I survived Hell Week and have taken a few days to reflect on my overall experience. In some ways, the week flew by, and at other times, every minute dragged on and on and on – especially in the evenings when I was tired and hungry and wanted to stuff my face with popcorn and sweets.
Hell Week forced me to take a long, hard look at my habits – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And let me tell you, I have a lot of not-so-good habits that I’ve acquired over my 37 years.
If you want to succeed with your Hell Week challenge, planning is key. Erik Bertrand Larssen recommends that you take two to three weeks before you embark on your Hell Week challenge. I will admit that I did not have adequate planning time to prepare for the challenge. Due to time constraints, I had a few days to read the book and I pretty much jumped straight into the challenge.
I am going to put myself through the #hellweekchallenge again this summer, only this time taking time to plan, plan, plan. Larssen offers seven steps to help you prepare for Hell Week, along with action plans for each step. From gathering feedback from the people in your life to defining your goals, each step will help you take a deeper look into yourself and prepare you for the times ahead.
Days one through five of the Hell Week challenge went fairly well for me. I can honestly say that as much as I grumble about getting out of bed at 5 A.M. each morning, once I’m actually up and moving, it’s awesome. That extra hour of awake time is so quiet and the perfect time to get extra work done with no little ones needing their mama. If just one thing sticks with me after this, it will be early to bed, early to rise.
Laying off social media at certain times of the day was like a breath of fresh air. I don’t know why my life has become so dependent on updating everyone else on what I’m doing or needing to know what my acquaintances are doing every hour of every day. It’s maddening. Why do we do this to ourselves? Life was so much less complicated before the smartphone insanity. There is no logical reason that I can’t limit my social media time to two or three times daily, instead of the constant scrolling.
Another rule I made for myself during the challenge was no eating after 7 P.M., and I really plan to stick to this one, too. Nighttime snacking is my favorite. A bowl of buttery popcorn while I watch Game of Thrones with my husband? Yes, please. NOPE. Not going there anymore.
You probably noticed that I said days one through five went well. What about days six and seven?
Anyone can perform well when things are going their way. The difference between the best and the rest is their ability to mobilize in the face of hardship.
Basically, that’s when my Hell Week challenge went to hell. My daughter had a follow-up MRI on Tuesday to check the status of her brain tumors (which have been stable for a year following completion of 15 months of chemotherapy), and for the first time, we heard the words “growth” and “progression”.
And just like that, there went my structure and dedication.
That, my friends, is how I deal with things. I say, “SCREW IT” and fall back into my old habits. I eat like crap, I don’t exercise, and my attitude sucks. I use those things as my comfort and end up feeling even worse.
I can’t be my best self if I don’t change the way I think. Life is hard. Tough times are unavoidable. It’s the way we deal with those times that will make or break us. Self-destructing won’t help me, won’t help my family, and it definitely won’t help my daughter. What if instead of drowning my sorrows in Cheetos and Hot Tamales, I used that inner turmoil to fuel an intense workout? I always feel a hundred times better after a good work out. I know that. It’s just so easy to forget when faced with adversity.
While my #hellweekchallenge may be over for now, I plan to use the knowledge I’ve obtained to continue working to replace my bad habits with good ones. I might not be my best self after a week, but I’m well on my way.
Interested in learning more about the #hellweekchallenge? You can grab your copy on Amazon!