As the #40DaysOfStrength Challenge comes to a close, it’s important to reflect on the journey we’ve been on together. It’s now time to chart a course for moving forward in a resourceful and empowered manner. There are a handful of things that should be considered as we integrate the experience into the rest of our lives. First off, you need to acknowledge that completing this challenge is a monumental achievement. You did 4000 push-ups and 4000 squats over 40 days. Congratulations!!! Here is a suggested sequence of actions for a smooth landing and transition after the challenge.

Celebrate Your Victory

Pat yourself on the back, have a cold beer, eat a piece of pie, or even throw a small party, but make sure you commemorate the experience in some way. Taking a picture of your smiling face or of the body’s improvements is a great idea.

Most of all take a mindful moment alone as you look in the mirror at your own eyes and say “I am a closer. I finish what I start.” Allow that powerful view of yourself as a consistent and reliable person to sink in for a minute. Feel it deep in your core, so it wires into your belief system going forward. This exercise can also be done in the classic meditative posture or on a walk in the woods. Pick the setting that is most attractive to you. The connection with self is key to getting the maximal benefit from the challenge. You did the challenge for yourself, not another person, so let it go to your heart and fill you with self love and self acceptance.

Take a Short Break for Mental Recovery

It’s wise to take about three to five days off from the push-ups and squats for psychological recovery and to avoid repetitive stress syndrome. The joints and tissues of the body will love you for this recovery phase.  During the break you may actually feel stronger, as exercise induced inflammation will decrease and your muscle fibers begin to heal fully. If you wish to stay active during your break try taking a swim, bike ride, a hike, a sauna or steam, and even a slow walk on the treadmill. These exercises will help to flush the metabolites of hard training from your body and ensure you’re ready for physical activity again. Psychologically, you want to feel like there is no goal, nothing to push towards at the moment, so your mind can also relax and take rest.

The Opposite Pull of your Effort will Tempt You

I can guarantee you that a good portion of you will be tempted to go back to ground zero and stop working out for a while. This is a normal tendency of the mind, to reflect on the opposite, once a goal has been reached. Be aware that this “demon” will rise and it must be dealt with. This is why, after resting for three to five days, you must construct an intelligent training program going forward into the rest of your life. You must understand how to condition the body and mind in a manner that suits your lifestyle and goals. If you need help with this, sign up for my “Science of Strength” webinar, which is all about how to train intelligently for your body and setup a plan to keep the momentum going!  You will learn where to place specific types of exercise in your work out week and how to construct a plan meant for your body and mind. Whatever you do, you want to banish that voice of doubt and laziness and step into your power by maintaining the discipline you’ve built during the #40DaysOfStrength Challenge.

Weave the New Habit into a Sustainable Lifestyle

We must each reflect on our stage of life, our age, respect our injuries, understand the demands of work, family and personal relationships while finding a balance for self care.  Exercise, proper nutrition, and meditation are the keys to physical and mental equanimity. Make a commitment to yourself first so you can better serve others. You will be a better father, mother, daughter, and member of your community if you are in good health and have a positive attitude. Always carve out a little bit of time each day to devote to your own well-being.

Challenge Yourself in Other Areas

The challenge helped to build grit, resilience, and inner strength. You now know you can trust yourself. This adds depth to our character and you will find yourself becoming more disciplined in other areas of your life. If you wish to, this is the time to take your business to the next level. If you desire to show your wife how much you appreciate her, this is the time. If you want to go back to college, this is the time. The time is now, this is YOUR LIFE, live it to the maximum. Optimal experience is in your hands. 

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