30 days

In 2007, my partner and I did this 30 days experiment, which yielded great results. While everyone else was watching fireworks and having parties, we sat down and considered 30 day long trials, striving towards behaviors we wanted to develop in line with our values.

Each month was a new adventure and planning for the year meant we could do some smart scheduling. For example, March was “try new things” month, which meant everything from not ordering the same thing on the menu at a restaurant to parasailing (which coincided with our Hawaii vacation). For both of us, one of the challenges resonated strongly, with Leith becoming a full-time vegetarian the following year and me becoming an avid reader again (the challenge was 30 minutes of book time a day).

Five years has past and we’re doing it again, with some repeats from the last time – the most difficult challenge being no driving for a month. Happily, I’m coinciding this with May for Bike to Work month.

One new change is that I’m reinforcing the months with using Chrome Sticky Notes. I’m permanently pinning the tab to my browser with four permanent notes:

  • Get it done (short term projects)
  • Projects (takes at least half a day)
  • Learning (webinars and other resources to review – outside of books, which I track on GoodReads)
  • 2012 Goals (monthly list of 30 days challenges)

I’m only using these for personal tasks, as I manage my work projects and milestones with Basecamp successfully. My hope is that seeing these personal goals of mine throughout the year will give me perspective and provide something to look forward to. Also, focusing my project management on my personal life is much needed, since tasks constantly take a backseat to work.

In reviewing the whole list, I notice there’s an overall focus on learning. This first month we’re doing some role reversal at home to gain some perspective (he’s cooking, I’m washing dishes). In later months, we’re turning attention to things like learning a new skill and creating something from that knowledge and concentrating on a foreign language.

I’m really looking forward to the whole year and the wealth of experiences and challenges it will bring. I’d encourage everyone to at least do one 30 days goal for yourself in 2012. It’s not as hard as it seems and it’s only a month. Surprise yourself with what you can accomplish!

One Response to “30 days”

  1. Katherine Says:

    Mayling, I love this idea – think I’ll try it, too!

Leave a Reply