It takes 30 days to either break a habit or start a new one, I’ve read. In my Bikram yoga class- there’s a 30-day challenge now- where you attend a 90 minute class for 30 days straight and at the completion– you are clearly more fit, healthier and stronger.
In the last year- I have set my own “30-day challenges” to learn something new daily on building my business and expanding my knowledge on a variety of subjects.
Over a year ago, I decided to focus on Social Media, learning something new daily. All you need is your computer (with internet access) and a strong dose of discipline.
One month turned in to the next and before I knew it- a year had passed and I’m still repeating and continuing my knowledge by starting a new 30-day challenge each month. I know I don’t have to worry about the abundance of material that I can find. I have now also expanded my challenge to learning more subject matter- on my specific topics in my consulting practice– Presentation Skills, Strategic Networking and Business Development.
Recently, I was working with one of my Executive coaching clients, and his focus is on Personal Finance. He wants to be more competitive because he hadn’t taken many advanced classes in college. I decided to give him the 30-day Challenge in learning one new piece of information daily on Personal Finance. He is already into day 10 and says he feels more confident and knowledgeable and just by spending 15- 30 minutes daily.
This is what is great about the ‘challenge‘– set your goal and time frame and stick to it– If we can’t find 15-30 minute nuggets- start with 5 or 10 minutes. You will still be learning and focused.
So– take the “Challenge” for whatever you wish to keep improving and excelling in:
C—Carve out a specific time of the day for your ‘challenge work‘– I do mine first thing in the morning to start my day.
H— Hear yourself as you read out loud and then record a highlight of the daily information you are gleaning and then implementing.
A– Take action and start the process. Begin with a smaller time slot and then it can grow to 30 minute. Just begin.
L—Learn one new piece of information daily- and then share it with someone.
L– Really listen to the author or speaker you are learning from and connect with them.
E– Enjoy the process. It is fun when we are learning in life! Someone once told me that by listening to Italian for 30 minutes a day for 1 year, he felt comfortable speaking to people on his trip to Italy. He said he had almost become an “expert”.
N–Do not say “No” to yourself. If you miss a day- spend double time the next day. Reverse the letters of NO to ON– and find the time to continue your challenge.
G– Set a goal to accomplish. In 30 days, I will have mastered——- (fill in your goal) Very similar when people set a goal to lose a specific amount of weight in a certain time.
E–Envision yourself more confident and in control having mastered new material and knowledge to make you better at your work or in life.
We all make choices on how to spend our time– break this opportunity into a bite size nugget and see how you feel in 30 days. If you are like me and others I know- you will continue the challenge and keep going and growing.
If it seems so big and daunting- remember this saying—“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”
Contact Andrea Nierenberg at: firstname.lastname@example.org and read her blog at: NierenBlog.com