10 pushups every morning, for 30 days. September Challenge

10 pushups every morning, for 30 days. September Challenge
Photo by Vinit Vispute

On 31st of August I was like "Hey! It's almost September, maybe I should do a challenge?", and after some time I've settled on 10 pushup every morning for the entire months.

My relationship with sports was always a love-hate relationship. There have been periods where I was hitting the gym consistently and seeing results, and periods where I'd be like "damn, that belly!". And while now I train regularly in boxing, I didn't do that challenge for the sake of getting ripped or any other physical health benefits.

And before we start, as always: I'm not a doctor, consult with one first. Especially if you have physical problems.

Make your bed

In the self improvement community, there is this saying that the first thing you should do after you wake up is - making your bed. I think it started from a book by Ex-Navy seal, Admiral William H. McRaven. A big disclaimer - I did not read the book.

There are multiple reasons for making your bed in the morning: attention to details, discipline, and a reminder at the end of the day that you've achieved something - even if its small.

You see, when you wake up you usually rush through your morning routine - pee, wash your face, clean your teeth, grab some coffee, get into a car, arrive to work. By the time you start working you've already spent a good portion of the day. And if your day is filled with meaningless meetings - by the end of it you find yourself sitting on the couch and thinking: Damn! The whole day passed by and I haven't done anything significant. Therefore - make your bed in the morning.

I wasn't born in the US, nor I ever lived there. I, however, was raised in a discipline focused family, so making my bed in the morning wasn't something unusual for me. No matter the circumstances, I'd always make my bed in the morning. So I wasn't able to see any benefits from making my bed, but I wanted to see if I can get benefits in sport.

Right now, my relationship with sport is more of a hate than love. I have my boxing sessions once a week but its not enough. I want to try yoga, I want to do swimming and I want to do weight lifting. And every day I'm not doing them, I find myself thinking Damn! The whole day just passed by and I haven't done any sports. So I decided to twist the "make your bed" into "do something active" and see if I'd have the same benefits. Those are my findings.

I hate mornings

I'm not a morning person. Some morning are better, but most of them are not that great. I'm usually tired, unfocused and mainly working on automatic gear. Wake up, drink water, pee, brush teeth, food, coffee, work. I didn't have any problems adding another activity such as "pushups" but I found out that it is physically demanding. I can do 10 pushups easily at any moment during the day - but not right after waking up. My body is not warmed up, my mind is frozen.

I know there are people who like mornings. They are energetic, can do sports in the morning, discuss philosophical topics and do deep work. I on the other hand believe I'm more of a "mid day owl". I need those few hours in the morning to boot up correctly. And doing pushups felt like some sort of punishment to my, already hard, mornings.

Its not enough

I wasn't expecting to be Arnold by October from just doing 10 pushups a day. But nevertheless 10 is better than 0. Obviously I haven't seen any benefits from it - it was not easier after 20 days, I did not have more muscle and I haven't felt any health improvements. This is a reminder to always be realistic.

I'm a big believer in taking baby steps towards new habits, especially if you have problems committing, because as I've talked in my post regrading habits - you get compound interest on them. And compound interest on 0 is always 0. So you have to start. 1 page a day is better. By the end of the year you'd read 365 pages, as opposed to 0. But 365 pages is barely a book, so don't fool your self with "read 50 books" new year resolutions.

There is no reflection

The main reason I've did 10 pushups a day was to get a positive reflection at the end of the day. When I find myself sitting at the end of the day and reflecting on it, so that I could say "Yeah, I did 10 pushups. Its small, but its an achievement", and honestly - it never happened.

There was no single day when I was even remembering that fact that I did 10 pushups in the morning. It was something automatic that I've just plugged into my morning routine. I was not excited about the fact that I brush my teeth or make my bed, nor I was praising myself for doing 10 pushups in the morning.

And while I don't want to debunk the entire movement of "reminder that you've achieved something" - it did not work for me. Maybe if you are a messy person, who have troubles to bring order to the physical world around you - then yes, start with something as small as making your bed - might do wonders to you. At least I believe you must try it and see for yourself.

However, in my experience, if you've already climbed higher in your physical or mental needs, doing small things such as 10 pushups a day, won't make you love yourself by the end of the day. I was doing sport consistently. I know I'm capable of more than 10 pushups a day. I'm a lazy fuck and big procrastinator and I need to work on that rather than fooling myself with small achievements such as 10 pushups a day.

And this is yet another reminder to myself - everyone is different. Things that might work for me, might not work for you and vise versa. This is the reason I'm doing those challenges - because the best way to learn is to try it yourself. Get inspiration from books and YouTube videos, but always try yourself and see if you have any benefits from it. And if not - forget it, find something new and try again. And iterate on that process.

If you have suggestions to what challenges I can do next, don't hesitate to Tweet Me