The 90 day challenge

Earlier this month, a close girl friend from my former life in San Francisco gave me a call. Lori is the kind of friend who will be there to party, dance and laugh her face off with you all night. Something I really treasure about our friendship, though, is that she’ll happily trade all of that in for one deep conversation.

Given all the changes happening with me lately, and the constant adventures in travel and leisure that fill Lori’s life, we had a lot to catch up on. This call was a little different than I imagined, however. She had one simple favor to ask of me: Will you hold me accountable?

“I want to write and publish a book this summer. I’ve never written a book, and I’m really nervous, but I believe in the message and impact it will have.”

How brave, I thought. She’s tackling this intimidating, inspiring goal and bringing me in to keep her honest. Reaching out to friends to share your passions and enlist them for support might be one of the most flattering ways to show how much you value them. It also demonstrates how much you value your own dreams.

Lately, I’ve had a tough time holding myself accountable.

I’ve been telling myself for weeks now that I’m going to start a painting. The same painting I need to submit to a gallery opening at the end of THIS MONTHYet, I’ve found every excuse for not starting it.

Writing has been tougher than ever lately.

If you’re a fan of my Weekly Top Five, you may have noticed my complete lack of a post last Wednesday.

I’ve been staying up late. Drinking with friends. Choosing TV, happy hours, and general laziness over reading, writing, and honey badgering through my ever-growing to-do lists.

Seriously, how many episodes of Arrested Development and Always Sunny in Philadelphia do I have to watch before I’ve hit my couch-potato quota? (I’ll tell you how many episodes of the Bachelorette it took: one. I’m officially done with any and all shows with ‘Bachelor’ anywhere in the title.)

It’s only the beginning of summer, and I’m already losing focus of why I came to Portland in the first place. It’s not just to have fun and do whatever I want. It’s to design a nourishing, fulfilling life with a positive social impact.

Months ago, I shared a couple of my lists of 5 things in 90 days via Instagram, and met with some impressive results. Here’s a new one to help get myself back on track:

  1. Complete 3 paintings – Unless I want to humiliate myself by showing up empty-handed to two art shows I applied for, this is a must.
  2. Go backpacking – I don’t know whether it’s Cheryl Strayed or the picturesque mountains I see in every direction, but I’m craving some one-on-one time with the wilderness.
  3. Guest post for 2 bloggers I admire.
  4. Run a lot. Thanks to my new writing gig with Examiner magazine, I’ll be doing a lot of this.
  5. Shirley Temple with a cherry on top – That’s right, my favorite holiday (4th of July) and three friends’ weddings are all right around the corner. Plus, it’s summer. I’m choosing the worst possible time to quit drinking. This is going to be a real challenge.

What will you tackle in the next 90 days? Let this post be an example of how I am holding myself accountable. And you, too, Lori :).

With courage, love and intensity,

Kristen

Photo credit: Anna Fischer / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

2 thoughts on “The 90 day challenge

  1. Yes! Go on with your bad self and quit drinking. I’m on board with you on that one. I’ve quit since I returned from my Arizona trip, and I feel so much better. I’m focused and cheerful and energetic and getting epic shit accomplished. Also, I feel much more stable and in control of my emotions.

    • Yes! It feels like the right choice, plus I’m actually looking forward to the challenge. I’m not sure I’ve ever attended a wedding since age 21 and NOT drank. So proud of you for doing the same. Our chat last week really provoked this decision, so thank you Rooms!

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