So two weeks after finishing #75Hard and I’m back on it with my next challenge.
I didn’t really enjoy being the ‘me’ who isn’t in a routine. My friend Ashley messaged me to tell me off for putting too much pressure on myself. I know it might sound nuts and my husband gets mad saying;
“Why are you never fully happy? Why can’t you just settle? Why do you have to keep trying to better yourself?” but the answer is I just do.
My mental health took a right battering in 2016 and I never in a million years thought it would happen to me. I’m just not the same person anymore. I wouldn’t wish a breakdown on anyone but it was the best thing to happen to me. There’s loads of positives in coming through a breakdown but the negatives mean I am more fragile, less confident and always striving to achieve.
I like this new me though. Not everyone else does but trust me - it’s a nicer place to be in my head these days. It isn’t fake or masked with a smile or a joke. I am completely 100% me. New me needs routine and challenges. Otherwise new me goes off the rails and into a dark place.
I had thought of doing #75Hard again but I’m really not that fussed on keeping up with all the rules. There are 30 day phases to complete after the initial 75 days but it's the same tasks plus cold showers and three things you pick personally.
I’m so pleased I did #75Hard but it did take a lot of time and I did make a lot of sacrifices - particularly family time and my sleep was drastically reduced too. Sleep is something I'm also working on behind the scenes at the moment. I knew if I did the process again or progressed to Phase 1, I'd get even less sleep. I know I could make the time to do it. Anything is possible, but it's just not the right thing for me to do personally right now. I have my second book to finish which is my priority.
The 28 Day #SelfTrustChallenge
I felt like the best thing that happened throughout #75Hard was I learned to trust myself again. I learned to keep my promises to myself again. It wasn't about losing weight or walking hundreds of miles or not drinking alcohol. It was about making a commitment to myself and not letting anything stand in my way to achieve it. I only achieved it because I trusted myself - nobody else was responsible. So I called this the 28 Day #selftrustchallenge
I decided to take the two main things from #75Hard that I personally thought were the most beneficial (water and outdoor exercise) and tweak them into a new 28 day challenge.
I've written all about it and included the downloadable templates in this blog post here. Feel free to join in and share your progress on social media.
#SelfTrustChallenge - Choosing My Daily Tasks
Now I did try to do this two weeks ago but I did the classic thing of setting the wrong goals. I decided I was going to stop swearing for 28 days. All my friends and family thought I'd lost the plot. I have the worst potty mouth.
This wasn't set as a judgement on swearing or because I think it is bad, I love a good swear! I wanted to see if I could get my brain out of a comfort zone with my vocabulary. As I'm on the radio every week now, I also knew I could do it when live on air and wondered if I could also do it in the real world.
I failed on day 1 by 5pm because my son Blake peed outside in the garden instead of the toilet.
On day 2 I was complaining about our slow cooker and called it "fucking shit" (because it is) and then threw my bottle of water across the room at the realisation I had sworn.
Day 3 when chatting to my mate Kerri it just popped out and by days 4-10 I was really struggling.
So I took a good chunk of time to REALLY think about what I wanted to add as my two daily chosen tasks.
Writing for 30 Minutes Every Day
In 2019 I had a goal for my book earnings. Ironically on New Year's Eve, the very final day of 2019 I hit that goal. I was absolutely ecstatic. So on New Year's Day I set writing goals for 2020 and the only way I will achieve them is to write consistently.
So this daily task was an easy one to set. I want to write for a minimum of 30 minutes per day for my own books. I write for hours and hours for clients every day so shoe-horning in more writing for myself can prove difficult.
To make this easier on myself I have downloaded a writing app called Ulysees which syncs across my laptop, desktop computer, iPad and iPhone. I have no excuses! I always have one of those devices in my hands at some point so I can add to my chapters easily with this app.
I have also bought a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. I have been taking it out to coffee shops and it's easy to swap 30 minutes of social media scrolling for typing.
I also set only 30 minutes because it always feels more manageable to get that amount of time in - no excuses. Also when I get on a roll and I am in flow, I will type for much longer. So if I am feeling a bit uninspired, I can always manage 30 minutes. Once I get going, I usually want to continue.
Meditation & Post Meditation Journaling
I often shy away from this even though I know how powerful it is. I want to get consistent with meditation because I know it helps my sleep, stress levels and helps me stay positive.
I love journaling and find such healing and therapy in words. Again though I am not consistent with it so to make it easier, I thought I would write down my thoughts after meditating.
#SelfTrustChallenge Day 1
Myself and my gym buddy Kelly had a week off last week so this morning we were back in the gym at 6am doing an upper body workout. I love going to the gym with Kelly. She really motivates me to even get up in the first place. There's usually some form of motivating double act style text early in the morning before we meet.
Kelly makes us follow these workouts from this woman who I swear is actually thinking she's on a dodgy webcam site. She pulls some right p0rn0 moves in these exercises so our gym sessions are always hilarious - we often end up crying laughing.
I was home for 7:20am and should've used that time to write or meditate but it was Monday morning school run madness and it didn't happen. Note to self... you know it is all so much easier when you do the majority of it in the morning!
I was working for a client today copywriting so took 30 mins for lunch and headed outside with the dogs. Using Ulysees, I carried on writing for my client while I was out walking so it really felt like three birds with one stone; dogs walked, me outside and client work all in one.
When you try take a selfie with the dogs and realise one is pissing on the other.
When I got back home I was able to sync Ulysees with my computer and use everything I'd written for my client straight away which felt great.
After finishing my client work Blake had a doctors appointment and I don't know why I thought we'd be in and out. It was the doctors! I have actually worked at my GP practice before and so have witnessed first hand the pressures that the staff are under. Of course we would be delayed. So we sat in the waiting room and looking back, I should've cracked open Ulysees at that point to write a bit for the book as we waited over half an hour.
Never mind though, doctors done, lovely catch up with nurse Wendy and Blake up to date with all his vaccinations it was time to get ready for the theatre.
Shaun and I went to watch Clinton Baptiste - the fake medium from Phoenix Nights at Chorley Theatre. So I asked him to drive the 40 minute journey and I started to write on Ulysees. It's so easy I wish I'd found this months ago. On the drive home I researched some information for a new chapter and wrote a bit more. Word count - 1800. Pretty pleased with that!
Once home I really wanted to just get into bed but I'd not done my meditation and journaling. I lit my Jo Macfarlane candle. I love the Bermuda Pink Sand fragrance and it signals to my brain that I'm ready and in the right state to meditate. I use Insight Timer for meditation. I pay for it as a premium member which gives me access to all the meditation courses. I chose a 10 day course on increasing your intuition and completed day one (with citrine crystal in hand - not sure why I was drawn to that one but held it anyway) and then spent about 15 minutes writing down my thoughts in my diary.
Jo Macfarlane - Bermuda Pink Sand. Love this smell!
I forgot to mention the water but this is one I find easy after drinking 4.5 litres a day (!) on #75Hard. I didn't quite drink that much today but I drank a 1.5 litre bottle and had a further 4 pints of water throughout the day. I track it all on an app called Water Reminder. When we were at the theatre in the interval I was tempted to get a wine or fizzy drink but got straight back into the groove and asked for a pint of water. It makes it easier getting the water in when you don't drink other stuff like diet coke for me.
I got into bed at almost 1am but as Tuesday is a rest day from the gym I set my alarm for a delicious lie-in until 7:30am.
Feeling absolutely amazing after just one day. Here's to the next 27!
If you'd like to join in and create your own personal 28 day #selftrustchallenge get the template and all the info here.