Tuesday, May 25, 2010

100 Days Challenge ... Making Changes for Good

I hope some of you in cyberspace will join me in this challenge. Like many of you, I have been trying to change my life for more than half my life. Determination, "don't try, do it," the "light bulb" moment, Monday, to save my life, fill in the blank __________; I've tried and done so many things to change my life for the better. I have made some changes but not enough to really set myself on the path I want to be on in my life.

I have my month of May goals and I am still working on those. However, I've been reading a lot of about changing habits, making new habits and dropping bad habits and I realized that most of my efforts have not taken into account the way the mind works beyond the concept of "willpower."

I'm sure many of you have seen articles on changing or adopting habits. Recently, 21 days seems to be the magic number in the "how to change a habit" craze. That made no sense to me because I can and have followed many programs and dropped many bad habits for at least 21 days. So, I kept reading. And I found that, yes, you can change or adopt some habits in 21 days

but ...

and this is a big one ... what if you are trying to change a habit or replace a habit that you have been practicing for years? Well, I came to understand that habits can become ingrained in the mind and their triggers can as well. You may change a habit and feel you've overcome and still, days, weeks, or years later, you experience some trigger and it is as if you'd never made the change. Well, it turns out that, like most of our muscles, the brain has muscle memory, which is great when it is a good habit but not so great when it is a bad habit.

I encountered this during the past week and a half. I was doing very well, maintaining and practicing good habits. I was ready for whatever came next ... I thought. A sudden out of town trip, a family event and a small crisis at work were enough to derail me. Now what?

The 100 Days Challenge

Starting today through September 1, 2010, I want to do something to not only adopt new habits but also to thwart some of the triggers, which have derailed me in the past.

My Personal 100 Days Challenge -

For the next 100 days, I will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes of the day on me, doing a sequence of exercises and stretches to start my day off right. Even if I wake up late or if there are other things tugging at my time, I will spend these first minutes of the day changing old patterns and adopting new habits. If, and only if, I firmly establish this habit, will I add a new challenge, a new habit to adopt, break, or change.

My hope is that by changing the way I enter my day, I will avoid and suppress some of the triggers which have proved my undoing in the past. I know it may seem like a small thing but I wanted something I felt confident in committing to for the next one hundred days.

Okay, that's my personal 100 Days Challenge! What's yours?

It doesn't matter how small or how large. It doesn't matter what day you start. It doesn't matter what kind of change you make, as long as it is about making your life better: Health, Diet, Sewing, Family, Career, Beading, whatever you want to do. Just make a decision about what you want to change or what to want to add to you life and commit. This is about improving life and breaking habits that sabotage that goal. And, PLEASE, post a comment to let us know what you are doing and how you are doing as the time goes by.

I can do it! You can do it! We can do it!


  1. I'll take the challenge. I've procrastinated myself into dozens of incomplete projects (mostly sewing) and an extra 15 lbs I'd like to lose.

    So, starting May 26, 2010, and for the next 100 days, I will work out once a day for at least 20-30 minutes four days a week and reduce bread in my diet. Plus, I'll finish up all of my sewing projects.

  2. Wow! Callie. That's a great personal challenge. I'm sure you can do it.

    Thanks for joining the Challenge.