Last week we talked about wanting to be something new and what it takes… the need to work for what you want. This week I’m giving you a tool you can use to start that transformation. This is the week of the 21 Day Challenge.
Last summer some friends of mine decided to take up fitness challenges for 21 straight days. The idea is that in 21 days you can create a habit and so if we all worked on our goal for 21 days on the other side we would be something different. Not just because we worked on the fitness goal for three weeks, we would also be different mentally. We would be able to apply the new mental toughness and experience making room for one thing every day no matter what to other parts of our lives. Let me tell you, it was hard.
At the time I was getting ready for the Tough Mudder in Seattle. I’d been training but I was having trouble with consistency. I had just ended my gym membership because the gym I went to had changed, it used to be about functional training but now it was about machines and that isn’t me. I was doing my workouts in the back yard but I wasn’t putting in the time to build endurance. So, I decided to take on 21 straight days of running a 3 mile route starting at my house.
I started the first few days and things went pretty well. I was running 10-11 minute miles, I was getting used to the route, and what it was like to run on suburban streets. Well, come days 5-9 it was really really bad. I was in serious pain. It hurt to walk. It hurt to take the stairs. It hurt to get up. Now, I committed to 21 days so I stuck with it, knowing that on the other side was something different… a different me.
Come days 10-13 it was getting a lot easier and my per mile time was coming down a lot. But right in the middle I had a really crazy work schedule and my family also needed more time from me. I had to cut out a bunch of stuff to keep my 21 day commitment. By the end of the 21 days I wasn’t in pain any more, I was running 9 minute miles, and I had found a love for running that had never existed. Prior to my 21 days I would have described myself as someone who hated running. Now I have to convince myself to do the functional workout instead of just going and getting the 3 mile run done.
Those 21 days changed my life.
Sure, I was a better runner but that’s not what I think about today. Today I think about how I love running. Today I think about how when things get hard, I can still make time to get the most important things done. Today I think about how I know I can push through to the other side of pain. These are things that have changed my life.
Backing up and looking across the group of us that took on the challenge in Breathe University we did really well. We celebrated our daily successes together. We held each other accountable when we hand’t heard from someone. We encouraged those who missed a day to get back on it with day 1. In the end, all but one of us completed our 21 day challenges. The power of a group of people with a common goal is amazing.
If you want to take on a 21 day challenge, here is how it works:
- Choose an activity
- Commit to do it for 21 straight days no matter what
- Start and keep track of your journey with a journal or blog or videos
- If you fail to get it done one day, you are starting over at day 1 and you have 20 more to go!
If you want help going after a 21 day challenge or if you want an accountability partner or if you want to celebrate your success leave a comment below or send me a contact. If you’re having trouble making it happen I want to know too, we can get this done together.
Until next time: #LetsGo