100 Days Project
Day 19: You only fail when you stop trying
I’ve been struggling to get back on the proverbial horse after missing what feels like about 30 days of posting.
A part of me had resigned myself to the reality that I failed at this attempt to post 100 days of content because I did not post daily and consistently.
Then I had to remind myself that this would only be a failure if I give up on it.
My goal was to post 100 days of blog posts consistently. Which, admittedly, in the very literal sense means one post every day over 100 days.
But as my business coach is always reminding me, we get to define consistency for ourselves. It doesn’t have to be daily. The key part of consistency is showing up repeatedly.
So in light of that version of consistency I have decided to get back on the horse and resume these posts until I get to 100.
I’ll admit, there is some degree of disappointment in realizing that:
- I’ve missed a significant chunk of time which impacted my momentum
- I won’t be getting to 100 days (and completing this project) in the time frame I’d originally hoped
But I’m continuing on anyway. If for nothing else, for the gratification that. comes from finishing things we commit to doing.
It’s like one of my favorite proverbs—”Fall down 7 times, get up 8.”
Day 15: The peril of missed days when building a new habit
When it comes to building new habits and establishing new patterns of behavior, one of the absolute worst things you can do is lose momentum. Speaking from experience here.
Not unlike some of my other efforts to establish habits, this 100 Days challenge has come with its own set of roadblocks.
This has been my longest stall to day—5 days—and I have no idea where the time went.
I logged in this morning thinking I’d missed 2 days and it would be easy to jump back in, but alas, that was not the case.
I read somewhere (can’t quite recall where right now) that when you’re working on building a habit you should allow yourself a maximum of 1 day to miss or slip. Anything more than a day quickly turns into a trend that leads to a very slippery slope.
According to James Clear, when you’re building a habit, each day you complete the desired habit is a score in the ‘yes’ column for the new person you want to become. It’s an affirmation of sorts, if you will.
Conversely, on the days you do not complete the habit, you deposit a score in the ‘no’column; which is to say you signal that you are not the person you desire to become. This inadvertently convinces your brain that you literally can’t do it. (In the absence of evidence to the contrary and momentum, resolve wanes.)
The more days you fail to complete the habit, the more you affirm that you can’t.
This is why it’s so important to never skip more than a day on your path to a new habit.
Day 5: Systems make the difference
Four days into this project and I already recognize that if I’m going to make it to the end of 100 days having written daily, I’m going to need a system.
For starters, staring at a blank page and not having any brilliant ideas can be demoralizing. And that’s the surest way to ensure this doesn’t get done.
So I’ve come up with a system for completing these posts.
I’ll be using the BrainSpark app to provide me with writing prompts, then I’ll set a timer for 10 minutes. During that 10 minute period I will sit and write whatever stream of consciousness comes to mind when I read the prompt.
And that’s my system—my way of making it to day 100 with 100 posts under my belt. The goal here isn’t to write a masterpiece every day. Heck, it isn’t even to write one masterpiece in the 100 days. It’s to show up consistently and write for 10 minutes on a predetermined topic. It’s to affirm to myself that I am a person of my word; that I do what I say I’m going to do, even when it’s not easy. And this simple system is how I’m going to get it done.
Sometimes I will write for more than 10 minutes; sometimes I’ll write something that may be usable in another context. But those will just be bonuses—the cherry on top, if you will—alongside the bigger goal.
In the past, I’ve made attempts to write for 100 days, but there was no real structure to my attempts. Just me, my hopes and baseless optimism. But that’s never enough when we’re trying to do things that go against the natural desires of our brains. Whether that thing is exercising, drinking water, eating properly, lowering our screen time, starting a hobby, we need more than hope and faith. We need a clear easy-to-follow system that eliminates the need (or inclination) to think or resist.
Day 4: C’est nöel
This Christmas was
a little very different for me. I spent it in a new town in a new province in a part of the country that’s still very new to me.
When I made the decision to move to New Brunswick, Canada, it was a decision I made based on the potential opportunities I foresaw. And while those still exist, there’s a part of me that wasn’t fully ready for the loneliness.
Being new anywhere is hard—a new job, a new school, a new town/city. It’s all hard. And I think being somewhat nomadic since 2018 didn’t quiet prepare me for this kind of hard.
The move has not been without its challenges, and somehow the holidays have exacerbated them a bit. Seeing others celebrate with their loved ones makes being alone a lot harder.
This is by no means a doom and gloom post. It’s more meant to be a reflection of the day’s events with some observations sprinkled in.
I ended up spending the day with 2 friends from school— C, who also lives in my apartment building; and R who brought her boyfriend. It was a nice small gathering or strangers getting to know each other while individually navigating the challenges of relocation. All 4 of us are new to the province. R and her boyfriend are new to Canada, while C is from Saskatchewan.
It was nice to be out of my apartment spending time with others, and it didn’t hurt that the food was good too. 🙂
As I reflect on the evening, one thing that stands out to me is how we all had some experience of feeling like outsiders who didn’t quite know how to navigate forming friendships and acquaintances in this new place. R was open and vocal, a side of her I didn’t experience at school. And I suppose I too, was way more vocal in our small group setting that I had ever been on campus.
