Change Your Life in 90 Days (or Less)

Jay Forester
Do you all too often find yourself one foot away from your screen and have no idea how you got there?

Do you all too often find yourself one foot away from your screen and have no idea how you got there?

amenic181 via iStock

I’ve always loved airports, even the crowds. Before COVID-19, I was in airports with such frequency that I earned Southwest Companion Passes three years in a row. That was pre-COVID-19.

I was recently scheduled for an out-of-state court appearance, and for the first time in more than a year, I expect that I’ll be required to attend in person and (gulp) fly again. By the grace of God and science, I am somehow on track to be vaccinated several months before my June 10th appearance; however, I still feel anxious.

Because of the vaccine, it’s no longer the airport or thought of a crowded cabin that scares me; though, I suspect any joy I previously found in crowds may now be lost. Instead—and I know this sounds crazy—I think it’s the realization that in roughly 90 days, life may, well, actually be somewhat “normal” again. 

The Addiction

COVID-19 has been unimaginably tragic, and I do not in any bit mean to diminish its realities. But for me, this time has been personally transformative.

For years I’ve struggled with an addiction. This addiction is so pervasive that we probably share it. Heck, if you’re a parent, I bet your child is also already an addict.

I get digitally drunk. That is, I find myself all too often one foot away from my screen (typically my iPhone) and have no idea how I got there. Several months into the pandemic and without the typical pursuits of the outside world, things had gotten so bad that I’d lose hours on end, sometimes whole nights, to my Facebook feed. Then on September 6th, I finally did it. I successfully deactivated my Facebook account. In fact, I got off of all “social” for roughly six months.

The Detox

I run a firm, and we get a significant amount of our business through social media; however, neither my professional nor personal life fell apart. Instead, I found that I got hours (upon hours) of my week back. I found so many hours that I rediscovered that unique ability of babies from the 80s (and earlier): the ability to do nothing. While absorbed in nothingness, I often think strategically and find that I’m pretty productive. Most of the credit goes to my law partner and coworkers; however, our small firm has grown during the pandemic from three to six attorneys.

I recently returned to Facebook to announce my engagement. I missed a few announcements, but there’s nothing I missed that compares to what I gained once I took the chance to disconnect.

The Habit

At some point in my childhood, I learned that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Later on, in adulthood, I began to hear of friends taking stabs at habit modifications 30 days at a time, usually through a “dry” January or some other alternatively slow month. More recently, I read that much data suggests 90 days may be the magic number.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I found some joy amidst so much profound tragedy; however, 90 days from my own date with “normal,” I find myself wondering what other opportunities I may have missed. You, too, might need to make a change. If so, why not try to make that change before life goes back to whatever “normal”? In 90 days (maybe more, maybe less), you too could change your life.

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Jay Forester

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Jay Forester is the vice-director of the ABA YLD Wellness Team.