I turn thirty-five at the end of March. No longer am I an angsty young adult with a deficit of life experience. To celebrate, I gave myself an early birthday gift, a reset. Now I will enter my thirty-fifth year older. Wiser. Stronger. Smarter. Better.
My life — because of its flaws — is beautiful. I’m squarely in the appreciation phase of being a mother, something that has taken me four years to achieve. I’ve dated, been married and divorced, and have fortunately found a love I didn’t know could exist in my new partner. The route to find my purpose was not straight — very few are — but I do consider myself lucky to have found my ikigai. I managed to pull my shamble of a college career together and secured gainful employment. Upon moving to Montana, I enjoyed and grew in a challenging work environment and completed a Master’s degree. Nearly one year ago, I opted to leave my nine-to-five and dive head-first into being my own boss. I understand my values and am capable of aligning my actions and habits accordingly. Staring down my thirty-fifth birthday, I admit, things are really good.
But I want to function and feel better than good — I want to be outstanding.
To get there I needed a tune-up. A reset.
I decided to go all-in on the things I’ve been kicking around in my head and giving halfhearted attempts at changing: launching a new program for Minimal Wellness, doing high intensity interval training (HIIT), cutting added sugar out of my diet, committing to daily meditation, completely abstaining from alcohol, doing a caffeine detox, and incorporating long sauna sessions into my weekly wellness routine. None of these changes were extreme — for example: I’m a regular exerciser, but I decided it was time to increase the frequency and intensity of my workouts — I want to feel like an athlete again. I already consumed relatively little added sugar, so completely eliminating it wasn’t a big stretch. And I’ve toyed around with meditation for a couple of years, but have never dedicated myself to a daily practice.
What I found was that the non-negotiable commitment I made to myself to implement these concrete actions over a defined period of time made all the difference. My early success with each discrete task helped build momentum and synergy. Eliminating sugar helped stabilize my blood sugar and energy. The HIIT exercises were physically demanding. Developing the reset program was mentally challenging. Meditating was calming and centering. And the detoxifying actions (no alcohol, less caffeine, sauna) helped with everything including my sleep. After 23 days, I am stronger mentally and physically, my thinking is clearer, my energy levels are higher, I sleep better, and I’ve developed the habits required to continue feeling fantastic and performing optimally. I’ve gone from good to fantastic in just over three weeks and am excited to welcome the next year of my life.
The difference between great and outstanding in terms of effort is relatively small, but the difference in outcome is tremendous.
When you put in all the effort, you get all the results.