Update from Amy Jan 11, 2017: I wrote this post and this entire challenge when I was in an unhealthy place with my eating. While some of this information might serve you, please know that there is triggering language and philosophies I no longer stand by within. xo Amy
We’re halfway through the “Keep Going 30-Day Challenge,” and it’s probably a little tough at this point.
Your old cravings may be fighting for attention.
Your body might be tired and sore from your new workout routine.
You might be getting fed-up with the constant practice of catching negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.
I can tell you that, personally, I could use a cookie. I didn’t even have dessert at the buffet in Vegas!
…but I also can’t deny the improvements I’m feeling in my health and focus.
- I’m not as lethargic
- I’m happier
- I’ve gotten rid of a lot of the head fog from the holidays
You chose your own personal 30-Day Challenge for a reason, and I want you to see it through.
I want to take the opportunity to talk about persistence today. When everything in you is screaming to stop and go back to old habits and beliefs, you need a solid practice to get through it.
Sooo let’s develop one, shall we? This isn’t your typical goal-keeping post. We’re going to be a bit more creative today.
So grab your notes and a cup of coffee. Here are 5 uncommon ways to stay persistent…
“Stick” to Your Guns
One of the most important ingredients of persistence is remembering why you’re making the effort at all. Reminding yourself of what you want to achieve will ground you in determination, making it harder for your old cravings to thwart your hard work.
I’d like to share with you a little tool of mine to make this part of the game a little more entertaining…
- Write down various reasons why you’re keeping your 30-Day Challenge on a few name tags.
- Stick them on different objects or locations (where you’ll be able to see them when you need motivation most).
- Promise yourself right now that you’ll stare at it for 10 seconds every time you see one.
Voila! Instant grounding triggers!
For example, if you’re trying to eat healthy, stick those suckers right on your kids’ cookie packages and your husband’s six-pack (of beer… or hey, abs work, too!).
If you’re trying to keep a consistent workout regimen, slap those bad boys on your remote control, your steering wheel, and your wallet (no happy hour stops pre-workout!).
If you’re trying to stay positive, present or mindful, plaster these guys on your computer (maybe tape would be better for this), your tv, or overlapping both covers of those trashy magazines you spend waaaaaay too long looking at every night (so you can’t open one without seeing your goal).
No longer can you use the excuse that you “forgot,” or “didn’t think about it.” We want this to be a conscious life change, not a side-effect.
Welcome Doubts & Stress
So many resources will tell you to put away your doubts and stresses. I, however, am going to recommend that you embrace them!
Doubts will come. Stress can actually be a great form of motivation.
We’re gonna deal today, folks. Get your hard hats on ’cause we’re gonna confront these hairballs ram-style, horns-to-horns.
When doubts crop up:
Say, “Yay! My mind actually cares what’s happening to it!”
Here’s the truth: your mind ain’t gonna wanna get rid of its comfy habits that easy. You’re going to have to beat it into submission.
It’s just like training your body; in order to get stronger physically, you have to push your body to adapt to new stresses in the form of higher weight or different movements.
Your brain’s gonna come up with tons of little digs to get you to stop going after what you well deserve. Your mind doesn’t know yet how amazing life can be once you achieve your goal!
When your brain starts spouting off its negative-nancy-mouth, give it a piece of your mind… er… you know what I mean.
Breathe back into those goals you’re reaching for and remind yourself that there is nothing different between you and that person who achieved everything you’re going after. All you have to do is persist.
When stress threatens to take over the show:
Take a deep breath. It’s on.
Just like I said in the “doubts” portion above, your brain’s resisting the extra work it has to do to get used to this new habit.
Your brain’s lazy. Not just yours; everyone’s. It doesn’t want to do anything outside its comfort zone.
If you want to achieve something you never have, you’re going to have to do something you’ve never done.
Stress is the body/brain’s natural reaction to being overloaded with information. When you’re trying to take on a new habit, stress is going to be here for a bit.
