Is there something you were always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? May I suggest: Risk trying something new for the next 30 days. This lighthearted blog offers a methodical way to think about setting and achieving goals. 

A few years ago, I felt like I was stuck in a rut, so I decided to follow in the footsteps of the great American philosopher, Morgan Spurlock, and try something new for 30 days. The idea is essentially pretty simple. Think about something you’ve always wanted to augment your life and try it for the next 30 days. It turns out 30 days is just about the right amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a habit — like watching the newscast — from your life.

I learned a few things while doing my 30-day challenges. The first was, instead of the months flying by, gone, the time was much more memorable. This was part of a challenge I did to take a picture every day for a month. And I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that day. I also noticed that as I started to do more and harder 30-day challenges, my self-confidence grew. I went from desk-dwelling computer nerd to the kind of guy who walks miles. For fun!  

Even last year, I ended up losing 45 pounds walking my neighborhood.  It took a little longer than 30 days, but I would never have been that adventurous before I started my 30-day challenges.

I also believe that if you really want something bad enough, you can do anything for 30 days. Have you ever wanted to write a book? Every fall season, tens of thousands of people try to write their own 50,000-word novel, from scratch, in 30 days. It turns out; all you have to do is write 1,667 words a day for a month. So I did. By the way, the secret is not to go to sleep until you’ve written your words for the day. You might be sleep-deprived, but you’ll finish your book. Now is my book the next great world novel? No. I wrote it in 30 days. It’s terrible.

But for the rest of my life, if I meet you at a party, I don’t have to say, “I’m a computer geek.” No, no, if I want to, I can say, “I’m an author.”

Finally, I learned that when I made small, maintainable changes, things I could keep doing, they were more likely to stick. There’s nothing wrong with huge, crazy challenges. In fact, they’re a load of fun. But they’re less likely to stick. When I gave up sugar for 30 days, day 31 was all chocolates (smile).

So here’s my question to you: What are you waiting for? I promise you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a crack! For the next 30 days.