The Big Four Oh Oh

This year I will be having what some might view as a milestone birthday.  Because of this I have repeatedly been asked what were my big plans to celebrate?  The idea of a big fancy over indulgent party didn’t really appeal to me. However whilst out on our New Year’s Day paddle we did start talking about it and this led to a small seed of a big idea forming in my head.

How about instead of having a party to just mark the day, why not turn it into a bit of a challenge and experiment for myself, and anyone else who felt like joining.

The idea was simple – a forty day challenge that finished the day before my birthday.

To begin with the challenge was just going to be giving up alcohol and sweets/chocolate for the forty days, but I felt that that wasn’t a big enough challenge.


And so the challenge grew.


The current forty day challenge is the following:

No Alcohol

No sweets, chocolate or crisps

I will do a minimum of 40 mins exercise each day

I will do 40 mins of yoga each day

I will hike 40km over the duration of the challenge

I am only allowed 40 cups of coffee for the duration

I will start each day with a cayenne pepper drink

I will eat a banana each day

I must drink at least 2ltrs of water every day


This all sounds like a lot, but I figure if I plan my days well then it will be achievable.  The biggest challenge I think will be cutting down on the caffeine and sugar as they are one of my weaknesses.  Apart from this I do have a healthy diet, including getting my meat and veg from the local farmers market here in Letterkenny.  I am a keen supporter of buying organic and local and I hope to improve this even more through out the challenge and beyond.

Something else I am keen to see is how a few minor lifestyle changes could potentially impact me both physiologically and psychologically.  So hopefully I will be able to get a bit of a check up done before and after the challenge to show me the physiological benefits. (This is not a weight loss challenge for me).  As for the psychological benefits I will review these through personal observations regularly: am I happier, more energetic, sleeping better, etc.


I have opened this challenge up to others and if it’s something you feel that you would like to join in with just let me know.  You don’t have to do everything on this list, just pick what you want or even make up your own. Every small and positive lifestyle change you make can only be a good thing.


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