Today is Day 5. Five days waking up before the sun, five days eating healthfully with no added sugars, five days of no Starbucks, and five days of ramping up the exercise.
There is something to be said for getting up at this early hour. The house is sooooo quiet. QUIET, you guys! I have seven children and that is not a luxury that I get often. I’m typically up with our early-rising four-year-old by 6:30 anyway, but setting the alarm for 5 A.M. and actually getting out of bed at that time leaves me plenty of time to work and actually get things done! I love the morning silence so much (when the baby cooperates!). I thought this would be one of the toughest parts of hell week, but it has honestly been one of the easiest. I’m able to enjoy my coffee, plan my day, and get so much more accomplished!
Eliminating junkfoods, Starbucks, and alcohol has been a bit tougher. I’m doing awesome with it, but that’s not to say the temptation isn’t there or that evil little voice in my head telling me to eat a cookie or make a margarita after a long, chaotic day. I’ve quit eating any sort of food or snacks after supper – which is huge for me. Evening snacking is my thing. Popcorn loaded with butter? Mmmmm…. Not anymore, folks. Water for me. I’ve lost almost 3 pounds, too! When the cravings are getting to be too much, I go and gargle with a minty mouthwash and that usually helps for awhile. I haven’t quite hit the hour of required exercise every day, but I’ve accomplished this for three of the days – which is a heck of a lot more exercise than I have been getting lately. I’ve drug my husband to play racquetball at the gym with me twice. We are highly competitive and PLAY TO WIN. Out of the four games we’ve played this week, I’ve won half. HALF! That never happens! (that’s my victory shot!)
Social media… other than work-related tasks, I’m trying to keep off all personal social media except for once in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Much better than my usual check-my-phone-all-day routine.
The positivity and focus are probably the hardest areas for me. It’s SO HARD to keep upbeat and on task when we are in the midst of the 25th toddler meltdown of the day. This is something I’ve struggled with for months… I wake up ready for the day and set out to accomplish many things, only to feel completely defeated and sucked dry by 10 A.M. I need to do more planning and find something that will work better for all of us. The looking good and getting out of my yoga pants is a bit of a struggle, too. I like my comfy clothes a little too much when I’m staying home for the day. I do feel better and more motivated when I actually get to shower in the morning and put on cute clothes!
With each day of Hell Week, also comes a new theme. These themes will help you reflect on yourself, your habits, and how you manage your time and life. Through his research, Erik Bertrand Larssen has found that the distinctions between “winners” (those at the top of their game) and the “rest of us” are actually quite small.
Those who perform at the highest level have one thing in common: they pay attention to detail. They develop exceptional habits, where others settle for the norm. They are better at making more of the small, positive decisions in their everyday life. The sum of all of these choices may not make a difference on a daily basis, but over time –weeks, months, years– the effect is enormous. Since this practice has nothing to do with being born with the right skills, everybody has this opportunity dormant within them. It isn’t a question of talent. It’s a question of choice.
That’s exactly it. Somewhere in this crazy, busy life, I’ve settled. I’ve become lazy. I’m choosing the path of least resistance instead of making choices that I know will help me better myself. I’ve found comfort in my every day routines and have somehow become afraid to step out of that zone or out of my box.
It’s my choice… I can either settle for average, or I can choose to be AWESOME. I think it’s time I put more work into myself and become the person I know I’m capable of being.
Are you putting in the work to be your best self? Do you want to take the #hellweekchallenge with me? Order your copy of Hell Week on Amazon and jump right in! Stay tuned for my final reflections on Hell Week!