Wednesday, January 4, 2023

23 for 2023: Sports AND Spirituality 2.0

Rest for 22 in 2022? No way! Play 22 new golf courses and attend mass at 22 new churches? Yes, please.

The annual challenge put forth by the Happier podcast last year did not appeal to me. Though I understand the benefits of napping and believe I too would be better if I were to slow down and make time for rest each day, I knew this was a goal I would not achieve. 

According to James Clear, the author of Atomic HabitsAn Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, the second and third laws of creating a good habit are: Make it Attractive and Make it Easy. As far as my 2022 challenge was concerned, neither law applied to me. I know myself, it would not be easy, nor was it overly appealing, either. Therefore, I took license to create my own yearly challenge: my Sports and Spirituality 22 for 2022. 

As written about in Reflections on My 22* for 2022, I found my way onto new golf courses and new churches 22 times in the past year. I loved this exercise so much, I figured Why should it end? James Clear would agree—the intention behind setting a good habit is to keep it and a goal is to reach it. Is not the point of creating a challenge is to master it?!

Therefore, my goal is 2023 is to attend 23 new sporting events and liturgical experiences. This challenge allows me to play a new golf course and/or go to mass at a new church but it also invites in other forms of both sport and spirituality. For example, I am HOPING to go to the French Open or Wimbledon. Either tennis tournament would be a significant rung in the ladder of 23 for 2023. I have been a long time fan of high school boys' volleyball. I would like got get to a men's collegiate game. While returning to Notre Dame for a football does not count in the 23, seeing the Irish in Dublin against Navy does. Unfortunately, I know that will not happen.

This new challenge might account for some new liturgical experiences, too. For example, going to Confession at a new church or attending service at a church like the one where my student goes is exciting to me. There are so many different ways to engage in the spiritual life of the Church, I wonder what I will find and with whom I will journey.

The first law of "How to Create a Good Habit" is "Make it Obvious." The number on the year sets the simple standard. Relating my habit to Sports and Spirituality is a no-brainer. James Clear adds that is should be "obvious and visible." With a blog, a newsletter and a Facebook page, I can check that box real quick.

About half way through 2022, I decided to modify my goal. Given that I was traveling to Ireland for a 14 day golf trip that included 12 rounds of golf, I thought 22 courses would be easy (Law Three). I was wrong. However, I came up with a positive solution and enjoyed the challenge just as much. I can only wonder how and if this year will be different.

Naming a yearly challenge has served as a fun, interesting and intriguing way to talk about my Sports and Spirituality. It's financial cost is a lot or a little—one for me to decide (flights to London aren't that bad! They aren't great either!).

The Happier Podcast named "Outside for 23 in 2023" as this year's goal. They wrote, 

Go Outside 23 in 23” which challenges participants to go outside for 23 minutes every day in 2023. Going outside can include anything from walking to bird watching; from yard work to enjoying your morning coffee on your porch — as long as the door closes behind you, it counts! 
I like it but I'm already outside a lot for golf and for walking. I'll take my Sports and Spirituality 2.0 instead. Maybe I'll see you outside for one of them... Happy New Year!

Photo Credits
French Open

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