On September 23rd I challenged my friends to donate 15 minutes ever day for the remaining hundred days of 2016 to developing a skill, creating content, or doing something that they wanted to do. The reason, making small, incremental progress and dedications eventually lead to capacity to make bigger, more purposeful decisions. Plus, spending 25 hours doing something new means you'll get pretty good at it, fast!
It's now Day 21 of #Yes100. Three weeks into this new routine of learning, doing, designing, creating and NOT procrastinating.
First of all, the response of the YesTribe to this #Yes100 was invigorating. So many great ideas and most importantly ongoing evidence of the commitment. I've received little messages from friends and strangers, updates and thanks and bright, active thoughts. And I get it, I feel the same. This compulsion to walk the talk lead to an arguably over-ambitious commitment to 14 different activities every single day for 100 days and, although I admit there have been days with a less than 100% success rate, on the whole, this challenge has revolutionised not just the way I spend my days but the way I think and the way I work.
I've produced so much content in the last three weeks that I wouldn't have otherwise and that alone is worth the effort, but now these items are part of my day they're integral, not a chore or a pain in the ass, they're part of me.
So, here's what I've learned so far.
To recap, these are the daily challenges I set myself:
- Take a photo for Instagram that sums up the day
- Take a daily portrait photo, also to be shared on Instagram
- 30 minute powernap
- Recall a memory from a past adventure and share on Facebook page
- Move outside for at least 30 minutes
- 50 push ups + 50 sit ups
- Listen to an audio book for 15 minutes
- Read a book for 15 minutes
- Write for 10 minutes towards a book
- Spend 15 minutes developing my website
- Work towards creating a film
- Save £1 per day towards a microadventure
- Learn something new about a device that I use regularly
- Learn a language
Some days when I haven't achieved a goal, I'll make up for it the next day. In terms of balance and credit, the only one I'm down on is the 30 minute powernap which has been really difficult to prioritise in a crazy period where I've led a group expedition down a big river and am organising a festival. This isn't to say the sleep wasn't needed, it was!
Second hardest is the health and fitness, especially when I'm wedded to my computer for long hours in the build-up to Yestival, but having these items on my list often forces me to leave the screen for a small while and get the blood pumping. I paddled for over 4 hours a day on average for a week on the Mississippi River so on average I'm well over my movement target, and I've only missed three days of push ups and sit ups, so far...
I was off grid on the Mississippi for six days so pre-scheduled a story a day, and the regularity of content has boosted my Facebook post reach and audience more than I could have imagined. Creating a theme around my posts also means I know what kind of content to write and it keeps my social media down, at the same time as raising impact.
My Instagram feed is looking so much better, and my photography skills in general are benefitting from using a DSLR every day, then importing these into Insta.
Working on film and editing each day has already had its results. First up was a quick look at a kitesurfing weekend spent in Norfolk (above), a few video blogs already created for social channels, and I'm now spending a few minutes a day creating a film about the Mississippi River Exploring Mindset adventure I was on between days 4 and 12 of #Yes100.
This week I've also turned some audio podcasts into five films to promote SayYesMore's upcoming Microfestival for Positive Change, Yestival. (You should come, it's going to be incredible!)
Pausing to listen to an audio book and read a book gives me calm in this crazy world, whether I'm on a train or bus, or using the added incentive of ticking off two or three of my daily items at the same time. I'll write parts of my book with an audio book playing, or stick in my ears and listen while I'm out doing exercise.
It helps to have a reason to learn a language. I'm heading to Japan next month to travel 1000 miles on a Swifty Scooter and am confident that the basics I'll have picked up through #Yes100 will serve me well. I've never been good at languages but for the first time in my life I'm enjoying the process and am even thinking about what's next on the list. I've download an app called Memrise onto my phone and each day it runs me through a variety of sounds, alphabet lessons, pronunciation and visual learning techniques. Konnichiwa!
All in all, dedicating to something that doesn't disrupt an entire day or unbalance emotions is incredibly healthy. The incremental growth and development in several areas of my work has tremendous personal benefits too, and getting to the end of each day having achieved so much - not even taking into account everything else outside of #Yes100 - gives a warm feeling of satisfaction.
So, how's your #Yes100 getting on? Join the YesTribe and share your story on www.sayyesmore.com/yes100