It’s February already; we’re well into the swing of 2020! With a new year and a new decade here and I want to offer you a challenge.
Your 20 in 20 Challenge.
The idea is simple, pick something you want to incorporate more of in your life, something you’d love to become a regular ritual.
It could be a new activity, hobby, fitness program, self-care, less time ‘connected’ online, whatever you like! The challenge is to then dedicate 20 minutes either weekly, or daily, to creating your new ritual.
Just committing 20 minutes regularly can create a more enjoyable, productive, and healthy 2020!
I’ve picked a few ideas to get you thinking on just some of the possibilities to start with.
Everyone, especially those who sit idle in offices or cars most of the day, will benefit from building a 20 minute walking ritual into their life. This is one habit that will really pay off if you commit to 20 minutes daily.
You don’t have to do it all at once. Research has shown you’ll reap the get the same benefits if you break your exercise up or do it all in one go. Here are a few ideas on how to break up your 20 minute walk –
- Park the car further from work or station and walk 10 minutes.
- Take the dog for a walk or play in the park
- During your break at work go for a 10 minute walk
- Fit in a 10 minute walk before work and 10 minutes when you get home.
- Park your car further away from the entrance of the supermarket. You are getting steps, cardio and strength training from manoeuvring your wonky trolley that extra distance!
Connect with your friends offline
Rather than chatting over Facebook messenger, commenting on social media, or sending text messages, chat on the phone with a friend for 20 minutes. Depending on your schedules, this could be something you do daily or weekly.
Pick up the phone and enjoy a conversation with a cuppa – the good ‘old fashioned’ way!
Limit your social media to 20 minutes a day
Shutting off the noise of social media and the constant beeping of distracting notifications could be one of the healthiest boundaries you set for yourself in 2020.
I think this is an especially poignant 20 in 20 ritual to create if you find yourself constantly comparing yourself and your life to others on social media (and not feeling good about it!) or have a goal you’re trying to achieve that takes a lot of focus. Your productivity will soar without the constant distraction of scrolling through the socials.
Delete social media apps from your phone so logging into your account isn’t so easy and tempting. You could also consider installing software that blocks you from accessing social media and other sites during certain times to allow you to focus.
Make dinner a phone-free / TV-free zone around the table
Spend 20 minutes talking with your family – or friends / flatmates – over dinner time. It might not be convenient to all eat together at the same time each night, but you could aim for at least one night a week of chatting for 20 minutes over dinner. No phones, no TV.
Read to your kids for 20 minutes at bedtime
If you’re a mum or dad to little ones, commit to reading to them for 20 minutes before bed. It’s a lovely, bonding ritual that does more than just help them fall asleep. Studies show that there is a clear neurological difference between children who have been read to on a regular basis and those who haven’t.
Spend 20 minutes with a good book before bed
It’s not just the kiddos who benefit from some bedtime reading! I love the cosy practise of fitting in a few pages of a good book before bed. You can read something inspirational to get your mind into a good place for sleep or something for pure entertainment to simply relax and unwind.
Start a meditation or mindfulness practice
If you’re new to meditation, starting with 20 minutes off the bat might be a bit of a challenge BUT you could make it your goal to build up slowly to 20 minutes. Or, like walking, break it up into smaller time frames throughout the day, like 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before bed. The Headspace app is a good way to get started.
Mindfulness is something you can do during your commute to work, waiting in line, on your lunch break etc.
Just focus all your attention on what is happening in the moment. Meditation and mindfulness have a very real ripple effect into the rest of your life.
Take a 20 minute bath instead of a 2 minute shower
This one is all about slowing down for self-care. When we rush through our routines getting ready in the morning or going to bed at night, we’re on auto-pilot. It’s not always practical to take a 20 minute bath every day obviously, but what about once a week? Indulge yourself with some scented candles, background music and even sip a glass of wine or herbal tea.
Try a new exercise for 20 minutes
Be it a bike ride, swim, or yoga session, experiment with a new exercise you haven’t tried before. Zumba is something fun to give a go – I find the biggest struggle is laughing and trying to breathe at the same time while you make it through the moves!
Take 20 minutes to eat a meal mindfully without distraction
Distracted eating can lead to weight gain and poor food choices so slow down and enjoy your meal. Turn off the TV, put away your phone and any other distractions to pay attention to the moment-to-moment experience of eating. This mindful eating practice can help you improve your diet, and manage food cravings.
Write a list of the 20 things you’d like to achieve in 2020
Don’t overwhelm yourself! These don’t have to be big, crazy goals. Make them achievable, include a few things from this list or your own. Then commit to spending 20 minutes a week checking in on yourself and how you’re progressing along with the list. So often we write down our goals for the year on January 1st, put them away, then don’t look at them again until Dec – sound familiar?
Play a board game or do a puzzle
How long has it been since you’ve played a board game, sat down to a puzzle or a game of cards with family or friends? I think this is a great way to incorporate some entertainment for the family that doesn’t involve screen time.
20 minutes of power focus
Choose a task each and focus your full attention on getting it done or progressing it for 20 minutes.
No distractions at all; switch your phone to flight mode, turn off the TV, stop multitasking and get in the zone. It’s a good idea to set a timer for 20 minutes to get you focused.
You’ll be amazed at how 20 minutes a day of power focus on one task can boost your productivity. We all love that sense of achievement – especially if it’s been a task we’ve been procrastinating on for a while!
Don’t let another year go by without making some progress in the new rituals and habits you want to bring into your life. Start small, get some small wins on the board and feel your ‘new’ practice become a ritual. Most importantly – have some fun along the way!