It was more of the same. Up before dawn. In a crazy outfit with morning breath and morning hair. Short workout with four-legged spectators. Rush up stairs to get coffee.
But today! Today I learned how to hit the snooze button on my canine alarm. “JD, off. JD, down.” The dog actually listened!!! We were still up by 5:00 because “snooze” to a hungry dog does not mean quite the same thing as it does to my iPhone. I was in the basement for a mini-workout by 5:05. And yes we are calling it an actual workout today because even though it was short, I honestly felt like I did some…you know…work (with some…you know…weights). Two days down twenty-eight to go. For the record the point is not to make changes for thirty days, do a great job, and then go back to sleeping in as late as possible. The point is to commit to being super strict about something for thirty days so that it sticks (weekends and, ugh, the day after Thanksgiving included). I’ll be able to let up some after thirty days and the habit will a little bit more formed and thus a little bit more difficult to break.
The idea of this thirty-day challenge came from a TED talk I listened to on Sunday. It didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know from a lifetime of making changes in small, easy to digest bites. Start with something simple. Commit to it for a finite period of time. Then incorporate that habit as a part of my day-to-day.
In May I did a 24-day challenge which got me drinking more water and taking supplements. We did the Whole30 in August which helped me drop a significant amount of weight (hence my skinny-fatness at the moment). I’ve done eight week diet challenges, four weeks of hardcore dog training with the pup, three-week home organization challenges, my own version of the Happiness Project, etc. With each one of these challenges, I learn something new about myself and ultimately take another step in the direction I want to move my life. So, it wasn’t as if I’d gained this amazing new insight into the world of habit formation by listening to this talk, but it was a very short video (i.e. I didn’t get distracted while watching) which gave me the little push I needed to make the next change.
I chose to start immediately (okay, fine, almost immediately) because I knew if I put it off until I had time to plan the workouts, or come up with a list of things to write about, or rearrange the home gym, or whatever other action I told myself needed to happen before I could start, I would never start. Some changes do take planning and preparation, but more often than not we often over-plan, over-think, and under-start.
I’m a total self-help book junkie, and one of my favorite books (Playing Big, by Tara Mohr) talks about JUST FUCKING DO SOMETHING, ALREADY! AND GO BIG OR GO HOME.* This sentiment has helped me make many many changes over the past year. I highly recommend this book to any woman who is interested in making a positive change in her life. If you’re not into reading an entire book cover to cover just to get a little bit of motivation, this quote sums it up for me:
Onward to day three. And a toothbrush. I really need a toothbrush right now.
*My synopsis, definitely not the author’s words. She’s sweet and thoughtful and kind and does not use curse words or all-caps the way I do.