Labor Day Challenge – Recap
Well, my Labor Day Challenge is over! It’s been 6 weeks of consistency , perseverance and tons of blogging! I appreciate that so many of you followed along and supported me throughout this endeavor. I learned new things, spent time with family , talked to the masters, swam and rode, attended leadership conferences, supported TRiO, and gave some awesome presentations (and here). I would like to wrap it up by being completely honest on my progress throughout the 42 days by assigning a grade to each activity I was trying to uphold throughout the challenge.
Running – B – I have still ran my long runs and even trotted outside from time to time, but I never got the consistency I desired due to my ever-growing schedule and obligations. I will, however, never stop running, or keep running as long as I can because I know the long-term benefits it has instilled in my life.
Eating Healthy – B – I ate well about 90% of the time during the past 6 weeks. There were days, like my baby shower weekend, where I threw caution to the wind and ate everything in sight. I mostly ate well during my routine and average days, eating lean meats, low-fat dairy, whole grains and my fruits and veggies. Some days I went with my good friends Ben and Ethan to the buffet on campus…that never ended well. I did not track my caloric count as close as I should have, and I know that it is a great way to hold myself accountable.
Praying – A+ – This is a habit that I really wanted to start during the challenge, and I can gladly say that I have kept to it the entire process! I am not an intercessor or prayer warrior, but I am laying the foundation of consistency that is needed in my life.
Going to the Gym – C – This is one area where I started off strong and faltered late. I will be honest, I got busy and tired and just pushed it aside. I need to spend another challenge focusing solely on going to the gym and making it a priority.
Reading my Bible – C – I read my Bible on and off throughout the challenge, but not as much as I had wanted. I was following a daily Bible reading plan which I did not enjoy, and Murr told me to start reading books of the Bible that I enjoyed. I started reading from the New Testament and really enjoyed it, but did not read it as consistently as I should.
Reading Everyday – A+ – I was soaking up any material I could read during the Challenge. I finished several books…”The Success Principles,” “108 Skills of Natural Born Leaders,” “Weird,” and almost finished “Greater than Yourself.” I even listened to several audiobooks. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time reading, and I wish that I could have spent more time reading. I am excited about my future reading and would encourage you to do the same!
Be a Leader – A – I decided to post a leadership quote everyday on Twitter and to work on my leadership qualities, and I am excited to say I did well on this challenge. I had an awesome phone conversation with Dan Rockwell, the Leadership Freak, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I know I have a long way until I become the leader I want to be, but I will work on it everyday until I become the man I want to be. (Follow me on Twitter @ryan_eller_EA)
Spend Time with the Pup – A – I spent time with Lucy nearly everyday, teaching her new tricks and loving on her! She can now get her towel and put it back in her crate when I ask her to! It is very nice to have a dog that cleans up after herself.
Get Organized – A – I created lists, calendars, notebooks and followed through with them until I became more organized. In full disclosure, I am nowhere near as organized as I should be, but I am going to continue to work on it until I am efficient in that area of my life.
Spend Time With Friends – A – I spent more time with my friends during this 42 day challenge than I normally do. I went to the fair with good friends, watched a few OU games with friends, and certainly went on shenanigans with my good friends Ben and Wes. I enjoyed good times at NSU’s Homecoming, went to awesome events with Murr, and met new friends at my leadership conferences. I feel as if I am closer to many of them after this process than before!
Floss – F – If I could give myself and F- in flossing I would. I never got into the habit of flossing and I know I need to start. It does not help that my teeth were falling out, but I really have no excuse, I just did not do this consistently…or much at all.
Sleep – C – I know this is going to make me sound like a baby, but living with a pregnant woman has made my sleeping habits horrible! Even if we go to bed early I have a hard time falling asleep. She is either snoring (loudly) or moving too much for me to sleep! I did work hard on getting to bed early, and there was only about 5-6 nights were I stayed up entirely too late. I guess the only positive to the lack of sleep is that it is training me for when the baby comes!
Dress for Success – A+ – I am still excited about this one! I tried to dress as well as I could everyday, and besides the one day I spent the night at my parents house and left my clothes at home, I did dress as nice as I could everyday! I am not a GQ model, and I do not have the best style, but I made a conscious effort to dress well everyday.
Be Prompt – B – I showed up for work on time nearly everyday! I got busy sometimes or stuck behind a slow driver, but I made it to work on time almost every day the past 6 weeks. I will continue to work on being prompt in my everyday life.
Give Thanks – A – I wrote nearly 40 thank you notes. Sometimes I would need to write a few in a day to catch up and I still have some to send out, but I was pretty consistent on writing a note. I really enjoyed expressing my feelings on paper and letting people know how proud I was of them or how much they meant to me. I hope that it is a habit I continue forever.
Journal – B+ – I journaled almost daily and only had to catch up on my journaling a few times. I am happy with the habit I picked up and I am now excited about journaling for my Sweet Baby Jane.
So…what did I learn throughout this whole process? What advice could I give you about trying to improve your life? I learned that I took on too many challenges at one time. I learned that I don’t have the self-control and discipline I would like to have in my life. At the same time I learned that I am capable of much more than I even know. If I could do it again I would pick 1-3 things to focus solely on for six weeks until I mastered that area, then I would try something else.
A few areas I truly thing are going to remain a habit. Eating healthy, journaling, reading, dressing well and being prompt stuck well. Some areas need 100% of my focus to become a habit…going to the gym, flossing, and reading my Bible are areas I still need to improve upon.
I do think I will keep this type of challenge for the rest of my life. I am going to start over with going to the gym for the next six weeks. I have six weeks until Sweet Baby Jane comes into our lives, and I want to look my best when she comes! I’d hate for her first view of me to be anything but the best.
I challenge you to pick one area that needs some work in your life, or one area that you could improve upon even if it isn’t a weakness, and work for 42 days on your own personal challenge. Work on that skill or lifestyle change until you have mastered it, and then move onto something else. You can do this…make it happen. There is no better time than now and no better person to do it than you. If you would like some accountability feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly help you with your challenge.