What’s even more interesting was that this gathering was something I wanted to do but hesitated to ask R because I wasn’t sure she’d be interested. Turns out, she also wanted to invite people over to her apartment but felt unsure about doing it.
By the end of the night, we agreed we would get together again some time soon—perhaps for a games night.
Coming out of this experience I think I’ve discovered it’s almost always a good idea to take a risk and put one’s self out there. Many of us are shy and awkward in some way, unsure if the stranger we want to approach will respond in kind or be an asshole. But more often than not, that stranger’s a) not an asshole, and b) also wondering the same. So I’ll be doing more of that in 2023.
I’m in a new town, province, and country. And with that comes the opportunity to forge new friendships, meet new people, and discover new things about myself.
Day 3: What are you most afraid of?
I am most afraid of dying an unlived life.
Which is to say I am afraid of not living, trying things, doing things that scare me. I’m afraid of not using my talents or failing to live in my purpose.
So I am always exploring new ways to challenge myself, to try, do, and be more.
I am constantly asking myself ‘What am I here for?’
Sometimes it can feel like I am too preoccupied with this fear, like maybe I should just relax a bit and allow things to flow. But for me, to forget it is to run the risk of having it come true.
So I am always moving, doing, trying. Sometimes too much.
I recently concluded a year of mindset coaching, using Human Design principles, and I have learned so much about myself in that time. But the thing that stands out most to me right now in this moment as I’m thinking about my greatest fear, is the fact that I am allowed to just be.
This was a difficult lesson to learn, and admittedly, I am still learning it. This idea that I do not need to do anything to be worthy or enough. The idea that just as I am, I have inherent worth and value. Just as I am, if I never do another magnificent thing, I am still worthy of the love and acceptance I desire.
Now I don’t know how much of my fear of dying an unlived life is tied to a preconceived notion that I have to live a ‘full’ life for it to have been a worthwhile life. I’m beginning to think a lot of it. And I’m not sure what to do with that realization, beyond just sitting with it, as uncomfortable as it is.
The fear is real, and it is valid, but it does not get to determine the course of my life.
Day 2: Ruminations on new year goals
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want 2023 to look like. I’ve done my planning and I have designed my vision board but beyond the general goals and wishes, I’ve been spending more and more time thinking about the specifics.
For example, I’ve been thinking about things like how I want to feel. The goals are a good starting point but on their own I feel like they mean nothing without emotions and feelings connected to them.
So I’ve been spending some time really focusing on how I want to feel. My words for the new year are all connected to feelings I want to experience throughout the year – happy, loved, healthy, fulfilled. And for every item on my list, I’ve made sure each one is connected to at least one of these feelings. That way I’ll always be in alignment.
The process of planning for the new year is an interesting one. For starters, there are all these big goals and dreams that I’ve written down. And not everyone gets to make the Final Cut. Some get eliminated because they’re not my goals and dreams, but things I think I’m supposed to be doing; others get shelved because there simply isn’t enough time. With only twelve months, 365 days, limited hours, and multiple obligations, not every goal or dream gets to make the cut – a lesson I’m still learning.
My natural tendency is to go crazy and put everything on the list with very little consideration for the actual time and effort I will need to find to make them all a reality. But this year I’m being more intentional and taking a detailed approach that involves action steps and estimated time to complete, as well as consideration of all my obligations including work and school.
This has helped to introduce a degree of realism into the process, that’s not meant to stifle or limit what’s possible, but to avoid overwhelm and indécision paralysis. So far it’s been working.
I’ll be leaving the post-it’s up for another week or two to see if anything feels out of alignment before I fully commit, but I feel pretty good about what I have so far.
The idea next year is to do monthly and quarterly check-ins to see how we’re progressing and to see where I may need to alter or tweak my plans.
2022 was rough, but it brought some blessings. For 2023 I’m feeling optimistic at this fresh start and all the possibilities that it holds.
Day 1: 100 days is a long time
100 days is a long time to do anything. Well, to do anything consistently.
I’ve tried many a challenges, began many a projects, and truth be told the ones that made it past 100 days didn’t have 100 consistent days of effort. I’ve started and stopped, shifted, lost focus, forgot, got distracted.
In essence, despite my best intentions, life often got in the way. Which is not to blame life. Or maybe it is while shifting the blame from myself…I’m not sure yet.
If all goes well, this rant will be just for me. For me to see if I can painstakingly—or with some joy? who knows?—make it to the end of 100 days having written something on this blog every day in that window.
There’s no particular topic. I’ll just be writing random streams of consciousness. My goal? To write for 5 straight minutes.
Maybe at the end of 100 days there’ll be some usable morsel, but if after 100 days all I get to walk away with is the satisfaction of having done this thing consistently for 100 days, then that will be enough.
There’ll be no word limit either, just me sitting down on my laptop—or my phone (I downloaded the WordPress app so I’d have no excuse on the days if/when I’m away from my laptop)—to get this done.
Here’s to me then.