Our members are everything here at Madefor. Our greatest joy is seeing our members not just engaging with the Program, but fully embracing it and finding their own lasting meaning and benefits. Our featured member for this blog is working wife and mom, Renee Gallo. The self-professed starter of many challenges but finisher of few, talked to us about what she learned, her favorite challenge, the one she struggled most with, taking time for herself, connecting with others, and how Madefor shows up in her everyday life.
The Challenge of the Challenges
One of the first things Renee told us was about her response to the challenges, “I was really, really proud of myself during the first challenge, Hydration. I've never stuck to a 21-day challenge. I'm great at starting challenges and not finishing; seven days, 14-days, 21-days, it does not matter, and so for me to have success with it right at the beginning told me ‘This is something different.’” Journaling, a major part of the Madefor Program, was also something Renee always wanted to do more of and found that it was possible while doing the Program.
Renee’s favorite challenge was Rest. During the Challenge, she joked with the Team saying, “It's a good thing that you've spent eight- or nine-months building trust because there is no way in hell on Month Two, I would put my phone in the other room!” Keeping her phone in another room made a huge difference in her mornings. She no longer lost 30 minutes each morning scrolling social and that made a big impact on her days. She continues the habit on all school nights and lets herself enjoy a little morning scroll on the weekends. A, if we do say so, perfect balance.
Renee’s most challenging month came in the form of Fuel. She recognizes that it was the combination of the challenge itself and at the moment in her life there was a bit of high anxiety. Just with the nature of everything going on in her life at the time, as well as her observation that she’s a distracted eater, she found the Fuel Challenge to be her hardest challenge. However, Renee says she feels she owes it to herself to go back and reattempt it again with a little more clarity.
Rough Day? Check-In!
Renee graduated from the Madefor Program back in October and still works the Program in her own way. In addition, with the intention to go back and do a few Challenges again, she also takes advantage of the new direct line she has to her body. She says, “It’s something that is ingrained in my day-to-day. I even have a little list on my phone of things to check if I’ve had a bad day: have I had water, have I had some food, have I gone outside for a walk today?” For Renee, it’s about more than just closing her Apple Watch Activity Rings, it’s about getting fresh air and a moment for herself.
Her Big Takeaway: Finding the Pause
We find that every Madefor Alumni has a slightly different big takeaway from the Program. Sometimes it’s specific to a certain Challenge, but other times, it’s an overarching skill that helps them transform their lives. For Renee, she says hers was ‘find the pause.” We’ll let her explain, “I think my biggest takeaway is that I can now find a pause in between stimulus and response. I've always been a very much like jump on it. I'm one of four kids and I'm always like I got to get in there before it's too late type of thing. Now I'm much more able to pause before responding to that stupid email or in a conversation. I'm still working on listening better, but I found the pause between stimulus and reaction has really been a big deal.”
Finally, we asked Renee what one piece of advice she’d give a new member that’s just starting. Very simply put, she suggests trusting the process. She says, “The program is well designed, so don't try to get ahead of yourself. Resist thinking, ‘Oh, that doesn't work for me, I'm going to just do it this way…’” She recognizes that part of the opportunity is the trust piece. There will be questions and you may be skeptical, but just trust the process and take it day by day. Don’t risk losing the experience and potential gains by tweaking it for what you think will work better for you. As Pat says, “Life gets a vote,” and you’ll need to give yourself grace. Just don’t shortchange yourself by diluting the Program, it’s all designed very intentionally, so lean in.