I had seen Thrive displays in the break room for years. One day, I finally decided to give it a try. I told myself, “I’m going to do something in all six categories every day.” I quickly learned it’s called a Challenge for a reason. My biggest struggle was my sweet tooth. Chocolate was my favorite thing, and I used to eat Reese’s and drink Dr. Pepper almost every day.

“I’ve saved around $100 from stopping just this one habit.”

I started buying Nature Valley protein bars and drinking a lot of water and zero-sugar Powerade. I’m laying off the chocolate because while I enjoyed it, it would raise my blood sugar, give me energy for a while, then I’d crash and want even more sugar. I haven’t bought snack cakes in months. Not having those options in the house keeps me from craving them. I also stopped picking up snacks when I get off work. I’ve saved around $100 from stopping just this one habit. Now, I’m able to keep my energy up all day long without crashing. No more 2 or 3 o’clock slump for me.

“My wife and I are better at communicating than ever before.”

I ride my indoor bike at least two miles each day when I get home from work. I also do a lot of walking at my job. When I get home, I make sure to spend quality time with my wife. Every day, we put everything on hold to sit and talk for at least 30 minutes. It has made us a lot closer. We’ve been married for 25 years, and I think we are better at communicating than ever before. Some couples get caught in the hustle and bustle of marriage. Taking this time to focus on my wife helps me keep things in perspective and keep us close.

“If I don’t hit the bullseye mark, I keep going.”

Gratitude has helped me, too. It doesn’t matter how little an action is — just saying “thank you” or “I appreciate it” makes a huge difference to others. I try to be zealous in thanking others, especially with what we’re going through with COVID-19. Recently I went to purchase some lumber, and the employee who helped me was working by himself. I offered to help him load it into my car, and I told him I appreciated him. He was so happy, he said, “We hardly get anyone telling us things like that anymore.”

Doing the Challenge has made me more conscious of my time and my decisions, and allowed me to reprioritize what’s important. I’m more aware of how I spend my time. I feel better all day and sleep better at night. I’m paying more attention to what I’m putting in my body, too. I’m eating proteins instead of sweets, and feeling better because of it. I keep a sheet of paper in my pocket and write down the things I accomplish throughout the day. Even if I don’t hit all six categories every single day, I know I can always try again tomorrow. If I don’t hit the bullseye mark, I keep going — I know I’ll get there.

—William Plymel, Pharmacy Distribution Center #6013; Tifton, GA; $2K Winner

Through the Thrive Challenge, our community is making Better Choices, seeing big results, and winning big.

Stories from past winners, such as William Plymel, prove that every individual has the power to transform their life every day through a combination of small, sustainable changes and peer-to-peer inspiration.