Last 90 Days Challenge
I love when social media serves a purpose beyond just entertainment. Back in October, I came across the Last 90 Days due to people talking about it on Instagram. It’s a challenge issued by Rachel Hollis to finish out the year the best version of yourself. She’s apparently been issuing this challenge for several years now, but this year was especially poignant because not only were we 3 months from the end of the year, but also the end of the decade. It sounds crazy to say that out loud, uhm I mean type. It’s odd to think about all that happened in the past 10 years. My life changed pretty dramatically, from graduating college, to getting married, buying a house, traveling abroad, and becoming a mother, twice. I’m definitely not the same person I was when this decade started! I felt a bit lost this past year. I was, and still am, trying to figure out who I am after all of these changes. I decided that the best thing I could do was to focus on my health and well being. The Last 90 Days definitely helped bring those things into perspective for me.
So, I haven’t talked about what exactly Last 90 Days is. Basically, it’s all about incorporating Rachel Hollis’ Five to Thrive into your every day routine for the last 3 months of the year. The Five to Thrive are five healthy habits that you practice every day and are intended to help you develop a healthier lifestyle. The habits focus on both physical and mental health. Here are the Five to Thrive habits for the Last 90 Days:
- Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day.
- Wake up an hour earlier every day.
- Practice gratitude every day by writing down a few things you are thankful for.
- Move your body for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Give up one food every month.
Compiled together, these Last 90 Days habits may seem like a lot to add to your every day routine, but they weren’t hard once I found my rhythm. Plus, they all made me feel good in someway which always makes it easier to keep going.
I started October off strong. I gave up Starbucks for the month, committed to running and at home exercise, drank my water and started waking up at 6 am. Giving up Starbucks was surprisingly easy because I just started taking coffee to go or I’d take my big water bottle out. It also helped my personal budget for the month. Running again felt amazing. It was so hard, but I could feel myself getting stronger by the end of the month. I started using a program called 5K Runner to guide my runs and make sure I was making progress. I loved making progress towards my fitness goals. The biggest game changer was the 6 am wake up though. I’d been getting up at 6:30/7 to have a little alone coffee time before the girls woke up every day, but I would just drink my coffee and scroll Instagram. When I started getting up at 6, I decided that (instead of scrolling Instagram) this would be a productive time. I started writing blog posts more and scheduling out my Insta posts. I also started planning my days better. I wrote daily to-do lists and schedules, plus I started meal planning again. I felt on top of the world by the end of October.
November was where the Last 90 Days started to feel more challenging. I came down with a cold in the middle of the month, so I took a break from running and getting up early. Without my special morning time I woke up feeling frazzled and cranky. I stopped exercising and struggled to get my water in every day. I stopped doing my gratitude practices too. However, I gave up desserts for the month and I did great with that one! I only had dessert on Thanksgiving and I surprisingly didn’t miss it that much.
In December, I knew that I NEEDED that extra time in the morning to start the day on a good note, so I resumed getting up early to write and plan out my days. I also started my gratitude practices again. I was feeling a little blue about the holidays, so I wanted to take time to be grateful every day. I found that the best way to remember to reflect and write them down was to create a space for each day of the week in my planner. I check my planner every day, so seeing GRATITUDE each day helped me stop and spend a few minutes thinking of all the good that happened the day before. I still struggled with drinking enough water so I added a spot for that in my planner too. I did not get back into exercising in December. I thought about it, a lot, but I just didn’t do it. I also didn’t give up any foods for December, but that was intentional. I wanted to embrace the holidays, and all the food that comes with them, to the fullest. And boy did I!
Last 90 Days Forever
Now that the Last 90 Days is over, I’ve decided that I’m never stopping. There is not a single thing on the Five to Thrive list that I shouldn’t actually be doing every day. Drinking enough water is important, exercise is important, gratitude is important. I definitely know that I need the extra time in the morning to be the best version of myself I can be. Also, giving up one food for a month is NOT hard. It’s only 30 days and it’s only one food. Totally achievable. I’m giving up desserts, Starbucks and alcohol for January because I had more than enough in December. Well, with the exception of my birthday later in the month, but that’s only for a day, or two. My biggest goal for this month is to get back in the habit of exercising. I really like getting ready for the day in the morning, which means showering and getting dressed, so I have a hard time justifying an afternoon workout when I’m already dressed and ready. I need to get over this and either workout in the morning or suck it up and shower twice some days.
The Last 90 Days helped me create better habits for myself. All of the daily Five to Thrive were already goals that I had on my mind to accomplish, but the challenge brought them together in a way that made them seem more attainable. I’m also proud of myself for constantly trying to get back on board and not just giving up after I missed the mark a few times. I definitely attribute that to therapy. My therapist would ask about the challenge and encourage me that missing a few things didn’t have to mean giving it all up. I’ve been putting my word of the year into practice already! 😉 I’m looking forward to sticking with Last 90 Days and building good habits 365 this year.