The 90-day Mind, Body, Success Challenge, part 1
This is the first update I’m going to post about my 90-day challenge. I hope that by writing about my journey it helps you figure out your own.
I foreshadowed this on my last reading list, but otherwise I haven’t mentioned it anywhere. Personally, I’m just not that guy who has to self-promote every breath I take. I don’t assume that this part of my life has meaning to anyone except me, but if you somehow find it, you were probably meant to find it. In that case, this is for you.
So, let me tell you about my 90-day challenge. I wanted to focus on a few key areas of my life, and then do whatever I could to drill into them and make a noticeable change in just 90 days. The areas I chose to focus on were mental health, physical health, and financial success. Nothing innovative there, but I assume that there are a ton of people who would also like to make improvements in one or all of those areas.
Specifically, in the area of mental health I wanted to focus on meditation and creativity. The metric I’m using for meditation is a yes/no result on completion of a 10-minute guided meditation. I found several on YouTube, and I just try a new one each day. Some I have liked, some not so much. I occasionally repeat one now, but I will probably repeat more towards the end of this challenge. Once I find some that I like I will stick with them. This is all about process, not perfection.
The creativity focus ties in with my financial goals. I want to increase my income, specifically online passive income, and by doing so, my main focus for this challenge is to write more books. Prior to this challenge I have self-published 5 titles total, but by focusing on increased production and shorter works, my outlandish goal is to get 30 new titles published in 90 days. What those titles are, I don’t know. That’s part of being creative – coming up with ideas, testing them, defining next actions, taking action, getting results, assessing those results, and tweaking the process.
Part of setting audacious goals is that they will make you stretch just thinking about how to achieve them. This is what is meant by 10x thinking. Here’s an example: for June I averaged 830 words written per day. To some that will seem like a great number, to others it would be embarrassing. For me, it is what it is. My goal last month – in fact it’s been going on since April 1st – is to write every day. Specifically, write at least one 15-minute sprint per day. Some days that one sprint turns into several, and leads to good word count numbers, and some days it’s a challenge just to get the one sprint done. But I do it – it is who I am now.
For this challenge, I didn’t quite set a 10x goal. Knowing my writing speeds for non-fiction and fiction (because I’ve been tracking since April), I decided that I could probably write 6000 words per day. So I set that as my goal. And at this point, I have not even come close to hitting that number once. My writing has been forced and unsure, and with the rest of this challenge also taxing me, I really don’t have the capacity to just push on it. So I don’t. I’m wiser in my old age, and I know that if I put my head down and grind to get it done I will burn out. I might hit my 90-day goal that way, but I will probably stop writing for several months after, which I would call a major setback.
Here’s the important takeaway from setting the audacious goal: My average so far in this challenge is 1134 words per day. That’s a 37% increase in production over last month, and I’m failing horribly. That’s the beauty of 10x thinking and goal setting. And this is important: everyday that I don’t hit my 10x number I don’t berate myself and criticize. That’s not going to help me. Instead, I tweak the process. I try to make it a little easier to get to the keyboard and bang out another sprint or two. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
I have several metrics that I’m looking at with this. I’m tracking each sprint, tracking daily numbers, tracking overall numbers and averages. My primary focus is the 30 new titles, which I still only have a plan for about half of, and even that plan is very general and needs to be broken down to specifics. Process, not results.
The last leg of this challenge is improving my physical health. This is probably the easiest measure for me to explain and track. I’m doing P90X, and trust me when I say I am doing a world-class job of half-assing it. But, like it says, just keep pushing play. I’ve done that. I just started week 3, and although I only slept a few hours the night before and had a sick stomach, I did many more push-ups than when I did that same exercise on day 1.
My goal for this area is easy, too: I would like to lose 20 pounds. I’m definitely going to be much stronger at the end of this, that much is already very clear. So hopefully it’s just a matter of putting the time in to see the weight come off, too. This isn’t a 10x goal, but a realistic one. If I said I wanted to lose 200 pounds I would be put on suicide watch.
I have one more thing to say about this challenge. I just want to point out that I’ve set my focus on the process at every point. I want to make more money, but that is out of my control. Instead, I focus on producing more writing, and bringing more and better quality products to the marketplace. The same holds true for the other goals. Focus on what you can do, and the results will follow.
There’s more that I could say, but I’m going to stop here because it’s still early in the challenge, and the details could change. I’ve tried to keep this update to just the top-level principles, and the big picture stuff. I could get into my daily journals of the process, or the rewards system that I’m still coming up with to try and improve my performance with incentives, or any of the things I’m listening to for mediation or while writing. None of that other stuff is as important as the big strategies.
Anyway, that’s it for my first update. If you have questions, comments, etc – hit me up @Krojex on the Twitters and say hi. I haven’t been as active on there lately, but I still check it plenty. Too busy creating my future, yo!