Jack Skinner

Ramblings of a programmer

My #100days thing

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A little over 3 months ago I started doing a thing, every day, for 100days. No one knew what it was, when it was done or why I was doing it. Earlier this week, I finished & achieved that challenge; and here's why!

It’s been a year of up and ups, and yet more subtly its been a year many struggled with; myself included at times. A year that I watched friends burn out thought leaders leave the industry. In September I was touring for our partner conference, kicking off a number of internal projects as well as trying to wrap up my uni degree (at long last). Simply put I needed to step up to the challenge or face burning out and stepping out completely.

Over the past few months and years I’d watched many friends in tech burn out, change careers or simply disappear from the limelight due to burnout and I knew what was on the horizon. So, with the help of some twitter based peer pressure I started my #100days thing, to focus on my health every day, at least once a day, for 100 days.

For me, that meant returning to focus on my fitness. Getting the blood pumping is a fantastic way to clear the mind but its also an important way to improve the Serotonin and Dopamine levels in your brain. 100 days later and I’ve felt it have a HUGE impact in my life.

So for me that meant: - go for a run - walk to work (yup, simple, but hugely effective!) - swimming - I finally got back in the pool! - sneaky sit-up workouts in hotel rooms (because travel is no excuse!) - one token effort day a week (shush, it was my get out of jail free card for those 10 day weeks).

Importantly, its not a fitness challenge, but rather a reason to do something small but useful.

To the person who reminded me without fail every day to 'do thing’. Thank you.

To the many tweeps who’ve jested, joked, reminded and guilted me to do the thing, thank you!

For everyone that guessed if it was sit-ups (close!), swimming (close!), swinging from the chandelier drinking champagne (perhaps a little imaginative Keran!) and all the other non-publishable suggestions... you made it an absolute blast - thank you!

Onwards to 2017!

So on the eve of the new year I want to also share with you a challenge. If you’re making a new years resolution, do something small and simple for your mental health. It’s something often not discussed in tech communities but it is oh so important!

Will I continue the thing? Well, I already am. Though - I might allow myself a rest day.

Will you do a thing? Well, thats up to you isn’t it! For some talks, blogs and help on how, one starting point is http://mhprompt.org/

Happy thing’ing in 2017!