Let me get this out front and center: the number 4 is featured prominently in this edition of Bar Talk, so if that’s your lucky number then you’re in, well, luck.
Somehow or another, 2021 has gone by at a blistering pace, and here we are toeing the starting line of September, two thirds down and four months left in the year. I hope that this has been a productive, happy and prosperous year so far in all of the most meaningful areas to you. If that is the case, amazing for you and keep on keeping on!
On the other hand, if you find yourself in the vast camp of people wondering where the last eight months have gone since New Year’s Day, and why you have not progressed as far on this year’s to-do list as you would like: fear not!
Four months remaining in the year provides plenty of time to make changes, get results and show significant progress towards the goals you started off with in January. That said, it’s not going to happen magically by doing the exact same routine you have been doing the last eight months of 2021. Having a specific strategy that’s easy to remember and stick with will be the secret weapon that will help you close out this year feeling like you’ve made big strides towards becoming the best version of yourself that you’ve always envisioned.
Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it.
The BAR40 4-Day Challenge is designed to provide you with a laser focus on one particular goal or priority in your life and locks in time each week dedicated to your pursuit of it. Specifically, the time is 40 minutes per day, 4 days per week.
I’ll pause here to point out that there are 1,440 minutes each day, and 40 minutes is less than 3 percent of our day. So before you let any thoughts of, “I don’t have an extra 40 minutes” sneak into your thinking, acknowledge that there are all sorts of non-productive, space-filling things most of us are doing every day that add up to a whole lot of time. Creating this 40-minute window of time for yourself in doing the BAR40 Challenge will mean reallocating some of the time you may not even realize you’re spending on other things. (According to Statista, the average time per day on social media is 145 minutes, so that would be an easy place to look to first when trying to find your spare 40 minutes. Facebook alone is a 58 minute daily average in the U.S. for adult users.)
While this goal can certainly be health or fitness-related if that’s your priority, nothing is stopping you from pursuing anything that is at the top of your list. For example:
- Learning a new skill
- Following your passion with a favorite hobby
- Learning a new instrument or language
- Finally getting your family tree project done
- Taking an online course
Details don’t matter as long as it’s an important goal to you and one that you would most want to see progress in.
Forty minutes a day, 4 days a week (160 minutes) adds up to 640 minutes every 4 weeks. That’s over 10 hours per month that you will be spending on a passion of yours that you are not doing right now. If you choose to do the BAR40 Challenge for the rest of 2021, that will end up providing you with a little over 45 hours spent in the pursuit of a top priority in your life. Think about that for a moment; that equates to you spending an entire work week worth of time doing the one thing you consider to be the highest priority in your life! It almost sounds too good to be true, like a free week you didn’t expect to get.
It’s the power of compounding; small growth on top of slight growth. Albert Einstein called compound interest the eighth wonder of the world, and said of it, “he who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t it, pays it.”
This BAR40 4-Day Challenge allows you to earn compound interest on your results and effort. If you stick with the plan, you will have fast proof at the end of 2021. One way or the other, the next four months will go by very quickly. The only question is how you choose to spend yours.
If you decide to do the BAR40 Challenge I highly recommend getting into the weekend habit (or the start of your week depending on your work schedule) of looking at your calendar for each coming week and scheduling those 40 minute appointments with yourself. Do that any time that is most convenient for you and most easy to stick with…5 a.m. or 5 p.m., the time doesn’t matter as long as it works for you. When you make those commitments to yourself, treat them like you would any other scheduled appointment of significance, as in, not something you casually cancel without good reason.
Also recommended is using a journal or even just a legal pad and writing down what you specifically would like to do at the start of the Challenge. What does success at the end of 2021 look like to you with progress towards your chosen priority?
Keep the SMART goal tips in mind: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-framed. Each week, write down your progress and keep some notes on how it’s going. You will be able to see in real time how effective this process is, and in a month’s time you’ll be able to look back at 4 weeks’ worth of notes and see the successes adding up.
As always, I welcome your feedback and enjoy hearing your success stories. Keep ‘em coming and here’s wishing you a fantastic 4 months of personal achievements!
Eric Bartosz is the founder of BAR40 and the author of the internationally acclaimed and bestselling book ‘BAR40: Achieving Personal Excellence.’ He lives in Center Valley with his wife Trish, daughter Riley and pug Piper, is an adjunct MBA professor at DeSales University and serves the community as an Upper Saucon firefighter, a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley and a local race organizer. Eric is a 20+ year runner and racer and can often be found logging miles on the Saucon Rail Trail.