I Dedicated 30 days to Habit Formation…Day 15 Checkin!
What is up, friends?! Happy hump day!
Today I wanted to talk about something I’ve been doing that was inspired by Rachel Hollis’ Last 90 Days Challenge.
For those of you who don’t know about Rachel Hollis, jump on the Googlebox and check her out. Her Last 90 Days Challenge is so great, and it has inspired me so much to not just phone it in these last few months of the year but to really, truly, go all out for the life I want in the last quarter of the year!
For my own mindset with all of this, I needed to start a little shorter. Instead of going straight into a 90-day commitment, I needed to start with 30. Why’s that?
Well, here’s the honest truth: I have a habit of breaking every single promise I make to myself. Every. Single. One.
Oh, I’ll keep my promises to everyone else, but I break every single promise I make to myself…
Or I should say, The OLD Me broke every promise I made to myself. Not anymore.
Over the last 6 years, I have started every training plan and quit after a week. I have set every goal for my business only to get 10 months down the line and realized I was exactly where I was almost a year ago. I have promised myself that “on Monday I’ll eat healthy food,” only to start the day with 3 donuts and kick myself for it.
I tried again and again and again in every area of my life to become a better version of myself, but I failed. And I couldn’t trust myself anymore.
Now, those of you who follow me on social media know that I was able to make a breakthrough in my personal development by signing up for my first half marathon in 6 years and REFUSING to quit this time. I signed up for the race with a friend, so I knew I had to actually do the training. I couldn’t quit this time because it wasn’t just me I would be letting down.
So this time, when I said, “I’m going to run 11 miles on Sunday,” rain or shine—even with a fall at 1.5 of 11 miles!, I ran every step of those 11 miles on that Sunday. I learned in successfully training for my half marathon (which I run in 4 days!!) that I could trust myself to keep my promises to myself again.
So then I had to focus on the other areas of my life. Once my fitness was on the right track and had become ROUTINE, I had to reach a “healthy level of disgust”—as the Oola guys like to say—with my personal development process (or lack there of), and I decided to spend 30 days focussing ENTIRELY on establishing specific healthy habits that would help lead me to becoming the person I needed to become to do the things I wanted to do with my life.
So first I sat down and visualized my ideal “ME.” I wrote down what the Kathrin who was truly the BEST possible Kathrin looks like, acts like, feels like, etc. I was SPECIFIC.
I used the Oola structure of the 7 F’s (Fitness, Finance, Family, Field, Faith, Friends, and Fun) to structure my “Best self” visualization. So I wrote down things like, “Fitness: I am a high endurance runner who is able to train successfully for ultra marathons without injury.” “Field: I am a Young Living Platinum and a published author.” “Fun: I go on a bucket list vacation every year.”
And I got even more specific than that in every single area of my “ideal” life, down to the amount of money I desire to make monthly and the amount of time I spend in conversation with friends. Details, details, DETAILS.
Then I looked over that list multiple times and wrote down habits that came to mind—things I needed to do daily, and habitualized so that I did those things on autopilot, to actually become that ideal person. And this all happened long before I set any specific, measurable, accountable, realistic, and time-based goals (SMART Goals).
So I wrote down things like, “Establish a daily writing habit.” “Establish a daily yoga routine.” “Establish a mindfulness and gratitude routine.”
Here is the full list of my desired habits to form over my 30 days:
-Morning routine: Journaling with Visualization component, Meditation (Calm App), Daily Gratitude List, Prayer Journal, Affirmations with Oola oils, Bible Reading
-Drink 3L of water per day
-Contact 5 New People about Young Living every day (weekdays)
-Do Product Research every day and share a short Live video on Facebook (weekdays)
-Write for 30 minutes a day
-Blog once per day (weekdays)
-Write a daily note to my fella
-Do a short Yoga class every day (online videos)
-Engage/post on social media every day (weekdays)
-Read a personal development book daily for at least 30 min
All of the “habits” I wrote down became my focus for 30 days straight. But to focus on those habits, I had to write down what that would actually look like in my everyday life.
In my particular situation, I had to write down exactly what it would look like to implement those desired habits. And I had to do that because in order to establish all those habits, I would need to adjust my sleeping schedule a little bit. I would need to set specific work hours, and I would need to take upcoming events into account. I KNEW I needed a plan of action that accounted for every possible hiccup because in the past, when hiccups came, they would DESTROY me (maybe I’ll write another blog post about that tendency…).
