Does 2015 Have Your Name on It? (plus 21-Day Challenge News and a Chance to Win)

2015“This is going to be my year!” It’s a common refrain as we change over the calendars every year. And I thoroughly believe each and every one of us should be thinking this exact thought today. As brazen a statement as it might seem, it encapsulates the full possibility and responsibility of owning this year for yourself. The fact is, this year does belong to you. The only requirement is being lucky enough to be alive today. That’s it. If you’re beginning the year in health far poorer than you’d hope, 2015 is just underway. No matter if you have weight to lose, strength to gain, eating habits to change, or stress to be conquered, 2015 is one day in. What could you be doing, feeling and seeing by next New Year’s?

What will you do with this one priceless year?

Let me propose something bold. (Do you expect anything less from me at this point – those of you who’ve been here before?) Today – this year – let’s go for broke….

Going for broke: let yourself imagine what that could mean for you and your life. And no small thinking here! Let’s shoot those limitations down right away. Think creatively, expansively. What would you like to be able to do?

Let me cut into the good self-reflection for a moment and offer a word of caution about framing these visions. So often people say, “I’d love to get back to X,” X being back to 180 pounds, back in some old jeans, back in shape the way they used to be. Used to be. Back. Old. In reality, you’ll never really get back to X, no matter what it is. That’s a good thing.

It’s not about going back. Don’t dwell in past visions. They too often breed unhelpful comparisons and put an artificial “cap” on our success. So many of us go through life with a fixed sense of self. We hold onto a misguided and tightly circumscribed sense of what we’re capable of, what we can look like, what we can enjoy, etc. It’s time to lose those old stories – no matter how great we think they were.

Can we bring ourselves to believe the past wasn’t the pinnacle? Can we fathom for a minute that we can do better and enjoy it more by doing it differently this time? I’d consider myself living proof of that concept, and I can show you thousands of success stories that demonstrate the same. My experience of 60-years-old beats my experience at 30 hands down.

Let’s envision forward. What you can be today is the best possible version of yourself. For this to happen, it’s critical to change your language and mindset. No one here is going backward. Today you know more than ever about real health, and you’re going to use it now to your full unbridled advantage. You’re going to expand your body’s capacity – and your self-concept.

So, how about this instead?

“This year I want to become leaner, healthier, stronger, better than I ever have been. I want to feel a sense of vitality I’ve never experienced in my life.”

So much better, right?

Now let me sweeten the deal….

This year I’ve slated the annual 21-Day Primal Blueprint Challenge for January 12 through February 1. Yes, I’m aligning the massive reader initiative and ambition we see at every Challenge with the fire power of New Year’s resolution time. While there’s never a bad time to reclaim your health and vitality, I just wanted to see what kind of combustion was possible. Consider that a Challenge in itself!

I have no doubt this community will offer an unmatched energy and enthusiasm. As unbelievable as this is to say, I don’t think I’ve ever looked more forward to the Challenge and the surprises it will bring.

On your end, you can expect a whole host of products, contests and other goodies as well as great supporting content – including for the first time ever an accompanying free app for those who register for the Challenge by January 12.

Be sure to check back on Monday for more details – including initial registration. There’s a time urgent piece here. Challenge participants will only be able to join the Challenge app from January 5th to the 12th. Don’t miss out!

Finally, let me offer this encouragement for anyone who’s still straddling the fence or who’s simply new to MDA. You will find everything you need here for each and every one of these 21 days to meet this Challenge. No one goes it alone. Prepare to be offered the tools and information you need to initiate change and to maintain your momentum. Prepare to be inspired by the outstanding support of this community and to be astounded by the extraordinary videos, recipes and strategies other readers will share in the contests, forum and comment boards.

Know that – no matter where your health is at – you can begin this Challenge counting on the faith of others until amazing outcomes can finally convince you of your own inherent capacity and the potential of the Primal Blueprint for better living. Welcome to your year.

I want to know what your self-challenge will be for 2015 and for these upcoming 21 days? Who’s in? What vision will you be working for? Share your thoughts and questions, and I’ll randomly select one winner to receive a free bag of Primal Fuel. (Sweepstakes ends Jan. 2, 2015, 10 am PST.)

Thanks for reading everyone. Happy New Year!

Prefer listening to reading? Get an audio recording of this blog post, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast on iTunes for instant access to all past, present and future episodes here.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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155 thoughts on “Does 2015 Have Your Name on It? (plus 21-Day Challenge News and a Chance to Win)”

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  1. Can’t wait! We just started eating primal at the end of November- surprisingly it wasn’t hard making it through the holidays temptations at all. We love the way we feel, and we live MDA!

  2. I’m excited for the challenge. This year, the vision I’ll be working for is BALANCE. I tend to live kind of a “pendulum” style life – where I swing back and forth paying attention to one thing and another. This year, I will take charge of my life and live balanced rather than experiencing one wild swing and then another.

  3. Yes! I am committed to making this the best year yet. I have had long bouts of success with eating primally, but I have fallen off the wagon multiple times. My nemesis is sugar. I will be conquering this addiction this year, starting this very minute.

  4. I’ve decided that 2015 is to be my challenge year. I’m going to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone. 3 goals so far are to try indoor rock climbing, paddle boarding and I want to do 10 “guy” push ups by the end of the year. I’m in my 50’s so these are all challenging for me 🙂

  5. Having spent 2011 eating almost completely paleo (save too much wine!) I started a new job, started going to lunch with my new colleagues and slowly started to slide… Combined with long work hours and increasing stress, the slide became a headlong rush! In the last year, I went back to my previous way of eating and have found myself feeling bloated, fat and sick. This year, I will be reclaiming my health, changing my body shape for the better and remembering that life is about more than work…

    1. I hear ya, Adam. I backslide when the stress and hours at work mount. No more! Health and happiness are more important than work. I am doing this challenge, and looking forward to a year of vitality.

