Yes, this was how I was feeling at the start of the year so I decided to take on a monster challenge to uplevel my habits and kick me into my next phase of growth.
Here’s the update on how I am tracking with the #75hard challenge. For those that didn’t see my email last month on this, this is what the challenge entails. For 75 days I need to:
x2 45 min exercise stints a day, one outside
No cheat meals or alcohol
Diet of your choice – in my case no gluten, processed sugar, I’m cutting out coffee and reducing my meat intake
10 pages of a non-fiction book
4 litres of water a day
Progress picture every day
If you miss a day you have to go back to the start. Terrifying! As you are reading this, I will have hit day 30!
I know many of you may be working on changing certain behaviours. It can be a challenge when life gets busy or social pressures knock you off track so I thought I’d share some of the key insights coming through for me that may help you in your quest to make behaviour changes that stick.
3 key insights I’m noticing about the things that are helping me change my behaviour.
1) Mindset: in the past if I did a ‘dry’ month or detox I would simply lock myself away get it done and then return to ‘normal life’ AKA social events and activities as if nothing had happened.
Challenging yourself over a longer period of time means it’s not practical to lock yourself away for so long. You have to get on with life and organise things as you would otherwise which means finding a way to truly integrate these changes into your life.
2) Don’t deny yourself the occasions, create substitutions: It’s about finding ways to fit into the occasions that you would normally have with friends or yourself. Some of the ways I’m doing this:
Friday afternoon ‘end of work’ drink is now a non-alcoholic cocktail – I’m loving ‘Naked Life’s non-alcoholic Italian Spritz (no I’m not sponsored by them it’s just a great product)
Different dates nights – Thursday’s are becoming a visit to the infra-red sauna with my partner
Healthy weekends away – I just returned from a meditation and Qi Gong weekend which was vegan and alcohol-free!
3) Your support crew is crucial: Usually, I pressure my partner into doing these kinds of things with me but this time I wanted to get my head down and focus on myself.
I’ve found my partner being really supportive, cooking dinner to let me get the 2nd piece of exercise done and he’s not been drinking when we go out for dinner. Friends have also switched drinks for evening walks. Isn’t it interesting that when you focus on what you can control and doing your thing this starts to rub off on others and they generally lean in and support you?
So, the 75 hard challenge may not be for you and I’m certainly not advocating it for everyone as a friend at dinner pointed out on Friday night “that’s a stupid challenge it’s proven that these types of challenges of complete abstinence or denial of self don’t work, you’re more likely to fall off the wagon”. She instead advocated for an ‘in moderation’ approach.
Here’s the thing everyone will have an opinion but you know you. If you want to start some new habits, it’s about finding the way that works for you.
If you are curious about changing your behaviour by starting new habits here are a few places to start looking;
Steven Guises work on mini-habits – starting so small you can’t fail
James Clear’s book on ‘Atomic Habits’ on setting ‘identity-based-habits’
I’ve even written about this in terms of building up new healthy habits to support your well-being and energy as a leader
But, if I could give you one piece of advice right now if you are thinking of creating healthy habits or up-leveling existing ones. Get the right structure in your weeks, block out the time first as a priority and get into a regular rhythm and routine.
If you want to get your hands on the 5 killer steps I use for myself and with clients to create a work-life balance structure, or as I like to call it ‘work-life integration’ into their days and weeks just email me back with the word ‘energy’ and I’ll send this to you.
To your health and happiness,
Head Coach and Founder