September, Yoga, and Planning

The upheaval of September always makes it hard to take good care of myself. 

This year it’s going to be especially tricky.

Not only am I getting back into my usual routine but I have one son starting high school and another starting university (so many new things to figure out!) I am in charge of an annual arts festival, I have a couple of writing contracts and I am preparing to teach an online course.

All of those things are marvellous but I know there is a great risk of me losing myself in the shuffle. So,  I have been brainstorming ways to ensure that I can find time for my own well-being in the middle of the muddle.

Luckily, my dear friend Tracy came to the rescue this week – and she did it by accident!

In her good-bye post this week, amidst her lovely comments about me (<3 Tracy)  she noted that I love a short-term challenge and that set me on the right path for a September plan!

It’s true, I do love a short term challenge – a set of activities and plans already in place for a week, ten days, a month, gives me a real feeling of contentment. Whether it is a fitness challenge, a writing challenge, or an art challenge, (hell, I have even done a house-organizing challenge) I find a real sense of purpose and satisfaction. 

 I don’t complete every single short-term challenge that I take on but I ALWAYS make progress (on my own terms) and that feels great.

I think that my enjoyment stems from the fact that the nature of a short-term challenge is really satisfying for my ADHD brain because:

  1.  I can see the end right from the starting line so it doesn’t bring up that feeling of  ‘Ugh, I have to do this forever and I don’t even want to start.’
  2. For a WHOLE MONTH, I am free from the agony of prioritizing in that one area of my life. Having my priorities clear in one area frees up some energy for prioritizing in others. 
  3. I have a pre-generated plan so I don’t have to make a daily decision about what activities to do to match the priorities in that area.
  4. If I’m following someone else’s challenge, I usually have company (at least online) and some accountability.

So, oddly enough, with the impending chaos of September, I feel really happy and excited about adding one more thing to the maelstrom. 

I’m going to challenge myself to do yoga every single day in September. 

My plan is to do yoga for at least 7 minutes* every day as early as I possibly can** in my morning routine

I think this will make a good September challenge because I like getting up early, I like having a specific thing to do right away in the morning (a victory before my day really starts!)  and I really love yoga and how yoga makes me feel.

A middle aged white woman with shoulder-length light brown hair, wearing a purple tank top, smirks at the camera, behind her is a green wall, a beige couch and an endtable with knickknacks on it, there is a light brown dog asleep on the couch,  The woman's right hand is extended back away from the camera, in the position for Warrior II in yoga.
Khalee sleepily supervises my attempt at taking a selfie while doing Warrior II. By the way, even though you can’t read my shirt, I thought you should know that it says ‘Maybe Swearing Would Help’ 🙂

And, I am going to use this challenge to help me work on a challenge I face due to my ADHD. 

One of executive function issues is with task initiation. I have trouble getting started, no matter how much I *want* to do the thing I have planned. 

Since I love yoga and I love a short-term challenge, I really WANT to do them so it removes some of the issues with task initiation. I’m going to experiment with a variety of factors and see what approach makes it easiest for me to do what I am setting out to do here. 

For example: Will setting my yoga mat out in the morning make it easier for me to get started? If I use music during my practice, will starting the music cue me to be in the right mental space for yoga? Do I need to set a reminder on my phone or put a visual reminder downstairs? 

I haven’t decided on the parameters of the task initiation experiment aspect of this but I have a whole week to figure that out!

Would you like to join me and challenge yourself to some yoga in September? You don’t have to decide to take it on for a whole month, you can join me for part of it. And your parameters don’t have to be exactly the same as mine. Let me know in the comments and we can figure out how to check in with one another.

Please wish me perseverance and watch for my follow-up posts in September! 


*If this seems familiar, it’s because I have done it before!

**I would say ‘first thing’ but my dog will have other plans so I don’t want to set myself up for disaster.

14 thoughts on “September, Yoga, and Planning

  1. I really love this idea. I don’t really ever do challenges because I feel so scattered about what I even want to challenge myself on. But a short challenge may be the answer.

  2. Three thoughts. . .
    1. For my students who struggle with focus, I will often set a timer for them. When it goes off, it’s time to take the next action. It is often useful. Is this a strategy you have tried before?

    2. I would think 7 min. would be just enough of an activity to make me want to do more of it. Is that a hope for you, too, or is it a quick 7 min. and then move on?

    3. If I do some yoga with my warm-ups or cool-downs at the gym, does that count as joining you? 🙂

    1. Hi Marjorie!

      Thanks for your thoughts!

      1. I make thorough use of my timer but since I have trouble judging how long tasks will take, it doesn’t always do what I need it to (I forget to reset it, or it goes off when I can’t switch tasks etc) I wish someone would plan my day and set my timer for me – ha!

      2) 7 minutes is my minimum requirement. I can stop after 7 or go on as long as I like.

      3) It does count! 🙂 if I set up a private Facebook group/event for this, would you like to be part of it? Or would you rather just check in on my weekly posts?

      1. 1. Ah yes, of course! I’m doing that hard part of the process for my students! I think I will pass on doing it for you, too. 😉

        2. Sounds good!

        3. I think I’d rather just check in here, if I remember to do so! Today is my last day of summer, and tomorrow the real work begins. 🙁

  3. Great post, Christine! I’d like to join you in this challenge. I love doing morning yoga, but I find it hard to tear myself away from my computer once I’ve started it up. Having an outside reason (the daily challenge with you and maybe others) would help with my accountability. For me, I’d like to do some yoga in morning AND evening before bed. This seems like a lot, but I feel more comfortable in bed and maybe sleep better, even if I just do the 7 minutes. Yoga with Adriene has 7-minute morning and evening yoga videos. I don’t tend to follow her evening one, but use it as a timer for whatever I want to do (some gentle sun salutation variations, or even just legs up the wall and in-bed gentle twists). So I’m in!

  4. I think I’d like to commit to 1 yoga pose a day in September – thanks for the invite, Christine! There’s a room designated as a Zen Den in my school library that I can utilize to help me. Love the idea of a short term challenge.

  5. I have never done yoga. But I will be cheering you on while I do my morning walk. The one that prepares me for the day ahead.

  6. I like short term challenges too and I really enjoy yoga but struggle to prioritize it. I’m definitely game. I’d be happy to take part in a Facebook group

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