  6. No time like the present – I’m in! I’ll be back to register on the 5th!

  7. I’m in, been waiting for this! My goal is to get my diabetes under control again. I got my A1c down wonderfully early last year, then my doc put me on Lipitor and everything went to h#ll. I got discouraged and stopped taking all meds. Then started backsliding on my eating, though I’m still at about 75% Primal. I plan to go 100% Primal and get healthy again!

  8. I have been reading up on the primal way of living the entire month of December and my husband and I have decided to give this new lifestyle a try! It will be a difficult road for us, but I am ready to feel healthy and have energy again! We have an 8 month old doberman puppy so it shouldn’t be too hard to get the recommended exercise per week, I just worry about finding plenty of recipes to suit us because we tend to be on the picky side, but we are both willing to try new things! Cannot wait to see how going primal will change our lives!

    1. The only problem with the pup, is that you end up building an endurance dog. My 16 month rhodesian ridgeback thinks we need to have three hours of play every day.

  9. I too have had success and felt much better than I do currently. This is the year to getting stronger and leaner. I will turn 54 this year, and it is time to reverse the trend and start adding time to my great life.
    Good luck to everyone in becoming your Best Ever!

  10. Awesome….I need to get back on track after these holidays. I am definitely feeling the effects of cheating.

  11. I’ve slipped so far off the rails, I can’t even see the tracks!! I’m ready to get up brush myself off and make the second half of my life a million times better than the first. Bring it on!!

  12. Fantastic. Looking forward to the challenge and getting my sleep back in order!

  13. For 21 days I won’t have seconds or snack between meals, only eating when I have true hunger
    and I’d like to get rid of the pain in my knee and foot this year!

  14. I’ve been lucky enough to have never had health problems before, but now the years of abuse to my body are catching up to me. It is time for me to be the best ME I can be, and I hope this challenge will help me begin.

  15. Awesome, I’m in (hopefully wrangling some friends as well!). 2014 was a year without wheat for me, allowing me to finally break my addiction. In 2015 I’m taking on added sugars – no HFCS, limiting added sweeteners to 10g or less per day. For me, focusing on one area at a time lets me succeed without spreading my willpower too thin.

  16. Sign me up! In the past year, I’ve shed 70 pounds, stopped my statin and 3 of the 4 blood pressure meds I was on, normalized my blood sugar, and no longer have obstructive sleep apnea. I credit the blessings within Primal Blueprint Fitness for these changes, and my goal now is to add some strength, and the Challenge sounds like a great way to go!

  17. I’m in. 90 percenter for two years now, my 10% is beer (the good stuff). Goals this year are a sub 2 minute Firefighter Combat Challenge and #1200 combined squat, dead, and bench. Also to get more guys at the station involved! Also I’ll be 44 next week so the delayed start on the 12th is perfect because a birthday without beer is no fun.

  18. I am a young 61 years of age and 40 pounds overweight, most noticeably in my belly. I am getting back on track with my yoga which I used to do religiously and have gotten away from and I need to get back on track with my eating habits. My sister-in-law introduced me to your book and I am very interested. Currently battling cold/flu but on my way to recovery. I will take your challenge and quite probably sign up for your auto-ship primal fuel. I live alone and am unmotivated in cooking for myself. Maybe with your help I will get inspired! Looking forward to signing up.

    1. Hi, i can relate! I am 56 and could stand to lose about 40 lbs. i do work out everything from crossfit to essentric stretching! It time to get it right and get that nutrition piece of the puzzle incorporated into our lives! Peace, georgina

    2. So praying to change myself also…….. 61 and will be 62 in April. Feel like I am 72 🙁 I feel so crappy on a daily basis it scares me. We are in the process of redoing our kitchen so I have no stove……. microwave is it…. so cooking is an issue at the moment. Hoping to get it back to normal in the next couple of weeks. Just feeling kinda hopeless at the moment. I am at least 70 lb over weight and more of that than usual is in the belly…… I hurt all the time and feel like crap. 2015 has got to me year of change, it just has to be.

      1. Vicki, the fact that you are on the MDA website is a great start in the right direction. Just cutting out grains and sweets can make an incredible difference in weight and wellness. Good luck with your efforts.

      2. Hang in there Vicki, keep it simple food wise. Could you use an electric fry pan or skillet as well as the microwave? That would give you some more options. Being here is a great start, and once you clean up your diet the pain will ease.

  19. This is so exciting! I just set up a Primal Challenge group on Facebook last week for some friends because we are doing a challenge over the same dates! It will be great to have and an app to help us along!

    I’ve been Primal for 3 years now, but I need a good re-set every 6 months or so (beer starts to taste too good…), so that’s why I’m doing the challenge again.

  20. I’m in! I’ve been looking forward to this more than you know. My personal goal is to make the PB workouts a regular part of my life. I’ve been doing things rather haphazardly and now I’m going to get organized, get serious, and have more fun than I ever dreamed of. Also I am focusing on getting rid of stuff – material stuff, emotional stuff. It’s hard to focus on what’s important when life is cluttered.

