I saw this on Twitter the other night. The idea of a yoga challenge has always appealed to me. But the standard Bikram challenge of 60 classes in 60 days has always been just out of my reach. It just isn’t possible for me to juggle my schedule and the children’s schedules to get me to my mat everyday. Or twice in one day to make up if I have to miss day. I’m not a huge fan of setting myself up for failure. However, the idea of 40 classes in 8 weeks stuck with me and I found myself trying to work it out. I checked my calendar, in the last 8 weeks I’ve attended 30 classes. Adding 10 more in the next 8 weeks seems possible. (I say that now…). I love my Bikram practice. I anticipate there will be ups & downs on my mat but I’m not afraid of them. I know the health benefits. The yoga may end up being the easiest part of this undertaking.

The bigger part of the challenge  is going to be the time management. Which is actually why I feel as though I *must* do this. My time management is a mess, a disaster, abysmal. I need more structure. So this challenge will force me to give my schedule some attention. I’m going to make time by taking time away.  Right now I am paralyzed by my to-do list. I am in full-on ignore mode. Not a great idea when trying to build a business (even a tiny one).  I’m spending more time what-if-ing than getting anything accomplished. Which, everyone knows, means I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what I’m doing with Studio 219 (you can imagine the what-ifs here, do I really need to elaborate? Just your run of the mill trash thinking: what if the work, me, my ideas, etc. aren’t good enough blah, blah, blah). Basically, I’m committing to stop letting fear release me from responsibility. How do I plan to accomplish this? Easy: baby steps and a calendar. A global to-do list is being assembled as part of my prep work for the challenge to start on Monday. I am going to actually, physically schedule my time. With a pen and paper. Typing it into my BlackBerry just doesn’t cut it with me. When I write things down they become a part of my world; I’m more aware. It’s a physical act of commitment for me that must be done with a writing utensil (Utensil of choice? A fountain pen. {swoon}). Typing doesn’t create the same connection between my brain and the idea. So there will be a to-do list for the day and scheduled time for the tasks. There might be index cards and personalized notepads. There will be Moleskine notebooks (red cahier) and sketch pads (black reporter style) and my trusty momAgenda. Time will be marked for what must get done (including personal and the children’s commitments), plus time so that some thing for Studio 219 gets done for the day. Re-evaluate at the end of the day and plan for the next day. Simple, really but to a world -class procrastinator, a monumental task. I anticipate being tied to lists & my calendar for the next 8 weeks. It must be done.

An ancillary addition to the challenge: an 11pm bedtime. I can waste more time after 10:30pm than most people do all day. My Mother has said for years: nothing good happens after midnight. I’m not producing anything in the wee hours to convince her to change her mind. Around here I think I’m going to stay up late to work and I end up ‘cleaning-up’ my DVR & planning naps for the next day. I have no problem with 20 minute naps. I’m not a coffee person, so as far as I’m concerned for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up nothing’s better. But when I start trying to schedule 2 hour naps, things are out of control.

So there you have it. Things are going to be different around here. For eight weeks at least and we’ll see what sticks. I’m optimistic and ready for a change, essential elements to taking on any challenge, no?

Be on the look out for my next post about why I’m a Lent girl not a New Year’s resolution girl and why that made the choice to commit to this challenge easier. See you soon.