Starting June 1st, I’ll be doing a 30 day fast to focus inward, focus on things that matter to me, and simply mentally and physically detox.
Fasting is usually thought of in regards to food, but it can really be anything you want to remove or have less of in your life. The goal is to create space for stillness, for more goodness, and for self awareness.
I’d encourage each to review the options I’ve laid out and select what makes sense to you. If it doesn’t make sense for your lifestyle or areas of focus, pick something else.
Here’s some tips to create your own fast.
1. Think about things that take up your time
As we get into our routines and build habits, we tend to mindlessly go through our day. We don’t stop to think if this is how we want to live this one precious life.
Identify something you can do without or do with less of. More importantly, think about what you want to do more of.
I like to read before I go bed, but sometimes I find myself scrolling through social media and then being too tired. If I was doing a social media fast, I would think about the things I want to do whether it’s reading, spending quality time with family, meditating, calling up a friend, or working on a project or hobby.
It’s very important to identify what you hope to gain from the fast, so you can fall back on those activities when the going gets tough.
2. Identify what takes up mental space
This is something we ignore a lot. We clean our house everyday and we do the laundry, and we declutter our spaces, but what about your mind?
What do you think about or worry about that is not moving your forward or helping you?
Perhaps it’s repeating scenarios that already happened or rehearing a scenario that has never happened. Or maybe you’re so caught up in some reality TV show or a celebrity you do not know. Other times you might be worried about something real in your life, but remember that worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t take you anywhere.
The wise author Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life. Most of which never happened”
How much unnecessary time do we spend thinking about things that haven’t even happened? Or even that already happened? Either way, it’s futile. Focus on being present.
3. Think about things you spend your money on
You can either do a full non-essentials fast from shopping or if there’s something specifically you tend to purchase mindlessly, fast from that category (makeup, clothing, electronics, etc.).
If you order take out or buy coffee out regularly, do a fast from that type of spending.
The goal is to create self-awareness. We do things out of habit for the most part, and fasting can help us shake things up a bit. When your mind is not on autopilot, you can be more present in the moment.
4. Identify food that doesn’t make you feel good
Ironically, we eat stuff that doesn’t make us feel good afterwards. That makes no sense, but we do it maybe because we’ve convinced ourselves it’s delicious or out of habit, but pay attention to whether your body responds well to it.
If it doesn’t, a fast is a great way to reset and see how you feel without the food.
5. Identify foods that don’t align with who you want to be
I’ve always said I would love to be vegan or vegetarian, but I’ve also told myself I love meat. Maybe someday I’ll stop giving my mind conflicting messages.
In the meantime, if you would love to give up alcohol or eat less sweets or drink less coffee, a fast is a great way to begin to train your mind and body that you don’t need it, at least not as often as you have it now.
You can do a full 30-day fast or decide to give it up once a week, twice a week, five days a week, etc. You choose!
Start at anytime!
Depending on when you’re reading this, we may be in the middle or the week or middle of the month, but that doesn’t matter.
You can start anytime and you can stop anytime. There are now intermittent fasting concepts where people do a water fast until noon. And then we have non-water fasting concepts like the one I’m describing here.
For these, I like 30 days, but other nice round numbers are usually 21 days, 45 days, 60 days, 75 days, or 90 days. You can really customize a fast however you want!
Join me on my Facebook group if you want to share your experience, learnings, or get tips from others: https://www.facebook.com/groups/30dayfast