  21. I’m so ready for this! I’ve been primal since my freshman year in high school, but have unfortunately struggled staying it as the temptations have been too strong and I never entirely had the correct mindset. But I am turning 18 on the 15th and graduating high school on the 16th, then ready for college acting auditions in ny. I’m sick of constantly going up and down in weight because I don’t have an entirely healthy mindset for food. I’m sick of always self-sabotaging myself once I finally am on a healthy track. I’m sick of rarely being able to say no when I’m out with friends. I’m young and blessed in so many ways, this is the time to finally take charge of my life and put my health first always! Confidence in myself and health are far more important than trying to “fit in” with my friends, or emotionally binging on food. I’m ready for change, I will change, and 2015 is my year! I will finally become the person I’ve always wanted to become starting right now!

  22. My goal is to live right today! Tomorrow, that will be my goal as well! One day at a time. I love reading and being a part of this community! “You live out what you think about”. I choose to think primal:)

  23. Count me in too! I’m new to MDA but the small changes I have made in the past few weeks have made a big difference to how I feel. Imagine the effect of some big changes!

  24. I love the idea of being bold! I’m looking forward to cutting the cycle of crap in January. Eat crap, feel like crap, eat more crap…Instead, I’m going eat real food, and I’m sure my body will appreciate it.

  25. I’m in! I’m also one of those people who has been very healthy all my life despite eating way too much sugar. I know that now that I’m in my 40s, this will catch up with me. I’ve been dabbling in Primal for a couple of years but not all in and I am ready to be all in!

  26. I see myself becoming a person who sleeps long and deep, lets stress go, is strong and flexible, and manages genetic imperfections intelligently and without obsession or worry. Since I discovered the Primal path I’ve already dropped the extra weight and made long walks and occasional sprints up the stairs a part of my routine, so I feel I have a great base to build on. What I see for this year is a person whose work, play, friends, loves, and leisure are all part of a seamless, grateful life. I expect I’ll continue logging onto MDA daily just as I have for the past couple of years. Thanks, Mark, for being smart, sane, and upbeat. I enjoy your company.

  27. Went through a really bad spell of homesickness last year and put back 30 pounds. I need to get control of my life and realize that I’ll never be able to make enough money to go home again.

  28. Retired this December at 62. Been eating primally for about 4 years and maintain about 10% bodyfat. With more flexibilty and time, I’m training for my first body building show. Fun challenge for 2015. If only there was an over 60 class :-)!

  29. This is very timely. I type from my motorhome; we sold our house in Scotland after the Referendum and are now driving around England trying to find somewhere new to call home.

    I have to say we’ve both hit a low this last week. We’ve been primal for 5 plus years so already on the right food/exercise path but will look to use the 21 days to try and start planning/envisioning a new future.

  30. Is it possible to start the primal challenge during a fast? I’m going to be fasting till evening all through the month (religious reasons), but I read this post and I am challenged to complete this 21-day challenge.

    Is there a minimum calorie intake for the challenge? I don’t think there’ll be enough time between breaking the fast and bedtime to eat many meals. So I probably have to eat only one meal a day, it would be a challenge to not go too low on calories while cutting out all grains and legumes.

    Basically, is it possible to eat once a day while keeping true to the primal lifestyle?

    1. Aside from the requirements of the Challenge itself, the idea of eating one principal meal per day is not new. Some years ago I acquired a copy of Ori Hoffmeckler’s, The Warrior Diet and practiced it for some time. I experienced many benefits from this way of eating, which Ori modeled after the dietary practices of Greek and Roman warriors. Many contemporary MMA athletes have adopted this regimen as well, with positive results.
      This way of life is predicated on the Principle of Undereating and Overeating, that is to say, fasting through the day and finally compensating with a period of satiety by having the evening meal within a moderately short window of time. He advocated a diet much like the Paleo, with only a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates. The book is fascinating.

  31. I’m in. Been primal off and on for a few years. Making great gains (or losses depending on how you look at it) when ever I have dialled it but life also seemed to get in the way. No more. Starting today, baby step by baby step I will be enacting the primal blueprint and the 21 day challenge will be a huge help.

  32. Its 230p here on the east coast and I’m am just getting moving due to the terrible migraine I woke up with. Why is that important? When I eat paleo/primal I don’t get these migraines but to make it “easier” on myself and the family I’m staying with on holiday I decided to just go with the flow and eat whatever and not make a big deal about it. Well now as I sit here while the rest of my family is out enjoying themselves I realize its not easier to just go with it when I end up missing time with my family, it’s easier to stick to the way of life I know makes me feel better, the way I know will work if I stick to it (not just two weeks at a time). So here and now I’m committing sticking to it, not just for 2015 but for life because it’s so much easier to feel my best than it is to feel like I do right now.

  33. I’m in! The first 14 of 21 days I’ll be on my honeymoon in Hawaii, so I’m looking forward to pushing the proverbial reset button there. I’ve been an avid CrossFitter, primal eater, and MDA reader for a couple years, but my challenge this year will be to incorporate more slow movement into my life like walking and biking. My husband has been eating primal for a while now as well, but I’m looking forward to inspiring more activity in him too. I’m so excited for this challenge!

    1. I am stoked to take the 21 day challenge! I started eating primal 5 years ago and love it. Now is the time to be the best you can be!

    1. Not really – but not really concerned either.

      The article states :
      “Now they have discovered that pork, beef and lamb contains a sugar which is naturally produced by other carnivores but not humans

      It means that when humans eat red meat, the body triggers an immune response to the foreign sugar, producing antibodies which spark inflammation, and eventually cancer.

