. You’re doing it right by taking the time to do it.
Just sit down, close your eyes, breathe naturally, and focus your mind on your breathe. It can help to count your number of breaths to 15 and then start from the bottom again.
Also, don’t get frustrated if you’re mind is filled with thoughts because that is what your mind is designed for, to think. It’s doing it’s job just like your heart is by beating.
If you start thinking about work or anxiety about the future, focus back on your breathing to get back in the moment. But don’t think to properly meditate your mind has to be blank.
Go with the flow as best as you can and you’ll improve over time.
To get the most out of connecting with our mind, I researched and found two quality resources.
And I’ve read that meditating and journaling work so well together, so the second resource is a journal to record what you’re grateful for, how you’re feeling, and what you want to improve on.
The Five Minute Journal is amazing for those of you who want a structured journal for each day, and it only takes five minutes. If you meditate first and then start your day with this journal, you’ll feel unstoppable.
You can also make a journal with loose leaf paper and a pen. Journaling will flesh out the thoughts that come to you during meditation, which will start your day in the right mindset.
I’m pumped up because I know getting in the habit of meditating is going to improve my life in a major way. And I want to share this satisfaction with you.
If people swear that meditation is the best thing in their life, why can’t that be true for you?
So please join me in this 28-Day Meditation Challenge.
Download the Calm app. Block off time in your morning to meditate (wake up early if you have to). And I promise you your outlook on life will be more present, positive, and carefree.
You don’t live forever, so you owe it to yourself to start living life to the fullest right now.