Day one of a 15 day challenge that I started today asked me to set a daily success plan. It reminded me of the 30 day challenge program that I undertook doing ‘The Work’ everyday for 30 days. The aim was to do daily Work practice in order to make ‘The Work’ my daily practice.
My first attempt at a 30 day challenge of doing ‘The Work’ daily…
At the time that I started that challenge I found it easy to get off to a great start. For the first three or four days I did ‘The Work’ without any problems at all. I was committed, focused and wanting to achieve my goal. In the morning I would get up and find a quiet spot to sit whilst I was eating my breakfast. I’d focus on writing out a ‘One Belief At a Time’ worksheet with the one-liner that I had found from the previous day.
Great.. I can do this.
Then I noticed that for days 5 through to 7 I started to get out of my daily routine. I missed doing The Work over breakfast for some reason. It then felt like a chore to have to find the time to write out my worksheet at some other time during my day. I was working in a full time 9 to 5 job at that time and I was so busy. After work I didn’t want to start. I remember making myself write out my worksheet at 8pm at night, not enjoying the process at all.
At days 6 and 7 I made time to do the worksheet, but it was under sufferance. It felt like a chore that I was making myself complete.
[Tweet “Making doing The Work a chore doesn’t work.”]
By the time Day 8 arrived, and remember that this was a 30 day challenge, so I’m not even one third of the way through it yet, I was really struggling with the commitment. I used to do ‘The Work’ last thing at night, if I remembered. Or, I would go a couple of days, and then feel guilty and catch up by doing two or three worksheets at a time, and tell myself that I’d completed the challenge.
Had I? No, not really, I was fooling myself.
You can imagine then how my real 30 day challenge ended up. In reality I completed four days of it, and that was it. Instead of focusing on the fact that I had gone from nothing to four days of doing The Work in a row, I focused on the fact that I had failed at completing the 30 day challenge.
This meant beating myself up a lot. Lot’s of beliefs floating around about how I couldn’t be successful, couldn’t complete anything, was a failure.. and the list went on.
My second attempt at doing ‘The Work’ daily…
I had a second crack at this thirty day challenge about twelve months after the first time. This time I thought I would be smart and muster up some support. I got a bunch of my friends who were also doing ‘The Work’ involved and said that I would monitor how we were tracking by messaging everyone daily to check in.
This did help. I at least got to Day 15 on this challenge before my momentum dropped off. Some of my co ‘Workers’ had dropped off much earlier than that and they were inspired at my commitment to get to Day 15 without stalling.
This time I did focus on allowing myself the time to have my 15 to 30 minutes of quiet ‘Work’ time over breakfast. I started off with a long list of beliefs that I had worked up over the few weeks prior to starting the challenge. Having this list handy helped. On any one day I had a belief that I could work on without having to think through finding one (one of the excuses for not doing the challenge on that day.. “I’ve got nothing to Work).
I then played my first go routine of ‘catching up’ or ‘doubling up’ days to finish the challenge. I felt good that I’d done it with less trouble than the first time.
Doing ‘The Work’ daily now
Doing ‘The Work’ daily now, is such a part of my life. How did I get this way? For starters I became part of a ‘Work ‘ community. Part of doing this is that there are people who want to ‘Work’ every day. So, I went and found myself a ‘Daily Practice Partner’. This helped me commit to a set hour each day. We spend half an hour each working a belief. I found that this really helped me initially get into the daily practice habit.
Secondly I realised that it was okay for me to spend that time of up to a half an hour doing something for me. That is letting go of my limiting and stressful beliefs. Giving myself the permission that I needed was huge.
Thirdly, getting into the practice habit I found that not only was I feeling so much better when I did my daily practice, I was also more focused during the rest of my day. I really saw the benefit of it in my life generally.
Ultimately if you can find the time to get into the habit of ‘Doing The Work’ for breakfast, as Katie suggests you will find that your life does change, and in ways that you would never have imagined.
Another option is to join the 28 Day program where we meet every day for 28 days. It’s fun and lets you dive into your work. I’ve developed it to support others to get into this habit.