      Scientists at the University of California proved that mice which were genetically engineered so they did not produce Neu5Gc naturally developed tumours when they were fed the sugar”

      Interesting points:

      -They found a type of sugar in red meat (though sugars/carbs amounts in meat is extremely small).

      -They genetically engineered mice to not cope with this special sugar and feed the sugar to them (genetically engineering can cause can have other unknown/unintended ‘side-effects’, also the normal mouse diet is not sugar).

      Coincidentally, I recently met someone that conducts cancer lab research testing on mice – from what I understand, they take identically bred mice with sterile gut flora and feed them a high carb/sugar (normal sugar) diet and can very reliability produce cancer in them.

    2. Can’t get to the full study but my immediate thoughts are: I’m guessing this is conventionally raised meat, so would the results be any different if grass-fed meat was used?

  34. I have dabbled in primal enough to confirm the benefits. Now that the holidays are over, there it no excuse not to make a mindful commitment. The first goal is the 21 day challenge. The 2nd goal is to shed BF from 25% to >15% in 90 days. 2015 is the year to eat, sleep, drink, and play healthy.

  35. Im in. Ive been preparing for this the last month. Have strayed from the path and needed some motivation to get back on. The challenge will remind me of why i started on the paleo way.

  36. In these next 21 days, I want to get started tackling the emotional eating/snacking problem I have. I feel like my mindless grazing on fruit is keeping me from losing fat, and I want to eliminate this obstacle.

    In 2015 as a whole… wow, I really want to accomplish a lot. My goals are nebulous but I truly want to crush them. I want to sprint faster (a marker would be improve my 100m time by 1 second, because I’m already pretty slow anyway), run faster (get my mile down to 7:00), improve my conditioning/endurance/work capacity, improve athleticism (esp. explosiveness/power and body control, a la MovNat), and eliminate the pain that I wrote in to Mark about back in October/November 2013.

  37. I’ve been wanting to go all in with the 21 day challenge for a while now. I have been putting it off though. Now is the time!

  38. Perfect! I always gain weight during the winter so the Challenge will be a great way to kickstart NOT gaining. Started primal about 5 months ago and Love it. Looking forward to continuing to become the best me I can be!

  39. Definitely gonna do this challenge, not only for myself but also in order to inspire friends and family to try out a Primal mindset and lifestyle. Many of them are halfway there, but reluctant to stray from established patterns. I plan to *show*, since *telling* hasn’t been enough!

  40. I have binged over the last 2 weeks to add to my binge/restrict roller coyster. I need to reset and get my cravings under control with this challenge. I’m in!

  41. I’m in! Ready to get off the binge/restrict roller coaster of 2014 and start new!

  42. I will be doing the 21 day challenge, then another 21 day challenge and so on. This way it will be a lot easier to gain momentum and meet small goals.

  43. I did several strength tests this morning and found out that I fall in the average strength for my age (52). I want to be stronger and more fit for 2015, so count me in!

  44. This summer I was off work and did a lot of heavy gardening (making new beds, ripping out lawn, etc.) and building (worked on an outbuilding). I felt wonderful: vibrant but deeply grounded; strong and agile. I also lost about 12 lbs, which is a lot for me–hadn’t weighed this little since my late 20s. I went back to an usually stressful work situation, stopped moving, and put on 16 lbs by Christmas! My goal for 2015 is to find a way to bring those wonderful aspects of my summer life into my working life: to find again that feeling of being strong, able to move, happy and grounded. I also want to shed the extra weight that gets in the way of my mobility. Not so easy to bend around some of this! The positive values embodied in this website reflect where I want to be and how I want to live. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

  45. I am in, my goal is to loose 3-5% body fat every month of this year starting in january, and find a cure for my clinical depression in a healthily lifestyle once again, like I once have.

  46. Im so happy to have discovered this blog and many other great blogs.
    As an 18 year old female, being at my top health is my priority.
    Now if spring will hurry up and get here, I can finally go hiking again.

  47. This challenge fits right in with my goal to get stronger this winter. Also I am getting rid of items I don’t want or need.

  48. After two years of primal living I am finding a laziness in my eating habits, time to get back on track. Looking forward to the challenge!

  49. I’m throwing my hat into the ring so I’m definitely up for the challenge. Thank you Mark and staff for providing us with the tools to succeed to become a better and healthier version of who we currently are.

  50. I’m in. I’ve so improved my eating and exercising but I’m ready for a post-Christmas New Year, New Me challenge!

    My New Year goals are to be even more consistently primal and to work on the other aspects that are a big challenge: namely stress reduction and emotional peace.

  51. Fabulous article, as usual, Mark. My current mantra is “The Past is Done” so your post is right on!

    I’m definitely in, and I can’t wait for more excellent content from MDA in 2015!

  52. I’m in! Fell off the primal wagon and ate a lot of crap over the holidays. Actually, the crap was sneaking into my diet for the last 6 months. Ready to be the best version of myself!

  53. Me too! I’m in! ????
    I am so excited to begin 2015.
    Just before Christmas, I started the PB expert certification course. I want to help others reclaim the health they think they’ve lost for good!

  54. In 2014, I went through a divorce from the man I was with 13 years, put down my feline friend of 17 years, and moved to another state where I didn’t know anyone. There have been a lot of other life’s dramas in there, too, like 3 hit and run drivers, a flooded kitchen, a dislocated finger, and a myriad of other issues. I’ve been eating Paleo as I have for the past 3 years, and always work out a lot for stress relief, but my portion sizes have been out of control. I turned to food for comfort and gained 20 pounds. My birthday was at the end of October and I’ve been working on cutting back portions since then. I’m also tinkering with my supplements and workout schedule, as my energy levels are lower than they used to be. I know some of that is the extra weight, but I don’t feel it’s the whole reason. I’m figuring things out and getting back on track!

