Welcome to The 29-Day Love Challenge! If we were asked if we love ourselves, so many of us would say, with attitude, “Of course I love myself! What’s wrong with you?” But then far too many of us live day to day as if we don’t. So, since February is known for being the month of love, I challenge you to show love everyday, that’s ev-er-ree day, for the full 29 days in this February! Can you do it? Are you in?
The 29-Day Love Challenge is FREE.
You can do the challenge on each day listed, or you can use this as a checklist (print this challenge, if needed) and pick which assignment you want to do on whichever day. For example, Day 1 can be completed on Feb. 1, or it can be completed on another day. Just mark off whenever Day 1 is completed so that you can keep track. If you stay on task of doing one challenge per day, by the end of the month, you should have done them all, regardless of which ones you completed in whatever order.
And if you would like to share your testimony and/or pictures, you can include them in the comments section below, or on my page on facebook: Joy C Daniels.com.
So, here goes:
Day 1: Simply tell yourself “I love you.”
We tell other people all the time, sometimes some of us even mean it. But, look in the mirror and tell yourself “I love you.” Spend time looking at your face, your hair, those problem areas. Look at yourself from head-to-toe and tell yourself that you love yourself, even the parts that you feel are unlovable. Learn to truly appreciate all that you are and all that you have.
Day 2: Take inventory of your health.
When was the last time you had any kind of check-up? If it’s been a year or longer, it’s time to get it done. Trust me, you don’t want any surprises. Just because you may feel fine does not mean that you ARE fine. Some people don’t know they have blood pressure issues until they have a stroke. And, if you are overweight, depending on how much overweight, you may be at risk of having a stroke, heart attack, developing diabetes, etc. Then, the medicines begin. I know you’re busy, but take time to love yourself by making these appointments today:
1. doctor — for general check-up, blood work, consultation
2. dentist — prevent/treat tooth decay, gum disease, etc. An infection in your mouth means you literally have an infection in your head. Think about it.
3. eye — (ophthalmologist or optometrist)
4. mammogram — if you are over 40, you need to have a mammogram completed
5. pap smear (gynecologist) — keep your reproductive system healthy (whether you are childbearing or not)
Day 3: Start a journal.
You may be surprised how therapeutic journaling can be. You write down your private thoughts and feelings; use this as a way to work everything out. Journaling is especially good when you don’t have anyone available to talk to right when you need to. It’s also good for reflecting on where you’ve been, how far you’ve come, and any changes you need to make. Be sure to keep your journal out of sight so that no one will be tempted to read it. And, if needed, get a journal with a lock on it. (By the way, one of my favorite journals is available in my online store.)
Day 4: Try a new food.
Whether you google a new recipe or you go out to eat, try something new. Treat yourself to something outside of your comfort zone. Let your taste buds explore and live on the wild side a little! I think I’ve had Thai food only once in my life (several years ago), so I may try another Thai dish.
Day 5: Plan a getaway.
When was the last time you got away? Sometimes we just need a break from all the stress from work, parenting, being a caregiver, etc. If you don’t forsee yourself being able to get away for a week, try an extended weekend, a regular 2-day weekend, or a day trip. I’m trying to decide what we’re doing for Spring Break, but whatever we do, we are outta here!
Day 6: Clean/Decorate/Re-decorate your house.
There is something about a fresh environment that enlivens the spirit. When your home is clean and a place you feel comfortable in, your creative energies are able to flow at will. It can be as simple as cleaning one room at a time, rearranging the living room, or adding a picture to a wall. Dust if you need to and open the curtains to let some sunlight in. Clean and decorate the bathroom.
Day 7: Have a Spa Day or Spa Night.
Now that your bathroom is clean and decorated, you can turn it into your own personal spa. Play some nice, calming, music. Light some scented candles. Enjoy your favorite beverage. Soak in a wonderful bubble bath, or oil if you prefer. Make sure you have a bath pillow to rest your head on and some cute, but comfortable, clothes to put on afterwards. Enjoy this experience for at least 30 minutes.
Day 8: Meditate by sunrise or sunset.
Take time to get quiet and centered. Breathe deeply. Sit straight up on the floor, “Indian-style.” Turn to face the direction of the sun. Meditate on all the good in your life, especially the tiny miracles. Spend 15-30 minutes in peaceful, positive meditation.
Day 9: Donate.
While you were cleaning your house, surely you came across some items you either don’t need, don’t want, or don’t use. De-clutter your house, or closet, by donating these items to the Salvation Army, GoodWill, or some other charity or people in need.
Day 10: Honor your parents.
