Way, way back, a long, long time ago in the last week of August, 67 people signed up agreed to participate in my 90 day (91 actually) challenge to do one thing that would have a substantial impact on their lives.
September 1 was the first day and today, November 30 is day 90. And for so many of those folks remarkable things have happened.
As part of their commitment, each one agreed to contact me every day, by text or email, as a way of informing me that they were staying the course. Of course, not all 67 of those who eagerly began on day one have completed the objectives they set out for themselves but – and this number both surprises and delights me – 53 out of 67, 78% of those who began this adventure on September 1 have stayed the course.
What they have collectively accomplished in this short time is nothing short of astounding: from ridding themselves of dangerous, unhealthy habits like smoking, drugs and excessive alcohol consumption to collectively losing hundreds of pounds and running thousands of miles; from reading dozens of books to upgrading their education; from delivering their first public speeches to beginning new careers. The list of accomplishments is awe-inspiring.
I have no idea how long it takes to form a new habit. I have heard numbers bandied about suggesting that new habits are formed in 21 days, or 30 days, or 60 days. I don’t believe that anybody really knows how long it takes or even at what point the owner of a new habit truly knows that one has been formed.
What I do know is that when we repeatedly do different things we repeatedly get different results. I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “If you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you’ve always got,” and these 52 people are living proof that “if you repeatedly do something different, you will repeatedly get something different.”
These 90 days have not been free of challenge. Along the way many of these folks have contacted me to share the difficulties they were facing and to talk of quitting the process.
Naturally, the decision to quit – or stay the course – rests individually with each person but there is a question I challenged each person to ask themselves before they made the decision to quit.
It is a powerful question; one that would benefit many of us if we just take the time to ask. The question is simple, “Am I worth it?”
Am I worth going through the pain of withdrawal and the pain of discipline that will steer me to my goal?
Am I worth the sacrifice of time and the extraordinary expenditure of energy that is necessary for me to achieve my 90 day goal?
Am I worth risking failure for in order that I might achieve magical success?
In all cases, the answer must be a resounding “YES.”
For any of us to reach our goals we must believe in our worthiness, for it is our beliefs that will keep pushing us forward at those times when all we want to do is quit.
And if I don’t believe that “I am worth it,” who will?
Till we read again.
P.S. If you are one of those who completed the 90 Day Challenge and feel that checking in with me by text or email was helpful in keeping you on track, then please continue to do so. The 90th day is not the end of the process, it is simply the end of the beginning.
My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.