The Year of the 30 Day Challenge
So it’s a new year and more than likely you’ve made some new year’s resolutions. You’re going to exercise more, eat better, stop drinking alcohol and coffee, stop smoking, call your family more, learn guitar, learn a language, take up a sport, meditate more, be a calmer parent and on it goes.
I don’t know about you but I’m already exhausted just looking at this list!
It’s true that the dawning of a new year is a great time to make some positive changes to your life. But setting yourself up for failure is not the way to go about it.
Sure you might go gung-ho for two weeks, a month even. But normally by around February your best-laid plans are starting to wane. Because, well you’re human! …And life happens!
By Easter your goals are all but forgotten and all that remains is a vague feeling of failure, which you try valiantly to cover with denial.
Okay, okay so maybe this is a bit too dramatic… But I bet you can relate to this on some level.
Guess what, you’re not alone!
I went searching for some statistics (to make me feel better too!) and found that only five percent of New Year’s resolutions last longer than three weeks. And guess how many last the whole 12 months?
…One percent. How about that! So everywhere, all over the world people are living in disappointment with themselves. Not such a hot way to set yourself up for a new year huh.
So, what can we do about this? Well, there are a number of ways we can come at this. In general we need to be REALISTIC. What can you really achieve? What can you really commit to? What are you really invested in achieving?
Then, instead of concentrating on what you have to do, give up or take on… Focus on the end goal. How you want life to look as a result.
One way to achieve this is to take on one thing at a time. I’ve instigated this in my own life and it has been amazing.
30 Day Challenges
I watched a very inspiring TED talk a while ago on 30 day challenges. For 30 days you commit to doing ONE thing every day. It could be not eating sugar, training at they gym, riding your bike to work, reading to your kids, giving up cigarettes, not drinking alcohol, learning a language, writing in a journal. Whatever it is that you’d like to have in your life.
You know what? It works! Committing to resolutions and goals one at a time and for 30 days is achievable. And so at the end of the 30 days you feel a proud sense of achievement AND you achieve whatever it was you set out to achieve.
And you know what else? Many agree that it takes 30 days to form a habit… So chances are, you’ll naturally want to continue whatever you started into the next month alongside your new 30 day challenge.
Here’s a link to the Talk on 30 Day Challenges if you’d like to watch it: http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days.html