Knowing that, welcome it in. You know it’s coming. It’s like having that relative who just kind of comes over every year, and there’s nothing you can do about it; you just have to get through it ’cause she’s family.
Let stress become a part of your family, too. You don’t have to like it, but it’s pretty much inevitable if you want to change your life.
Find some stress-relieving activities that work for you. For me it’s yoga and running. For you it could be journaling, walking, swimming, meditation, chanting, singing, dancing, playing with your dog, talking on the phone with a friend, or a host of other options you have yet to explore. Get out there, man! Go see what beats the stress best in you!
If your goals include asking others for help, or working with others, you’re likely to get a few rejections along the way.
There’s no buzzkill like being shot down. Many people will just give up and call it a night on that goal because rejection just effing HURTS.
I’ll tell you: if I quit every time I got rejected, there’s no way I’d be launching my big dream on Friday.
Every time you hear “No,” consider that a cue to find a different way to get a “Yes.”
This can be a pretty fun and exciting process if you’re open to it! Take out you glitter n’ glue, and let’s get crafty…
Ask yourself: “What is another way I can go about this to get a ‘Yes’ next time?”
It might be a change in tactics, talking to a different group of people, or changing what you’re pitching a bit to appeal more to outside eyes.
Grab a journal and jot down some notes. You’re gonna need it for the next method, too!
Brainstorm The Ridiculous
Ooh, I love this one. :)
Let’s put our 5-year-old hats on and get ridiculous.
Those journals are still open, right? Good.
I want you to start brainstorming the most ridiculous ways you can keep persisting toward your goal today.
And I mean “ridiculous,” guys.
Eating healthier? What is the weirdest way you could fulfill that commitment? Can you make kale into “savory cookies” by mashing it up with some almond flour, egg and seasonings? … my mind’s still on cookies.
Working out more now than ever? What activities could you do that would mix up your routine so you don’t get bored… or so that you even *gasp* start looking forward to your workouts?! Could you try a trapeze class, walk on stilts in the sand, go to a ballet class (bonus points if you’re a dude), or play football in a pool?
Yes. Yes you can. And it’s going to be amazeballs amounts of fun.
The point of this step is to mix up your usual, robotic “Eat broccoli. Go run. Think happy thoughts.” We want to employ that creative part of your brain so that the journey toward your goal stays exciting and fresh.
Opportunity Score Sheet
Games are fun, right? Well, most are. This one’s gonna be. Promise.
Staying open to opportunities to get toward your goal faster is a key part of persisting. It can even shorten the process so you don’t have to persist on this particular goal so long!
The FUN way to do that is to start keeping score. Literally.
On the next sheet in your journal (hope you didn’t shut it yet), start keeping score of how many opportunities you snag to get closer to accomplishing your goal every day.
Here are some examples:
- Found a new route from the front door to my desk that doesn’t pass by Jenny’s candy bowl. Score!
- Took the stairs 5 flights to get to my meeting this morning. Score!
- Got rejected today. Took the opportunity to think, “Man, he’s missing out.” Goooooooal!
The game is to score 5 opportunities to excel by the end of the week. If you get more than 5, that’s awesome! Try to beat that score the next week!
The cool part of this game is that it’s completely up to interpretation. The more you start seeing opportunities, the more you’re going to score in life. This little game will train you to start being more open and receptive to them.
I’d love to hear how you’re doing on your own 30-Day Challenge!
In the comments below, please leave updates as to how you’re feeling, any setbacks you’ve come across, and how you’re handling them!
I chose “Keep Going” as the theme of this month’s challenge because I know how well it worked for me before, but also because that has been the theme of the past few months for me, personally.
I’ve come up against a lot of resistance in myself while developing my big dream, but I kept going. Seeing how well it’s worked for me, I want you to experience that same feeling of fulfillment and success.
This will be my last big dream update. On Friday, I will reveal what I’ve been so mysterious about for the last few months.
I am so excited to share this with you all. Because it is for you all.
Here’s the last teaser before the big day:
‘Til launch day…
Stay strong, guys,