Sanjeev Kotnala: 101 days to the new year! Fire second cylinder on September 22… take the 100-day challenge

21 Sep,2016

By Sanjeev Kotnala


Let me take you back to the night of December 31, 2015 and January 1, 2016. You are most likely with friends enjoying the moment. You have plans and determination in your eyes. There are resolutions you have so cleverly crafted to leave no escape route open. You are after all a highly determined person. You know and you tell yourself, the first few days are tough. It takes 21 days to break a habit. It is this year of never. I must do. I will do. A few hours alter in the afternoon of the very first day; the urges surface, and the hard determination starts crumbling. Soon, in a week’s time, the regular template life makes a backdoor entry. The belief remains but inertia creeps in.


It is natural. After all, you are a human being. This is a phenomenon that is perfectly normal and richly documented. You soon post-rationalised your lapse and rescheduled your commitment to a date and day, that will never come.


It is fun until the time you meet someone who has kept the promises made to self. You admire and you kick yourself. I understand the commitment demonstrated by that friend is more painful than the lapsed plans of you. Such encounters have the capacity to create a minor blip in self-esteem; you are the wounded tiger with caged dreams. You make a halfhearted bid for glory, fully aware that you will fail again.


A year is a long period of time. Mentally, you are not prepared for it. You are part of a generation that wants to do things fast. You know the importance of speed of thought and implementation. You want instant gratification and appreciation that are not faked.



Here is that day, when you can give yourself a second cylinder charge. Rekindle your passion and go for it. Re-map your dream and take the 101-day charge. Ensure that on Jan 1, 2017 when you wake up, you don’t joke about resolutions are meant to be broken, but have self-confidence to pull through the demands you will be making on self.



Re-look at what you want to do. Pick ONE, only one thing. Keep the focus. Do not dilute your efforts. Do not overburden yourself. Do not create barriers and reasons for failure. Think of what all you can do to facilitate your success.

Break the challenge into a manageable, meaningful and measureable unit of performance. Don’t look too far in the horizon. Set up a reward system for yourself. Success must be enjoyed. This reward must be something that is more important than the challenge itself. And set up yourself for a harsh penalty, a major negative deterrent, which will stop you from failing in your commitment.



So, you are ready to try this challenge, and you are willing to sacrifice few things to be the winner. You have a problem. You are not sure, what you should aim for. What is that will be fulfilling enough? What that will inspire you later. What you can set up as a demonstration that 100-day challenge works?

Here are few possible examples. I am sure you will find something better than these, which is in sync with your dreams and lifestyle.

Write a 100-day story. Or even 100 articles. Meet 100 new people for one-on-one. Appreciate 100 people for their expertise. Sing in the shower for 100 days. Visit 100 friends. Delete 100 connections on Facebook, one connection at a time. So wicked. Visit 100 religious places in your city, the big or small, it does not matter. Look at 100 successful people’s life sketch and get your learning. Deep-dive into your life, get ready for autobiographical learning, relive 100 moments and decipher what they meant to you, take 100 photos, Break 100 patterns that are part of your life. Volunteer 100 hours of community service. Execute that award-winning creative idea that you failed to find sponsors last year.

It is not to do something that you were anyway doing. For example, you should decide to share 100 motivational quote on your Tweet or Facebook, only if you were not already doing it. The 101-day challenge becomes interesting when you take something new and challenging. When you plan to break or create a passion or habit.



Yes, a public announcement helps. Request them to help you to live your challenge. Make this set your influencers and watch keeper. Report to them. Talk to them about your challenge.

Record your journey with a hastag #100daysof…….. on Twitter or Instagram. Give yourself small rewards during the period, say on 25th, 50th and 75th day. And then on the night of 31st December 2016, take a deep breath, compliment yourself and make a new beginning with a far more robust and aligned 100-day challenge.


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