We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
Scientists have suggested that, with a little willpower, it takes roughly 30 days for a person to form a new habit. As with mastering anything new, the act of starting and getting beyond the preliminary stage where everything feels awkward is 80% of the battle. This is precisely why it’s important to make small, positive changes every day over the course of at least a 30 day period.
It’s like the old saying: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The same philosophy holds true for making changes in your life. Trying to bite off more than you can chew will only make you choke. But taking smaller, manageable bites, one at a time – eating a little healthier, exercising a little, creating some simple productive habits, for example – is an amazing way to make positive changes and get excited about life.
And when you start small like this, you won’t need a lot of motivation either. The simple act of getting started and doing something will give you the momentum you need, and soon you’ll find yourself in a positive spiral of changes – one building on the other. When I started doing this in my life, I was so excited about it that I started this blog to share it with the world.
Below you will find 30 challenges to be accomplished over the course of 30 days. If carried out diligently each of them has the potential to create a new positive habit in your life. Yes, there is some slight overlap between a few of them. And no, you don’t have to attempt all at once. Pick 2 to 5 and commit the next 30 days, wholeheartedly, to successfully completing the challenge. Then once you feel comfortable with these habits, challenge yourself with a few more the following month.
- Use words that encourage happiness. – Typically, when I ask someone “How are you?” they reply, “I’m fine” or “I’m okay.” But one lazy Monday afternoon last month a new colleague of mine replied, “Oh, I am fabulous!” It made me smile, so I asked him what was making him feel so fabulous and he said, “I’m healthy, my family is healthy, and we live in a free country. So I don’t have any reason not to be happy.” The difference was simply his attitude and his choice of words. He wasn’t necessarily any better off than anyone else, but he seemed twenty times happier. Spend the next 30 days using words that encourage a smile.
- Try one new thing every day. – Variety truly is the spice of life. You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once. As a result, first time experiences often leave reflective marks in our minds for the rest of our lives. Make an effort to try something new every day for the next 30 days. It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience, such as talking to a stranger. Once you get the ball rolling many of these new experiences will open doors to life changing opportunities.
- Perform one selfless act every day. – In life, you get what you put in. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else be happy or suffer less. I promise, it will be an extremely rewarding experience. One you’ll likely remember forever. Obviously your options here are limitless, but if you’re looking to assist an ordinary person in need without leaving your chair, check out GoFundMe.
- Learn and practice one new skill every day. – Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master [Read more…]