Why Am I Doing a Weekly Wellness Challenge?

Why Am I Doing a Weekly Wellness Challenge?

Weekly Wellness Challenge

Last year I did both Dry January and Yoganuary and this year I am doing Veganuary. Apparently there is evidence that it takes between 3 weeks and a month to develop a habit, but I have to admit that I did not actually continue abstaining from alcohol after Dry January, and I can’t really say I kept up a regular yoga practice throughout the whole of last year. So despite sticking with both these activities for a full month, thoroughly enjoying the experiences, and finding them fairly easy to implement, they did not develop into habits. But why? Well, I think the reason is that when you give up something completely, or try and do something every single day without fail, it becomes difficult to keep up such extreme habits when everyday life starts to get in the way. And as soon as you start to slip, it gets easier and easier to fall back into your old habits. That said, things might be different when you have a very strong motivation for making a change. I feel a lot more passionately about eating a plant-based diet than I did about abstaining from alcohol or practicing yoga (and it wasn’t such an extreme change as I had already been eating a predominantly plant-based diet for about 2 months prior) so I think I am very likely to carry on Veganuary past February…

Right now I’m not really looking to make any more big changes to my life, but I have learned from these experiences that I really enjoy challenging myself. I don’t think it makes sense for me to wait until next January to try out something new and so, purely for fun, I have decided to test myself throughout the year and implement a Weekly Wellness Challenge. Each Sunday I will set myself a health and wellness related challenge or goal for the coming week, and I will share my progress on my Instagram stories with the hashtag #40ishloveWWC. Some of these wellness habits may stick, many probably won’t, but by sharing these challenges on social media I will be motivated to try out a number of new healthy activities that I probably wouldn’t otherwise bother to try. I won’t put myself under any pressure (as I already have a fairly busy fitness life with tennis training twice a week, tennis matches, Pilates and Kayla Itsines’ Sweat app!), and instead I’ll use it as a learning experience, to see if there are any healthy practices out there that I would actually like to implement more regularly in my life. I have already been brainstorming about the types of challenges I will set myself, and they cover various topics from food to fitness to flexibility to feelings. I’ll be looking to Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for inspiration, and if you have any suggestions on what I could/should do, just let me know in the comments below! For week one I have decided to work on my tight hamstrings and I plan do ragdoll for 3 mins each day (as described by Cat Meffan on one of her YouTube videos). Remember to follow me on Instagram to see how it goes!

Actually, why don’t you join me on the challenge?! If you subscribe to my newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page, you will receive my newsletter every Sunday and I’ll share the upcoming Weekly Wellness Challenge with you!




  1. January 29, 2018 / 8:41 am

    Hi Helen 🙂
    I study a PhD in psychology and have done a lot of reading about habits. One study did suggest that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but new (2010 I think) research suggested that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit (but that’s the average – it took some people 18 days and the researchers suggested that it would have taken others over 240 days!). You can do some things to try and help a habit stick, for example, always do yoga at the same time of day – that way the time of day can act as a cue for you to do it. Or try and make the behaviour context dependent – because habits are automatic and often triggered by the environment. E.g. some participants in the study that I mentioned above wanted to try and eat healthier, so they decided to eat an apple every day with lunch.
    I agree that it might be harder to break old habits like having a glass of wine in the evening or several drinks when you’re at the pub with friends. In those cases you might want to swap the behaviour for something else that can give you the same positive feelings as if you had the alcohol.
    I know you didn’t ask for a lecture in psychology but I absolutely love this topic and thought I would share some of what I have learnt <3

    • love40ish
      January 29, 2018 / 10:34 am

      Hi Rachel, this is so interesting – thank you so much for commenting and sharing your knowledge! My PhD (in engineering) is not so useful for these topics 🙂 I really like the idea of swapping a given behaviour for something else that gives you the same positive feelings – it is definitely something I will think more about. Thanks again!

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