The 100 Day Challenge
“Vitality is a choice”
One of my most often repeated statements remains ‘Vitality is a choice’. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, we make choices every single minute of every single day. Choices for our careers, for our private time, for our families and yes for our own vitality. Most of us know that if we’re going to be strong, effective leaders, we need to feel our best. Unfortunately, there is often a lag between what we know and what we actually do. We know this, we understand that this body, this vessel that carries us is the only one we have, but we also get sidetracked by all those other things that also seem important. We forget that if we don’t manage and maintain good health, everything else becomes irrelevant. If we don’t feel well, there are few other things in life that will bring us joy and meaning. We need to protect our health and make maintaining a healthy mind, body and yes, spirit, a priority. Don’t forget also that just because there may be no symptoms of disease, doesn’t guarantee that you have a healthy body. The best way to maintaing a healthy body is through challenging yourself. That’s why I recommend the 100 day challenge.
I learned the importance of maintaining a healthy body during my years playing hockey. What I didn’t always learn then, was that energy is more than just a fit body. Vitality and energy come from the balance of what we eat and what we do for ourselves. That includes both exercise as well as those things that feed our spirit and our sense of self. Understanding that, and living that, I build what I call ‘The 100 Day Challenge’ into almost every single one of my trainings, because I believe it is so very, very important. We cannot manage time, we can only manage our energy, and to do that we have to have an understanding of the many factors that contribute to living a healthy, vital life.
These are the recommendations for the next 100 days, or for a lifetime, if you make the choice to increase your vitality. People who take full responsibility for their life and create a vision, quite often take full responsibility for their health and vitality as well. It is aligned with their vision and values. This is a very quick overview of what that 100-day challenge looks like, but if anyone is interested in going deeper, think about coming to one of my workshops or camps!
The 10 steps of the 100 day challenge
1. F.I.T.T. Principle
This asks us to do some type of aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week keeping your heart rate at 120-140 beats per minute for twenty minutes.
2. The 4-minute workout – strengthening your core
Do four minutes per day of stomach crunches/sit-ups combined with back extensions and the plank. This needs to become a daily routine.
3. W3 – Water, Walking, Wine
Drink 2-3 liters of water per day. Walk after meals to increase metabolism and fat burning 2-3 times a week. Drink 1-2 glasses of good red wine per day.
4. Nutrition and ‘The Zone’ by Dr. Barry Sears
Increase fruit and vegetables, find the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats: 40-30-30 ratio. Read ‘The Zone’ by Dr. Barry Sears.
5. Vitamins and supplements
Find a good source of Omega-3 fish oil. Take 1-2g/day. 1g of vitamin C should also be part of your daily routine.
6. Immune system
Research shows that 140-240 minutes per week of aerobic activity has an impact on the immune system. Try to increase your weekly movement to this amount.
7. Strength training
Muscle burns fat, the best bang for your buck exercises are push-ups and pull-ups. Do daily push-ups. Use the formula: 80 minus your age to determine how many push-ups you should be able to do.
8. Mental fitness, mental training…reading
Find time for relaxation exercises and practice visualizing your picture of success twice weekly.
9. Time for self
Do things you love to do and, if you are an introvert, find time to be alone. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking time to do those things that truly feed your spirit and make you feel alive. Whatever that is for you, make time to ensure you do it at some point each and every week.
Become a Life Long Learner. Continually challenge your mind and your body to learn new things. Widen your knowledge base. Explore other points of view. Never stop being a student of life.
11. The Last 4 Minutes (4-minute prep)
Use those last 4 minutes, before you enter your home at the end of the day, to clear all that happened during the day from your head. Make sure that when you walk in the door of your home, you are fully there, open and available to the family that has been waiting to spend time with you all day. Don’t carry the headaches or the problems of the office with you. Know what is most important, and focus on that. You’ll be amazed at what that 4-minute ritual can do to impact the quality of your relationships with your wife, your partner or your children.