At the beginning of March, I started a month long commitment to doing ten pushups a day. It sounds simple to do, and it is, but it challenged me in a great way.
If you’re expecting to hear how I got six pack abs or lost ten pounds from it, then you’ll be disappointed.
The biggest change I got from it was on the inside.
I’m going to share with you what I gained and learn from it.
(Do you want to join the next challenge? Learn and join in the free Facebook group.)
Why did I do it?
I know that we are the by product of what we do on a daily basis. My daily habits haven’t been great. I’ve been doing more complaining and being lazy when it comes to all aspects of my life. That’s not the right mindset to have if I want to transform as a person in 2019.
So I tried to figure out what I could do to start making the changes I want this year. January and February passed without much change.
As March approached, I got the idea to do something I had never attempted before.
One area where I wanted to focus on first was with exercise. I know how much better I feel when I do consistently exercise. I’ve done it in the past but looking back at last year I failed at that.
I wanted to get into the habit of exercising again and wanted to try it a different way.
I needed to work on being more committed in my life. Without any level of commitment, I wouldn’t be able to achieve much this year.
The biggest transformation wasn’t physically
Like I said earlier, I didn’t get six pack abs or lose ten pounds. I wish it were that easy, but it’s not.
I did get slightly stronger after 31 days but I knew that would happen if I did push ups everyday. But my goal wasn’t to get stronger or go from ten pushups a day to a hundred a day.
I did it because I wanted to challenge myself to do something I had never done before and see what benefits I would gain on the inside.
Doing something different made life interesting again
Challenging ourselves keeps us from being stale. If we’re not learning and growing, then life gets boring.
I knew in my mind that I need to get out of my routine. I need to shake things up this year. I didn’t know how until March.
Doing a month long challenge was exactly what I needed. It was a fun experiment I wanted to try.
It gave me a goal to go after which I hadn’t had in a really long time.
I always say that if you want different results you have to do different things.
I gained more confidence in my ability to commit
Just knowing that I completed a whole month has given me confidence because I know that I can start something, commit to it, and finish.
For too long I’ve committed to things, but never kept my word. Even small things like taking vitamins every day to big things like writing daily have been a struggle.
By setting a small manageable goal each day, I couldn’t use the excuse that I didn’t have enough time. If I didn’t have the time to do it, then how could I expect to commit bigger chunks of time towards bigger goals?
This gave me a much needed confidence boost because I told myself I would do it and I did it.
Now that I did it, I can move the next level and challenge myself to commit to a larger daily goal.
Motivation came through action
I’ve known this and I share this advice on my podcast often, but it’s always good to be reminded of this.
I had motivation to start, but I could not rely solely on motivation the every single day.
Was I excited to do pushups that first week? No I wasn’t. Nothing is particularly cool about doing ten pushups. It’s not sexy.
It wasn’t something where I would wake up and say, “I can’t wait to do my pushups today!”
Doing ten pushups wouldn’t burn 1000 calories, break a sweat, or lose a pound. It wouldn’t give me any instant results.
It was boring and that’s why it was challenging.
Because it wouldn’t give me instant results, I couldn’t rely on motivation to do it.
I had to just do it. It didn’t matter how I felt. I didn’t matter if I wanted to or not. I just did it because I had a goal that I wanted to achieve.
I remember having pain in my right wrist the first week whenever I did my pushups. I wasn’t sure if the pain was from doing the pushups or from something else.
Though I risked making the pain worse by continuing the pushups, I didn’t want to use that as an excuse to stop. (The pain eventually did go away)
I noticed the more days I completed, the more motivated I was to continue.
My brain would remind me “do your pushups today.” It wouldn’t shut up until I actually did them.
I practiced being patient
The reason I wanted to do a monthly challenge was to get my butt into action and stop making excuses. Once I started, I wanted to finish the month to see what benefits I would gain from it.
In order to know what benefits I would gain, I had to be patient. I had to take it one day at a time. I couldn’t fast forward 31 days. I couldn’t do 310 pushups in one day and be done. That’s not the same as spreading it out over 31 days.
I had to do my pushups one day at a time. I couldn’t rush.
It reminded me that I needed to consistent with my daily habit and patient.
Being committed isn’t easy
Saying that I was going to do pushups every day is easy. Actually doing it is harder.
It’s easy to forget to do it because my day can be filled with others thoughts from the time I wake up till the time I go to sleep.
There were many days when I would be doing something and then I remembered I should do my pushups. I didn’t do them right away however. Later in the day I would remember again to do them. So instead of needing to remind myself again later, I would stop what I was doing and do my pushups if I was at home or at the office.
After I would do them, I felt great cause I completed it and then my mind had one less thing to constantly be thinking about.
So why didn’t I just do my pushups the first time I remembered? I think was cause I was in the habit of procrastinating. I always would just tell myself I’ll do it later.
But I can see how easy it is to remember to do it, but put it off till later and then waking up the next day and completely forgetting to do it.
Commitment is like a muscle. The more we practice it, the strong it becomes. This is a great reason to do a 31 day commitment challenge.
If you can’t commit to a tiny task each day, how can you commit to something bigger that leads you to bigger goals?
It’s better to start small
I’ve had success before by starting in a big way. It’s worked for me in some areas.
Over 9 years ago when I hit rock bottom, I started by training for a half marathon to get in shape and lose weight.I made a big commitment and stuck with it.
When I started selling t-shirts online, I would spend hours a day on it.
When I started this blog, I started in a big way by spending as much free time as I could each day on it.
With exercise, I’ve had a hard time doing it consistently the past two years. If I was going to get into the habit of it, in my mind, I needed to make a big commitment and spend at least an hour each time.
But spending that much time was holding me back because in my mind I didn’t have an extra hour. An hour spent exercising was an hour less in my day to do other things.
The strategy to make a big time commitment wasn’t working for me and that’s why I needed to start small this time.
Doing something, even though small, would be better than doing absolutely nothing.
This new attitude worked for me and I gained a lot of benefits from it.
Would I do this again?
I absolutely would. In fact in April I’m starting a new commitment challenge of writing at least one minute a day. It doesn’t mean I’ll only write for one minute. I’ll be pushing for at least 500 words, but I want to get into the habit of writing.
I would recommend this to you if you’re looking to shake things up and get out of your normal routine.
If you’re looking to gain any of the benefits I wrote about, then you can start today with your own commitment challenge.
What’s great about it is that it’s free to do and you have everything to gain from doing it and nothing to lose.
If you’re starting your own, share in the comments what you will commit to for the next 31 days.