In Sea Change, we recommend that you do one new challenge a month â€” and if you’re able to do that, we believe you’ll see transformation over the course of a year or so.
Let’s look at how to do that, and also an important point: you don’t have to do a new challenge every single month. In fact, learning to pace your habit changes to what works for you is much more important.
We’ll start with how to pace your habit changes, and then talk about transformation using these challenges.
How to Pace Your Habit Changes
If you’re able to do a new challenge each month, great! Definitely do that.
However, for a lot of people, doing a new one every month doesn’t make sense:
- You get to the end of the month and you don’t feel like it’s a solid habit yet
- You take on a new habit change but the previous one feels shaky, so now you’re trying to juggle two shaky new habits.
- Then a third, and a fourth, and now you’re overwhelmed and the habits are failing left and right.
If this happens, don’t despair! It’s actually completely fine. You haven’t ruined everything â€” you can get back on track. While it can feel like you’re starting all over again, you’re not. You’ve learned a lot about habit change and these particular habits that you have to start again will be easier the second time.
It’s important to learn to pace your own habit change, by feel:
- Take on a new challenge, and then see how it goes. If at the end of the month, you feel solid in the habit and it’s a good habit for you, keep it and start another.
- If it doesn’t feel like a good fit for your life, adjust it or drop the habit. This stuff isn’t set in stone.
- If you like the habit but it doesn’t feel very solid, skip the next challenge and just stick with this one for another month.
- You can also do 6 weeks per challenge if that feels better for you.
You choose your own habit path. You pace yourself. If you need help, ask in the community!
So how do these challenges create transformation? One habit at a time, your life begins to shift. Slowly, in small steps. Until everything is different.
It goes something like this (although no two transformations are the same):
- You start one new habit (maybe putting away your clothes after you use them) and stick to it for a month. Success! You feel great, and start to learn how habits work, and how to stick to one. You build confidence in yourself.
- You start the meditation habit, just two minutes a day at first, and you’re up to 7 minutes a day by the end of the challenge. You start to bring mindfulness to your habit changes, and now you have two successful habits and you gain courage to push through the difficult changes.
- You take up the Beautiful Mornings challenge and start to wake a little earlier to create space for the things you want to do, and work on your Most Important Task in small steps. This is huge for you! And after three months, you’ve started to see a small but profound shift in yourself, your self-image, your ability to stick to things.
- You start to declutter, and after a month, your house is much cleaner and simpler and organized! You feel great about that. You look back on the last four months and realize how powerful these small steps are. You start to realize you can change everything.
- The next two months are health focused: exercise then healthy eating. You start to take control of your health, and that is so huge.
At this point, you feel pretty amazing. You realize you know how to tackle just about anything.
I didn’t mention that you will have some habits stop, but then you’ll learn to restart them, and that’s a big skill to practice over and over. You’ll get discouraged, but then you’ll learn how to find encouragement, and that’s also really important. You’ll lose motivation, and learn to find it in your accountability team.
All of the obstacles to transformation are actually practice points for important transformation skills.
There’s no obstacle that is not a part of your transformation path, as long as you keep coming back.
So keep coming back. You’ll create transformation in your life, and nothing will ever be the same again.