The Do 1 Thing Challenge was something that actually came about on accident, really.
Back in February of 2009, I elected to go through a series of surgeries to repair my upper jaw/teeth due to an old sports-related injury. The surgeries unfortunately had complications and I ended up in an excruciating amount of pain and a mostly liquid diet through the end of March.
The consequence of all those surgeries, and limited diet was twofold:
- I lost about 10lbs. My clothes had never looked better.
- I’d never been so weak and depleted in my entire life.
My clothes looked better than ever and I had absolutely no energy to go anywhere in them. Well if that isn’t a slap in the face, I don’t know what is!
Clearly I needed to start a journey back towards getting healthy. However, being a little on the vain side (sorry, might as well just own that piece now),
- I knew nothing about nutrition.
- I knew nothing about working out in a gym.
- I knew nothing about having a good support network (which I didn’t have either)
- I did know I wanted to keep my clothes fitting nicer if possible… but I wasn’t even sure if that was possible.
I just knew I needed to get healthy again. So I started researching.
Each day, I tried to do 1 thing from what I’d read to help improve my health. Not 50 things. Not 10 things. Not even 2 things.
Just 1 thing.
It was so unlike me. I’m a Type A++ personality. I felt like I had absolutely ZERO business being in what seemed like “the slow lane”. But when you barely have enough energy to take a shower every day… the slow lane is where you go.
So, I went with it. Daily. No matter what came up, that at the end of every day I could write 1 thing I’d done for improving my health.
As things became more comfortable and a more natural part of my routine, I challenged myself with new “1 Things”.
By Memorial Day that same year, I was not only still feeling fabulous in my clothes — I was out of the house in them.
- I didn’t do it by following a specific plan.
- I didn’t do it by doing the same thing every day.
- I just did 1 Thing… every day.
The Take Away
Of course this is the part of the story where I’m supposed to tell you that I’ve been doing things this way every since and that life has been great, right? Wrong. Well… half wrong. The truth is that I’ve actually been able to sustain some of the major changes these last 8 years — specifically related to nutrition. And that has helped a LOT.
In other areas, like working out, I still struggle. As I advanced I tried doing specific programs and routines where if I missed a day — I chalked it up as a “failure” and then crashed.
I forgot what it was about the Do 1 Thing mindset that actually worked so brilliantly, — You just have to Do. 1. Thing.
- The dog got sick and so you missed your spin class? Okay — dust off one of those workout DVDs.
- Planned to go for a run, but it’s raining? Do a short circuit of bodyweight moves in the garage.
- Can’t stand the thought of working out? Give yourself permission to not think about it. Turn your brain off and just do the moves until the person on the video says stop.
- OR maybe you actually need an Active Rest day — which is fine. I try to take 1-2 Active Rest days per week.
The Do 1 Thing Challenge is all about making your goals work for you while you work on them.
And that is why it works… it’s not about changes that happen outside of your normal life. It’s about creating shifts and small changes inside the things you already do, and eventually — if you so choose — finding opportunities to try out new things too.
I still have the first ‘clean eating’ recipe I ever made.
I still have the first gym routine I ever did.
Do I still use them? No — I haven’t in years. I keep them as reminders of where I was when I started.
(Although maybe I will go make that chicken recipe…it was actually really good!)
Ready to Take the Do 1 Thing Challenge?
If you’re ready to take the Do 1 Thing Challenge, then you will definitely want to grab my Do 1 Thing Challenge Exercise for to discover your 1 Thing! Just enter your email, and I’ll send it right over!