28-Day Challenge Week 1: Easing In

Welcome to Week 1 of the 28-Day Challenge!

Making time to practice and integrate what you learn will build your mindfulness muscles and create a strong foundation for resilience. Integrating these practices will yield great benefits, including focused clarity, purposeful resilience, increased calm and confidence, as well as improved productivity, relationships and wellbeing. Below you will find daily practices plus some reflection questions to consider and/or journal afterwards.

Before you begin, enjoy this brief video below…

The video is from 10% Happier creator and news anchor, Dan Harris, on how mindfulness is a game changing superpower.  It’s already practiced by elite athletes and high achievers, so you are joining the ranks of a select group.  If you’d like a bit more information on the myriad benefits of mindfulness and meditation, you can also enjoy this Big Think video, Dan Harris:  Hack your Brain’s Default Mode with Meditation.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Week 1 – Day 1
Dedicated Practice:
One Complete Cycle of Breath

Integrated Practice:

Complete a ‘One Complete Cycle of Breath’ practice with Hands on Chair before a meeting or spending time with someone today. As you complete one cycle of breath 1. Touch chair fabric, and 2. Remember your Highest Intention.

Reflection Questions:

How does it feel to put your full attention on one breath?
How does this practice impact your state of mind and interactions?

Week 1 – Day 2
Dedicated Practice:
Three Mindful Breaths

Integrated Practice:

Before you start a new project or meeting, complete another ‘Three Mindful Breaths’ practice.

Reflection Questions:

What impact do you notice when you stop and take three mindful breaths?
What ritual or situation can you use to remind yourself to take three mindful breaths daily?

 
Week 1 – Day 3
Dedicated Practice:
Simply Stopping

Integrated Practice:

Try a ‘Minute to Arrive’ practice. When you start a new activity today, maybe a work meeting, maybe a meal, practice stopping and practicing one minute of silence to give yourself time to stop and become more present to this next activity.

Reflection Question:

What impact did stopping and practicing a minute of silence have on your next activity?

 

Week 1 – Day 4

Dedicated Practice:
Open Awareness

Integrated Practice:

Mindful Walking: Take a few minutes today to go for a walk with open awareness, where you focus on your breath with eyes open and experiencing everything around you. While staying connected to your breath, see how many colors, shapes, sounds, smells and sensations you notice. If you can’t be outside, try walking around your home or office with an emphasis on seeing things in a new way.

Reflection Questions:

Was there anything that surprised you on your walk?
What impact would taking an open awareness approach have on your work?

Week 1 – Day 5

Dedicated Practice:
Wishing Ourselves and Others Well

Integrated Practice:

When you see the next person you will interact with today, take a moment to say in your mind, “I wish for you to be happy” as you greet them. Repeat this as many times as you remember to do so today.

Reflection Questions:

How did the practice of wishing others well impact your interactions?
Did it shift your mood in any way? Did it impact the quality of your attention?

Week 1 – Day 6

Dedicated Practice:
Short Body Scan

Integrated Practice:

Try a 3 Centers practice today. Choose a time during your day to take three breaths, each breath to ‘scan’ one area of the body. 1st breath, scan the head, representing thoughts. 2nd breath, scan the gut, representing “gut feelings.” 3rd breath, check in with the heart, representing values or intentions.

Reflection Questions:

What information do you receive when checking in with your body?

Week 1 – Day 7

Dedicated Practice:
Gratitude

Integrated Practice:

Write for 2 full minutes on each prompt below. Once you’ve finished, take a minute to reread what you wrote and reflect.

Journaling Prompts::

1. What I noticed from this week’s practice was …
2. Things that will help me stay focused on my practice next week are …