Reach out to your parents, grandparents, parent figures, or elders (if your own parents are deceased). Offer to do something for them then do it. Speak to them respectfully. Pray for them. Make plans to spend quality time with them.
Day 11: Do something you enjoyed as a child.
Color in a coloring book. Draw a picture. Watch (wholesome) cartoons (Scooby Doo was my favorite). Play on the playground. Play jacks or hopscotch. Climb a tree. Have a pillow fight. Build a tent in the living room. Jump on the bed. Race a friend. Anything. I would actually climb a tree if there was a good one to climb. I used to love swinging from the limbs, letting go, then briefly flying through the air. Ahhhh…those were the days! Pick something to do and savor the experience of connecting to your inner child.
Day 12: Be nice to someone you really don’t like.
Maybe you don’t particularly care for your boss or the people you work with. Maybe it’s a sibling or a neighbor. Whoever you don’t like, be nice to them today. Love yourself enough to dig deep past your contempt to show another person love in this way. Remember, it’s easy to show love to someone you like. That’s no challenge; no growth. Growth comes from doing the good things that you are resistant to doing. But you CAN do it. Pick one person that you aren’t crazy about and be nice to her today. Trust me, this one is going to be challenging for me, too.
Day 13: Sing and dance.
Turn on the music and let loose! Put your favorite playlist on and sing and dance like back in the day! One of my favorite playlists is my Old School playlist. It has songs by TLC, Guy, New Edition, Rufus, Zapp, Dazz Band, Michael Jackson, Shalamar, Chaka Khan, Funkadelic, S.O.S. Band, Gap Band, Parliament, and more. Don’t think I won’t be up in my house showing out! What’s on your favorite Old School playlist?
Day 14: Refuse to complain today.
Lately, I’ve had to say this to myself out loud. “I refuse to complain today.” When you complain, it invites all kinds of negativity into your life. Complaining makes it easy for you to focus on the negatives instead of the positives and I’m sure that’s not how you want to live your life. Refuse to complain today and vow to only speak positively.
Day 15: Spend quality time with your children today.
Yes, we get busy with the hustle of our busy lives, but we must be conscious not to neglect our children. Take time to really talk to them; find out our their day went. Maybe even play a game with them. Do something with them where they are the focus, and they get to express and enjoy themselves with you.
Day 16: Plan a get-together with friends and/or family.
You don’t have to always go out to have fun. Host a fun night at your place. It doesn’t have to be a house party (unless you want one); it can be a small get together with people you want to spend time with. You can play cards (spades is my favorite), watch movies, play music, and eat good food. Keep it simple; making it complicated will take away from the fun.
Day 17: Buy yourself some fresh flowers.
You don’t need to wait for a “special occasion” to enjoy fresh flowers, and you certainly don’t have to wait for a man to buy them for you. Go get yourself your own darn flowers. You can place them anywhere in your house you like. I like mine on my night table and/or dining room table. I occasionally buy an assortment, but my current favorites are roses of a unique color and lilies.
Day 18: Cook yourself a candlelight dinner.
Again, you don’t have to wait for a man in order to enjoy a candlelight dinner. Prepare your favorite meal. Get a nice bottle of wine. Set the table. Play some soft music. Dim the lights. Light the candles, then enjoy.
Day 19: Forgive someone.
Forgiving someone means you are no longer holding something over someone’s head. While they may or may not be responsible for whatever offense, you refuse to allow the negativity of the experience continue to affect you, your life, who you are as a person, and the way you see the world. If you get emotional (angry, tearful, etc.) every time you talk about what happened, or you refuse to talk about it (because it’s too much for you to handle emotionally), that’s a good sign that you have not forgiven them yet. Make a point to work toward freeing yourself of this burden today.
Day 20: Remove one bad food item from your diet.
Go a full day without soda, caffeine, sugary foods, chips, etc. Instead, look for healthy alternatives such as herbal teas or water, fruit, fresh veggies, and nuts. Once you see how well you do with this, consider incorporating more healthy alternatives into your lifestyle. I gave up kool-aid awhile ago; and if I have more than 5 sodas (usually ginger ale) a year, I’d be surprised. Becoming more healthy starts with small changes at a time. Pick one today.
Day 21: Learn something new.
Learn to say something in another language. Learn how to cook a new dish. Try a new yoga pose. Learn how to work your business better. Learn something. I think, “Tengo aprecio para ti’,” is “I appreciate you,” in Spanish. (If you are fluent in Spanish, let me know how close I am.) As for cooking, I may try to figure out how to make a healthy, but tasty Pineapple Upside Down Cake. And the yoga pose…there are a gracious plenty I could try! And business? Still learning. I look forward to hearing about some of the new things you have decided to learn.