  55. Me and my wife are in. We are looking forward to the support and wealth of ideas that ricochet around this website. As people who don’t eat a ton of meat, hope to find ways of not eating a whole carcass every few days.

    Best wishes to all.

  56. I’m in. My goal is to live the primal lifestyle and stick to it throughout 2015.

  57. I’ve been pondering trying the 21 Day Challenge, so I think this will make me finally commit. I’d like to lose 15 lbs, which is a pretty achievable goal, but I have GOT to get an exercise routine going.

  58. My goal this year is to play more to balance out my highly stressful job. I don’t have enough fun in my life. The constant stress makes it hard to stick with a healthy diet and exercise.

  59. Let’s do it. I’ve been dipping my toe in the Primal Pool, now it’s time to jump in. The app and other supporting content will absolutely help with the challenge. I’m ready!

  60. My goal this year is to gain weight, especially in muscle mass. I’m recovering from a severe bout of GI problems, and eating primal has been a key part of my recovery. I enjoy eating clean and hope to achieve a healthy weight as my gut continues to heal.

  61. I’m IN! This is perfect timing.
    My kryptonite is alcohol-especially good wine (California does that to you). I am ready to be DONE with it. I am challenging myself to just Follow the Program, without letting life tasks get put ahead of my health and vitality. I also want to learn to slack-line and juggle, to try paddle boarding and to get in the ocean on a regular basis.
    I am sure there are a lot more things I can think of, but that’s good for now.
    Back on Monday to register
    Yahoo and Thanks, Mark!

  62. I have several goals – move every day!, sleep 8 hours! continue intermittent fasting and focus more on my health and less on my weight! I’m working on being a better vision of myself with balance and a great example for my family!

  63. I’m in & I’m bringing my fiance along with me! We’ve both been unhappy with our overall lifestyle – not enough activity, excess weight, some fatigue. I’ve done Primal before but got away from the principles, so the challenge & introducing him to the lifestyle will be great for me & for us.

  64. This year, I’ll be working on steady progress. Instead of diving headfirst for 2 weeks and then failing for a few days, I want to get consistent and make it a lifestyle, not a crash diet.

  65. I’m in! The latter half of 2014 was stressful for various reasons and my diet took a downward turn. Looking forward to getting back on track with this challenge. I’m new to MDA so having a community will be helpful. Happy new year!

  66. Will try to join you all, but I will be in Paris until the 15th. The trip home will be a challenge in and of itself, but maybe it will lead to real inspiration (airport aerobics, anyone ?). It’s about time to actually put into action all I’ve learned from this website and the others who aren’t afraid to look at the data carefully and be willing to make careful assessments of the conventional wisdom mindset.

    But, chocolate croissants, my downfall in France, not to mention the wine, will be hard to resist!

  67. I love idea of improving the future, not returning to the past!

    2015 is shaping up to be an awesome year for me in nearly all areas: job, romance, sleep and slow movement. I am liking the future (and present) MUCH more than the past! But I’m still struggling with the food part, the part with the biggest impact! Between the support my sweetie has given me after reading PB (he’s not sold for himself but that’s fine), and this challenge, I’m not sure 2015 can get better! Maybe I should try buying a lottery ticket just to see? Grin.

  68. Inspirational, as always, and will now be shared with several friends who are in a weight loss challenge over the next 5 months. I’ll be using the 21-day challenge to jump start my weight loss and get myself back on track. I was holding steady at about 195-200 (female, 5’8″) for over a year after losing 40 pounds–but something about this winter and holiday season has made the scale go up, my self esteem go down, and my general satisfaction with life decrease. But, like Mark said, it’s not about getting *back* to that weight. This time, it’s about making myself the very best I can be, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

    Thanks Mark, looking forward to another wonderful year.

  69. Count me in! I have fallen off the primal wagon and am desperate to get back on. Glad to see a challenge that didn’t start on the 1st too 🙂 My self challenge will be to eat clean for those 21 days. Looking forward to the app as well.

  70. Well, I spent the first day of 2015 making oxtail soup, of all things. The previous week I made bone broth for the first time, the first sip of which had this incredible effect on me. The first day of 2015 is already better than any day I can remember in some time. How many people can say they lost 10 lbs since just before the Thanksgiving holiday? And a total of 40 lbs since June. A goal for 2015 could be weighing less than I have in over 35 years, but in my mind I am already there, it’s possible, it is just a matter of so many months from now. So that is really no longer a goal. It’s done. I enjoyed bicycle riding for many years, and have desired to do it again. I would tell friends I needed to lose weight before I started back. Well, next week I leave for Florida, taking a bicycle with me. So that is no longer a “goal”, and it is actually just regaining part of my past. So for 2015 I want to try new things. I would often watch windsurfers, and thought it’s something I would like to try. Well, in 2015 I will find a way to do it. New experiences. Do the hike that I thought was too strenuous for a 60 year old.

    So whatever this 21 day challenge is, I’m in.

