The #5words 30 Days Challenge

A few days ago I wanted to share on Facebook a short description of my day, as it went along. For this, I wanted to use only 5 words. I do this quite often in my coaching sessions, when I ask my clients to create a short description, no longer than 3-5 words of their past week. It really helps me understand where their focus was, what were the highlights of the week and how to move forward from there.

This time, when I posted my day description on Facebook, I thought it would be interesting to add a hashtag, like #5words, maybe other people would like to join in and share their own day in 5 words. A few of them did it and it was kinda fun to look at their #5words and see where their focus was.

The next day, I felt the need to do it again. I realized it was something that helped me to get grounded, in a subtle, yet consistent way. Like the words somehow caught in an invisible structure the entire day, giving it a shape.

And I soon realized that it was not only about the part of the day that went off, but also to the remaining part of it. If I posted the words at noon, for instance, there was still a part of the day that was yet unconsumed. That was something very important. Because, somehow, the words I used propagated themselves in the remaining structure of the day, influencing it, making it obey to the meaning they carried.

And at that moment I thought, well, maybe this could be a way to “build” the day according to my words. Like, you, know, creating my own story as I go along. Instead of being a character in another one’s story, that is. But I didn’t want to do this in a commending, forcing way. Didn’t want to wake up, put a list of 5 words down and then wait for the day to obey to that list. I did this before with a morning phrase, and I knew the process. Instead, I wanted to first catch a glimpse of the day as it was, without any restrictions created by a morning phrase, and use that momentum to generate more of what I wanted.

The idea was certainly appealing. So, I created a 30 days challenge for it. If you’re not familiar with the “30 days challenge” concept, you can browse the archives for more info.

A 30 days challenge is basically a month in which I intend to do a certain thing, each day. I did this, for instance, when I wanted to change my diet, or to start exercising and so on and so forth. I even did a full year of 30 days challenges at some point.

It’s another tool I use every time I want to see if a certain approach will prove useful for me. The trick is that, at the end of the 30 days, I’m not forcing myself to continue on that path, if there aren’t enough benefits for that. I can just fall back to the initial routine, but with a clear heart: at least I tried.

So, what’s the catch with this #5words challenge? Well, at the end of it I want to see:

  • what were the most frequent words
  • what were the most infrequent words
  • how was the distribution of words

And also a few other things, like how a certain word influenced the following days, for instance.

I’m in the 5th day so far. Here are the words for the first 5 days:

Day 1: calesita, parada, pitching, reading, mantaining

Day2: coffee, sunshine, work, exercise, play

Day 3: tea, tango, community, talking, sunshine

Day 4: openconnect, energy, recharging, autumn, work

Day 5: value, clarity, discipline, beauty, tango

At this moment, I’m not very clear about how I will analyze all this data, although I have a rough idea. But I also think I shouldn’t focus so much on the “how” at this moment, because the very tools that I may use to analyze the words could impact the way I choose them. So, I’ll just go with the flow and let you know what happens along the way.

If you want to join in, all you have to do is to post on your Facebook timeline a list of 5 words describing your day, and add the hashtag #5words.



Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner


The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I'm blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You're invited, by the way.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Does it really matter that much which five words you use the most? I have the impression that most human motivation is based upon images, themes, and desires that are not necessarily verbalized, or at least, not always consciously

    1. My point exactly. We’re not verbalizing everything we want, hence, that thing that remains unspoken will manifest slowly. At this moment, this is just a hunch, we’ll see how the challenge will go.

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