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The Golden Hour: Well-Being Practice

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This is the suggested Well-Being Practice for week one of the challenge. If this practice does not work for you (for whatever reason), then you can choose from one of our 3 Foundational Well-Being Practices. If you are a veteran player or these three practices are not new to you, then feel free to select from our comprehensive list of Well-Being Practices.

This Week We Create a Golden Hour for Ourselves

Simple Instructions:

  1. For one hour each day, shut down your electronics (things like phones, email, texts, TV, and social media) and be with yourself.
  2. This should not be during a time when these items would be off by default anyway, like your commute.
  3. Use this “Golden Hour” to mine the gold in your life: do things that are personal and enriching for you. This could be meditation, journaling, reading, taking a walk, or spending uninterrupted time with loved ones.
  4. We recommend starting the day with this practice, but if the morning is impractical, you can do this at any time during the day, even at work.

Watch this video for an explanation of this Well-Being Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.

Why Is This Practice Important?

We are so awash in electronic communication we hardly even notice it anymore. Imagine ten years ago if you suddenly started receiving a constant stream of beeps and buzzes in your pocket — email, calls, messages, notifications. It probably would have seemed insane.

Yet, slowly over time, that’s exactly what we’ve acquired. Everyone seems to have a portal into our lives. So much of the time, our email is actually about other people’s priorities. With social media, we frequently end up comparing ourselves and our lives to other people.

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By itself technology is not so bad, but it leaves precious little uninterrupted time to engage with our own selves. Rarely do we experience an hour without feeling like we have to respond or react to something.

For that reason, this week’s practice of the Golden Hour is about experimenting with disconnecting for a period of time. As a result, you may begin to experience yourself in a new or forgotten way. You may start to remember you are the most important relationship you have in your life, and that the person you may want to respond to first and foremost is you.

For More on This Practice

Joe DiStefanoCould you go a week without your phone, email, Facebook, or even text messaging?

Joe DiStefano, founder of RUNGA, found that despite his fears a “digital detox” was exactly what he needed to break out of stress and stagnation. Learn more about his experience and his recommendations by listening to his podcast with Andy.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.