Blogs » The Red Loft » 30 Day Life Cleanse: Day 1

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A few weeks ago, my friend and co-worker, Education Reporter Kayla Bell and I were sitting on her back patio chattering on about boys, relationships, work and eventually life goals. And then somehow we started making them; life goals.

But they weren't the kind of goals one sets to accomplish years in the future. They were life-improving goals, ones that would rid the body of bad habits, grow a spiritual connectedness in the mind, and force us to be responsible with our money. So we agreed, for 30 days, we'd do a Life Cleanse.

We set some basic guidelines, three principles really, for the 30-day life cleanse, and promised to yield to them. For 30 days, the three principles Kayla and me will adhere to are Physical, Fiscal and Spiritual. Each person can set their own goals under the three principles, but once they're set -- that's your plan. The great thing about the cleanse is that it's a "will-do this" plan, rather than a "can't do this" plan. And if we fail one day, we have to keep going, starting fresh same day, or if relevant, the following day.

Here are the principles: Principle 1. Fiscal Responsibility

I will abstain from frivolous spending, only a personal budget of $20 per week will be allowed. This includes eating out, personal purchases (not bills, groceries, gas, regular expenses). Money allowance can roll over to next, but cannot be borrowed from second, third or fourth week's budget. * Remember, you spent about $600 last month on frivolous, nothing "me purchases." You will put at least half of that money aside this month into savings.

Principle 2. Physical Responsibility I will exercise 3x per week. Friday, Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. More days are acceptable. I will drink water and water-based drinks for 30 days, no soda. I will drink 8 oz. organic, sugar-free cranberry juice every morning. 2 glasses of wine (no substitutes) each week is acceptable (if necessary for pre-planned social gatherings in June) No smoking, no exceptions.

Principle 3. Spiritual Responsibility I will pray every day for 30 days. Prayers are not timed, but must be said in the morning. I will write in my book Friday/Saturdays at 1 p.m. for at least 20 min. I will blog progress of 30-Day Life Cleanse every day.

Reflection from Day 1, Wed. June 1 Fiscal: It was harder than I thought not to spend money. I bought a coffee at Long Leaf yesterday morning for about $1.50, then on the way home from work I spent $8.00 on dinner (was starving and it was so late in the evening). I could have/and should have eaten at home, but I truly didn't have the energy to cook anything. But, I did remember to pack my lunch yesterday, so that was money saved on eating out. I only have $10.50 to spend until Sunday (thank goodness for an abbreviated week) so I must be proactive Thursday/Friday/Saturday about saving money, eating at home, even if it means telling myself and others "no" this week.

Physical: It was not an exercise day, but I was conscious about maintaining a healthy diet yesterday. It's actually a good checks and balances system I'm realizing, to be managing food and expenses in the same 30-day cleanse. I had a serving of oatmeal for breakfast, a salad for lunch, a few gummy bears, and a chicken sandwich for dinner. It was too big, and I ate it all anyway. I'm suffering for it this morning too. EAT AT HOME-PACK YOUR MEALS TODAY! I didn't drink my cranberry juice, but I'll make sure to do that today. It has been several days now, and still no smoking, so yesterday was a success. Only 21 days to form a habit, repeat this to yourself.

Spiritual: I feel I totally failed yesterday. The weird thing is, I had two amazing conversations (tear-jerking) about God and His Kingdom yesterday, yet my prayer time (which I feel is going to be the glue holding this whole thing together for 30 days) suffered. I missed prayers in the morning because of my early work schedule, and kept telling myself "say them before noon." Then noon came and went, then so did the rest of the day. So, that isn't happening this morning. I'll be saying them in the morning and asking for God's help and wisdom for the duration of the month, to stick to the cleanse, and for a divine renewal of my mind, body and spirit.

All in all, my first day was rocky, but I took some successful small steps in a positive direction. Put God first, and the next 29 days will be much easier.