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Monique’s January Challenge – Sparking simple change

The new year started off on a frantic, heavy note.

I didn’t get a job I wanted despite being qualified and a good fit (being rejected for something “intangible” stings in unexpected ways). My freelancing, side hustling, and part-time bridge job were picking up pace and I was on the verge of burnout… again. I didn’t write anything about my failed attempt at my December challenge, which was, in itself, as frantic and heavy as I was feeling.

So I decided to switch it up.

My Mo’ Money goal for January was surprisingly simple and largely symbolic:

I wanted to buy a yoga mat.

I’d been meaning to pick one up for so long (earliest musings began circa 2013). I wanted to save some cash by working out at home (I also own free weights and other gym gear). I’ve been getting stiff by spending so many hours at the computer, researching, writing, jotting notes, transcribing… and doing it all from my home office, the little nook that doubles as a mini library by the floor-to-ceiling window in our apartment.

But above all, I needed a return to center.

My center.

Why a yoga mat? Have you ever been to a yoga class? Yes, they can be full of trendy, bendy people who seem aloof, toned, and enlightened about the versatility of coconut oil but I’ve always enjoyed them.

The chill music, relaxed atmosphere, and emphasis on the connection between mind, body, and soul always got me breathing a little deeper and feeling a little lighter by the time I rolled up the gym mat and pack up to head out.

That’s what I wanted to bring home. I wanted it accessible, convenient, and, most importantly, mine.

Now, I haven’t attended a yoga class since 2013. It’s not really my prerogative to enroll in a class anytime soon.

Expressing my desire to buy a yoga mat sounded weird when I voiced my interest for the first time, as though it wasn’t really true, as though it was a frivolous purchase I wanted to make just for the sake of owning one.

Yet, trekking to the store and picking out the right one, the one that was just thick enough and soft without being too heavy to carry, felt right.

Despite all the setbacks and disappointments, I made mo’ progress in January.

Getting clear on something meaningful, no matter small it seemed, and then acting on it felt satisfying.

January is always the “new beginnings” time of year as most everyone hangs up their new calendars, take note of what worked and what didn’t within the past 12 months, and set new goals in an effort to start fresh.

It’s recently gotten some seriously cynical backlash for that. While buying a yoga mat wasn’t a new year’s resolution of mine, it reminded me on the importance of doing what makes you feel good, even if it doesn’t always fit into the big picture of your life.

It’s like buying a new piece of clothing you’re in love with, and realizing it goes with nothing in your existing wardrobe. But you wear it anyway, and eventually an outfit comes together.

Sometimes that simple change is the catalyst for hauling yourself back on the path to the happiest, healthiest, most awesome version you can be.

With that in mind, my February challenge is to actually use my new yoga mat, and see if I can inspire some more bawse-awesome, incremental changes.

High fives and good vibes,

Monique 🙂


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