The 12 weekly challenge that started off in January was a brainchild I had after being bombarded with resolution challenges flooding my inbox touting the best health practices to “optimize your best self ever” and lose weight, have less anxiety, decrease medications, boost your metabolism, get a flatter belly, have better sex, etc. etc. etc.

I love that self love, eating well and exercise are becoming hip. I hate that many of my patients think they’re utter failures if they can’t stick with a plan. Or worse, become even more stressed out because they feel overwhelmed with what “new society” has requested of them.

I wanted to take many of these suggestions and introduce them one at a time for 7 days. Because let’s face it, if most of us were told to do all 12 of these things at the same time on a daily basis for “x” number of days, we’d run to the nearest Ben & Jerry’s.

I like to think of these mini challenges as a giant “flight of life wine” minus the tiny pours.

Like any good flight of wine, you find out many things. Which wine is your go to for weekday meals. Which wine you truly enjoy but can never seem to remember the name of. Which wine you spit out because life’s too short for bad wine. (yes, there is such a thing) And which wine to bring out when that special occasion occurs. And of course there’s the wine that you drink because it’s there, but there really is no special connection. If it’s there great, if not that’s fine too.

Ironically one of my “weekday meal wines” is No Alcohol. Since that first challenge, I’ve considerably cut down on my evening wine consumption. From that first week I realized that I was using that small pour more as a mental crutch and coping mechanism  to get me through until the children’s bedtime vs enjoying the wine itself.

As for Week 2 No Sweet Treats, I’ll spit that bad boy right out. There’s no need for that amount of deprivation in my life. Don’t even get me started about Week 9; Gluten Free. We all know how that went. Although if you missed it, check out that post on how it almost killed me!

Week 7, however, that limited us to 24 grams of added sugar per day, that’s a great trick to get your health back in check. That’s my post vacation version of a great detox that still fits in a Dove chocolate or two. Couple that with Week 3: 20 minutes of exercise  and Week 5: Vegetarian and you’re way to being high school reunion ready!

The most impacting challenges personally were Week 4 10 minutes of Meditation and Week 8: Yoga. Despite my wishful thinking of completing my meditation early morning before the pre work/school hustle started, most of this time was done at night, in my closet. Mediation in the past has been a way for me to set my mood and flow for the day. I wasn’t expecting to gain much doing it at night, but it helped to calm my mind and body down in a more restful state vs a collapse of exhaustion into bed.

As for Yoga, this was the ultimate surprise of these 12 weeks. As mentioned in my post that week, I had come to dislike Yoga, preferring Pilates or other forms of exercise. I was always so amazed each day how stiff my body was as I started a video session but within those few minutes, my body was secretly cheering me on and thanking me.

I just can’t figure out why this “wine” that I love, that brings me such joy hasn’t been incorporated into my daily routines. Ditto with my 5 minutes of exercise. Although technically as I write this, this is the first night that I haven’t done any exercise.

The book I picked during Week 10 titled “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly spoke very clearly about understanding what makes us happy and then being called to another direction away from what makes us happy in pursuit of what we think will make us happy. Confusing right? Needless to say I think I’m still stuck in that wacky cycle.

HOWEVER, every time I’ve done the 24 gram sugar challenge it’s gotten easier and easier. I do believe I’ve discovered what repeat challenges I’ll be doing again soon!

Your turn. What week resonated with you the most? Any that became your “daily life wines”? Ones you LOVE but forgot the name of. Any that you spit out?

Please leave me a comment below.

Lastly a GIANT THANK YOU!! Without the support of readers known and unknown I would have given up on these challenges long ago. There’s something about the invisible silent push of others encouraging you and keeping you accountable that works.