There is just something completely warped about dressing rooms, am I right? The lighting is set to make a gal look like an extra for the movie Casper, with pasty dry skin and dark blue circles under the eyes. Plus, where do they snag these mirrors that completely distort one’s thighs to resemble bathroom mats. This can’t be me, can it?
I stared at the reflection in the dim dressing room, holding a pair of jeans that didn’t fit over my bathroom mat thighs. This woman was mimicking my moves but her hair was dry and thin with patchy, colorless skin. Holy Toledo, I thought. This woman is me—or at least the shell of who I was.
Somehow after our twins, the Gillies, made their arrival early at 27 weeks, and following the months in the NICU as well as multiple hospital stays afterwards, this was me. I was literally being held together by Jesus and a whole lot of dry shampoo and fueled by coffee.
Let’s just say in that particular season of my life I felt like the term, “hot mess mom.” And the reflection staring back at me would have to agree.
I remember just crying, hard.
Not the pretty cry where tears magically stream down your face yet you still look put together. This was the other type of sobbing known as the ugly cry. You most likely have been there as well. The type of tears that pour from your bloodshot eyeballs, causing your nose to run and your face to sprout red splotches.
I was crying for so many reasons, it just hurt on the inside. I was crying because the hubster and I had spent almost a hundred days in the NICU with the Gillies fighting for their lives, and now my reflection looked like the ghost of Christmas past staring at me. How ridiculously horrible was I? The next day we were about to celebrate the Gillies turning one year old, and here I was sobbing hysterically while the hubster was trying to find me a pair of pants to cram all of me into.
Literally a hot mess.
It was in this blubbering moment of my life, the hubster opened the dressing room door with a stack of blue jeans of all different sizes. He looked at me and whispered to the Gillies who were nestled in their double stroller, “Look how beautiful your mama looks today.”
Ugh. Insert another round of waterworks along with all the feelings in that particular moment that just came pouring out. How I knew my heart should be celebrating the twins’ life—and it was—but I didn’t recognize myself anymore. How I knew I should be grateful for that moment we’d fought so hard to get to, but….
The hubster placed a finger on my lips and gave me some tough love along with an idea.
I’ll spare you all the mushy talk, but here’s the main takeaway. He casually mentioned I should focus on simply doing one percent better each day—just one percent. Just not today and not tomorrow, but after the Gillies’ birthday celebration.
For a person with a “Go BIG or Go HOME” attitude, this was hard for me to accept—both the delay in starting and the seemingly slow pace of one percent each day.
But, I purchased a pair of bedazzled jeans and headed home with my head finally at peace. We celebrated the Gillies’ first birthday and had professional photos taken to commemorate the day. I wore my bedazzled jeans, ate cake, and smiled so much that day my cheeks hurt.
Then the following day, I set my plan into action. The plan was to focus on being one percent better for one hundred consecutive days. Just one. If I focused on simply being one percent better each day, over time I would be doing 100 percent better than today. And how great would that feel, right? If you did the math, one percent each day for a hundred days would compound over time and total well better than 100 percent. But, let’s not do math, shall we?
Throughout my book, I share habits I have developed over the past five years. The habits were born from trial and error. Some of them I picked up from attending live conferences like Brendon Bruchard’s High Performance Academy or Chalene Johnson’s Market Impact Academy. *Excuse me as I pick up the names I dropped.* Others are from books, which I tweaked to fit into my lifestyle.
But here’s the thing—these hacks aren’t designed just to get you to fit into a pair of jeans. Nope. There’s more to life than wearing bedazzled jeans with a certain number on the tag. The ghost staring back at me in the mirror wasn’t just about a number. I had lost taking care of myself. I had lost who I was and had become a shell of the person I used to be.
This journey started as a way for me to climb back into her, a woman who was vibrant and energized. A woman whose skin was full of life and color. A woman who could form a complete sentence without having to rely on caffeine. A woman who carved out time for activities she found enjoyable and that breathed life into her.
This idea of a hundred days of being one percent better was simply a way for me to start focusing on taking care of me. Shouldn’t taking care of yourself be a no brainer?
If you are wondering where to start in whatever journey you are on, let me share with you this small piece of advice which helped me - drop the "Go big or Go home" mentality and just focus on simply doing 1% better each and every day. Just one.
Grit + Gumption,
PS. There's a FREE community where the focus will be on doing just ONE PERCENT better every single day! Whether you choose to focus on business tasks, building relationships, creating more adventures in your day, solidifying your morning or night time routine, following a nutritional plan or learning a new skill... WHATEVER it is, we are here to motivate one another to keep taking action. Follow this link to join us: Just 1% Better Community