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November 2017 archive

Karyn’s October Challenge: Back to Basics

With all of the big changes happening in my life, I found myself slipping into that toasty coma of procrastination. I had all but stopped my usual routines and just opted to space out and watch Netflix. This was an unacceptable turn of events. I refused to go down this road and become unproductive. October was my chance to change all of that! So how was I going to do it? By making a GAWD DANG LIST SUCKAAAAA!!!

Here is my list:

  1. Go to the gym every morning for at least 30 min
  2. Post to Instagram every day
  3. Edit pictures in Canva once a week
  4. Go to Krav Maga 4-5 times per week
  5. Go to Muay Thai at least once a week

Though it may not seem that intense, I saw it as a life-altering challenge. As someone who felt like they were sleepwalking through life, this was going to jolt me awake and help me get back on track.

To keep myself on target I wrote what I accomplished in a notebook each day. It kept me focused on my goals and helped me refine anything that wasn’t working.

oct 2 - 6

oct 7 - 13

oct 14 - 20

oct 21 - 27

For example, I originally wanted to work out EVERY morning and then go to Krav/Muay Thai every night. I found that this wasn’t entirely sustainable as my body started to take longer and longer to heal. So instead of just giving up, I just compressed my goals into something more manageable. I chose to do morning workouts with a colleague every Wednesday and Friday for at least 30 minutes.

No more ouching around!

My track record wasn’t perfect, I did feel myself making progress and that to me was a win! This challenge has got me all laser-focused again and feeling like my old self. I want to keep this ball rollin’, so for my November Challenge I’ve decided it’s going to be the month of ORGANIZATION!

I will be organizing my financial goals, my sleeping pattern (‘tis all over the place) and my giant mess of a storage locker. I’m going to be tracking myself, just like I did for October as it kept my goals clear.

Wish me luck!


Monique’s October Challenge: HELL YES Nation

For my October challenge, I thought about what I wanted. Then, I went for it.

My rule was to only do things that made me say HELL YES

Everything else was a Noooope.


The goal was to get fired up about all the things in October. If I couldn’t get fired up and say HELL YES then the decision was a clear no.

…Or was it?

I don’t know about you but every time I decide to take on a new challenge, I immediately face an obstacle, inner resistance, or simply feeling as though the universe has conspired to make my goal seem insurmountable.

I got some fascinating results.

Following the Fun!

There were a few instances where HELL YES just seemed so obvious:

  • I got free tickets to a comedy show (and I love stand up!)
  • The hubz and I got free tickets to an NHL game
  • A wonderful friend invited me to coffee
  • I volunteered at an amazing conference that brings together and recognizes both entrepreneurship and government
  • The chance to go to my first Diwali celebrations at one of Ottawa’s Hindu temples

Of all these HELL YES moments, there were still some obstacles that made them difficult to achieve, and in one instance, some obstacles beat me to my moment (next year’s Diwali celebrations are totally gonna make up for missing this year’s!).

There were other obstacles that I overcame to make some HELL YES moments a reality, like the tedious act of coordinating schedules, making bookings, and doing advance prep work.

Why HELL YES can be Wrapped in a HELL NO

My obvious HELL YES moments were easy to pursue because they’re fun, exciting, engaging, and new. Yet there were other HELL YES moments that were quieter and less fun but no less important:

  • Pulling two (almost) all-nighters after taking on rush projects during an already packed week
  • Hitting the gym after a long day when all I felt capable of was crawling into bed
  • Taking on extra shifts at my bridge job because a coworker needed help
  • Braving the dentist for a root canal that’s going to be completed over the course of three. separate. appointments. #MakeTheDrillingStop
  • Going vegetarian – and alcohol free – for the month

So why say HELL YES to things that initially felt like a half-hearted, “Sure, I guess”?

Because I knew I was making decisions that were ultimately in my best interest.

Unwrapping a HELL YES

Saying HELL YES to something isn’t always driven by unbridled enthusiasm. Sometimes they’re driven by curiosity, other times by logic. Indulge me:

  • Those almost-all-nighters? They reinvigorated a relationship with a sometimes-dormant client. I’m now getting more and more work from them and reminded them how reliable I am, especially when they’re in a crunch.
  • Those near-exhaustion gym sessions? I’m feeling fitter, stronger, more energetic, and have been getting more definition in my typing muscles. Pretty sweet reasons to keep going with this good habit.
  • Taking those extra shifts? They help pay me pay off my student loan and build a savings account. Plus, they get me out of my house to chat with cool people while sipping on custom lattes and listening to great music.
  • A root canal? Let’s be honest. I’ve clearly been putting this off for a while. The motivation was there, ever so fleetingly, so I decided to commit before I wimped out. There’s no going back now.
  • A vegetarian diet? But what about bacon?? Truthfully, I started off nowhere close to wanting to go vegetarian for a full month. With a few mindful slipups, I did it! Honestly, I knew the lifestyle shift would be more difficult than changing my actual diet, and that proved true. Though the unexpected upsides include slimming down, a clearer mind, and a newfound curiosity to go veg at least three times per week.

