Well we made it. Albeit a few months later than planned. October is the new June, don’t ya know? Hey, that’s my motto and I’m sticking with it.
This is the final week of the 30 Day Sleep Challenge and it’s time to review what we’ve learned. I hope you’ve got into the habit of keeping a journal and have discovered where your temptations and weaknesses lie, and that you’ve been able to take action to overcome any issues that arose. Although we were using the vehicle of a sleep challenge because sleep has been a particular bugbear of mine over the years, the theory can be applied to most challenges that you face. When you want to make changes to your life, particularly with regards to habits and routines, consistency of application makes all the difference. Don’t just take my word for it, hear it from someone who knows:
“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson
Thanks Mr Johnson. Yes, consistency is key. Challenges can be overcome, habits can be kicked, new habits can be created, systems and routines can be developed to help you overcome those pesky trials of character and circumstance and a 30 day challenge is just one tool to create the consistency of behaviour that you need to reach your goal. (For more advice on how to kick an unproductive habit through consistent action check out this post).
The overall objective of the 30 Day Sleep Challenge was to improve productivity, mental and physical health by going to bed by 11pm and/or getting at least 7 hours’ sleep every night for 30 days without having to resort to sleeping in late or taking naps during the day. Week one started us off with setting a regular bedtime and keeping a sleep journal. Week two took us into creating a morning routine for an outstanding start to the day, week three provided tips on how to generate a sustained sense of calm, fulfilment and physical relaxation throughout the day to improve our mood and help us to sleep better at night and week four discussed how to stay on course or recover if we drift. If you want to refresh your memory on these, you can find the articles here:
Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four
There were practical suggestions such as getting offline and relaxing for an hour before bed; ensuring the bedroom is cool, dark and quiet; avoiding food or drink just before bed; writing our thoughts down to clear our minds and resisting the urge to nap after a poor night’s sleep to ensure our bodies stay attuned to the new sleep pattern.
We covered mental and physical techniques for sustaining a calm, positive mood such as rising early; drinking more water; taking some exercise; practising meditation, gratitude and affirmations; keeping company with supportive, motivating people; focusing on our goal and celebrating our wins; preparing for possible challenges, and how to recover mentally when things go awry.
We looked at practical steps such as preparing for the next day in advance, using prompts and reminders, enlisting an accountability partner and building in rewards for success.
So how did you do? Did you stick with it? How did you find the process? In the interests of authenticity I will confess that I did drift from the routine over the summer before bringing myself back this last week. I can say without a doubt that in the weeks where I went to bed earlier at a set bedtime, and rose earlier to go through my morning routine, my mind was calmer, my mood more positive and my day much more productive. I now have definitive, undeniable proof that sticking to a routine is a key ingredient to creating success and achieving my goals. Quite simply, when I stick to a routine I get stuff done and I feel great! The process itself was a learning experience, teaching me a renewed appreciation for the value of time; for the quiet of an early morning; for the physical joy of feeling fully refreshed; and for the opportunity to practise going off course and recovering, and being accountable for it publicly, for once without feeling like I had done something foolish and wrong. Learning the art of self-forgiveness was invaluable; I know I will make mistakes in the future and I know now that I won’t be knocked off balance by them as I have been in the past.
So what now? I hope that you continue to stick to your sleep routine and morning routine, that you continue to keep company with people who build you up, that you continue to care for your inner self and your mind, that you continue to grow and take steps towards your goals so that you can love the life that you have and create the life that you want. I will. Let’s do this together.
If you want to know more or would like support in a particular challenge you’re facing, contact me here or message me via Facebook. If you’d like to discuss this or any other article with like minded people you can join my Facebook group. And if you think any of your friends or family would benefit from reading this or any other article please like and share and then hop over to my Facebook page and like and share that too.
Until next time, sleep well and have a great week.
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