I looked in the mirror recently and decided I’m a hypocrite. I’ve been evangelizing both the philosophy and discipline associated with success (happiness & freedom) for more than four years now – my first formal goal was posted on Stickk in September 2010 – and I’ve made some great strides (completed drafts of two novels, outlines for more than forty more stories, I exercise regularly, financed a sabbatical, returned to the workforce without incident). What I have not done, is materially alter some basic, self-limiting behaviors (long established) – some generic issues around discipline, and specific issues relating to energy management and hideous dietary habits. Or, put another way, being lazy and stuffing my yap!
What’s “Transformation 90” anyway?
Simply put, it’s a 90 day commitment to improving my available physical and mental resources. I’m no spring chicken, and I have huge ambitions and if I’m to achieve them I need to be a better version of myself – there are no guarantees but I’ve proven that the “me” I currently am isn’t capable of the change I want to see. At minimum I seek to improve my:
- ability to focus my full attention on demand
- minute-to-minute decision making
- physical/mental fitness
Within the next 12 months I want to have my two novels properly edited, packaged, marketed and available for sale. I want to permanently remain below 240 pounds, and I want to remain continuously mindful of my personal evolution.
What does that REALLY mean?
Since my long-term desired outcomes are tough to quantify (permanent behavior change), over the next 90 days I’ll compose three sets of 30 day goals focused on daily discipline and artistic productivity. The first set focuses on my post-work sloth/poor eating habits, and editing my novel “Black Nouveau”. At the end of the first 30 days, I’ll review my progress, then create a new set of goals based on how the progress I’ve made. What I want from the first 30 days is to “kick” recently developed habits of short-term thinking and unconscious use of time – the latter is my biggest challenge, I’ve become far too comfortable losing three-to-five hours of the day to low-value activities.
To stay on track, I’m creating formal weekly goals on Stickk, and will commit to at least two short update blogs a week, including body photos and metrics.
I’ve been lamenting a vague lack of “quality” in my life since I returned to full time employment a year ago, and vague is the clearest indication of lack of purpose. With this in mind, there are two sets of guiding principals I’m using to help frame this 90 day push.
First, there are three elements from Napoleon Hill’s “12 Things that Make Men Rich” I’m focusing on:
- Sound physical health
- Capacity for applied faith
- Complete self discipline
Second, daily mindfulness of the principles expressed in Michael J. Gelb’s “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci”, a book I’ve always enjoyed but never incorporated into my day-to-day:
- Curiosità – An insatiable quest for knowledge and continuous improvement
- Dimostrazione – Learning from experience
- Sensazione – Sharpening the senses
- Sfumato – Managing ambiguity and change
- Arte/Scienza – Whole-brain thinking
- Corporalità – Body-mind fitness
- Connessione – Systems thinking
I share all of this for two reasons, first I need all the public shaming I can get to stay on track, and second to remind you that whatever you want to improve about your life (if it’s possible and in your control) you can do it – and can do it the second you make the decision to change.