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Each day brings a new opportunity to be grateful. It also gives us a brand new chance to change something in our lives by adding a new habit. Habits are formed over a period of 30 to 120 days. The first week brings the first challenge of adjustment to our new daily habit which is a routine establishment. Let’s say I want to wake up each day and greet the sun, so I can take advantage of natural beta-endorphins that form in my brain from being in the sun without glasses or sunscreen. Ya, that is really a thing my friend. Being in the sun helps with increased focus, virility, mental satiation, circadian awareness, melatonin, and serotonin function(which only happens in the early morning sunlight, and mitochondria function among thousands of other body systems support.

I utilize my alarm clock to guarantee I awake, at sunrise. I don’t use artificial light at night to suppress my body’s natural desire to sleep when nature sleeps. If I do need to have artificial alien light, I wear blue blockers to promote healthy circadian biology. Upon awakening, if I feel an additional need for wakefulness, I use cold water on my face. I immediately, head out to the front porch to spend 15-20 minutes in the rising morning sun. I removed my eyeglasses and look in the general direction of the sun but not directly into the sun. Even in the weather of 10 degrees Fahrenheit, I can still feel the heat from the sun on my face.

While the first week is dedicated to establishing the routine, the second week further solidifies it into becoming a habit. In addition, the second week serves to further self-confidence and weed out people who weren’t that interested in making a new habit. True perseverance comes from not giving up when that voice in my head says to turn off the alarm.

The third week is about embracing the process of this new habit. Most people don’t even make it to this point. Embracing this new you can actually take several weeks. You have to decide if you are worth it. Mental challenges can become a war of “mind of matter” in this period.

Somewhere in the next few weeks, one has embraced the positive of this new habit and the overall challenge is nearing completion. Commitment to the system of this new habit becomes the next goal. Many who reach this summit, can congratulate themselves but go on to fail with any change in routine such as becoming ill or taking a vacation. Slowly, the group thins and only the mentally tough make it through these weeks of persistence.

There is a concept in martial arts of mushin noshin. The concept is to act without thinking. The muscles in the body are used to reacting and they do so without the prevalence of thought. For it is the mind that is our biggest obstacle to conquer.

While many 30 day challenges begin with the best of intentions. It is only the strong in mind that so accomplish the task of creating a new habit. We need only to remember that “I am WORTH it”.