Monday, October 12, 2009

the 66 day challenge

3. Do a 30-day Challenge. In my experience, it takes about 30 days to change a habit, if you’re focused and consistent. This is a round number and will vary from person to person and habit to habit. Often you’ll read a magical “21 days” to change a habit, but this is a myth with no evidence. Seriously — try to find the evidence from a scientific study for this. A more recent study shows that 66 days is a better number (read more). But 30 days is a good number to get you started. Your challenge: stick with a habit every day for 30 days, and post your daily progress updates to a forum. [66 days Habit Changing = via: zenhabits]

Discipline has never really been one of my strong points. It takes a while, but I have proven before that sticking to something, even if I don't see results right away, can, in fact, serve a purpose and feel really great once a goal is reached.

In an effort to control things in my life, which seem to be spiraling downhill, I (along with some people) will be attempting a challenge in hopes of feeling better, saving money, and getting back in shape. For the next 66 days, beginning today, Monday, October 12 I will be undergoing the following:

1. Money

In an effort to save money and discipline myself into not being a sucker for consumerism, which I am, I will attempt at curving my behavior and training myself to be more minimalist in the material goods department. Do not buy if I do not need. Limiting myself, for the next 66 days to $100.00 per week as spending cash. This is not to include fixed expenses (ie. utilities, rent, etc...) but to include things I need to be better about (ie. work lunch/breakfast, nightlife, weekend entertainment, etc...) This should theoretically begin to change my behavior and train me into being better about money and the way I spend it.

2. Time

I feel like I spend a lot of my time idling around online on incredible time-wasters such as facebook, twitter, and worst of all pages like hulu and netflix. I say worst of all because I got rid of my television so I could be more productive and now instead TV has found me and it sucks the living life out of me. Yes there are some shows I watch continuously and religiously, but having a set time to watch these can potentially reduce the time I spend with my head sucked into the monitor. Coupled with the goal of blogging and writing more in general, if I'm on the computer, I shouldn't just be clicking around. So, I;m trying to track my progress on this challenge and in this blog to give me a push forward in my blogging and my writing, and hopefully assist in the behavior change.

3. Food

OH. EM. GEE.!!!! This is going to be one of the 2 worst and most difficult goals. Why with me trying to be a chef and all, and here I am trying to limit my intake. For a few good reasons, however, I need to. My health is something that worries me continuously. I seem to come from a line of health issues and I seriously do not want to propagate my ending up in the hospital for reasons that could have been prevented, and especially don't want to reach old age not being able to care for myself. So I'm devising a bit of a "diet" portion and foods controlled and this plan is to be followed as closely as possible in search of results at the end of the deadline, not only of how I feel, but also of how I look (size 32 is only a hop and a skip away). I will try and blog my progress on this as well by posting what day meal plan is, and how close I came to eating what I'm supposed to.

4. Health

Also trying to get back on track on the gym thing. It's an ongoing battle, especially with as little time as one seems to have in this DC metro area. I seem to spend 40% of my time commuting, along with work, school, family life, and the 5-15 minutes of sleep I get per night (which will lead into point #5). To start myself off correctly and start getting back in shape, I'm going to set smaller short-term goals in hopes of reaching the ultimate long-term goal of being in shape and having normal persons sleep schedule. I'm setting also an exercise plan that I will track progress on as well to see where I'm at when day 66 comes. Heading to the gym in the morning at times trying to be tired enough when I come home from work as to not stay up until 3am fiddling around online and such. (hopefully this will also start helping push away the smoking habit)

5. Sleep

As before mentioned, I'm not the best sleeper. I have a tendency to get home and stay up and just be awake. forever. making me extra tired the next day. I'm setting myself to be in bed by 11pm on weeknights for the next 66 days. hopefully my sleep patterns will adjust to normality.

6. Weekend activities

Another one I'm very guilty off and serves as a precursor to set off my whole week. I need to keep weekend activities as such. FOR THE WEEKEND. I'm hoping this also allows me to be sharper at work, school, and at home.

I'm really bad at limiting myself on things I enjoy. I let myself indulge too much, to the point where it affects me physically, financially, and inter-personally and this needs to stop and change. 66 days doesn't seem like much and it seems like the world at the same time. Reaching the deadline accomplished will feel good. Reaching the deadline incomplete, will really suck. So part of my publicizing this is not so much for myself, but rather a way of having people witness what I'm saying I'm going to do and hoping to keep up in order to not embarrass myself by not reaching this short deadline.

Here we go.