  71. Think Im ready to go all in!
    Going primal has got me off my meds…won’t go back!

  72. I want to know what is possible for me. I have been lurking around mda for 2 years and have always let my husbands rolling eyes and dissaproving little comments stop me. I want to get over the thinking that life without bread is not possible.
    I just need to give it a real shot – is primal the answer for me? I believe it is .
    I can do 21 days no matter what people say.
    I am in…

  73. I have a few goals I have set into motion for this year. I want to take a broader look at my health, I am starting yoga in a few days. I am not flexible nor am I very good at focusing my energy or chi or whatever as I’m much more a soccer/crossfit type of gal…and so I’m intimidated by it but I think that is a sign I should be doing it, right? Stepping out of my comfort zone and growing is a good thing. I eat primal, but I plan to hone my diet…less nuts and primal-friendly desserts. I can move slowly more often. My 2.5 year old often asks to go to the “deep dark woods” which is really just a hiking trail at a nearby park. I think maybe we’ll go a little more often 🙂

  74. I am in! I had already decided to go 21 day challenge as my January plan, now I’ll just delay 8 days and kick off with everyone else…

  75. This is just what I need to kick start my weight loss, can’t wait for it to start. My friend is starting primal paleo this new year and it’s a perfect thing for her to also too 🙂

  76. I’m in. Been eating semi-primal since August but really want to eliminate sugar from my diet. It’s a hard vice to crack!

  77. I’m up for the challenge! 2014 found me enduring a year of ill-health. It’s time to go forward. No more ill-health issues. This is my year of good health, good friends, good family and good fun. Welcome to the good life!

  78. After injuring my hamstring sprinting (of all things), I let myself go back to the SAD way of eating. I was hobbling around and it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be alone. I am looking forward to using this 21-day challenge as a springboard back to a Primal lifestyle. Thanks for all you do in the Primal community, Mark and team!

  79. I’m in, just started reading Primal Blueprint – ready to get going!

  80. It all makes good sense to me, so I’ll join you all for the 21 day challenge! Feet out! Go!

  81. I want to love running again, but balance it out with strength training. I’ve been doing CrossFit now for four months and I think it’s just what I need to achieve a good balance. Despite going primal/paleo a year ago I’ve gained a lot of weight that I cannot attribute to muscle from CrossFit. I was scared away from the amount of cardio I used to do because of what I began to realize it was doing to my body. I was always hungry and started gaining back all the weight I had worked so hard to lose. Now I’ve gained even more weight due to stress and loneliness. This 21-day challenge will be a great jump-start for finding my balance in 2015!! I’ve got the knowledge and the tools – time to put it all into action and not be afraid to lean on my friends, family and fellow Grokers for support!! 🙂

  82. So, I have been in and out of primal, and having a hard time really sticking to it completely. I never did any challenges, or followed anything strictly, so I feel as if joining the 21-day challenge can be key here to me finally sticking!

  83. I’m in! My husband has agreed to join me, so I’m hopeful that it will be successful.

  84. I’m in. I’m 5’4″, 185lbs, 33″ waist. My goal is 135 to 145lbs, and 30″ waist or less. So, 40 to 50 lbs of weight loss, and 3″ from my waist. For the past 6 years, I’ve been on birth control, moved across Canada twice, and spent the last 3 years in particular stressed out with uncertain finances. This year is starting out well, with my spouse in a job that promises to be steady and profitable. He’s also recently had a diabetes scare, so he’s ready to change, too. Between our health and financial goals, 2015 is going to be fantastic.

  85. I started a Whole 30 today to get the eating side of things right.

    One of my top ten goals for this year is to live primally, laid out specifically as eat, move and sleep primally. But I don’t just want to do this for 21 days, I want to do this for life. So I will stay starting with those three things – and even moving is only half way there yet as no sprints and not much LHT – and add in the rest once I get eat, move & sleep to become second nature. And here in the UK I wont be getting my requisite sunshine until April and am making do with cod liver oil until then!
    So, I’m in – my way 🙂

  86. I seem to end up doing the things I say I won’t do, and don’t do the things I say I will do — therefore, I accept the challenge! I look forward to saying what I mean and meaning what I say in 2015! I also look to improve upon what I started in 2014, so for me, that will be upping my workouts and play, and going from pretty-much paleo to mostly paleo. I’m hoping to drag my family along with me, but that is a whole ‘nother challenge. Thanks, Mark!

  87. This sounds interesting- I’m about 80% primal but this is going to be rough as I’m on vacation for the start!

    I’d love to shed the last 5 pounds (or turn them to muscle) and finally get this skin to clear up this year.

  88. I began a Primal approach to life after 2.5 years of being vegan and becoming sick in Nov. 2013. 2014 was amazingly changing and I plan to use the 21 day challenge as a refining boost, especially in primal fitness and tuning this year:) Have fun everyone!

  89. Totally in. Have fallen off the primal way of eating for a few months now and enjoying beer way too much. Just turned 39 and am looking forward to feeling the best I’ve ever felt by my 40th birthday next November. Time to clean up the diet, cut out the beer and start getting back out into the mountains. Feeling motivated and psyched for the 21 day challenge!

  90. This is going to be the best year ever! My Hubby & me, 2 sisters, brother & several more family members are all starting our own 21 day challenge on January 5th. This Challenge starting on the 12th we keep me going even longer so that instead of a challenge It becomes the year of transformations! We’re calling our tribe “Clan Awesome” It’s where the Scottish get their Grok on!

  91. After learning about Primal living 5! years ago, I knew I wanted to be able to help people change their lives. I’m now working on an MS in Nutrition with the goal of becoming an RD (I know, I know, but just think of the people I can help by accepting insurance!) I’ve been slowly plodding along toward that goal for almost 4 years.

