Are You Ready to Make a 100 Day Commitment?
by Sandy Wilder
Have you ever felt that although you really want to improve at something, you don't have the self-discipline to really make progress? The following concept is the most useful tool that I have found in the 30 years of being in the training and coaching profession. It helps people take control of their lives and make progress in areas that are most important to them. And, it transforms the way people think about themselves. It is called…a 100 Day Commitment.
What is a 100 Day Commitment?
It is doing an activity that you are not already doing for 100 days in a row—without fail.
How do I choose an activity?
- Choose an activity (one or more) that will benefit you and/or others.
- Choose something you would enjoy and look forward to doing.
- You may want to choose an activity that would help you be more effective at something.
- If you have discovered your purpose in life, then you may want to choose an activity that will help you live your purpose more efficaciously.
How much time should it take?
Commit to doing the activity for a minimum of 10 minutes/day. Or, if you are committing to a set quantity of something (e.g. 50 pushups), then choose the number you will do each day. And remember, the commitment is to do this activity every day.
What are examples of commitments people have made?
- Some form of exercise: e.g running, walking, push-ups, sit-ups, yoga, Tai Chi, etc.
- Prayer and/or meditation
- Consecutive studying of inspired texts
- Practicing a musical instrument
- Learning a foreign language
Do I need to commit to 100 days?
You can choose the number of days in a row you are willing to commit to doing this activity. This could be 10, 25, 50, 100 days, etc. The maximum initial commitment we recommend is 100 days in a row.
The key is to make it a stretch, but not so difficult that it appears overwhelming. You are not trying to set yourself up for a guilt trap if you can't keep your commitment. But, you don't want “wimp out” and make the goal too easy.
You are creating a learning journey. You are doing this because you sincerely want to make progress in something that is meaningful to you.
How do I get started?
Once you have chosen what you will commit to and for how long, it may be helpful to:
- Write down what you are committing to, why you are committing to it, and how you think it will benefit yourself and/or others. Sign, date & save this commitment letter.
- Get a journal so you can track your progress.
- Each day write in the journal the date, and how much time you spent on (or the quantity you did of) the activity. Additionally, sometimes people like to jot down any feelings and/or insights they had that day. The key is to keep the tracking simple and efficient.
Why does it need to be a commitment?
- This is a commitment, not just a decision. You will be taking action.
- You are signing up for not missing a day during your commitment period.
- There are no excuses to miss.
- You are committing to doing this daily activity between the time you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night (which may be after midnight). In other words, no matter how late it is, or where you are, you will still do the activity.
- This is professional, disciplined self-training at the highest level.
Any other guidelines?
- The activity cannot be just stopping doing something. If you do commit to quitting something, that's terrific, but you still need to do something constructive in its place.
- The activity you are committing to cannot be dependent upon being in a specific place (like a golf course), or using a specific object you cannot take with you each day (like a piano).
- Your activity need not be identical every day (although it often is), but it should be related. Don't waste time trying to decide what to do each day. For example, if you make a commitment to exercise for __ days in a row, you may vary the exercise.
What if I miss a day?
- If you miss a day for any reason, then you simply begin again, at day one.
- Many people have had to start over again. Often more than once.
- Responding with the resilience to instantly begin again (vs. self-condemnation) is a key part of the lessons learned on the journey.
Once you have completed however many days you set as your goal:
- Celebrate yourself for making and keeping a commitment. You are expressing your innate self-discipline!
- Most likely you will not want to stop. Great! Keep on going and keep tracking your progress. If your target was 25, then keep right on going with a new target of 50 or 100. You can also add another commitment, or shift to a new one. If your target was 100, go for 200!