In an attempt to get in touch with my more hand-crafted/analog side, I’m doing 30 days of art classes over the coming months. I’ve been wanting to get more hands-on crafty for some time and a “30 day” style challenge seemed manageable and fun.
Here are 5 tips to help you challenge yourself to try something new for 30 days. This type of challenge can help you make a big change (couch to 5k?), learn a new skill (learn to draw in 30 days), or otherwise shake up your life (30 days without sugar?).
- Start small – 30 days is just enough time to make a small, sustainable change that can be incorporated into your daily life. We all know it’s hard to make tons of changes all at once, but small changes can have big results.
- Be specific – Instead of vowing to “be more creative,” I’ve set a goal to try 30 art classes. Wanting to “lose weight” or “eat better” sounds great, but isn’t very actionable; “eating a healthy breakfast everyday” is specific and achievable. Plus when you incorporate small changes, it can build a new habit (see #1)
- Limit distractions – There are a lot of distractions in our world – from text to social media to those corners of the Internet that seem to suuuuuuck all of your spare minutes because they are SO COOL (for example, this digital spirograph app will help you say goodbye to your productivity for the next 20 minutes!). Set one goal and actually work toward it. Better yet, incorporate focus goals into your 30 day challenge (example: 30 minutes of forced focus)
- Stop being perfect – studies have shown that “perfectionist” professors get less done (research), while it’s enviable to be the epitome of awesomeness, having to get something done perfectly, especially while you’re trying out something new can be stifling.
- Don’t stress – 30 days is a good start, but studies have shown that it takes, on average, more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. So don’t be so hard on yourself if it takes some time to embrace the change after your first 30 days. But it’s a great way to start.
Finally, have fun with your challenge and don’t be hard on yourself if you slip up or need 35 days to complete your goal.