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Guru Ji 21 Day Fitness Challenge


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Rules of the 21-Day Trial

There is only one simple rule of this trial. You must perform the activity every day, without fail, for 21 days. If you slip before the trial is up, you need to start over from day one.

Why? Firstly, breaking the habit for one day will affect your experience of the activity, which subsequently clouds your findings. As mentioned above, it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. If you want to do this, do it well and do it right! Secondly, when we tell ourselves that we can just skip a day or two, this creates a new habit of skipping a day or two every few days. This normalizes bad behavior and makes it difficult for us to commit to simple goals.

The success of the trial is measured by your ability to stick with the activity for 21 consecutive days, which means you would have developed it into a habit by then. Your conclusions on whether to continue the habit depend on whether you think you are better off with or without this habit.

1. Research

Spend some time learning about the habit first. Learn the common barriers people face when adopting this habit and the key things you should watch out for. Craft your strategy and create an action plan to counter those issues so that you will not be like a deer caught in the headlights when you face these issues later. Having a proper plan increases your success rate significantly.

2. Try the activity for a couple of days before the trial

This lets you get the hang of what it is like and prepare for what’s up ahead for the 21 days.

3. Spend a day or two to mentally prepare yourself before the trial

Mentally prepare yourself for the 21 days ahead to set you in the right mood for success. During this time, you can either (1) pick up the activity in a small way, to create momentum, or (2) do the complete opposite of what you need to do to create a propelling force.

For example, before I went on a raw vegan trial, I spent the evening before eating whatever cooked food I had some craving. This was to kill off the last remnants of attachment I had with cooked food so that I could embark on the trial without any distractions. It worked out great — I got really sick of cooked food that evening and went into my raw vegan experiment easily. It was only towards the end of the first week when my cravings for cooked food started kicking in, but by then I was already raw for a week and the momentum to continue the habit was already in place, so I eventually finished the 21-day trial successfully.

4. Track your progress for the 21 days

Chart the 21 days on a large piece of paper on your wall, a whiteboard, or somewhere where you can see it. This needs to be in a place that is constantly in your line of vision so that you are always reminded to stick to the trial. When you successfully finish a day, cross it out on your chart. This creates instant gratification for your hard work and pushes you to do the same the next day.

5. One at a time

When doing the 21-day trial, make sure you don’t stretch yourself thin. I often tell my clients it’s best to focus on one goal at a time to reap the most reward. When you have the foundations for the first goal in place, you can then move to the next one. When you have integrated the second goal into your schedule, you can then work on the third goal. And the fourth goal. Etc. Only work on multiple new goals at a time if you have the capacity to handle them. It is pointless to try all your goals at once if you have not developed the capacity to handle them — everything will crumble. Slow progress is better than no progress.

6. Write out affirmations

Write out positive affirmations for your habit and stick them in a prominent place. The affirmations should be written in a way that suggests that you are already doing the habit now. For example, if you are planning to wake up at 6 am, write the affirmation as “I wake up at 6 am every day,” and not “I am going to wake up at 6 am every day.” The former sends the signal to your subconsciousness that you ARE already doing this now and it reinforces a successful 21 days ahead.

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