So I wrote down my schedule for Day 1. Rachel Hollis would call this “setting my daily intentions.”
I did that for every single day the first 15 days of my 30 days to habit formation. Every evening, I would write out my schedule for the next day and make notes about the general amounts of time I would need to complete each of my daily routines (my habits!), and then I’d cross off each thing as I did them during the day.
Now, 15 days into my 30 days of habit formation, here’s what I’ve been able to do:
I’ve successfully established my morning routine, which I complete every single morning in 60-90 minutes. Depending on my schedule on a particular day, I have to set my alarm and get up a little earlier so that I can make sure I have enough time to do all of my morning routine. I’ve only had one day when I’ve had to do my routine at night because an event started at 7 AM…and I’m so not a 4AM wake-up kind of person.
I’ve continues to be successful with my training program, completing all my runs and doing strength training according to my program, while also being really conscious of how my body is responding and giving it what it needs to recover and avoid injury.
I’ve also been enjoying personal development, though not in the form of books as much as in the form of podcasts. I listen to Rachel Hollis, Samantha Lee Wright, Jenna Kutcher, Chalene Johnson, and Brendon Burchard on podcasts when I run and workout or when I’m making food or driving to an event. So even though it isn’t in the same format I was planning to implement, I still consider that a successful habit formation.
I’ve also been really intentional about contacting people who aren’t yet Young Living members and truly paying attention to their needs. I started by writing down every person I could think of who is in my life who I want to bless in some way—whether it be with the oils themselves or with the business opportunity. Then I just started picking out 5 people a day who I wanted to talk to! It has been so rewarding really paying attention to what they say and reestablishing some of the relationships that I hadn’t given as much attention recently. It has shifted my focus from “building my business” to sharing with others in friendship, and that is such an amazing thing for me! I now see my “job” as anything but a job because it doesn’t FEEL like a job. It feels like talking to people, sharing my life with people, and hearing and sharing stories. Love that!
And I’ve written a note to my fella every day as well, which I know is having a positive effect on our relationship and our level of communication.
The rest of my intended habits, I have not been so successful at implementing in the last 15 days. So I had to rethink and recommit to them. And my intentions for the next 15 days (while keeping up my already established habits) are as follows:
-I set alarms in my phone for every 2 hours to remind me to drink water. I found that I simply forget or don’t think about drinking water throughout the day. The alarms help me to be more mindful of doing it.
-I made a list of products I wanted to do research on and share that research with my social network so that I would actually do it. I bought a necklace that says “be brave,” and I wear it every time I get on Live stream for Facebook…that plus a little Valor oil blend and I say “screw my nerves” and go for it. You can see my Live product research videos in my Facebook stories every weekday!
-I needed to dedicate a writing time, so I set a new intention: every day after I finish my work (editing and Young Living), I’ll set a timer for 30 minutes and type whatever I think to type for any of the writing projects I have in my mind (and there are a few).
-You’re seeing the fruits of my blogging intention now. This is day 2 of my weekday blogging commitment. I decided the best time for me to blog is right after I get ready for the day (post workout).
-Though I tend to do more of the things I set out to do if I do them first thing in the morning, I know that a yoga routine would do more for my body if I established it as an evening practice. I set an alarm in my phone for 9 PM, at which time I will stop whatever I’m doing, pull up one of the 15-20 min yoga classes on DoYogaWithMe.com, and do that yoga. Right now I’m loving the 20 minute injury prevention for runners class.
-I also set an alarm in my phone to go off at 2:30 every day, at which time I get on social media and engage with my audience. Most of these habits just require that I THINK to do them, and setting alarms to go off every day as reminders is a simple way to help me do that.
Personal development isn’t about being perfect, but it requires consistent effort, setting intentions and following through, and giving yourself a little grace if you don’t get it right the first time.
But as Rachel Hollis says, Hope isn’t a strategy. I can’t just HOPE that these habits will magically materialize in my daily routine. I have to be consistent with my efforts—forming habits that will help me become the person I choose to be so that I can accomplish the things I choose to accomplish.
How are you working on becoming your BEST self?
What habits can you work on implementing in the next 30 days (you have 60 left in the year!) that will help you become a better version of yourself?