Day 22: Get your money right.
Getting your money right involves tracking the money you have and making more money. It involves making smart choices on what you spend your money on, when you spend it, and how you spend it. Getting your money right also involves how you save and/or invest it. I’m not a money expert, but I do have common sense and common sense says that if our money is funny, take time out to get it right if we want to have it, keep it, and grow it. Dani Johnson’s book “First Steps to Wealth” has a good section that explains how you can begin to get your money right. Or, if you prefer something more detailed, anything by Suze Orman should help. Now, if you want to change your relationship with money and how you think about it, Robert Kiyosaki has a couple of good books that I recommend: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “Cash Flow Quadrant.” Getting your money right also involves educating yourself about money. There’s a lot more to it than making it and spending it.
Day 23: Hug someone.
Some people have such a hard time showing affection. They can give their money, their time, and even sex, but they cringe when they are faced with hugging someone. Challenge yourself today by opening yourself up today to hug someone. If it’s someone you know, then a light hug will do. If it’s someone you love, a genuine heartfelt hug is needed. Never miss out on a chance to give and receive love.
Day 24: Get a good 6 hours of continuous sleep.
Try to go to bed at a decent hour so that you can have a good night’s rest. I have read that study’s show that lack of sleep can lead to health issues and premature aging, neither of which you want, I’m sure. I use the app called “Sleep Better.” From using that app I have learned that my sleep is more efficient when I get between 5.5 and 6.5 hours of sleep. I am more rested and feel a lot less fatigued when I get out of bed. Too much more or less than than and I guaranteed to spend a good part of the day dragging. Figure out how much sleep you need and get it tonight.
Day 25: Move.
Step awaaaaay from the desk. Get off of the couch. Walk further than the distance from your bed to your bathroom. Move today! Get your blood circulating. Burn some calories. Sweat a tad bit. Go for a nice walk around your neighborhood, through a park, or around a track. Breathe in fresh air. Enjoy the sun (or the rain). Stretch. Jog. Do pilates. Go for a hike. You’ve heard the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” That’s a true story, and working everyday in healthcare, I can truthfully tell you that I’ve seen the effects firsthand of what happens when a person stops moving and don’t move significantly for a long time. Think about it. Can you do some of the physical things you could do when you were younger? No. Why? Because you’ve stopped doing them. I recently was doing yoga and tried to do a backbend–as if I still could. And I had the nerve to be surprised that I couldn’t do it anymore. Well, I hadn’t done it in decades! (So, of course I now have a goal of doing a backbend again.) The moral of the story is — MOVE. And keep moving. Move so that one day you won’t wish that you still could.
Day 26: Get a massage.
Do you know how healthy and relaxing it is to get a massage? I have a goal of getting at least one massage per quarter. I deserve at least that much, right? Have you ever noticed that you’re muscles are tight, or achy, or that you carry too much tension in a certain place? Or maybe you have a health condition where a massage would do you good. It’s a great way to love yourself by releasing some tension and enjoying some pampering. It’s also good for increasing circulation, range of motion, and pain management.
Day 27: Get a makeover.
Sometimes a new look and really lift your spirit and add a little spice to your life. It can be fun to get a new hair color and/or style, a new makeup look, or experiment with a new style of clothing. You may find that you like looking more vibrant, sexy, or fresh. You may love looking more fierce or maybe even just more “updated.” Whatever you would want to improve or refresh, go for it.
Day 28: Tell someone you’re sorry.
Face it. We’re not right all the time. Sometimes along the way, we hurt people. When this happens, an apology is in order. Too many people don’t like to apologize. They see apologizing as a way of admitting that they were wrong and they can’t stand being wrong, as if it’s some kind of defect or something. It’s like it physically pains them to apologize. I hope you aren’t one of those people. It’s simple: if you are sorry that you hurt someone or if you are sorry that you did someone wrong, just say so.
Day 29: Give someone a gift.
Give someone a gift. A thoughtful gift. Something that will make them smile. It doesn’t have to be lavish. It can even be simple or handmade. It can be something you saw in passing that you saw and new they would like because they collected those items. Kids are really great at this, so if you need ideas, ask a child.
Enjoy the 29-Day Love Challenge!
With love & light,
**Don’t forget to share your testimonies and/or pictures on my facebook page: Joy C Daniels.com. I’d love to see what you’ve come up with! <3
Disclaimer: Participate in this challenge at your own risk! I am not responsible for any injury or harm as a result of anyone’s participation. Consult your doctor before trying any activity.