It’s said — though it’s not really true — that it takes 21 days to make a habit, to change something in your life that you don’t like or to start doing something different.
What would happen if, instead of making and discarding New Year’s resolutions, you decided to take on one task or habit you’d like to cultivate and focus on that for 30 days? How much more could you accomplish? How much closer to your ideal self would you be?
I’ve been thinking about these things because I started this year taking part in my friend Jacqueline Wolven‘s 30 Day Challenge, in which each person sets a goal or or task or challenge for themselves and keeps at it for 30 days.
In January, mine was cleaning off my desk every day at the end of the day. I have a big L-shaped desk and stuff gets piled on it like you wouldn’t believe. I kept at it really well, but have slacked off a bit since, so I need to get back to it.
February was to stop putting things off so much, and to deal with things that had been nagging at me. So I did things like cleaning off the dining room table, which is a catch all (it needs it again, too), emptying out a chair, taking care of nagging errands and emails and whatnot. I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, and that list of to dos keeps growing, but I like to think I’ve learned a bit more of a do it now kind of spirit from that experience.
This month is meditation. I’m on day seven (I’ve skipped weekends and snow days so far) and I’m up to 20 minutes, which I think I’ll stick with.
It’s not easy. Sometimes the phone rings. Once I fell asleep. Today I learned not to meditate while the dishwasher is running. Or when the cat has access to you.
But the point is, I would not be trying to meditate at all if I hadn’t set this goal this month. It takes time and effort to make a change, even a small one, in your life. You have to be willing, set an intention and get support from other people who are doing the same thing.
Members of the group have worked on getting more exercise, drinking more water, listening, improving their posture and more.
Little things, probably, but over the course of a year they can add up to big change. Bigger than a wish you make on New Year’s Eve.
Want to join us? Learn more about the challenge and how to sign up.
Do you work on little habits in your daily life? I’d love to hear what you do and how you do it!