Anyone else find the inspiring tradition of New Year's resolutions a little demoralizing? Let's be honest, 365 days is a super-long time to be focused on one goal.
So here's a better option: The 30-day challenge. And the best part is, you can start now.
Inspired by Matt Cutts' TED Talk, "Try Something New for 30 Days," we've recruited five Daily Muse writers to create and conquer their own challenges during the month of October.
They'll be giving weekly updates, so check back in all month and follow along. Encourage them in their successes and mishaps. And best of all, join in! We'll give you all the details tomorrow on how you can take on your own 30-day challenge.
Challenge #1: Do Something I'm Scared Of
Every day this month, I'm going to do one thing I'm scared of. Yes, every single day. You might be asking yourself, “How can she possibly be scared of 31 things? And even if she is, how is she going to do one of them every day?” Well, that, my friends, is the challenge part of it. If we’re honest with ourselves, there are probably more than 31 things that make our palms sweaty, so we avoid them on a daily basis. I’m going to stop avoiding them.
In fact I’m not only going to stop avoiding the things I’m afraid of, I’m going to go looking for them. And when I find them, I’m going to totally destroy them. And then I’m going to write about it.
Challenge #2: Talk to Strangers
Even when you live in a big city, it’s easy to get stuck in your own little world. I live in San Francisco, where I’m surrounded by interesting people, but I never talk to them. Why? Because I’m shy and I’m busy. When I’m moving through the day, I usually keep my earphones on and my eyes down. But not anymore. For the next 30 days, I’m taking off my headphones, putting down my book, and raising my eyes and ears to the people around me. I’m going to talk to strangers. One a day. I may creep some people out. I may meet some real weirdos. But I’ve got a hunch I’ll learn something about this diverse city and the people who also call it home.
Challenge #3: Bring My Lunch to Work
Working on a college campus has its perks, one of which is the variety of lunch options in the student center next door. But taking just a few steps to grab fast food every day isn't so great for my health or wallet, so I'm challenging myself to bring my lunch to work every day this October. While there are a lot of easy ready-made options out there, I'm hoping to plan ahead, get creative in the kitchen, and try some of the easy recipes on my Pinterest boards. I'll also be keeping track of expenses to see if brown bagging it really does pay off.
Challenge #4: Meditate
Kelly Hanlin McCormick
For years, I have read about meditation and heard about the benefits: It's calming, it helps reduce stress, it helps you sleep. It's hard not to hear all of the accolades surrounding this serene practice in these hectic days, right? I've practiced yoga for 15+ years and been a vegetarian for almost as long, so you'd perhaps suspect that I'm already "one of those people"—but I've never even tried it. At the risk of becoming a total new age hippie, I'm going to give it a go for 30 days. Every day, I will allow for at least 10 minutes of meditation. Here we go!
Challenge #5: Explore My New City
As an aspiring writer, I've had my share of internships, which have taken me from Dallas to Sydney, Australia, to Charleston, SC, and now to Denver. I couldn't be happier with the opportunities I've had and the amazing new cities I've been able to live in, but living in a new city can be daunting at first. You really have to push yourself, be determined, make new friends, and be adventurous. So that's what October will be for me—a month of exploring my new city. Denver, be nice to me!
Have a big goal of your own? Check in tomorrow to see how you can participate!
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