For the last 2 and a half months, I’ve only taken cold showers.
Because Nick Reese challenged me to do it when we recorded last week’s podcast session back in March, and now I’m afraid if I break the streak I won’t want to start again.
Bryn and my friends think I’m crazy. They’re probably right.
But call it a coincidence — things have been going pretty well since I turned on that cold water!
During that time I:
- Launched and filled the first Side Hustle Nation Inner Circle Mastermind group.
- Landed two new coaching clients and did several paid consulting calls.
- Appeared on the homepage of SlideShare.
- Appeared on the homepage of Fiverr.
- Shattered my monthly record for podcast downloads.
Why Cold Showers?
Nick, who’s more than 500 cold showers deep at this point, explains it started as a fat-burning hack.
Indeed, the tactic was mentioned in The 4-Hour Body as a way to kick-start your metabolism and shock your body into burning calories to heat yourself back up afterwards.
There’s some thermodynamics involved. It’s the same science that explains why Michael Phelps could eat 12,000 calories in a day, even though he wouldn’t burn that number through exercise alone. He’d expend a few thousand calories heating his body spending hours in the water.
(Another reason why swimming is such great exercise, but also explains why I’m always starving after I go!)
But beyond triggering weight loss, the cold showers became a mindset challenge for Nick.
Yes, it’s cold. Yes, it’s uncomfortable.
But it’s also only 5 minutes and you’re going to live through it. As much as it sucks, it’s not life-threatening. (Kind of like a failed business project.)
It’s a small act of defiance that prepares you to carpe the crap out of the diem.
- I sometimes suddenly find a new list of things I should do before jumping in the shower. Even though it feels great after, the anticipation isn’t awesome.
- It took a while to break the now-pointless habit of “letting the water warm up” before getting in.
- Sometimes I’ll do some pushups or kettlebell swings to warm myself up before getting in.
- There’s usually swearing involved.
A couple days were particularly difficult. One was an afternoon session after walking the dog and getting hit by a cold rain halfway through. The other was after a day of skiing in a blizzard.
But I survived.
Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
Nick calls the cold shower challenge “getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.”
Have you heard the “eat the frog” story?
An old saying is that “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!”
Your “FROG” is the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it now!
It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.
You’ve got an important task to get done, or something that’s been collecting dust on your to-do list for ages, it makes sense to knock it out first thing in the morning.
Perhaps the cold shower is your frog, or perhaps it will just get you pumped up to conquer your real frog.
You’ll feel accomplished and the rest of your work will seem like much less of a challenge.
Take a deep breath and get ‘r done. The first 30 seconds are the worst.
I thought it was crazy too, but it works. That’s the weird thing, since I cold-turkeyed the hot water, I’ve gained a lot of positive momentum on my projects.
Could it just be coincidence, or is there maybe something to it?
- It’s never THAT cold here.
- I don’t typically shower first thing in the morning.
Cold Shower Placebo?
One common pushback I hear is that the shower really isn’t accomplishing anything on your task list. Whether the water is hot or cold, you’ll still have the same amount of work to do when you get out.
And that’s true.
But I’ve found I emerge with a completely different attitude. Even if my task list is the same as it was before, those tasks are attacked with new hustle and vigor.
Will You Join the Challenge?
Who’s with me? If you’re willing to give cold showers a chance — hey, the weather’s heating up — leave a comment below and let me know you’re in.
5 minutes a day for 30 days.
You can do it. Prove it to yourself.
A 5 minute daily reminder of your hustle and your goals.
We’ll circle back in 30 days to see if you can feel a difference in attitude, mindset, productivity, and results. I’m confident you’ll feel great!
Remember, deep breaths!