So What Does This Even Mean?

I wondered if I was going to go all “Yes Man” a la Jim Carrey at the beginning of the month but that wasn’t quite the case, despite my best efforts to end up like this:

It didn’t happen, which is totally fine, but I did discover that a HELL YES decision doesn’t have to be wrapped up in fireworks and enthusiasm to be the right choice. At first glance, this sounds super depressing but it actually makes me really happy. This challenge helped me to better understand why I do what I do, and what’s most important to me.

Turns out it’s not bacon, after all.

So what’s next?

My November challenge will be saying HELL NO to all complaining.

I don’t think I’m a major whiner (LOL) but we’ll soon see if that’s the case.

My goal is to keep track of my complaints and uncover some trends about what bothers me most. Then I’ll come up with an action plan to make improvements in those areas.

Hell Yes, I am a genius.

What’s on your radar this November? Want to join the #Sisterpack in our monthly challenges? Let’s keep the convo going on our Insta! Follow us at and let’s chat!

High fives and good vibes,

Monique 🙂


Gwen’s #SoberOctober Challenge

“When you quit drinking you stop waiting.”

Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story

My October challenge was to take on #SoberOctober. My goal was to cease and desist drinking alcohol for the entire month.

So did I do it?



I’ve actually been sober for 1 month and 11 days at this point. I’ve been using the I Am Sober app to track my progress. It also shares that I’ve saved about $164. This is based on guessing that I’d spend $4/day on alcohol (this would equal a bottle of wine/beers during the week).

As you can see I’ve been sober for longer than one month. I kickstarted this challenge mid-September and decided to join the #soberoctober bandwagon to keep it going.

The Backstory:

I’ve taken on alcohol-free living before. In fact, in 2016 I went alcohol-free for nine months. I started drinking again when I went on a trip to Italy and REALLY wanted to drink wine. This past September, I got the itch to quit again. I made a half-hearted attempt to pause drinking in July after having a TERRIBLY CHALLENGING green belt test in the martial art I practice called Krav Maga.

Despite working out consistently, I felt miserably out of shape during the test. I knew if I wanted to have better tests, I’d have to take my training more seriously, which involves eating better and drinking less alcohol. Despite good intentions, I only made a half-hearted attempt in the summer and I didn’t actually quit drinking. I’d drink a beer here and there, and wine or champagne on Fridays at work (yes, I work at a really awesome place ;).

The Moment of Truth:

The catalyst to deciding to get back into sobriety was free samples. I was gifted a bunch of free samples of Malibu from a party I volunteered at. I found myself drinking these little bottles here and there in a very ‘numb out’ way. The ultimate moment I found was when I decided to drink one in the bathtub after a particularly hard martial arts class to try to ease my physical pain. I don’t think it’s a problem to drink in the bathtub to unwind, my problem was that I wanted to hide the fact that I was drinking it and that made me uncomfortable.

Time for Progress:

When taking on the sobriety challenge again, I knew I wanted to be able to see my progress. So I Googled and found the I Am Sober app and was thrilled to see how easy it was to track. And it’s a major bonus to find out that I can track how much money I’m saving too!

The Benefits:

The reason we take on monthly challenges here at Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress is because we are looking to ultimately feel better (by making more progress and more money!)

So I’d love to share some of the benefits I’ve noticed in the last six weeks:

  • I’m becoming an early bird! For some reason over the last week I’ve been interested in waking up and getting up at the crack of dawn.
  • Not hungover. Ever. Full stop.
  • No split energy wondering if I should have a drink when it’s offered.
  • Better focus at work.
  • I know when a party sucks and when to leave.
  • “Mask off, f*cking mask off…” – Future. Really though, when you stop drinking a mask comes off.
  • Losing weight! For the first time in my life abs may become a thing!
  • A more intentional focus on paying off debt!
  • I don’t skip out on Krav Maga classes because I had been drinking. This happened a couple of times.

So to get right down to it, it’s challenging to make a lifestyle change, though Perrier and ‘mock’ beer is not that bad. In fact, it’s actually quite enjoyable!

Also, one final tip is that if you do want to go off the sauce, I recommend following people who are thriving whilst being off the sauce and learn from them. I discovered and followed @thesoberglow who has been an incredibly inspiring person to learn from.

So as of right now, I am still very interested to continue living sans alcohol. This challenge is becoming a new way of life.

My November Challenge?

So what shall I do to make my life more joyful in November? Oh, I don’t know… HOW ABOUT GIVE UP THE ELIXIR OF LIFE AKA COFFEE? That’s right, I’m going to do


Why? I’d like to say goodbye to waaaves of anxiety. The upper lip jitters when I smile at people. The feeling of my brain leaving my body and coming back two hours later. The migraines. The 24/7 dehydration. The experience of feeling strung out when I get home.

This is a challenge I’m willing and excited to take on at this point in my life. Note that I will still be consuming caffeine (from tea/matcha) though I’m on the hunt for other coffee alternatives.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to join me in #NoCoffeeNovember if you dare!

<3 Gwen