90 Days Can Massively Change Your Life…..

We’ve talked about it before. We can change our habits in about 21 days.  I have even wrote a 30 day postural challenge. Taking you step by step one day at a time, walking you through how to change your posture in 30 days. However, there’s one problem, I have an addictive personality. Personally, it is way too easy to slide back down the slippery slope, back to old habits. Mick Jagger said it best, old habits die hard. Change, it’s necessary, but it isn’t easy to achieve. There have been 3 lifestyles and actions I wanted to challenge myself with, to improve and implement. For each I knew if I wanted to implement this habit, to genuinely add this tool to my tool kit, I had to commit for the long haul. To stick to my guns for 90 days. 

The 3 Habits Or Lifestyles I Wanted To Change:

The first thing to say is this was and is a personal choice. For me. There was no religious connotation, in no way am I saying we should all do this and not even Merissa has joined me in a single one of these 90 day challenges. However, I needed a shift. I didn’t just wake up one day and say now I am meditating, not drinking and running. But I got to a stage with each one of these things (at different times) and thought I need to add or subtract this from my life.

This Leads To 3 Very Important Questions:

  1. Why change?
  2. What did I learn throughout the 90 days
  3. How could a 90 day challenge help you give 2019 the best start possible? 

Why Change?

The mind is defined as the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought. To change, I felt that I needed to change my mind. To change what was happening literally from the top down. 

Daily Meditation

Constantly bombarded with thoughts and things to do unable to switch off the internal chatter which, was often quite negative. The same endless dribble wasn’t aiding to what I was “focussing on.” I wanted to quiet the mind- to allow time for some internal peace, to be with my own mind for a change. Literally turning down the noise as much as possible from the external chatter of modern living- no phone calls, emails, Facebook, Instagram. Nothing else just me and my thoughts. I thought I got enough of this with endless laps in the pool or hours on the bike. However, if I saw a shiny object, even an interesting piece of aluminium foil, I was as quick to the distraction as the next person.  

If I wanted to really focus, I knew I had to commit- so late June 2018 I committed to deliberate daily meditation. Some days it’s as short as 7’, others around 15’ and I do guided- I still need the instruction to keep me present in the moment. Do I get distracted? That is an emphatic absolutely! But when I recognise that and come back to what I am supposed to be doing there is the win. Now this win is a win in life too- it’s why I changed and added meditation. 

Avoiding Alcohol

As for alcohol, I had a pretty reckless 20’s but that’s a lifetime, a career and two kids ago. This came down to a time investment. Working 5 1/2 days a week left 1 1/2 days to get stuck into legit family time and get my endorphin and adrenaline fix outdoors. After another Sunday morning waking up groggy, not wanting to tackle the day after sharing a bottle of red, I’d had enough. I wanted my time back…. 90 days later I’ve seen my way through christmas parties, thanksgiving and football finals all without a drink. Previously I may have stopped for a month or maybe two leading up to a big race, but it’s probably 20 years since I’ve had 3+ months off. Now I get to choose how to invest my time…

Running Daily

That old endurance exercise addiction comes at a cost. Sport literally creates an endorphin high. I love it and I can’t get enough of it….. Given the endless hours of training I was doing at the start of the year it isn’t fair to my family, my clients or even to my body. So I’ve had to cut back. However, the limited volume really wasn’t floating my boat. Tackling every day running is something I’ve never done before. Most days it’s, just 30 minutes, but that’s 30 minutes with no phone, no music, sunshine and fresh air. It’s energising and the challenge of doing it consistently means I am as content and happy now with training even 10-15 hours less of it each week!! Another great investment of time…

Lessons Learnt

There’s an old saying – to grow is to change, to perfect is to change often. In no way am I even close on perfection however, to be the best version of me I feel I have to do the work. By challenging myself for 90 days I have cut out my excuses. I’ve said this will get done and well, it has to. I imagine anyone who has written a book, not every day will they feel like writing, however, the professionals out there will get it done. The athlete alike surely has times they’d like to sit on the couch and kick their feet up. Steven Pressfield literally calls this “Turning Pro.” 

“Whether or not you think you can or you can’t, your probably right.”

If you’d asked me a few years ago if I could have given up drinking I would have said no way. Then if you phrased the question ever so slightly different, do you want to give up drinking? My answer would have been a flat out, shoot straight and simple NO. I never wanted to stop before and as such never gave it a single try. With meditation, sure I’d tried before and when the first convenient excuse came along I jumped at it and the practice usually lasted around 5 days. This time was different, I wanted to change and with that want came the willingness to do the work. I believe that we all have this power- to change and to commit, but step 1, we have to want to.  

“Time is on my side.” Those 1440 minutes each and every day are precious. Right now, my choice to meditate, run and to stay away from booze takes about 45 minutes of each day. But, it adds minutes of clarity and concentration to every other minute and moment. When Rudyard Kipling says, “if you can spend a minute of 60 seconds well run,” he wasn’t just talking about running. He was maximising his presence in that moment, second to second. These challenges have helped me be here, in this moment right now. We are so quick to complain and argue over someone taking our money however, our time can be stolen even easier. Time is the ultimate finite resource and I love choosing how to use it…. 

How a 90 day challenge could kickstart your 2019

90 Days Is A Reachable Goal

There are three overarching benefits associated with 90 day challenges. The first is that 90 days is an imaginable, visible period of time. It’s as long as university holidays or a single season. Many of us are familiar with the concept of New Years Resolutions. January always sees a spike in Gym memberships, outlandish goals and aspirations. These unfortunately struggle to make it out of January. If there is something you want to stick to try 90 days. It is still finite. It is easy to chunk down into only 3 short months or just 12 weeks (only a third of a pregnancy) and it’ll be over before you know it. If you locked in 90 days right now you’d be finished before the end of daylight savings, before easter it’ll be that quick. 

Rewiring The Brain

If you can change a habit in 21 days just imagine the chemical rewiring of your brain in 90 days! This is the second huge benefit. A doubling down, compound neuronal effect of 90 day challenges. You would literally be thinking, acting or doing completely new thoughts or activities. Old habits die hard but over 90 days not only would you form new habits but the new habits would be so strong the old ones couldn’t surface again anyways. If it were a physical skill, think of the amount of deliberate practice you could do over 90 days. With dedicated practice, you may not master every skill, but I bet you could really improve your stroke, swing or stride if given the time. 

Who Doesn’t Love A Goal?

The third reason reason why you should consider a 90 day challenge is that everyone loves a goal. 90 days is absolutely realistic and for each day, each week you are one step closer to reaching your goal. This is tangible. There’s an intense pleasure and satisfaction in achieving a goal- more than just crossing another day off the calendar. Literally taking one meaningful step towards a personal destination, knowing you are going somewhere worthwhile. Don’t you love a win? With a 90 day challenge, you absolutely get to create your own win. In this game no one has to loose- you just have to hold yourself accountable. You get to happily tick off each day, each week, each milestone as the snowball effect of consistent effort allows you to easily reach 90 days. 

Thank you for an amazing 2018, I’ve loved each and every minute I’ve been able to squeeze out of it. If it weren’t for you it wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable. I hope that you have had a fantastic year. As the sun sets on 2018, I wish you the very best for an amazing and uplifting 2019 ahead. If you were interested in our 30 day postural challenge, click here for more information. So in 2019, go on, live life without limits and be your own star!!

James Staciwa

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