This is Day 0 of the 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world work together to improve on their diet and fitness in January 2015. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all tasks and posts.
Hi everyone!! 😀 At this moment of writing, it’s Dec 30 and two days before the new year. We are two days away from the start of the 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge, and it’s now time to do our pre-work. Are you ready?? Because I sure am!! Now, let’s get started! 😀
2015 Healthy Living Challenge: Have You Signed Up Yet???
If you’ve yet to officially sign up for the challenge, please do so first here: https://personalexcellence.co/blog/healthy-living-challenge/. As of this writing, we already have over
60 100 220 official participants! Signing up is compulsory to receive the daily tasks and participate in the challenge tasks!
Now, some of you must be wondering: Why sign up? How not just passively read the tasks and do them in my own time?
Well, four reasons
- When you sign up, you pledge your intent to live healthily to the world. This is important as it sets your mind and heart in the right direction, and sends an open signal to the universe to send the right energy and opportunities your way.
- When you sign up, you become more committed as well. Let’s be honest — not signing up gives us an excuse to be half-*ssed about the challenge and to drop off when the going gets tough. Because when we don’t sign up, there’s no obligation to follow through, which then creates an easy exit path to eat junk food or skip our exercises when temptation arises.
On the other hand, signing up takes courage and accountability. Many participants of our past healthy living challenges continue to tell me about the benefits they’ve gotten from the past challenges even today, and that’s because they first decided to sign up. The same can happen to you!
- When you sign up, you become a part of a community of highly motivated and like-minded individuals who share the common goal as you: to live a healthier life not just in 2015, but beyond. By being a part of this community, you also get support from these amazing smart, positive, and talented individuals. Many people pay just to get the same thing in paid membership clubs and Weight Watchers!
- When you sign up, you take the first action towards healthy living. While posting a comment isn’t going to help you lose 10kg / 22lbs and get six packs overnight, it is the first step toward the right direction. Four years ago, I was a part of the Jan 2011 run of the Healthy Living Challenge, where I ate a very healthy high-raw diet during the 21 days. It’s already been so many years but I still remember how I was busy buying greens and making my own salads during those few weeks, and how healthy it felt to be eating all these fresh fruits and vegetables then! Today, I naturally gravitate to greens, fruits, and fruit juices and they are a staple in my diet — and these came from first planting the seeds in the past. 🙂 The question to you is: are you ready to plant the seeds for your healthy life, starting today? 🙂
No more excuses. No more avoiding healthy living goals. Do you know that losing weight was the number one most popular new year’s resolutions in 2014, and majority of people (as high as 73%) fail in their resolutions? But guess what — it’ll be different for all of you here because you have myself and the PE community to support you in your healthy living goals in the next 14 days. Through this challenge, my aim is to help all of you instill positive, healthy living habits — healthy habits that will stick in the long haul.
Get started by signing up here (100% free): Join 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge!
Once you sign up, you’re ready for Day 0’s task. And today, we are going to…
Day 0: Create Your Healthy Living Plan!
As we prepare ourselves for the 14 days ahead, the very first task I’d like you guys to do is to create your plan for the next 14 days, from Jan 1 to Jan 14. First, download the “14-Day Healthy Living Plan” worksheet that I’ve created for you (right click, then click “Save as…” to save onto your computer hard disk):
- Download: 14-Day Healthy Living Plan in DOC format (for typing into the document)
- Download: 14-Day Healthy Living Plan in PDF format (for printing)
Step 1: Write your ideal vision for your health/fitness (5 min)
For the next few minutes, close your eyes. Imagine you’re living your ideal life. Your ideal life whereby your diet and health is a 10/10, your physique and fitness level is a 10/10, and your lifestyle is a 10/10 as well.
In your ideal life, what is your health/fitness like? What is your diet each day? How much will you weigh? How regularly will you exercise? Will you have six-pack abs? What kind of habits will you have cultivated/quit? Write them down in the worksheet!
In my ideal life, I eat healthily. Every day, my diet will have a good proportion of carbs, protein, and fats, and it meets my daily caloric and nutritional needs. I will not consume any fried food and I will have very low quantities of processed food. I do not eat out of stress or anxiety (i.e. emotional eating), but rather, have a completely neutral and wholesome relationship with food, consuming only as and when I need to, to achieve the maximum nutritional needs of my body.
- I wish to have a body fat percentage of 20%. As body fat percentage is very tricky to measure, it may help to use a visual guide instead. I found these pictures from Nerd Fitness helpful:
- I want to have healthy cholesterol levels, as measured by these factors: high HDL (healthy/good cholesterol), low triglycerides, and a good HDL:LDL ratio of < 3.5. (LDL is typically termed “bad” cholesterol, though LDL comes in big and small sizes, and the real bad LDL are the ones with small particles.)
