The month of January started with an interesting challenge at the studio. We decided to host a daily challenge by performing a handstand a day. Our handstands varied between full on arm extension handstands to forearm stands. As the month is coming to an end, I decided it was time for a progress report.
Doing a handstand a day for an entire month is hard. Mostly because by the time I got around to thinking about doing my handstand, I was often already in bed for the night. Many nights, I'd get out of bed and do a quick handstand while recording my progress. As the month continued on, I fell ill and for four days lost sight of my challenge. Sometimes taking care of ourselves and listening to what our bodies need takes precedence over our goals and ambitions. It's easy to forget your goals when you've recovered and gotten back into the swing of things. This occurrence reminds me of how easy it is to lose track of your goals- whether being sick for a few days or too tired from regular daily busy schedules, losing your motivation can happen before you realize you have gone off track.
Something important to keep in mind when you've realized you've gone off track is, don't beat yourself up over it. So you've fallen back into a slump and now you're a week off from working out? There's no time like the present to regroup and reinstate your intentions. Look at what was working and when things stopped working. What happened that caused you to lose sight of your success? Evaluating your previous experiences and understanding how and why things got off track can help you create future success. If you've started that pole or aerial journal, logging your epiphany can also help and serves as a reminder to your overall learning experience.
What have I learned through my month long devotion to handstands? I've learned that the earlier in the day, the better. Handstands can be invigorating by increasing blood flow to your brain. Doing a handstand late at night often lead me to feeling awake instead of tired. I also learned that covering my elbows in forearm stands will prevent carpet burns and when I'm in a downward dog pose my own little dog thinks it's time to stretch or play. I was also reminded this month that my body may dictate when it needs rest as I full on experienced with this season's flu. My priorities shifted from what I thought was important to what is important in the matter of my health.
What would I do differently in the future? I think for future challenges, I will add an element of visual accountability tracking. I think if I had used a calendar as a check off list once I completed my handstand it would have served as a visual tool for me to see my progress as it happened. I use calendars like this in my health clinic by placing a gold star over the date when a pediatric patient completes their goal task for the day. This kind of reward system works great for children and as an adult, I feel like it would work just as equally well for me.
Overall, the entire experience was a great learning activity that forced me to reflect on my own personal motivation. I hope that by writing this, it will serve as useful for my readers that may also be struggling with motivation this January.