Unbreakable habit....or is it...?
How did January 2018 begin for you? I’ve got a hunch that much like me, you began with great intentionality, goal setting and a resolve to grow.
But somewhere along the way you felt a slide, a call from your old patterns and habits to just take the easy route of familiarity. So what would it look like if you ended 2018 by recapturing the drive you felt in those first weeks of the year?
I touched the play button on a favorite podcast recently and was challenged as I listened to author and speaker Rachel Hollis.
In January we often begin with resolutions and well-thought plans for the year ahead. But I definitely have a pattern of sliding into winter with a casual disregard for my better habits. And my best January intentions are often eclipsed by the pattern already in place from November and December. Frequently offering myself the easy out: “Well… I’ll just start fresh again after my birthday. After the holidays. After the end of the year.”
Rachel Hollis and her husband Dave offered up a challenge: Finish the year stronger than it began. This is the Last 90 Days Challenge.
I’m both excited and crazy intimidated by this idea. If you know me well, you know I am a summer girl. A sun, sand and warm weather lover. I take it all in, as much as I can, and then soothe myself until spring. I wear flip flops until my frozen toes are screaming at me and I finally shut them up in wool-lined boots. This year I didn’t want to shift from Michigan summer into fall and then winter and just start bundling up and hunkering down. I didn’t want to give myself over to feeling down and moody, adopting a lack of discipline all season long. So I’m I accepting the challenge.
On September 17th I signed up at www.thechicsite/90Days and made a commitment to myself. I have explained it to my darling husband as well as a few of my closest friends who have chosen to take on the challenge with me. The official challenge began October 1st and continues through the end of December 2018, but you can join at any time.
The Last 90 Days challenge uses the 5 to Thrive model as a guide for daily practice.
I’ve been getting up an hour earlier and paying attention to the morning routine activities that nourish me. I’ve been making a point to exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. Some days it means I go to the gym or give my dog an extra walk. Other days I squeeze in a power walk or a run before yoga. I keep my favorite water bottle full with me all the time and refill it frequently.
In an effort to eat clean and healthy I’ve chosen to give up something in my diet that really isn’t serving me well: sweet sugar-laden desserts, especially cookies! (I might have a slightly codependent relationship with cookies, brownies, processed chewy bars and any sort of chewy gooey melty sweet treat.) The idea here is that you give up one thing. Just ONE thing for 30 days straight during this season, to break a habit and establish a new, better one. And the likely reality is for most people, it will take closer to 90 days to accomplish a solid 30 day stretch with zero cookies.
Finally I have added to my journaling practice a simple gratitude list. Every day, I end by writing out ten things I’m grateful for. Specific to today. Little things. Snippets. Glimpses of joy & gratitude and love. This is one of the hardest things to do, especially at the end of the day when I’m tired. I’m already noticing the effect though, especially when I make a point to notice things throughout the day and jot them down on my phone or in my notebook, and then review them in the evening and complete the list. Looking back over nearly two weeks worth already is so sweet.
My 90 days is only a couple of weeks old, but I’m already feeling the impact of renewed intentionality.
Are you up for it? Join me, and then feel free to let me know how it’s going by posting below!
Thanks for reading my very first blog post!
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