It’s that time of year again! My annual 28 Day Plank Challenge. I’ve been doing this every February for a while now and it’s a popular challenge with my clients and friends because it’s a great full body exercise that’s not complicated and you can do it easily anywhere!
Here are the details: You will perform a plank every day for 28 days increasing the length of time that you hold the plank by 15 seconds every 4 days. I start with 30 seconds and build up to 2 minutes. However, you may choose to start with however many seconds you like! You could start with 15 seconds if you have never planked before, or you could start with more. It’s totally up to you!
Also, you choose the plank that you want to perform for the 28 days. There are 4 variations of a prone plank: elbows & knees, hands & knees, elbows & feet, or hands & feet. I would pick one and stay with it for the entire month. You could also choose a side plank, but then you have 2 planks to do each day because you would need to hold the plank on both sides for the same amount of time.
I’ve included pictures of the 4 prone planks for you as well as the calendar I will be following for my plank challenge. You can print this off to help you remember to do your plank each day and cross off the days as you go. Or make your own calendar if you are adjusting the time for holding the plank.
I hope you will take on this challenge as it is a great way to strengthen your core and it is so easy to do on your own that you really have no excuse not to!!!
Why is it that we so often put our health needs last? I think especially as women, we tend to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. We take our children to their activities. We provide good meals for the family. Some are even caring for their elderly parents. There’s just no time to take care of you. There’s no time to work out, no time for sleep, and no time for healthy eating. We cannot let this happen. We need to make time for ourselves. We need to take care of our bodies. Only then will we be better able to care for those we love!
So make time for yourself! Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy, fresh foods, and making time for exercise. You will have more energy and a better mood, so the care you give your loved ones will be the very best. When you are feeling overwhelmed, remember that it’s your turn. Do something small that will lift your mood. Go to bed early. Take a bath. Go for a walk. There is no reason to feel guilty about doing these things. These are priorities for you so that you can be the best version of yourself for others as well as for yourself!
I am one of those weirdo’s who loves to set New Year’s resolutions. I don’t even need it to be New Year’s day. I like to start fresh all the time. It could be the first day of a new season, the first day of the month, or even the first day of the week. I love the idea of beginning anew. Wipe the slate clean and start over. Maybe it’s because I make a lot of mistakes. Maybe it is because I’m full of good intentions. It is not to say that I don’t achieve my goals so I have to start over or that I am a quitter. I do achieve the goals I set – sometimes, most of the time. It’s just that I love to set goals for myself and see if I can achieve them. Sure, I am disappointed when it doesn’t work out. But when I do achieve my goals, it gives me a real sense of accomplishment that makes me feel like I can do anything. Setting goals and achieving them gives me confidence. So, call me crazy, but I do love this time of year because it is the ultimate goal setting time. I hope you are taking the opportunity to set goals for yourself. It can be any type of goal. It would be great if you set goals for different aspects of your life. Don’t try to take on too much, but there are many different types of goals to set. Here are a few tips if you are wanting to set goals and would like to set yourself up to be more successful.
- Set goals that make you excited. If you are setting a goal for something you dread, chances are you won’t want to follow through with it. Maybe by accomplishing a goal for something you are excited about, it will give you the confidence to then tackle a goal that you used to drag your feet on.
- Try to make your goals measurable and specific. This will help you to know for sure that you reached it. For example, one of my goals for this year is to read more books. Last year, I read 27 books. This year my goal is 30. Just so you know my goal for last year was 40. It was a lofty goal which I didn’t achieve, but that’s not stopping me from trying again this year. If I achieve my goal this year, I can always increase it for 2019.
- Tell other people about your goals. Write them down and post them where you will see them everyday. This keeps you on track. Other people will make you accountable to your goals. If you keep them to yourself, or write them somewhere you can’t see them, it will be easier to lose focus.
- Plan and prepare. Set yourself up for success. Each day, think about what you need to do to achieve your goals. Try to think of things that might get you off track. Plan for the inevitable. You can’t always know what is coming, but if you plan for what you can, you’ll be ready for most anything. I’m always working on my nutrition. If I don’t plan my meals, chances are I’m going to get really hungry and eat anything and everything you set in front of me. (No Joke!) If I plan my meals, then I’m much more successful to sticking to my plan. I always start the morning off with great intentions, but as the day wears on, it is easy to lose my resolve. The better I plan, the less likely I am to give in to my weaknesses.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, we want to be successful at achieving our goals. However, there’s no reason to beat yourself up if you make a mistake. Pick yourself up and brush yourself off, and start over again. I believe that we should always be growing and evolving. I plan to keep trying to improve myself all the way up to my last day on this earth.
We can always learn something new. We can always make improvements to ourselves. We are not set in stone. It’s never too late to make yourself a better person. Isn’t that why we are here? To take what we are given and be the best version of ourselves that we can be? I hope you are inspired to set some goals and make some improvements in your life. You can do it. You deserve it!