What have you got planned for the next month?
We all have something in the back of our minds that we want to get better at or try for the first time. Whether it is related to our health, relationships, finances, job, or anything else, we think about doing it but often can’t find the ability to execute. We all procrastinate!
It is sometimes too easy to put things off, especially when it comes to trying something new or changing our routine.
Case in point: New Years Resolutions. We have come to accept that it is okay to wait to make changes and improvements as long as we start on January 1 – the world’s biggest annual hangover. But why wait to do tomorrow what you can do today?
This Ted Talk by Matt Cutts inspired me earlier this year to push myself to try to make a habit of a new activity everyday for a month until it becomes part of my routine.
The best part of Matt’s message is that it does not have to be anything revolutionary. It can be something simple, easy, and FUN that you have wanted to make part of your day.
This is your chance! Here’s the way I look at it: in one year from now I will be able to say that I have learned at least twelve new “somethings” and I am so much better off because of it. Whatever it may be – it doesn’t have to be something groundbreaking.
There are two things you will start to notice once you start the challenge. Firstly, each day becomes that much more memorable and they do not fly by without distinction. Secondly, the sense of accomplishment you feel after putting an X through each day on the calendar is incredibly rewarding.
So what do you want to do? What is something that you have always wanted to learn? Is there something you want to get better at? Choose to take the next 30-day challenge and do it!
Don’t be discouraged if you miss a day or aren’t successful for a week. Whether you complete two weeks or 29 days, it is much better than having done nothing new for the last month. Be kind to yourself and understand that change is difficult to attain.
While the brain has an incredible amount of plasticity (the ability to change, re-wire and learn something new), it is difficult to change those neural pathways. The longer you have become entrenched in a thought pattern, behavior or routine, the more difficult it is to re-wire the brain cells that influence your will and make a desired change.
That is why it is so difficult to change a behavior like working out. Until the brain is used to exercise in a routine, it does not crave the exercise endorphins and it is difficult to activate whatever brain circuit there is that propels us to workout.
Amazingly, a thirty-day challenge is just about enough time for a habit to be rewired into the brain. The rewiring that takes place in the brain from doing the new “something” for thirty days can make your completed challenge part of your new routine.
In the end, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain. Take five minutes, during a meal, a coffee, in the shower – anywhere! – and think of something that you can do in the next 30 days. Write it down. Print off a calendar and make that first check mark tomorrow. Tomorrow you could change your life.
Ultimately it is choice, so choose to be different and choose to be better; we all have it in us.
Good luck, have fun and follow me on my 30 day challenge.
Over the next month I am going to post something on Facebook, tweet, or write a website post everyday.
IdeasTake a photo everyday Go to yoga Write a thank you email or note Tell someone that they are doing a great job Perform one random act of kindness to a stranger Read a book, hell read two Exercise everyday (stretching counts as exercise too!) Meditate or do yoga everyday Tell someone you love them Learn and tell a new joke Eat 7 servings of vegetables Spend an hour with a loved one or friend Message an old acquaintance Spend one hour outside No drinking alcohol for a month No sugar or sweets for a month No processed food for a month Learn a new language (i.e. 30-60 minutes of Rosetta Stone a day) Bike to work Talk to a family member or loved one Write in a journal Make a new dish or recipe