How it Started
In September of last year, I found myself at a crossroads with my business. I had a half-completed course (which is now fully complete, you can check it out here 👀), and I felt like I had no direction. I was spending too much time-consuming content and avoiding difficult tasks.
I mean, just look at my screen time...
To be honest, I feel a little embarrassed sharing this. Not because it's inherently bad, but because of the message I usually preach on social media. I often encourage others to limit distractions and challenge themselves to improve their career and personal development.
Looking back now, it's funny because I didn't even realise I was addicted to my phone. Instead, I would justify my bad habits by making excuses, saying that it's part of my job to keep up with the latest trends. While there is some truth to that, I can't really count scrolling on TikTok for 2 hours as "market research."
The Tipping Point
On a Friday in mid-September, I sat down at my desk (as I do every Friday), with the goal of creating some Instagram content for the upcoming week. Normally, this task is one of my favourites, but on this particular day, as I started following my usual structure, I found it difficult to focus.
It felt like I was unconsciously reaching for my phone every 5 minutes. Which is a recipe for a productivity disaster, because studies have shown that it takes an average of 23 minutes to regain focus after a distraction. That's when I realised that something had to change. A task that I used to look forward to and enjoy had become almost impossible to do because my dopamine-filled brain was solely focused on when it would get its next hit.
Plan of Action
When I realised that my bad habits had been controlling my life for too long, I knew I had to take drastic action.
So, inspired by 75 hard, I decided to create a 60-day challenge.
However, I customised the requirements to align with my personal goals. For example, one of the requirements in the 75 hard challenge is to abstain from alcohol, but since I don't drink, that part would be easy for me.
Here's what I came up with:
I compiled a list of habits that I believed would be beneficial for me and set three rules for myself:
Avoid using my phone after 6pm.
No TV (Netflix)
Keep my phone off on Sundays.
The objective of this challenge was straightforward: overcome phone addiction and focus on accomplishing challenging tasks that will contribute to the growth of my business. And finally, aim to live my life in a way that would make Dom Toretto proud, taking it a quarter mile at a time.
The first week of this challenge only further illustrated to me that I was addicted to my phone, just because of how challenging it was to control my urges. I had massive FOMO being away from social media. But, by controlling my environment and keeping my phone out of sight, I managed to have a successful first week.
(If you want to learn more about building good habits and breaking bad ones, I strongly recommend checking out the book Atomic Habits)
By week three, I began to notice a significant improvement. The new habits were becoming routine and were having an impact on my productivity, mood, and overall well-being.
Week five was the biggest turning point. ‘September Abi’ felt like a distant memory, and the urge to use my phone was completely gone. I had reached the "golden in-between" stage. At this point, I was far enough into the challenge that it had become the new normal, making the habits easier to maintain. I also started to notice a significant improvement in my everyday life.
This positive momentum made the remaining weeks a breeze 🍃
Looking back now, I can honestly say those 60 days changed the direction of my life.
During that time, I achieved the following:
Made progress in the gym
Finished creating the course I’d been working on all year
Gained control over my urges (no phone addiction)
and most importantly, started taking ownership over my life.
As I write this email on the 10th of January 2024, many of the habits I developed during that challenge are still part of my daily routine today and I intend to keep it that way.
FREE Habit Tracker Template👇
Throughout this challenge, I documented my journey on Instagram and people have asked me how I kept track of my habits.
So I have put together a habit tracker for you to use, should you decide it’s time for a challenge!
You can get access to the FREE tracker HERE.To use the template, simply open the link and click on the “Duplicate” option in the top right.
Remember challenges are supposed to be hard and make you feel uncomfortable.
But discomfort pushes you to achieve things you once only dreamt about!
Here’s to becoming the best version of yourself 🥂
p.s If you do end up taking on the challenge, make sure to let me know via Instagram. I’d love to keep up with how you’re doing!
p.p.s Watch the first episode of our newsletter podcast HERE. This week me and Jack discuss how to turn your life around!