Well I have reached a milestone today. I am now at 250 days in a row of keeping my 365 commitment and also writing this blog. The one habit that I made the commitment to create has mushroomed into many habits that I am keeping, most of them life changing. Since today is significant, I thought I would take a moment to recap where I am at on the journey.
I set out to keep this commitment on the hope that by the time I was done, I would have clear direction and focus in my life. That has certainly happened and the picture of what I want to accomplish is becoming clearer everyday. In 115 days from now, I think I will know what I want to accomplish and how I want to get there. I made the decision this morning that on day 265 I am going to commit to doing a few major things during my last 100 days. The two things are to 1. Write a book regarding my experience on habit formation and 2. Launch a formal podcast to accompany my daily blogging. The book will probably be a free download and I will use that as a mechanism to communicate the message to a wider audience. I feel like this concept was a gift to me, and in turn I am going to share it as much as possible. I will handle this concept more on my “100 days left to go blog.”
Thought I would take a moment to highlight the new habits that I have formed or are in the process of forming. I will do this in a daily rundown of what I am doing every day now:
5:00am Wake Up time – I have been waking up at the same time for 200 days in a row. The consistency that has brought to my life, and the fact it has forced me to alter my life style to accommodate has had a positive effect. No more late night binge watching Netflix for me!
RUN – I have ran in the morning (or sometimes at night in a pinch) every day for 200 days in a row. I can now say that I am a “runner.” I even have running equipment issues now. I even bought and understand the need for Armour running clothes! What did the Greek’s do without all this cool gear? I have a arm strap for my phone, cool new shoes, nice socks that I have to keep the L and R organized (sucks), and I have apps on my phone that track distance. I run at least 2 miles per day, but most of the time 4. This morning in celebration I ran 10 miles! I averaged 12 minutes per mile. Slow, but steady and I got through it.
PUSHUPS, SITUPS, SQUATS – 200 days ago I decided to do +1 pushups, situps and squat. I have added 1 everyday. Situps are the hardest. I am constantly inventing better ways to do situps as they cause me discomfort. Pushups I am getting better at. At the advice of Mr. Goggins, I know do 17 in 15 seconds followed by a 45 second break. This morning I did 11 sets (11 minutes) followed by 13 extra pushups. I can do them clean and easy, full form and I have developed real chest muscles for the first time in my life!! I do notice that my triceps are getting bigger then my biceps, which I will have to deal with at some point. Eventually, I am going to have to tackle the question that everyone asks – when are you going to stop? I was able to do the whole routing in 30 min this morning, so I am assuming when I get to 1 hour – time to make some adjustments.
BLOG – I have written this blog everyday. This is a powerful motivator for me, some select friends and my family. It gives me an external audience other then my own mind. Not too many people actually look at it, but that is not the point. I am under pressure to get this out there and to make sure that I do not fail. The accountability is great. Also, the concept of writing down the concept that I discover has me constantly looking for things that I can blog about. A fun exercise and I have generally enjoyed doing something that I have never done before.
CONSIDER, MEASURE, RECORD – For 117 days in a row (a habit now), I have been writing down in an app on my phone, everything that I eat. This has had dramatic effect on me. The process has caused me to eliminate most excess consumption, things like Soda. I am drinking roughly 200 oz of water each day, which has improved lots of little problems in my day. I am usually thirsty when I think I am hungry. Also, just the act of watching what I eat has caused me to rethink portion size, quantity, quality of food. I am smarter about what I eat now. This and the running has combined to cause me to loose over 40 lbs. My doctor ran a complete blood analysis, I scheduled the appointment with her today to coincide with day 200. All my numbers are significantly better than they were 250 days ago.
OKRs – Along with the 365 Commitment itself, I have now included a review of my Objectives and Key Results that I have created for myself. It helps me to think of what is really important to me when I create my list in the morning. This is a document I have available to me each morning and night when I review “how am I doing.”
MEDITATE – I have added morning and evening meditation to my routine and have done this for 67 days in a row now. The meditation has had a great effect. I started this as a way to make my morning and evening prayers more effective. The meditation routine is helping me to clear my mind, focus on the future, visualize my success and help other issues like flexibility and breathing.
SCRIPTURE – I am reading at least once per day something uplifting, spiritual, or out of this world that allows me a moment to reflect on things other then my own self. I added this out of since of obligation, but actually look forward to it now. When I have a moment, such as sitting on a plane, riding in an UBER, listing to a way too long conference call, I will open up an app on my phone and read a passage. I have done this for 67 days in a row as well. Not quite a habit yet, but getting closer.
FINANCE – One of my triggers is finances. It causes me a great deal of stress. So 67 days ago, I added this to my daily review and I make sure that no matter what – I do at least 1 financial related thing to help improve my financial situation. Pay some bills, do an expense report, process some mail, balance my checking account. Whatever I can do in small increments so that my finances do not come across as so overwhelming all the time. I hate this, it sucks – however – I do have to admit that a little bit at a time does make a big difference. I am no longer staring at a mountain any longer.
MEMORY – 13 days ago, I decided to work everyday on improving my memory capacity. Something I have always liked to experiment with. This morning I was able to memorize a 50 digit random number. I spent about 5 minutes putting it into my head and about 4 hours later, I had my wife test me during lunch time. I was able to repeat them back (slowly) and without error! I am going to continue to work on this as I progress. I may add memorizing french words to the mix as well at some point.
LEARN – Also 13 days ago, I decided that everyday I was going to learn something interesting, something that would benefit me in some way. Take time to learn something everyday. There maybe days I have to spend a lot more time then 15 minutes. However, I figured learning something everyday was a great habit to try to develop.
VIDEO – 13 days ago, I added working on my video production skills. My secret dream is to become a world famous YouTube personality that makes tons of money just talking. I am making fun of myself with this statement, seriously, I like this medium of teaching people. I like to teach, so marrying the two together feels like something that I should get better at.
The 365 Commitment – of course for 250 days I have prayed every morning and every night about the most important things I can do to obtain my dreams, help others and generally make the world a better place. This has been the most significant development in my new habits and probably the reason why I even was able to get this far.
So that is what I work on everyday, some days are better than others. I have had to eliminate wasteful activities to make room for the extra time commitment. I seek for the time to fulfill my commitments. Balancing that with my life, and meeting the needs of others – mainly my family – is a challenge – however – I feel better now. I still get grumpy, but not as often. I still get mad, discouraged and upset – but not as often. I have not got sick in 250 days, surprising. My doctor even commented – she said, usually you are calling me every 3 – 4 months for something to help you through a cold or a flu, but not for a long time. I am sure I will get sick, unlike my Bruce Willis, but certainly my immune system has improved as well.
That is my milestone summary. I am weak in many areas still, thousands of things to improve on. I am seriously considering a drastic action today to eliminate a few major distractions in my life – triggers that cause me stress. When I get home – I should be spending good time with wife and kids – not worried about emails that I have not read, mail that I have not looked at, items on my computer that need attention. My drastic action is that at the end of each day during my 365 review – the last thing that I will do is just SELECT ALL and DELETE to my inbox, shred any mail that is not worthy of my time, and move all items on the desktop of my computer into the recycle bin.
If I actually do this – I will blog about the psychological effect of it on me tomorrow!
Guy Reams (250)