I've always enjoyed the concept of giving up something you believe you can't live without for six weeks, even though deep down you know you can. As a kid, I always gave something up for Lent—I usually chose some specific vice, like chocolate. I even remember writing it on my hand the first week because I kept forgetting, gasping as I found myself mid-bite. Later in my teens, I went for tougher challenges like bread—I'm like Oprah; this one was tough!—and peanut butter, which may not seem like a big deal for some, but I was basically eliminating a food group.
I saw these six weeks as a way to see how tough I was, how much willpower I had. After college I took the opposite approach. I decided to add something instead of giving something up. Maybe it was getting older, but I longed for more of a self-improvement challenge instead of a self-deprivation challenge.
Forgoing things I planned to continue as soon as I crossed that six-week mark felt contrived. I wanted to use these six weeks to get the ball rolling with habits I wanted to build into my lifestyle.
Last year, I decided I would do yoga every day for six weeks. I practiced at most once a week and enjoyed the class I went to but rarely thought to do it on my own. My only parameter was for my challenge to do a minimum of 15 minutes. Here's what I came away with: