30-Day Challenge to stimulate creativity

I’ve been listening binging on TED talks for the last few days prompted by NHPR’s (on demand) TED Radio Hour. I love TED talks because, first of all, they are short, usually 20 minutes or less but mostly because they are ALWAYS inspiring, uplifting, encouraging – just genuinely ‘feel good’ stuff, plus, they are typically science based.

One talk in particular, Matt Cutts’, Try Something New for 30-Days, really struck a chord. I mean, we all set ourselves up for failure each New Year’s Day with a “resolution”, usually a ‘good health habit’, and after a while the NYDR becomes a joke and we stop doing it. Wow, one change per year and we can’t even stick to it. Why?

Matt’s idea is that we can do anything for 30 days, not forever or for the year, just 30 days. We can add something to our life for 30 days, perhaps start a new habit or kick one out of our life. The point, at first, is to make it something small or manageable or fun or a challenge. Here are some examples I thought of:

  1. drink 3 liters of water
  2. take a walk
  3. write 500 words in a journal/daily prompt
  4. eliminate sugar/coffee/cigarettes
  5. read a foreign author for 30 minutes/avoid reading/listening to the ‘news’
  6. stretch for 30 minutes each morning
  7. list three unreplicated things I’m grateful for each night
  8. mediatate for 10 minutes
  9. drink a new wine/beer everyday!
  10. perform one ‘random act of kindness’

…and on & on. These are just off the top of my brain but the possibilites are limitless.

Matt noted over time…

  • Instead of wondering where the time went each year, time is broken up into more memorable 30 day chunks of varying exercises or hobbies because each day for a month is a conscious choice to act on our challenge.
  • Every approximate four weeks we create new ideas for our challenge and depending on what we chose for ourselves, we grow in experiences and self confidence and a willingness to try new things. What might start as one ‘simple’ challenge can, over time, develope into challenging ourselves into bigger and more daring ideas – something we wouldn’t ever think of doing. Matt hiked Mt. Killimanjaro in Africa, something he said he’d ‘never had thought of doing’.
  • Small changes for short periods of time are more sustainable – especially if we choose ideas that excite us or pique our curiosity – and they are likely to ‘stick’ if we find, after 30 days, that we enjoy this new ‘habit’ such as taking one photo a day or riding your bike to work.

I’m thinking over more ideas for my 30 day challenge – although I like the wine idea 🙂 and I may include that as part of my blog (or not). Regardless, I think it’s a great way to change up *or charge up my life and there’s no time like the present.

What about you? What would you like to try for 30 days?

Daily Prompt: Create



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