Another TED Talk this week, this time from Matt Cutts. It’s quite a short video, with the basic premise being a suggestion to try something new for the next 30 days. It’s a low commitment challenge, just one month and if you hate your new activity then stop but one month should be just enough time to actually give it a good try. It’s been said that that is all the time it takes to make or break a habit.
He found that by consciously taking up a new practice (or trying to avoid an existing one), time passed in a more slow and memorable fashion. Months didn’t just fly by without distinguishing features and his confidence grew, as did the difficulty of his challenges. He mentions National Novel Writing Month, an annual virtual creative project that sees hundreds of thousands of people across the globe attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. In addition to an online community of support and tips and hints for strong writing, enough people are now taking part that local in person meeting groups have been set up. The best part, National Novel Writing Month just so happens to be November, so you have two days now to decide and sign up if you’re interested. It’s only 1,667 words a day for the month!
Another idea he mentioned in the video that I thought was quite interesting was the challenge of taking a picture every day. I like the thought that you need to find something of interest, some moment worth capturing, every single day for a month. That seems like one you will remember for a long time! Or how about setting a challenge to write something nice to someone you care about every day, that way you’re not only making yourself feel great but all those around you too. Take a walk, try a new recipe or learn 10 new words in a different language. Alternatively, how about not doing something for a month. Do you smoke? Drink too much coffee? Go to bed too late?
If you don’t already having something you want to try, here are some more suggestions for 30-day challenges:
Matt’s final piece of advice: start slowly with small, sustainable challenges. The next 30 days is going to pass no matter what, so why not think of something you’ve always wanted to try and give it a go! We’d love to know any 30 days challenges you’re taking on, so please share them in the comments section below!