As humans, we regularly…or at least every New Year’s Eve…think of ways that we’d like to improve ourselves. I’m constantly examining my own workflow, routines, and thinking in an attempt to cut the clutter, and hack my own system.
As a result, I regularly undergo 30 day challenges as I tinker with my own workflow and routines. The thinking is that it provides you with a chance to set and possibly achieve goals in a short time frame. If you stick to the 30 days, you’re more than likely to keep the new behaviors you test out without losing your motivation. I got the idea for the 30 day challenge from Matt Cutts and his TED Talk.
How do I get started?
For thirty days, challenge yourself to create a new habit for 30 days, starting at the beginning of each month. The goal you set could be something positive like writing a novel in thirty days or maybe a new exercise habit. The point is to make sure that you repeat the action each day. So, if you’ve been trying to become a blogger…you could aim to write 300 words a day and respond to the following prompts from Mylène Martodihardjo. In the case of a new exercise habit, perhaps you think about always taking the stairs at work.
Alternatively, the other possibility is to give something up for 30 days. This could be avoiding watching any TV, avoiding reading the paper, using your phone/tablet before bed, eating chocolate, drinking alcohol, etc. The key is identifying a goal and sticking to it for the 30 days.
In my opinion, it shouldn’t really too tough to complete the 30 days. You’re committing yourself to a short-term goal which can be completed within a given time-span. At the end of the 30 days, you might decide to eliminate that goal and your challenge. Or, it might become a new routine or habit.
What can I do?
The first step is to identify something you’ve always wanted to complete. It could be exercise, behaviors, or work routines. If you’re looking for some ideas to get started, search online for “30-day challenge” and you’ll get a ton of ideas. You can also look at this list for some ideas. The key is to identify an achievable goal and stick to it for the 30 days. As you get started…pick something relatively easy…like drinking 64 ounces of water a day. As you complete goals…the 30 day challenge itself will become a habit as well. You’ll start trying to complete more complex, or challenging goals each month.
Good luck. Let me know what challenges you dream up.
Cover photo by dimnikolov http://flickr.com/photos/dimnikolov/3451608745 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license