21-Day Lifestyle Revamp Program – Day 1 Review

This is part of the 21-Day Lifestyle Revamp Program series.

Thanks so much to everyone who has signed up so far! The response has been very positive and more than I had anticipated (Honestly, I was half expecting I would be doing the trial by myself!). All of you should really give yourself a huge pat for taking action to change your life.

From reading your comments, I realized many of you are actually using the 21-Day Mega Trial to revamp your life, just like I am. I’m renaming the 21-Day Mega Trial as the 21-Day Lifestyle Revamp Program which is more adept :D.

This is just a quick update to let everyone know how I’m doing on the 21-Day Lifestyle Revamp Program :)

So today is Day 1. I woke up at 4:59am to my mobile phone alarm. I felt the initial grogginess but not wanting to give in, I sat on the bed and rested with my eyes closed. 1-2 minutes later, the grogginess was gone. I was up for the day. Habit #1 for Day 1, check :D

I forgot how good it feels to wake up so early. After I was done washing up (I decided to do my skincare regimen in the morning as well as evenings), I was at my computer. Instead of instinctively clicking to my email and social media sites, I planned my day ahead, right down to scheduling the time for each task. While I have an ongoing project list which tells me what I need to do every day, it’s not planned down to the exact time. I suspect this is partly why I could never quite accomplish what I planned to do. I never factored in the realistic time commitment for each task.

Taking these 30 minutes to plan my day really helped to set my day in place. My task then was to religiously follow the timeline as planned. This was how my schedule today looked like:

  • 5-5:30am: Wash up (Habit #5)
  • 5:30-6am: Plan my day
  • 6-7am: Reply emails, post/reply messages on Facebook/Twitter
  • 7am: Prepare and set off for work (Habit #4 – Timeliness)
  • 7:30am-8:30am: Commute + Read book
  • 9am-12pm: Work (Habit #3)
  • 12:30pm-2pm: Meet ex-coachee for lunch
  • 2:30-6pm: Work (Habit #3)
  • 6:15pm: Set off for appointment (Habit #5 – Timeliness)
  • 7-9pm: Evening appointment
  • 9:30-10pm: Reach home, Rest, Wash up (Habit #5)
  • 10-11:30pm: Write post on Day-1 trial review and other miscellaneous work
  • 11:30pm: Meditate (Habit #6)
  • 12am: Sleep (Habit #2)

For the most part, I was true to the schedule. And I feel really terrific :D . I was early for all my appointments, I got a lot more done than usual and I was ahead of things. Throughout the day, I truly felt that I was steering the day. I haven’t felt this productive in a long while! I’ve no idea why it took me this long to get this going. In retrospect, I would love to have started this earlier.

One of the trial participants, Alexis, asked a very good question:

Can anyone explain the link between productivity and waking up early? Why would a person who wakes up at 6 am put in more work than somebody waking at 8am knowing they’re awake the same time each day?

I’d say the productivity comes largely from psychological feel-good factors from waking up early. Waking early = Feeling you are ahead of the work = Inspiration to work so that you stay ahead. Though there really are functional reasons too, such as quietness in the morning, early commute = not being stuck in traffic, etc. I wrote about them in Why I Wake Up Early (And 9 Reasons You Should Do So Too) – specifically Reasons #1-5.

In fact, I feel so good that I just added 2 more habits to my list, to a total of 8 new habits:

  • #7. Self-Enrichment: Read a book or listen to a podcast: Yesterday I was reading Superfreakonomics before I slept, and it reminded me of how I used to spend an hr or two immersing myself in these materials every night before I sleep. This is going into the trial too!
  • #8. Raw vegan diet: I’m a little apprehensive about this because I’ve done raw vegan last year and this trial needs proper planning – which I haven’t done since I didn’t expect to do this now. But my gut feel is telling me to go for it so I’m going to trust it and see how it goes :D . There is a good likelihood that this might get dropped halfway, and if it does I’ll take it as a good warm up for a full-fledged raw food diet come May. If it doesn’t then it’s a huge bonus :D .

A quickly review of my 9 habits for my lifestyle revamp program:

  1. Wake up at 5am. - Check
  2. Sleep no later than 12am. - Check
  3. Spend at least 6hrs / day on my blog-related work.- Check
  4. Timeliness: Being on time for my appointments.- Check
  5. Stick to my skincare regimen (morning+night).- Check
  6. Spirituality: Meditate every evening.- Check
  7. Self-Enrichment: Read a book or listen to a podcast.- Check
  8. Start raw vegan diet- Check

To those who have signed up (or are silently taking part), how’s your progress? If you have succeeded – That’s fantastic! If you haven’t met your Day-1 requirements, it’s okay. What’s most important is you learn what exactly happened that took you off. Then account for them accordingly in your plan and restart the next day. There’s no failure if you keep learning, improvising and you persist. The only failure is when you give up.

Do share with everyone on your progress. Let’s use the comments as a forum to update each other and keep each other going. I’ll be updating my progress via the comments as well, and will only use blog posting as part of a bigger update (e.g. mid-week or Week 1 update).

Those who are interested to join, you can still do so. Post your intention, habits you are going to cultivate and your plan in the original 21-Day Lifestyle Revamp Program.

  • http://www.rahakool.ee Janar Eit

    Hey Celes!

