I recently joined a local book club for women in business in and around Flower Mound, Texas (outside of Dallas/Fort Worth), and yes, we do read all business books. Last month’s was On Managing Yourself (ten articles from Harvard Business Review Press), which were interesting articles, but all very business related. I know, I know, this is a business book club, but the business books I love encompass both the business and personal parts of our lives.
This month we’re reading The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, one of my all time favorite books. I read it last year, and it’s amazing how the concepts have slowly seeped into my life: what’s the one thing that’s most important to do right now in work, at home, with my family, etc. This concept has even followed through to this blog, where I try to end on one big takeaway/one thing in your life that you can laser focus on in the coming week.
So, I was a little surprised, as I’m rereading this book with my book club right now, that there’s still so much I have to learn. I guess I had somehow thought that since the concepts are pretty simple and straightforward, I’d therefore already gotten it all. Ha, ha!
Last week had us goal setting for the year, and my business side was pretty set/no surprises there, but as I wrote down my personal goals for the year, I was surprised to find running another marathon listed (and which is still very much in the future, if it happens at all). However, this seems to speak to how much better I’ve been feeling after all the physical therapy for my knees, and how I’ve been rocking my new running style (with no recent rolls to speak of). So, I felt like all of that was pretty significant for me at this point in my life.
Well, then I attended this week’s meeting, and was blown away by the challenge we’re all taking on, but also so very thankful that I have this wonderful group of ladies in my life who will keep me accountable for following though on what’s most important to me right now. This week we started a 66-day challenge to create a new habit in our lives. Sixty-six days! In the book the authors talk about how their findings were that anything less than that amount of time simply wasn’t enough time to create a new habit. So, the 21-days or 28-days we all know and love, not truly enough time to make the sustainable, long-term changes we’re looking for here. According to them, 66-days is the sweet spot. But, for all of us, doing something new on a daily basis for over two-months is a LONG time and a big commitment!
We all went around and shared what new habit we wanted to have 2+ months from now, and people shared some great ones from having a daily meditation practice to doing all six steps in The Miracle Morning routine (another life changing book by Hal Elrod).
For me, I did something that I don’t often do, I asked for more time to really think about it. I wanted to find something that would make a big difference in both my personal life and my professional life, but also something I could truly commit to for 66-days, and something I wanted to work on to make into a habit as well.
I started with eating all whole foods for 66-day, but quickly decided against that one. Why? Well to me, the bigger concept is to eat an overall healthy diet, and I feel like I generally do eat well. However, I still want to have room in my diet/life for treats such as processed foods and my beloved chocolate on occasion too, as I think balance is a good thing here.
I also thought about exercise and committing to it everyday, but I also feel like rest is a good thing too. I generally exercise everyday already and take breaks when I need to, which has been instrumental in healing my knee pain.
What I picked is probably going to sound a little boring now, but I choose sleep, specifically to be IN BED by 10pm every single night for the next 66 days. We’ll see how that goes, but already in the short time I’ve been doing this, it has made a HUGE difference! I’ve been getting more sleep overall, which means I have more energy throughout my day, which means I’ve been working out everyday and I’ve been eating healthy and consuming less caffeine. Funny how an extra hour of sleep a night can matter that much in my everyday life.
Plus, it also forces me to finish what’s most important during my workday and set boundaries where I can’t be up late sending one last email (that could absolutely wait until the next day!). It also gives me time for some fiction reading before I fall asleep, something that I love but has not happened for months (This week it’s my 12 year old’s recommendation, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which is surprisingly good in that it’s well-written, unique and intriguing thus far. We also have the movie to look forward to watching when I finish, and you all know how much I love seeing books come to life on screen!)
That’s my one thing and (hopefully) my new habit after the next 66 days.
So, what’s one thing you’d like to do each and everyday that can have a big impact on your life, both personal and professional? Are you up for taking this 66-day challenge with me?