Rachel Hollis is a lifestyle and business blogger and the author of a wildly popular book you may have heard of, Girl, Wash Your Face. At the end of every year, she encourages her readers to take on the #Last90Days challenge, a 3-month challenge that’s all about finishing the end of the year off happy, healthy, and motivated. Rachel’s daily goals for the challenge include getting up an hour earlier, working out at least 30 minutes, hydrating more, giving up an unhealthy food category, and writing down 10 things you’re grateful for each day. I was really intrigued by this challenge and the idea of finishing the end of the year off strong, so I decided to create my own version of the challenge, a more business and productivity focused version. Here’s what I took on:
- eat a healthy, low carb diet and drink lots of water daily
- exercise for 45 minutes, 3 times a week
- work on my business at least 1 hour daily
- read 15 minutes or more daily
- work on a creative project for 30 minutes, at least 2 times a week
- clean my house once a week
- try something new or outside my comfort zone once a week
- work on training Oakley (my dog) for 15 minutes, 5 times a week
- wake up a half hour earlier each day for self-care
My version of the #Last90Days challenge proved to be very demanding, but I accomplished a lot in those last 3 months of the year. The greatest experience I got out of it is that I learned a lot about goal setting and creating a more productive lifestyle that can be carried on into the future. Here are the greatest lessons I learned from the experience:
It’s Okay to Revise Your Goals
After starting the challenge, I quickly found out that I had put a little too much on my plate. I was finding that I had to prioritize the things that were most important to me about the challenge, like putting in a lot of time for my business and training with my dog. I was struggling to get everything on my list done each week because I just couldn’t find the time to do it all, but rather than beating up on myself for not getting everything done, I decided I needed to revise the terms of the challenge so my weekly goals would be more realistic to achieve. There’s nothing wrong with making changes to your goals and allowing yourself more free time, especially if trying to achieve those goals in the timeline you’ve given yourself is cutting into your time for self-care (and maybe testing your sanity too).
A Well-Rounded Schedule Makes For a More Successful Lady
If your weekly schedule consists of nothing but things you need to get done (cleaning, putting in business hours, etc.) you might find yourself getting a little burnt out after a while. I think self-care, good health, and taking time to have fun and try new things are just as important as getting things done, and can actually make it easier to stay focused. If you’re feeling good and taking time to enjoy yourself on a regular basis, you’re going to find that when it comes time to get into work mode, you’re going to have a much easier time, and might just enjoy the work even more. If you’re looking for new things to try, you could try out a new sport like mountain biking, could look for a fun local class to take, or could go to some Meetups or networking events to meet new people (and promote your business if you’re a business owner).
New Habits Can Be Formed When You Challenge Yourself
When I first started the challenge, I had a little bit of a hard time staying disciplined and getting things done, especially after getting home from work when all I really wanted to do was veg out on the couch and watch Netflix. But after a couple weeks of staying at it, it was getting easier and easier to check things off my to-do list. There’s this widely accepted belief that it takes 21 days of persistence to form a new habit, and I really believe that to be true. If there’s any kind of habit you’d like to form, I strongly recommend you try doing that thing every day for at least 3 weeks, even if it’s just for a brief period of time each day, and I bet you’ll find yourself doing it with ease by the end.
Taking Time to Learn and Get Creative Are Worth Your While
I’ve found that when I’m working on a creative project or learning something new, those have been some of the most uplifting experiences I’ve ever had. Creating and learning new things can give you an incredible sense of accomplishment unlike anything else, and creative projects especially can be a great way to blow off steam and get into a meditative-like state of calm. The ways in which you can learn new things are endless, but some of my favorite sources for learning are books, YouTube videos, blogs, and online courses (Udemy, Lynda, and Skillshare are all great places to look for courses).
The #Last90Days challenge was an incredible experience that kicked my butt into gear and got me into a productive mindset, and as the new year continues on, I’m planning to continue the challenge into the future. I encourage you to try creating a 90 day challenge of your own starting now or whenever you’re ready to take the plunge, you’ll be amazed at what you accomplish and learn about yourself along the way.