- Weight-wise, I’m currently at my ideal weight (and it’s been a decade-long journey getting here!), so moving forward I want to focus on being lean and fit.
Fitness-wise, I’ll be exercising every other day, for three times a week.
Step 2: Set your goals for the next 14 days! (5 min)
The 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge is meant to get you started toward your ideal healthy life. Hence, unlike my usual goal-setting exercises on PE, I don’t want you to set some massive sky-high goal like to lose 20 kg / 44 lbs or 20% body fat in 14 days (only to come crashing down later on as you’ve not built the right foundation toward healthy living).
Rather, I want you to set practical, foundational goals for these 14 days, to get you moving toward your long-term healthy-living goals. We’re not aiming for fast and massive results here, but to create positive, sustainable change.
So, think about the next 14 days, from 1 Jan to 14 Jan. What do you want to achieve by the end of this 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge? What key milestones, be it weight, diet, or fitness, do you wish to complete? These will be the goals that YOU set for YOURSELF to aid you in living a healthier life in the long haul, and they should be a subset of your ideal health/fitness goals from Step 1.
Here are some examples of goals to set:
- Weight goal:
- To lose 2 kg/ 4.4 lbs (so 1 kg / 2.2 lbs a week)
- Diet goals:
- Fitness goals:
- To exercise X times/week
- To do X push ups / day
For me, my goals are:
- Exercise at least three times a week
- Cut out deep fried / oily food from my diet. While I’m now eating a largely clean diet with healthy sandwiches, soups, and at times salads, there are times — maybe once or twice a week — when I consume fried food such as chips or fries because there are no other food options where I live. (The ubiquity of unhealthy food options in our society today is astounding.) Needless to say, it ain’t good!
- Eat salads more regularly (ideally once a day if I can)
Step 3: List your key action steps for success! (10 min)
Based on your goals from Step 2, what are your key action steps to realize them?
For example, if your goal is to lose 2 kg / 4.4 lbs, your key actions may be
- Exercise three times a week, for 30 minutes each time
- Manage calorie intake to 1,500 calories every day
- Consume healthy diet with more fruits, salads, and sandwiches
For me, my action steps are:
- Jog every Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday evening (have scheduled into my calendar). I’ll be listening to podcasts while jogging to make the jogs more interesting.
- Take away my lunch and dinner at one go when I’m out for lunch. (I’m often left with unhealthy food options at night because I didn’t plan for my dinner. Taking away both meals at one go will ensure that I’ll have a healthy lunch and dinner. I’ve already shortlisted a list of healthy eateries that I always get my food from, to create regularity.)
- Stock up on two days’ worth of salads, or make them myself.
- Stock up on healthy food at home (have scheduled appointment to go grocery shopping tomorrow with my husband).
Step 4: Create your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan! (10 min)
Now, based on your goals and action steps, map out your healthy living plan from 1 Jan to 14 Jan using the 14-day calendar in the worksheet!
- If you want to lose 2 kg / 4.4 lbs and one of your action steps is to exercise three times a week, then you may want to list “Exercise for 30 minutes” on the Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays of the plan.
- If your goal is to eat salads daily (like me), then you may want to include “Lunch: Salad” as an action item for the 14 days.
- If your goal is to cut out refined carbohydrates, then you may want to write “No refined carbohydrates” as an action item for the 14 days.
Some days may be blank and it’s okay. The point is to create a day-to-day plan to get clarity on what to do every day!
Final Step: Pin up your Healthy Living Plan worksheet! (5 min)
Once you’re done, print out the worksheet (if you’re using soft copy). Then, pin this worksheet up on your noticeboard (if you work from home) or put it in your folder (if you work at an office) so that you can carry it with you wherever you go!
This is going to be your action plan for the next 14 days! 😀 Starting from Jan 1 to 14, your task will be to follow what you have listed for that day (along with the daily tasks that I’ll be posting on PE daily). When you complete an item, cross it off. By the end of the 14 days, you should ideally have a chart full of (or nearly full of) items that are crossed off! 😀
Take note of the tasks that require time commitment (such as to exercise for X minutes or to eat a specific diet that requires preparation). Set aside the time in your calendar (Google Calendar, MS Outlook, etc.) on those days for those tasks.
Share Your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan!
What is your ideal health/fitness? What are your health/fitness goals for the next 14 days? What are your action steps for success? What does your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan look like? Share them with everyone here!
If you like, take a photograph or a screenshot of your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan and share it as part of your comment! (You can attach images by clicking the image attachment button at the bottom left of the comment box.)
After you’re done, proceed to Healthy Living Day 1: Drink 8 Glasses of Water!