Since we are already well into the New Year, I’d like to challenge everyone to a 30 Day Trial. This is a great way to develop new habits or replace a bad one, and best of all it’s effective and simple. Here are some ideas you can try:
- Wake up early every day
- Make big payments to get out of debt
- Exercise 30minutes everyday
- Give up Facebook for 30days
- Give up TV for 30days
- Give up soda for 30days
- Give up coffee for 30days
- Meet someone new everyday
- Write in a journal everyday
- … and lots more
The more you think about a change as something permanent, the more you stay put. But what if you thought about making the change only temporarily – say for 30days. Could you do it?
Getting started and sticking with a new habit for a few weeks is the hard part. Once you’ve overcome inertia, it’s much easier to keep going. Many times we psyche ourselves out of getting started by mentally thinking about the change as something permanent – before we’ve even begun.
The 30day trial still requires your commitment but not nearly so much as taking on a permanent change. And for at least 30days you’ll gain some benefit. It’s not so bad. You can handle it. It’s only one month out of your life.
Now if you actually complete a 30day trial, what’s going to happen?
- First, you’ll go far enough to establish it as a habit, and it will be easier to maintain that it was to begin it.
- Secondly, you’ll break the addiction of your old habit during this time.
- Thirdly, you’ll have 30days of success behind you, which will give you greater confidence that you can continue.
- And fourthly, you’ll gain 30days worth of results, which will give you practical feedback on what you can expect if you continue, putting you in a better place to make informed long-term decisions.
Again, don’t think that you need to continue any of these habits beyond 30 days. Think of the benefits you’ll gain from those 30 days alone. Let the short-term goals motivate you. You can re-assess after the trial period. You’re certain to grow just from the experience, even if it’s temporary. If you want to share your progress, let me know how it’s going!
The power of this approach lies in its simplicity. Even though doing a certain activity every single day may be less efficient that following a more complicated schedule – weight training is a good example because adequate rest is a key component – you’ll be more likely to stick with the daily habit. When you commit to doing something every single day without exception, you can’t rationalize or justify missing a day, nor can you promise to make it up later by reshuffling your schedule. If you miss a day you start all the way over at Day 1.
Give yourself a decent reason to keep this up. Accomplishing your 30 day trial will be rewarding. If you cannot complete the trial for 30 days, try 20 days. What else would you rather be doing? Celebrate your little wins and keep going. What do you want to do this year?