WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??: 30 Day Challenge!

I realized that I’ve been using “ohayou gozaimasu” wrong by saying it in the afternoon/evening when it means “good morning”. Fail. So today I’ll just say “hi!”.

I remember reading an article a while ago that mentioned something Jerry Seinfeld said about his writing process and a method called “Don’t Break The Chain“. The premise is that to become a good writer, you must actually write; you can’t just sit around hoping that an idea will magically appear to you. He suggests getting a large calendar, hanging it somewhere really visible to you, then sitting down everyday and writing. When you’ve finished your writing for that day, mark a large X on that calendar date and eventually you’ll have a whole calendar full of X’s. Not only is it rewarding to see you’ve been consistent for an entire month, it’s also addicting, AND you’ve got actual work to show for it.

Now this Jerry Seinfeld episode was a while ago and the motivation to actually start this method was only recently rekindled. I came across this article called 30 Challenges for 30 Days  that basically contained a list of 30 things you can challenge yourself to do for 30 days. What caught my eye, though, was one line:

It is been said that it takes about 30 days to form a habit.

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So about a week ago I decided to start my own 30 Day Challenge. I picked 4 habits I wanted to either change or get into, made mini calendars, and began marking my progress. These first 4 challenges don’t necessarily require “getting down to work” but do require other forms of “work”. For everyday that I complete the challenges, I give myself a little stamp (but you can use stickers too). Who didn’t love getting sticker on their work in elementary school?

My goals for this month are:

  1. Stop biting my nails.
  2. Hoop for one song per day.
  3. Drink one water bottle per day (500 mL).
  4. Meditate for 7 minutes per day.

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I originally had “drink 1000 mL of water per day” and “meditate/reflect for 7 minutes per day” but I decided that since I don’t drink much water to begin with I’d start with something I know I can do which is half of that amount, or one bottle. I picked up a Brita water filter pitcher and a 1500 mL water bottle where I marked the 500 and 1000 mL lines. I found that it’s WAY easier to finish the 500 mL when you drink from such a large bottle because it doesn’t look like it’s that much.

Secondly, I realized that meditate and reflect are not the same thing. Reflecting is thinking about what’s been happening while meditating is completely clearing your mind and being at peace (which is what I had originally wanted). The trick, I think, is to find somewhere quiet and comfortable, but not too. It’s really difficult for me, personally, to turn my mind off and disconnect from my thoughts so another thing that I’ve been doing is turning the airplane mode on on my phone. I reflexively opened my eyes and looked at my phone the one day I forgot to turn on airplane mode. Not. Cool.

Biting my nails was definitely high on my list. I went through a pretty long period last year where I had really nice, long nails that were always painted.. then life happened. I tend to always bite my nails when I’m stressed, nervous, or busy in general. It was definitely difficult the first day – I bit my nails literally 5 minutes after finishing my calendar, lol! But I’m proud to say that I haven’t touched them since and I’m really happy with the growth! Nail polish, here I come!

I was obsessed with hooping since last summer; I found it was a really good way to keep active without actually having to “exercise” at the gym.While I originally wanted (and still do want) a light polypro hoop, this 2lb padded work out hoop really does the job! It did hurt a little the first time I used it but I did get used to it.

Now let’s look at my progress a week later:

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As you can see I haven’t been doing such a good job the past couple of days. I would like to blame it on the gloomy, damp weather but that’s just an excuse and it won’t get me anywhere. I’m also pretty ashamed of my work because I made the concious decision NOT to meditate or hoop “because I didn’t feel like it”. Again, not cool, Carmen, not cool. The good thing about keeping a log, though, is that it motivates me to fill in all the boxes with red dots. It’s really bugging me that I have so many black squares that I’m determined to finish out the month in full.

I dare you to take the 30 day challenge with me! What day is better to rid yourself of a bad habit but today?!

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