    This is the year that I get it into gear. I need to finalize my study plan, formally apply to the program, figure out the finances and, most importantly, make the big leap!

    By the end of the 21 days I will have my degree plan mapped out and submit it to the department. I will also be registered for 2 classes to the spring to continue to move forward.

  92. I’m up for the challenge this year! I’ve been following this site for several years and mostly follow a primal diet. Despite that, I’m a 60-lb overweight woman in her mid-fifties with much too much body fat. How? Treats, food rewards in the form of chips, cookies, pizza – I can’t keep anything like that in my kitchen because I’ll eat all of it within hours of purchase. Having finally admitted this to myself, I’ve started an OA-inspired meal plan. So far, so good, but combined with the 21-day challenge I believe I can break the compulsion 1-day-at-a-time.

  93. I want to make 2015 my year. 2014 was a bust, with health issues (rotator cuff surgery, and multiple professional setbacks). My vision is to become Primal and be Grok, and overcome a 11 hour a day desk job.
    I want to be the best Dewey I can.

  94. Just what I needed to push me forward! This is the year I kick my sugar addiction (and hopefully my fibromyalgia) to the curb! I intend to be leaner, stronger, more flexible and more fit than I’ve ever been in my life! Count me in.

  95. I’m in as I really want to push myself this year and stop making excuses. I’ve finally started losing weight and I don’t want to give up.

  96. I’m in – looking to re-kickstart my good habits, and this fits perfectly between the holidays and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I think my focus for this challenge is the Primal Fitness aspect – I know how to eat and mostly succeed there, but haven’t really incorporated the exercise side before.

  97. I’m good with the eating and sleeping. My goals are to improve my strength while not over doing it because I also practice wing chun. Not looking for shortcuts. Just looking at working smarter.

  98. This is the year I will learn to lift heavy things without hurting myself! I always seem to get impatient or angry at myself for my weakness & try to lift too much too soon. Not this year. Slow & steady!

    1. I do have a question. I’m leaning toward starting back in with a program where I lift lighter weights, more reps & more often (at least 3 x week). I know this isn’t really the Grok way, but I have a long history of scrawny weakness & injuries, largely due to years of undiagnosed Celiac Disease + running addiction. My attempts to do harder lifts less often have repeatedly led to injury, so I’m thinking it’s just safer for me at this point to go the volume route. I’ve also been incorporating some light body weight stuff “greasing the groove” through the day– it feels good & I’d like to keep that up. Does this sound safe? My other exercise consists of walking, gentle yoga, & hoop dance, usually no more than 1 hour per day total (& sometimes less.)

      1. I feel this way too and have started the TRX body weight system to ease into lifting heavier things.

        1. Good to know I’m not alone! I just have dumbbells & resistance bands– oh, & a pull-up bar, though I can only hang right now. (Told you I was weak!)

  99. This will be my year as I am preparing myself for my first pregnancy, hopefully starting somewhere in 2016. I still have lingering gut issues and I want to become healthier by eating Primal 90/10 instead of 70/30, walking more and allowing more relaxation in my life at the expense of ever-increasing stress. I want to get a healthy baby! I may even get my boyfriend to eat better too this year, for the sake of our coming family!
    And by the way, I’m totally in for the 21-day challenge!

  100. My goal this year is to become STRONG! I’ve recently started eating primal and I love the way I feel. I find that I have more energy and sleep better at night (even with all the stress of graduate school). I’ve lost a lot of weight over the years, and eating primal has allowed me to take charge of my health, not just my weight. Can’t wait for the challenge!

  101. I’ve tried Paleo/Primal two different times…both times I’ve gained weight (fat not muscle). I’m giving it a hard try this time to see if it really makes a difference. Maybe I wasn’t doing it right before.

  102. This is just what I need! My biggest challenge is regular strength training and actually getting stronger. My next challenge is staying primal when I spend a week plus every month helping out my dad, who has a kitchen filled with non-primal foods.

  103. I’m in been eating Primal for 2 years which helped me come off my hypertensive meds and lose 14kgs, but slipped a bit over Christmas with cream, cider and chocolate. Need to loose about 3 kegs again.

    Big year for me this year as I hit 60, going for a makeover and also want to get my sleeping sorted, moving slowly well sorted with my job and dog. Sprints, not often enough but she now does agility so I get to run. Just need to sort the rest.

    So really up for this.sun is an issue as not many hours of daylight and it’s too wet and cold anyway, so have to wait for spring.

  104. I’m definitely in and looking forward to the challenge — got the nutrition/food plan working pretty well, but need the exercise part of the blueprint — in cold and rainy Washington.

  105. I love a good 21 day challenge. My goal is to eat healthier in 2015…. Starting the day off with a nice smoothie, a jog and then having a big healthy salad for lunch. If I can do those three things, I’m sure I’d get in great shape. Simple and healthy food. Avoiding processed foods and sugars. My vision is a healthier person in 2015!!!

  106. Here we gooo! I’ve been searching for the impetus to complete another 21-day Challenge! I have been eating a diet & living a life that are primal inspired for a couple years now but I find myself often falling back into habits of eating that make me feel less than great! That is why I am excited this challenge came at a time I was wanting to do it & needing support in sticking with it to get back out of the sugar cravings & into the fat burning. Vibrancy – here we go!!!! Thank you everyone for the awesome community & inspiration!


    Totally want to usher Year 58 of my life in with a brain change.

    It’s a date.

