This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Amazon. All opinions are 100% mine.
A little over a week ago I started a journey towards being my best self. Well, no. I have always strived to be my best self, but last week I committed to it armed with a plan thanks to the book Hell Week: Seven Days to be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen. The book is a 7-day, extreme plan to implement changes in your daily life that can help you achieve long-term professional and personal success. Life is too short to not be living it to the fullest as the best you that you can be.
Today is my first day on “the other side” of Hell Week. I have completed it and have come out on the other side a bit tired, but a whole heck of a lot more primed to live each day as my best self. The book is challenging because it forces you to really take a subjective look at yourself and the only way you can be successful is to be honest with yourself about where improvement is needed. But if you approach it with an open mind, I think you will find that it is actually a relief to take such a thorough self-assessment of yourself because while we all pretty much know our shortcomings, having an action plan to change them really is the hardest part.
For more information about Hell Week, and to get caught up on my experience with the book you should check out my first 2 posts here:
I tackled Hell Week by skimming it all the way through before I started so I had a basic outline of what to expect. Then, each evening, I would read the next chapter for that day. I would keep the book with me at all times so I could refer to back to what I was focusing on that day, remind myself of the daily rules and not forget the things I had already done. This meant that at any given time the book was in various locations throughout my house. I admit I even found it in the bathroom once or twice!
It was next to my bed a lot.
I found it helpful to document my experience daily as journal entries and I continued that habit past the mid week check-in. The remaining journal entries are below.
Journal entry – evening of day 5
Yesterday I stepped outside my comfort zone quite a bit. I confronted an issue one of my kids was having with another kid head-on instead of just letting it work itself out. Normally I would have avoided it altogether. (It wasn’t a serious issue, just kids being kids). I took a gravel road to the middle of nowhere on my bike and I made a doctor’s appointment for myself that isn’t covered by insurance but turned out to be quite helpful for me.
Today was for relaxation and reflection and I am definitely the type who under-relaxes. It’s a bad habit (day 1 tie-in) that I need to work on. I felt a strong sense of peace today for taking charge of my health and because of the efforts I have put in so far this week. I enjoyed lunch with my mom, some shopping and an evening out including dinner with my husband to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. It was a great day!
I did relax on the couch in front of the TV, but I did not turn the TV on!
Journal entry – evening of day 6
Today was about controlling my inner dialog and I did a great job! I had an amazing, positive day. I felt great all day, better than I have in a long time. I spent most of the day with my daughter at karate, then we went to lunch and went shopping. Came home for family dinner with my sister and parents and fell asleep with nothing but positive thoughts in my head.
Of course, I kept my copy of Hell Week with me on the treadmill as I worked out!
Journal entry – the other side
Day 7 was spent putting my life into perspective. It was Father’s Day and my husband spent the day doing what he loves – tinkering in the garage while I did a number of things that needed to get done. But what was interesting was that despite my contemplative state, I felt much more relaxed about my to-do list. I felt less stress about the things I have to do and was able to truly enjoy each moment. Except for the spider I found in my shoe. I did not actually enjoy that part, but I didn’t hate it either.
I keep my copy of Hell Week on my desk now to remind me every day to focus on being my best self.
I’m not going to lie to you. The other side of Hell Week is not some magical place where all of a sudden you are this perfect person.
But it is a place where I have found that I am making more conscious decisions to break bad habits. I am definitely managing my time better and not getting all bent out of shape when something outside my control throws a monkey wrench into my plans. I am more conscious of eating better. I am watching less television. I am working out more often. I am focusing on being more positive around my kids and making my time with them count. I am stepping outside of my comfort zone more often (or at least making plans to) and I definitely have much better control of my inner dialog and am keeping it quiet or positive. No negative nellies allowing rolling around in my head!
I am also making more conscious decisions about controlling my time spent on social media choosing to avoid it altogether for much of the day. I have been way more productive when I sit down to do something because I am focusing on one thing at a time (which was my greatest challenge) and I’m taking intentional time to relax and recharge (usually with my kids).
The other side of Hell Week finds me still a work in progress but life after Hell Week definitely has me looking at myself a little differently.
Hell Week is available on Amazon and would make a great gift for someone, or for yourself. Follow Erik Bertrand Larssen on Instagram (@erikbertrandlarssen) for Hell Week inspiration & motivation and follow the hashtag #hellweekchallenge as well.