Let’s create simple steps towards our goals in the midst of all the end-of-year craziness! The #75Simple challenge was created from messages of people overtired and overworked from the school day and behaviors and needing a way to still feel in control of ourselves and take effective steps towards our goals. Here we are.
End of School Year Reset; The #75Simple Challenge Transcript
Have you ever heard about the 75 Hard Challenge, where it’s like this whole mental-physical-toughness? You do two 45 minute workouts a day. One has to be outside no matter the weather. You follow a diet, drink all of the water on planet Earth, journal and meditate. There’s a lot of different things that go into it.
Well, I’ve considered doing a 75 Hard for literally years. And I thought, you know what, now’s my chance. I want to make the end of this school year into something. But you know what? This school year has already been more than 75 days of hard. I would rather make small simple improvements towards the end of the school year going into summer.
So I am proposing the #75Simple. And I want to walk you through how you can set up and create your own #75Simple Challenge to really help improve how you feel and what you’re doing. Make you feel like you’re moving back towards those goals that we’ve been setting, and just feel like you’re kicking butt…all easing into the summer.
We are also going to have a spring cleaning series that is going to be coming up on Sunday, and moving us through most of the month of April. So I hope that you are looking forward to that.
We’re going to have a lot of cleaning to do because if your house is anything like mine, the weather changes have my kids destroying everything.
But let’s get back to this idea of #75Simple. We’ve talked a lot about how to set goals. How to set intentions and priorities and make sure that they fit the season that we’re in.
For a #75Simple Challenge, it’s going to be 75 days. And I’m also saying that if you have a longer school year, make this just 75 school days. Give yourself the weekend. But during the school days, we’re going to have a list of things that we’re trying to accomplish.
Instead of doing big monumental feeling things (like an hour and a half of working out or drinking three gallons of water), we want to create simple steps that can turn into habits. Habits we don’t even have to think about come summertime.
Choose Three Areas of Growth
I want you to think about the three areas of your life that you want to see growth in. If you go back to January, we talked all about trying to decide what types of areas of your life you wanted to focus on in the year. So you can take one of those, or maybe because things have changed (we are all the way into the end of March now), maybe your priorities have shifted, and you want to change it to a different focus area.
Whatever they are, write those down on a piece of paper, or in your brain if you’re driving or walking. Think of the three different areas you want to focus on.
The three areas that I’ve decided I want to focus on are: health, family time, and also simplifying my life even more. It’s constant, always trying to simplify things down. But I’m talking a lot about things now. I specifically need help getting all the toys under control.
Create Small Steps Towards Your Goals
Once you have your three areas, then I want you to create three to four of literally the smallest steps you could possibly take towards those goals each day. If you remember from the last episode where we talked about Part Four of Essentialism, you want minimum viable progress. The smallest step that literally still says, Hey, I’m working on that goal.
Now to show you what this looks like… I actually just deleted and I’m recording this whole section of the podcast because I originally said that my minimum viable progress for simplifying my house is cleaning off my counters every night. Nope, that is a big task. That is too big. I want you to think tiny.
So instead of cleaning off my counters every night, it’s going to be bringing my lunchbox in from the car. Which sounds like literally the smallest little problem, but it is a problem that I have. I don’t bring it in from the car.
My car starts getting cluttered with lunchboxes and coffee cups, and then I have to clean it all out the next morning as I’m rushing out the door.
So to simplify my life, I am simply going to bring the lunchbox in and put it on the counter, and I’m not cleaning the counter. Cleaning the counter is too big. Bringing a lunchbox in from the car is perfectly simple enough.
The same thing can go with things like health. Now for me, I already know that one of the health things I’m going to do is to only drink water. That means cutting out caffeine of any sort, which is a challenge and it’s maybe not the most simple, but I actually know that my body is literally begging for this right now. So I am only drinking water.
But if you wanted the minimal health step that you can take, it could just be parking a couple rows back in the school parking lot. Giving yourself just an extra 20 seconds outside. It doesn’t take a whole lot of extra thought or time, it’s minimal, but is literally a step in the right direction.
So whatever goal you think you have, you really need to try to make it even easier. So easy, the most easy. And if you think it might still be a little difficult, it’s too big. We’re calling this #75Simple for a reason.
Picking Five Small Steps
Once you have three to four of these smallest, itsy-bitsy steps that you could take in each of the three major focus areas that you want, then look at that whole list. You should have 9 to 12 things. Pick five. Five things that you know are so small, and so doable, that you can complete them even on the absolute worst day you’ve ever had.
Can you bring the lunchbox in from the car? Can you make sure that you put on real pajamas? What can you for sure do on each of those worst days, but still feel like progress? That is your #75Simple. You’re going to do those five things for 75 days, or 75 school days, whichever one you prefer.
But that’s not the end of it. To make sure that you’re successful, you’re gonna need a tracker. Because if you don’t measure it, and you don’t track it, it doesn’t matter. It’s a mindset that we have to take on that it is worthwhile to track these things.
I am actually going to include a couple sets of trackers as a download here. If you want to head over there, it’ll take you to a page where you can enter your email and I will send the file straight to you.
Also, if you follow the Simple Systems with Sam Podcast on Instagram, I will have a story highlight created with Instagram story screenshots that you can take so that you can track your progress that way.
Make a Promise to Yourself
The last step is you just need to make a promise to yourself to complete them. If you’re like me, where sometimes in the past, you’ve really struggled to feel like you can rely on the things you tell yourself. Sometimes you fall out of integrity with yourself, especially on those harder, more stressful days. Doing these simple things, and telling yourself that you’re going to accomplish them, is actually helping to build that mental toughness where your brain knows that it can rely on you again to be able to do what you say.
That is something that I had lost for probably a year and a half. I’m still working on gaining that trust with myself back. And just making sure that I’m always following through on the things that I say I’m going to do. I’m intentionally making choices to do these small things, promising myself out loud that I’m going to do them. And then when I follow through, man, the success feels even sweeter.
If you plan on following along, please go ahead and tag me on instagram either @simplesystemswithsampodcast or @engineerdoeseducation. I am actually really pumped about this.
I will share what my final five are. If you saw my Instagram stories a few days ago, a lot of people responded to me saying oh, that’s a lot! I did have seven I think. I need to cut it back. But we can do this, and we can do this together. So I am hoping that you will follow along with me and we can make this part of our simple system just in time for summer. Until next time.
If you missed the last post, visit the link below:
47. Essentialism Book Summary, Part 4 – Execution
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Keywords: simple, simplify, tracker, progress, steps, challenge, goals, systems