I sat by my desk today afternoon, browsing through my external hard disk looking for some videos that I created last year. I have a folder called “Youtube Videos 2021/2022” where I had collected all the videos from my #97DayChallenge, a challenge I took up last year on my birthday.
Incase you don’t know what that is, the #97DayChallenge was a challenge where I had to create a video everyday for 97 days, starting on my birthday, July 7th 2020. You might be wondering why the number 97. I have been asked this question a couple of times, why 97 and why not 100? Wouldn’t 100 just be simpler?
My logic to this challenge was that I wanted to make it personal to me. And thus it had to have a personal touch for me to be inspired by it even more. 97 was the closest number to 100 that was a prime number and also totalled up to a 7 (9+7=16 , 1+6=7). Since my birthday is on July 7th, that is 7/7 , this number 7 just feels close to my heart. So a challenge had to be just that.
Anyway, I was looking at my videos from last year and I was absolutely amazed at the quality of these videos. Everything right from choreography to costume to video shooting and editing, all done in a span of 1-10 hours per video, most of which were averaging around 4 hours in total per video.
Did I ever think I could create videos so fast and so efficiently, and actually stick to it consistently for 97 full videos?
I really don’t think so.
I am pretty much an over thinker so everything for me goes through a phase of “analysis paralysis” before progress happens.
How then did I manage to overcome this very state of overthinking and create such beautiful videos?
I had read the book Atomic Habits last year before I started this challenge, and since this is the beginning of 2022, it felt only justified that I get the kindle version of this book and re-read this for inspiration.
A few things that made this challenge work the way it worked.
- It was only effort driven, not output driven – Why this challenge worked for me was because my only job was to show up, create a video, and that was it. I didn’t have to worry too much about whether the video was good or whether the quality was upto my expectations. Naturally as humans we do think of these things while uploading a video on Instagram on any social media, but the focus was only to make one video. And that helped me so much because this challenge rewarded for the effort of showing up to make a video, rather than how the final output looked like.
- It was difficult enough to feel like a real challenge, but was not so difficult that I couldn’t just start – I had made videos before so I knew I could definitely make at least 10 videos somehow without getting out of ideas. I really did not know if I could have 97 ideas, but that was the beauty of this challenge.
- The challenge did not involve unknowns – Since I was shooting, choreographing, creating costumes, performing and editing my own videos, everything was in my control. The challenge did not involve other people and thus made it easier for me to determine the fate of this challenge.
- This challenge made me feel REALLY accomplished once I was done – This is the 97th video of the #97DayChallenge. And I cried once I edited this. Just tears of joy. Of feeling proud of myself for having accomplished something I had put my mind and soul and heart to.
This challenge was more than just a habit forming exercise. It helped me believe in my own word.
It is the year 2022 and I’m going to use this #97DayChallenge as a guideline to create a new challenge for me soon. I still don’t know what it is yet but I’m absolutely ready for whatever it is. For I know that I will put my absolute heart and soul into making this happen.
Happy new year everyone! To a new year of more such experiences that fill our hearts with joy and belief in ourselves.