Most challenges are for thirty days. Go thirty days without spending money or without eating out. But the challenge of a thirty day challenge is that it is, well, a challenge. Some of us, like me, need to take our challenges in small increments. Thirty days seems too long which is why a lot of us don't make it to the finish line. And not making it to the finish line can be hard on those of us trying to change.
So I'm focusing on changing my life ten days at a time. I know it takes longer than that to build a habit, but I also know I'll never build a habit if I don't start somewhere. And if I make it through ten days, I'll keep going, depending on whether or not it's really something I want to add to my life.
For instance, one of my new challenges is to listen to or watch a Ted Talk every day. I really enjoy motivational and educational speeches, but I'm not sure if I want to watch one every day forever. So we'll just see how these next ten days work.
I'm starting with three separate ten-day challenges so I don't overload my brain. If I'm feeling too stressed out about it, I'll drop down to two or even one. When I get to the end of the ten days, I'll feel like I accomplished something. And I will have.
Over ten years ago, I challenged myself to write every day. It wasn't about word count; it was about getting words on a page. One day became five which became ten, and before I knew it, I'd written every day for thirty days. Then I kept at it. I have not missed a day of writing in over ten years...even when I was in the hospital. (I had to ask the nurse for a piece of paper and a pen!)
So if you're thinking about undertaking a challenge, but you're just not sure about sticking to it, aim for a bite-sized challenge. Three days or five days even. You might discover that you really enjoy doing what you're challenging yourself to do, and before you know it, it'll become a habit.
I'll let you know how my challenges turn out on August 19th. I'm not guaranteeing I'll make every one, but we'll see!
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!