    Great posts and superb blog! I cant quit reading:)

    I have been in trap of going to bed very late for long time already. Usually not earlier than 1am or so.
    I got a lot of inspiration from this post and I will set up a timeplan for myself.

    Waiting for your next posts:)

    Greetings from Europe, Estonia!

  • http://alexi788.skyrock.com Alexis

    Got up at 6, meditated, done my homework and practiced my soccer all this done with enthusiasm… Got up right when the alarm rang so that’s cool… Now I know why it feels good to get up early : I can do better in the morning when I’m rested, than at night after all the hard work and when I’m full of “mental clutter”. It’s logical after all :)

    PS: I think we’re going to learn many things during the 20 days to go

    Did anyone fail their first day?

  • http://www.personal-success-factors.com Stephen Borgman

    Hi, Celes! I started out slowly, with my zen cleaning. I completed only 1 of 3 days, so I’ve got a way to go. And tonight I am working some long hours, but I think I may be able to fit in my 15 minutes tonight, since I feel like there are other people with me on this journey of change :)

    • Celes

      Hey Steve, great to hear that! :D You might find it helpful to plan your day in detail before you start it – that way you’ll know beforehand whether you’re going to have time or not for those 15 minutes. And if not, you can then plan ahead and slot it in. Typically I find that when I say I’ll do the task if I have time later, it usually gets pushed back because “having free time” pretty much never happens unless we make way for it. I started planning (right down to the timing) yesterday and it really helped me keep on schedule. It gives me the bigger picture, so that for the rest of the day I can just focus on getting them done.

  • http://forevafit.com mary

    I did well on my raw food diet. I had today off from work so I was able to food shop for the new diet. Breakfast and Lunch were raw and dinner was half raw… spinach salad and Lasagna :)…. It’s not possible for me to go 100% yet but that’s ok. No need to stress about it, right? :)
    You did fantastic!!! Focus and planning for any mission is so important… Keep up the good work!
    Have a good day tomorrow!

  • Christina

    A few days late… But I want to post, so I can feel more committed to what I want to following through with my goals. I have two habits that I want to definitely work on- my sleep and my diet.

    1. My sleep schedule. I tried to start a 21 day commitment to change my horrible habit of staying up as late as I possibly can and sleeping in as late as I possibly can. I tried for a few days and fell back into my rut. MY GOAL: Wake up no later than 5:30 (and I feel like the time I decide to go to bed will adjust accordingly).

    2. Get back to counting my calories. I want to go back to a calorie restricted optimal nutrition diet (aka CRON diet). MY GOAL: Do not surpass 1200 calories. Note: This diet has received a lot of criticism. However, it is very healthy and beneficial, if you can get all or your vitamins and minerals through whole foods. (There is even CRON-ometer that you can download to keep track of everything, including your omegas!!)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/blog/ Celes

      Fantastic, Christina! :D Thanks for sharing your goals here. On your sleeping schedule, have you identified what were the reasons that prevented you from sticking to the new sleeping/waking routine? The problems that cropped up the last time will crop up again as you try to make the change. If you know what you’re up against, you can then deal with it accordingly and succeed this time round :)

  • http://personalexcellence.co/blog/ Celes

    Hey guys, Day 2 for me now and it’s 7pm as I’m typing this. I’m at a restaurant and I just finished my dinner (salad, as part of raw vegan diet trial). I’m heading home after I finish this comment. :D

    It’s only day 2 but I already feel like this is a part of my natural lifestyle now. Following with the habits is like autopilot now – I think a large credit goes to planning my day in advance, right now to the specific timings to follow. I highly recommend all of you do this if you have trouble keeping to your plan. Another thing that really helps is waking up at 5am. That really sets the pace and tone for the whole day.

    * Quadrant 2 is part of the time management matrix. I wrote about this in detail: http://personalexcellence.co/blog/put-first-things-first/

    I believe the real test for this lifestyle revamp comes during days when Q1 tasks come in floodgates – This typically happens a few times a week for me, up to every day on the hectic weeks. Changing how we react to these “fires” and allocating time in advance to fight the fires will be key to keeping the new lifestyle intact.

  • Celes

    Day 3 now and same review for Days 1-2 :) I feel fantastic and it’s like everything is on autopilot. In fact, it feels so natural and easy that it’s oddly strange! I’m just typing this before I go to sleep to give everyone a quick update.

    Across these 3 days, I was able to do all habits (including raw diet) except getting the book habit to stick. As I looked further, I realized why – it’s not my priority project at this moment. Workshop design/TSOPE management is my key focus now, and it’s disruptive to toggle with a separate project where there’s currently no synergy. I think this 21-day mega challenge is proving to be very revealing for me, as it helped me make my priorities more congruent so I can channel my energy better. Because of that, I’ll be dropping the book writing habit and upping my workshops habit to at least 4 hours / day.

    I’ll post an update post to report on general trends/findings to date.

    Feel free to share your updates too!

  • http://alexi788.skyrock.com Alexis

    Day 3
    The habits are quite easy to continue, except that it’s really tiring to get up at 6 in the morning when sunday I got up at 9.30 but I’ll adapt to my new waking time in a few days… I might take a few naps on sunday afternoon if I’m too tired. I’ve done everything on my habit list, I think the days where the risk of procrastination will be the highest will be on day 10 and day 11 since I’ll be half through the trial and the first time I failed a 30 day trial was on day 15 after one or two days off (all after day 10) , I think the goal was too big for me..