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Lessons From The Last 90 Days Challenge (Even Though I Failed)

What happens when you commit to be the very best version of yourself for 90 days? Well, I wouldn’t know to be honest. However, I did learn a few things along the way of my failed attempt.

The Last 90 Days Challenge is hosted by Rachel and Dave Hollis. The idea of the challenge is to spend the last 90 days of the year with the same ambition and fire as you do the first 90 days of a new year.

Each week is focused around a certain theme that they discuss further on Instagram, and Facebook, live every weekday morning. Your daily task is to complete what is known as the Five To Thrive, wake up an hour early, workout for 30 minutes, drink half your body weight in ounces of water, give up a certain food and practice gratitude.  The next step is to do the Start Today practice. You can find out more by listening to this podcast.

Lessons From The Last 90 Days Challenge (Even Though I Failed)

1. No amount of planning can get your heart ready for action.

I bought a notebook, I planned my course of action, and I even set up my notebook for a full month in advance. On paper, this looks like a fool-proof path to success. So why did I fail? I didn’t know the answer to this question at first. The more I thought about it, the more I came to this conclusion. My heart just wasn’t into it. It couldn’t have been. 

If it was I would have chugged water as often as I could, I wouldn’t have pressed snooze when my alarm went off each morning, and I definitely wouldn’t have given in to temptation so easily. No amount of planning can determine my actions if I lead with my head. I should have led with my heart this whole time.

2. I need to re-evaluate my why, and make it stronger.

“Know your why.” This is vital before starting anything, whether it be a business, a degree, and even a weight loss journey. I thought I knew my why, but it’s not enough to just know your why. It’s got to be a strong why. I lost sight of this. 

If my why was a lot more compelling than just “to be healthier,” maybe things would have been different. That why would have gotten me through the mornings where I couldn’t bear the thought of getting up before the sun. It would have helped me avoid temptation and not buy that bag of candy when I was supposed to be giving up candy in November. Now that I know better I will be crafting a new why to set the tone for this year. Are you wanting to create your own why? Check out this article to get started.

3. Excuses are a trap.

I could write a whole paragraph about what went wrong and why I failed the challenge because of it, but when it comes down to it, they are just excuses. The thing about excuses is that when you make one you open the door for a whole flood of them.

My biggest excuse during this time was that I was sick. I had migraines every day for about three weeks and ended 2019 with a cold. I was fully convinced that being sick was the one excuse that wasn’t really an excuse. If you are sick you are sick, right?

Then Rachel posted this video and it changed my perspective. If she can push past sickness and do what needs to be done, then why can’t I? It’s time to stop hiding behind my excuses. I am done with that this year.

4. The biggest thing I gained? My Word of the Year for 2020

I was journaling my frustration with myself about a few weeks ago. One of the phrases that stuck out to me while I was writing was “I want to be more intentional…” I couldn’t stop thinking about that phrase, so I decided to make intentional my word of the year in 2020.

What does this mean? It means that instead of writing my goals and putting them away, I will actively pursue them. I bought a bracelet with the word Intentional on it to wear all year. Each time I grab junk food I’ll look at that bracelet and rethink my decision. At the end of each day, I will self-reflect. I will determine what I did to get closer to my goals and what did I do that took me further from my goals. I am not messing around in 2020. 

I’m not proud of how I finished this Last 90 Days Challenge, but I’m not going to dwell on it. Instead, I’m going to take what I have learned and apply it to the new year. I’m going to treat every 90 days like it’s the last 90 days of the year. That way when it comes time to sign up for this challenge again, I’ll be ready. 

Did you take part in the Last 90 Days Challenge? What did you learn while participating?

About the Author

Kelly Clark

Kelly graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Even though it took her a little while to find her career path, she was always meant to be in Communications. She remembers writing poems and songs when she was a little girl and pitching to my parents the reasons why I should have a cell phone when I was a teenager. She currently has a blog ( where she talks about her weight-loss journey, mental health and personal development. Her hope is to encourage and inspire readers and let them know they are not alone. Reading blog posts like that are what helped her in tough times and she wants to pay it forward. She loves dance fitness, listening to music, and creating layouts in her bullet journal. She's a big fan of planning, especially when cute notebooks and pens are involved. Her dream job has changed so much over the years; right now she'd love to co-own a dance studio.