  108. I’m in too.
    I slipped off the primal wagon a couple weeks ago. Now I’m ready to get back in!
    Fortunately, I kept some great primal habits so it’s not a fresh new start for me. Still, I’ve got to do something to feel better, as I felt this summer!

  109. One pull-up. That’s my goal for the year. It’ll take a lot of core strength buildup and bellyfat loss, and a return to the primal/paleo eating style that I know works for me and I just need to stick to despite the endless flood of free food at the office.

    I haven’t successfully done a pull-up since I was 10. 25 years ago. I want to do a pull-up this year.

  110. Hi everyone, it’s great to read all the positive comments here. My challenge for 2015, is to optimise my thyroid which has always been sluggish, though conventional medicine deems it “normal”, even though it bumps along the bottom of normal. Also I need to try and manage my blood pressure and find a regime that minimises medication, and maximises health. I have just completed a reset, and this challenge will help me to relearn the basics, listen to my body, eat what I need and no more, and try and slot dairy (not milk) back to occasional rather than staple (sigh);)

  111. I’m in. I need all the help I can get. I lost my Primal compass over a year ago and can’t find my way back. Looking forward to logging in here every day.

  112. I’m in! Looking forward to the app and the community. I’ve ground to a halt with my exercising this very long holiday season, so I’m really anticipating a jump start!

  113. I am in! Since my birthday is January 11, this makes the perfect gift of health to myself. Looking forward to the challenge and results!

  114. I’m in! I’ve done a 21 day challenge before, on my own, but I’d love to tackle another with the support of the MDA community!

  115. Looking forward to a new challenge and inspiring more play in my family and friends.

  116. Epic article! I used to like the idea of goals but things changed when I came across this quote: “Losers have goals. winners have systems.” It basically means that you need to actually have a plan for how to get up off your lazy butt between the goal planning and achievement.

    The idea of “chucking” things into micro-goals or milestones keeps you motivated and keeps your eyes on the prize. The time-boxing part is also so crucial otherwise like Parkinson’s Law says the time it takes to complete a task will fill into how much time to give it (paraphrasing). So if I knew that I had only 1 week to practice for a 10K I would have a much more productive week than allowing 1 month to plan for the run.

    Between time-boxing and chucking one major 2015 goal can be 52 SPECIFIC micro-goals that you would complete each week. If its a goal that can be completed in 1 month then make a daily micro-goal. If its a goal that you have one day to complete–use the Pomodoro method (its the best technique that I learned in 2014). Thanks for sharing.

  117. I just called the hubby and told him to throw away the cookies, sugary cereal, etc.!!! I hate that I know what needs to be done to live vitally, yet I seem to continuously fall off the bandwagon and allow myself to make unworthy choices. Here’s to a new year of finding joy in my life that does not revolve around food!

  118. Im going to try to focus on breathing more. Im going to try to slow down more and refuse to let self defeating thoughts circle around my mind.

  119. I’m really excited for the challenge! I ate Primally for about a year and then switched to just gluten free for convenience and I’m ready to go back. Let’s do this!!!

  120. Susan,

    Awesome to see your focus and drive.
    It’s been a log time, but I think the over 60’s class is called the “Masters” class.
    Guess that’s supposed to make us feel better about it, and besides, it sounds better than “the old farts group-LOL! (as I approach the bug 60 myself).

    All the best with your goal, and please keep us updated. Pic’s and blogs are a good thing:)


    Don’t get discouraged.
    You have a tremendous support group here at MDA.

    I’m only a few years behind you, and I can tell you from experience, that MDA and Paleo/Primal eating, has made a tremendous difference in the way I look and feel. The “feeling better” is the most important part in my book. Looks are superficial, and while we all may want to have a better body, if it doesn’t function well, or hurts too much to use it, then what’s the use?

    When I stray too far from the PB, I can feel it. In my joints, gut, head, etc. Life is just not as fulfilling as when I’m closer to 100%.

    As for the lack of cooking options, now is a great time to get creative. If the weather allows, try grilling. Go to one of the local box stores, Walmart, SAM’s club, COSTCO, wherever, or check out Craigslist for that matter, and find yourself a cheap grill. Either is fine, but I’ve got an old charcoal grill that works great!

    Toss your chicken, steaks, pork chops, fish, veggies, etc., on the grill.
    Add the seasonings you desire, check out some grilling blogs for ideas on wood chips and such for added flavor, and grill away! 🙂

    It’s healthy, cleaner, can be more fun, and can involve the entire family of you like. And, you’re closer to Grok (LOL).

    Otherwise, try a hot plate and a sautee pan.
    Where there’s a will, there’s a way lady, but NEVER GIVE UP!!!!

    Very little in life is “Hopeless,” Don’t let that feeling consume you.

    You said, “I am at least 70 lb over weight and more of that than usual is in the belly…… I hurt all the time and feel like crap.”

    I lost 52# in about 4 months on paleo/crossfit (mostly paleo).
    You CAN (and will) lose the 70 this year, if you stick with us:) The key word here is “US.” We’re all here for you!!

    Hang in there lady!!


  121. So glad I stumbled across this site!!!! Just started the paleo/primal lifestyle and still have so much to learn. I have digestion issues and pray this will be what my body needs to heal and resolve these issues. Have only done it for a week, the first few days were rough but I am feeling better already!!!! Is there a specific place to sign up for the challenge or is it more a personal challenge?

  122. I am pumped for 2015, and your post got me all fired up some more!

    I missed the start of the challenge, but I have an exercise/diet plan and I am staying strict to it so far.

    Best of luck everyone!