Something needs to change.
The month of May this year was a brutal one for my body, habits, and mind. With a lot of my friends having early May birthdays, myself included, we ended up celebrating together. A lot. A trip to Vegas. A Mariners game. Too many music shows to count. It was a multi-week party so fun that I forgot how to lead a normal life. I forgot how to get motivated. All I wanted was to be entertained.
I stopped exercising.
I stopped eating well.
I started playing video games more and more.
I started watching multiple tv shows on a regular basis.
I spent way more money than I should have allowed myself.
Something had to change. While I don't regret what I've done this month, I know I need to take a stand against myself. I'm not going to slowly eat better and play less video games over time; I need a sudden change with real consequences. I need accountability.
In order to stick to my plan, I need two things: concrete goals and painful consequences. Concrete goals are measurable, visible values that I'll be able to track or check off a list. My weight, BMI, muscle mass, and fat mass will be included here. As for the consequences, these need to be harsh enough so that sticking to the plan will actually be easier than quitting early. Here's what I propose: after 66 days, if I have fallen off any of my habit goals, I will give the last ten people who commented on one of my blog posts, starting with this one, $20 each. I've also promised the girlfriend $100 if I falter. That comes out to a $300 bet on myself.
By doing this, I am doubly accountable. First, by making this a public affair, my successes and failures will be known to many. Second, real money is on the line. Both of these tactics are popularly used for many habit-forming goals, from weight loss to New Year's resolutions.
The following items are all the things that I will lock in over the next 66 days. These things will keep me healthier and more productive day-to-day.
- Kickbox 3 times per week
- 7-minute workouts daily (stretch, workout, abs)
- Eat right (eggs, chicken, fish, legumes, veggies, seeds, nuts)
- Drink water
- No more than five alcoholic drinks per week
- Write 3 blog posts per week
- Minimal videogames
- Minimal television
My goals are basically: exercise, diet, and create (instead of consume). Over the next 66 days I want to stick to these in order to sculpt a better version of myself. Why 66 days? A lot of people say that it only takes 21 days to form a habit, but this is a misinterpretation of research that was done. Other research has shown that it takes about two months to really form a new routine, specifically, 66 days. Whatever the magic number, I have decided to go for a solid 66 days to hopefully make these habits stick.
What You Gain from All of This
This isn't going to turn into a daily diet blog, don't you worry. My plan is to write a weekly update on this personal challenge. In each post, I'll list my statistics (weight, BMI, etc) along with what I ate and how much I exercised. With this data, I'll include any important discoveries or patterns I come across. I'm basically going to be a guinea pig so you can see exactly how much a behavior change can affect a person.
The challenge starts tomorrow. I can't wait!