As some of you may know, if you follow me on Instagram, I recently committed to the Last 90 Days Challenge. If you don’t know what that means, the challenge is essentially a commitment to ending your year strong. Instead of waiting until the New Year to adopt a resolution that you ultimately won’t keep (I’m just being honest), you make an effort to consciously adopt new habits. The five habits that I have chosen are Rachel Hollis’ “5 to Thrive”:
So, the question you might be asking now is why? You might be wondering, What difference does it make if I drink more water every day? Or if I get up earlier, aren’t I just going to be more exhausted?
Well, the purpose is not in the habits that you choose, but in the choosing of habit itself.
Habit instills in us a consistent sense of self-worth.
No matter what is going on in your life, whatever might be stressing you out at work or school or in your personal life, your habits are who you are. If you choose good ones (good= the ones that make you feel like the best version of yourself, not society’s idea of “good”), and make an effort to stick to them, you will feel productive and accomplished, no matter what else happens. At the very least, at the end of the day, you can stand and say, “at least I stayed hydrated” or “at least I know I have things to be grateful for.”
And whatever little bit of energy you give that is more than yesterday, if it is moving in the direction of your goals and what you want in life, it is enough.
However, be careful no to use that as an excuse to sell yourself short. Hold yourself to high standards, my friends, because that is how you grow. That being said, don’t beat yourself up when you “fail” to meet those standards! The newfound effort to achieve them is a success in itself.
Remember, creating new habits isn’t something you do because you’re perfect. You are working on your habits because you are working towards a better life, and if healthy, empowering habits become your normal, your life will be filled with joy and determination. You will have a solid foundation to lean on when things gets tough.
“Energy is not something you have, it’s something you make.” -Rachel Hollis
And it gets easier. The habits will become just that: habits! For example, even after the first few weeks of my Last 90 Days, I started to feel like I wasn’t doing all the things on my list. I wasn’t actually not doing them! In reality, they had already begun to meld into my daily routine, so I thought that I hadn’t done them! I had to question whether or not I had really made it through three bottles of water before 3 pm, because it seemed too easy. I almost went to the gym twice on Sunday because I forgot that I had gone earlier!
I am writing this not as a testament to my own success in this personal challenge, but rather as an example of the incredible power habit can have on our lives. The habits you adopt change the way you live on a daily basis, and therefore change the way that you view the world.
And what’s even more important is that you can make a habit out of anything. Once you commit to adopting an attitude of habit, you can start making a habit out of things like confidence, honesty, kindness, and bravery. These traits will then change the way that you look at the world. If you know you are working on consciously bettering these characteristics, you will begin to look for opportunities to practice these habits. For example, one of my current developing habits is gratitude, and “If you know you have to write down ten things you’re grateful for at the end of the day, you’re going to spend your day looking for gratitude.” – Rachel Hollis
Most importantly of all in this habit-making lifestyle is your commitment to committing, to keeping the promises that you make to yourself. It is the only way that we improve. And even beyond the self-improvement, your determination can inspire the people around you.
You teach people how to treat you by the way that you treat yourself. If I consistently break promises to myself, people aren’t going to think twice about doing the same to me. On the contrary, if those around me witness me getting up at 6 am, going to the gym like I promised myself that I would, I teach both others and myself that I am worthy of time, love, and respect. People are going to admire me instead of pity me. They are going to want to be in my life because they genuinely respect who I am and who I want to be. And those are the kind of people you deserve to have around.
So I challenge you to take a look at your habits, both good and bad. What do they say about the kind of person you are? How do they teach people to treat you? What do you do habitually that makes you feel good? How can you change your habits to make more time for those things? Do you need to go to sleep earlier to feel more rested and be more productive? Do you need to get up a little earlier? Do you need to eat better? Start making conscious choices about the way you live your life, because they will develop into habits.
And once you decided to make a change, commit to it, wholeheartedly. Don’t commit for a few days and then get frustrated and give up. Don’t make excuses for yourself. Pretend there is a consequence if you don’t accomplish that thing every day. I don’t care how you do it! Just do whatever you have to to get off your butt and out of your own head, DO whatever it takes to become the person you want to be. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t wait to change. It’s not going to happen on its own. Change starts now, with your conscious “yes.”
Adopting healthy habits will better your lifestyle for the habits themselves. But even more importantly, it will transform you into a person of commitment and determination. And once that happens, the sky is the limit, my love.