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Have you always wanted to do something but somehow didn’t have the time, guts or will to see it through? Do you want to see a positive change in your life while embarking on a fresh adventure in an otherwise humdrum existence?
Why not try the 30 Day Challenge?
In a recent short talk on TED, Google Engineer Matt Cutts shares with us how he tries something new for 30 days, even down to writing a 50,000 word novel. This notion is consistent with the theories of how habits form after doing something consistently each day for between 21 to 66 days.
From my own experience, the first 2 weeks are probably the most difficult. After the novelty of the first week is gone, carrying on for the next 8 to 14 days may be a struggle, especially when the stresses of life and work start creeping back in. However, once you overcome that initial “hump”, these new life affirming habits may become easier to keep.
To make the 30 day challenge a reality, there are three important considerations:
1) Learn to pace yourself when beginning on any new endeavour. Trying to climb Mount Everest, write a thesis, and start a new charity while holding on to a full-time job at the same time isn’t going to be plausible. It may be better to start on one 30 day challenge at a time, depending on how your time, energy levels and commitments permit.
2) Include both small and large challenges in your to-do list. Like any undertaking, go for both the low hanging fruits and the loftier aspirations so that you are more likely to at least accomplish some of them. This also helps to boost your morale along the way.
3) Share your challenge with somebody else – or even publicly – so that you are also accountable to others. Family members and close friends are great buddies in helping you to stick to the challenge when the going gets tough.
What are some possible 30 day challenges? For me, I’m trying to be vegetarian or at least pescetarian (I’m about 80% there), publish one blog post every two days, read the Bible and pray daily, and read a few pages of a book each day. I’m currently considering being more actively involved in a social cause, but I need to think about this carefully while weighing my current commitments.
Are you inspired to try something new starting today? If you do, try to keep at it for at least a month. Who knows, you may be off to an enduring and life transforming adventure.