The Thirty Day Challenge
Several years ago, Matt Cutts, a computer scientist at Google, was stuck in a rut. So on a whim, he decided to try something new for 30 days. His premise was simple: “Think about something you've always wanted to add to your life and try it for the next 30 days.” Maybe it is exercising every day, putting your phone away when you are at home with your family, or something as bold as writing a novel (which he actually did). Thirty days of adding - or subtracting - something from your life.
Simple idea, impressive results.
Not only was Matt able to form some great habits, like biking to work, but he also learned that he was much more mindful with his time. “Instead of the months flying by, forgotten, the time was much more memorable.” The more challenges he did, the more he pushed himself, and the more his self-confidence grew. By making small, sustainable changes each month, he was able to enrich his life in ways he would have never expected. In his TED talk, he even describes his adventure hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro and notes that he would have never dreamed of doing something like that previously.
This year I have been doing something similar and have also experienced rewarding results. Each month I have been “challenging” myself to do something new: meal plan for every single day, clean out my entire house Marie Kondo style, stick to a list when I go to the store (in other words, eliminate extraneous purchases!), and have clear boundaries between home and work life. I have been at it for a little over four months, and have noticed distinct changes in my overall health and happiness. I have a goal each month, broken down into weekly and daily action steps to get there. I have a purpose; something mindful I am working towards. And I have been able to be successful! My house is cleaner, our grocery bills are smaller, and there are quality meals on the table. I enjoy the time more with my kids and family, and I am looking forward to what the next challenges will bring. Each month is a fresh start, and I embrace the opportunity to focus on improving new and different aspects of my life.
What are you waiting for?
So, in the words of Matt Cutts, “here's my question to you: What are you waiting for? I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot! For the next 30 days.”
Matt Cutts is an engineer at Google. This talk was presented at an official TED conference in 2011. View the full video below, it is three and a half minutes that are definitely worth your time!