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30 Days of a New Habit

Since joining the Scrawny to Brawny program in November of 2013, I’ve been able to change multiple things about my daily routine and start new habits that enable me to be more successful during my year in the program. The most impressive thing about the program to me so far is how they approach habit building in general. They don’t give you a list of things to practice and call it a day. Instead, they focus on each habit for two weeks making sure it’s fully ingrained in your routine. During that time, they provide additional tips and tricks to help you be successful as well as alternatives, essentially leaving absolutely zero room for failure. You just have to do it. Month after month, these habits build upon one another so that at the end of 12 months, there’s an entirely new you.

I noticed Leo Babauta doing the same thing over at Zen Habits. He picks up a new 30-day challenge each month. The habits don’t necessarily build on top of one another (each 30-day challenge has an endpoint), but he does make it a point to put all of his focus on that particular element of change for 30 days.

Like almost everyone else, I started out 2014 with a whirlwind of goals. While I’m doing okay with each of them (except maybe the reading element), the habits have gotten lost in the mix. Instead of focusing on why I’m actually trying to start a particular habit, I’m more focused on simply checking something off on my Lift app at the end of the day. As a result, I’m going to stop doing everything at once and start focusing on one habit for an entire 30-day period. At the end of each month, I’ll revisit what I learned about that particular habit and how I “performed” throughout the month. Here are my focus points for each month so far:

  • March – Read 30 minutes a day (my reading list here)
  • April – Meditate for 10 minutes each day
  • May – Take a cold shower each day (read here for why)
  • June – Write 1,000 words a day
  • July – Gratitude (both with journaling and physical notes)

I haven’t finished the list mainly because I’m not sure what I want to focus on after July. I may want to revisit some of the habits from earlier in the year. We’ll see when the time comes. I’ll be tracking all of these habits in Lift each day, and I’ll continue to track previous habits to see how well I keep them up.

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