Ruts Don’t Come With Ladders – You Have to Build Your Own Ladder


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Are you overweight?

Do you struggle to pay your bills?

Are you in a dead-end job?

Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut, hopelessly unhappy?

If you’re like most, the answer is yes to one or more of these questions.

So, what do you do?

Ruts don’t come with ladders. You have to build your own ladder and climb out yourself.

How? How do you climb out of your rut?

The answer is – The 100 Day Challenge.

What’s the 100 Day Challenge?


Engaging in one new positive activity for 100 days in a row.

Engaging in one activity for 100 day does four things:

  1. It will help to change the structure of your brain.
  2. It gets the attention of the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia is a small mass of neurons, deep inside the limbic system of the brain. One of its numerous responsibilities includes designating repetitive behaviors as habits. Once the basal ganglia marks a behavior as a habit, it remains a habit for the rest of your life.
  3. It will stimulate and motivate you.
  4. It will shift your mindset from negative to positive.

Below are some ideas for your personal 100 Day Challenge. Choose just one activity and limit it to 20 minutes a day:

  • Engage in some form of cardio activity for 100 days. This could be running, jogging, biking, cycling, walking fast, etc.
  • Read a non-fiction, educational book every day for 100 days.
  • Eat five hundred fewer calories a day for 100 days.
  • Limit your consumption of junk food to no more than 300 calories a day for 100 days.
  • Meditate for 100 days.
  • Listen to an educational podcast every day for 100 days.
  • Listen to one TEDx speech a day for 100 days.
  • Say I love you to your spouse, significant other, kids, parents, etc. every day for 100 days.
  • Spend $2 less every day for 100 days.
  • Do not gamble for 100 days.
  • Don’t drink beer, wine or alcohol for 100 days. If that seems impossible, limit your consumption of alcohol to no more than 1 drink a day for 100 straight days.
  • Floss every day for 100 days.
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes for 100 days. If that seems impossible, limit your cigarette smoking to one or two cigarettes a day for 100 days.
  • Pursue some new skill for 100 days.
  • Focus on becoming knowledgeable in one topic or subject area for 100 days
  • Don’t eat candy for 100 days.
  • Don’t consume sugar for 100 days.
  • Limit recreational social media use to no more than one hour a day for 100 days.
  • Offer gratitude for something good in your life. Do this once a day for 100 days.
  • Read something positive and uplifting every day for 100 days.
  • Call one different person a day, just to say hello, for 100 days.
  • Limit your consumption of TV to no more than one hour a day for 100 days.
  • Don’t gossip for 100 days.
  • Don’t curse for 100 days.
  • Don’t complain for 100 days.
  • Don’t criticize anyone for 100 days.
  • Don’t lie for 100 days.
  • Don’t procrastinate on anything for 100 days.

If you choose more than one activity you will tax your brain, making habit change impossible.

I discovered in my Rich Habits research that if you engage in a new activity for more than twenty minutes at a time, the willpower required expends too much brain fuel (glucose or ketones). The brain reacts to this excess fuel consumption by going to war with you and your new potential habit. If you keep the activity to within 20 minutes, the brain will not put up a fight.

So, focus on one activity for no more than 20 minutes a day.

It won’t be easy but if you stick to one activity and limit it to 20 minutes a day you will succeed.

When you complete your 100 Day Challenge, move on to another new positive activity and engage in it for the next 100 days. Over the course of one year you will have added three new, good habits to your life.

The 100 Day Challenge is your ladder out of your rut. Each 100 days represents a rung on that ladder. Slowly, after each 100 days, you will find yourself climbing higher and higher on your ladder and out of your rut.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Hi,
    I love this idea of creating a new habit, and am choosing to write someone each day to see how they are. Not to ask for anything, not strictly for business, just to drop them a line. This is a challenge to me because I tend to have a difficult time socializing and reaching out. I hope this is something that will not only benefit myself, but let others know I care.


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