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Twelve 30-Day Challenges for One Year

  1. Twelve 30-Day Challenges How to develop new habits and improve yourself in the next 12 months Priit Kallas,
  2. Willpower Willpower is the foundation of your achievements. It takes 10,000 hours to master something. For this you need willpower. Fortunately willpower is like a muscle, if you train it it will get stronger. It takes on average 66 days to make a habit automatic, but you get really big increases in the first 30 days. I put the two together and selected 12 habits I would like to have and are general enough for others to try. Every 30 days you will start a new willpower challenge and by the end of the 30 day period you will evaluate if you want to continue with the forming of this habit or you will drop it and treat it just as a willpower exercise. I strongly suggest you select challenges you want to keep. You will be more motivated by that. Read the full blog post
  3. Become an early riser Set your alarm 3 minutes earlier every day. By the end of the 30 days you will be waking up 90 minutes earlier. You need 7-8 hour of sleep so adjust your bedtime accordingly.
  4. Exercise daily Beginners: Start with 10 minute walks. Add just one minute every day and you will get to 40 minute walks by the end of the challenge. Others: Add 40 minute walk to your rest days.
  5. Meditate Start with the 5 minute sessions and bring them up to 10 or 15 minutes by the end of the 30 day challenge. [More in the blog post]
  6. No distractions Phone in silent mode. Answer the phone if you don’t have any other important business at hand. Don’t answer a phone when you are talking with someone. Disable email notifications. Set 2 or 3 times in a day to work with email. Empty email every day. Turn off instant messaging or use do not disturb mode.
  7. Write every day Beginners: set your goal at 1,000 characters, this should take you 20-45 minutes (with time to think). Others: set a goal to increase the volume and consistency.
  8. Generate IDEAS Come up with 30 ideas. Start with the topics for the entire challenge. Consider that it will take most of us 1 to 2 hours to come up with 30 ideas on any topic.
  9. Talk to strangers Get rid of the social awkwardness that may hold you back. Ask for directions or time. Move on to practical stuff. Cashier in the store, fellow commuter in subway, stranger at the party or in school. Ask attractive members of the opposite sex for phone numbers.
  10. Saythank you Say specific „thank you“ to 3 people. Engage them and say what are you thanking them for in a few words. Thank people who are not directly responsible for your well being.
  11. No negative thoughts No negative thoughts or complaining about anything. Avoid the urge to go all negative about things that do not turn out as you expected. Take a deep breath and find the positive angle. Make a Pavlov’s dog out of yourself. Every time you catch yourself having a negative thought pinch yourself (hard) in some place you really don’t like it.
  12. No TV or news Find other things to do. Read a book, write or fix a Wikipedia article, take an online course to learn a new skill, spend time with your loved ones other than on the couch watching TV. No news sites, no checking Facebook every 5 minutes, no aimless surfing either.
  13. Be grateful Express gratitude for 5 things in your life. Take 10 minutes before you go to sleep to write down what made you happy. Write a short sentence and then reflect on it for a minute or two. Acknowledging the good things that happen to you and being grateful will increase your overall happiness and goal achievement.
  14. Create a course and run through it in 30 days or teach something new every day. Teach your kids, fiends, neighbors kids, co-workers, girlfriend. It can be as simple as teaching children to count or you might want to help out with that quantum teleportation stuff your friend’s really not getting. Teach someone
  15. A few rules No months. You don't have to start on first day of every month. Start whenever you like it and keep it up for at least 30 days. The best time to start is... (wait for it)... NOW! Less than 12 challenges. You don’t have to do them all, pick one or three. You may try the 66 day period that the research suggests and take 5 challenges per year. Not only for the 30 days. Pick a challenge that you would really like to become your automatic habit. It will be much more rewarding this way. After the 30 day period evaluate your progress and make a decision to keep on or move to a new challenge. Don’t start two challenges at the same time. This is going to set you up for failure. Try one challenge for 30 days and if it becomes automatic enough the start a new one. Missing a day. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t drop the challenge! One day doesn’t mean much (but don’t make it every other day). Illness. If you have health problems during the challenge then put the challenge on hold. Willpower and immune system compete for resources. Stop the challenge and restart when you get better.
  16. Thank you for the images: 1 Untitled by elBidule 2 Pillars of stone by Jonas Hansel 3 Bringing Home Worms by Jeff Kubina 4 Leaving the scene by Hindrik Sijens 5 Meditating Hornet by Justin Hogue 6 The Hierarchy of Digital Distractions by David McCandless 7 Writing Apparatus by Kaushik Narasimhan 8 Dreamgrow Light Bulb by Peep Ploom 9 Woman with headphones listening to music by Jeffrey Chen 10 Thank You! by Vern Hart 11 Gracie today by John Curley 12 TV and your brain: Turin street art by Mermaid99 13 Happy valentines day - pink gerbera with a heart of chocolate! by Vanessa Pike-Russell 14 Bounty Hunting School - Language Course by Stéfa 1 Climbing in Red Rocks silhouette by Carl A 2 Frog by Lawrence Whittemore 3 Dotted background by Bram Janssens
  17. Start now! Priit Kallas,,