New 30 Day Challenge – Time Wasters

I haven’t forgotten about 30 day challenges. My first one ended up to be a failure in the sense it only lasted 4 days. But it emphasized something that’s been bubbling up inside my head.

The task then was to write a stream on consciousness writing for 30 minutes every night. It turned out to be too much of a task. Plus the upside of doing it wasn’t really clear to me even though I chose to do it. I read that it helps with focusing the train of thought and with writing, but perhaps I didn’t really believe it or even know what a success would look or feel like. There are probably a million reasons why I abandoned… Bottom line, it was probably a waste of time.

I wanted to do 30 day challenges at the start of each month. But this next one can’t wait. Or better, I don’t want to wait. It starts right… right…. riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight…………. now.

For the first time ever, I’ve come up with some rock solid new year’s resolutions. I’ll get to them in detail in another post. But one of them will be along the lines of identifying distractions and both eliminating them and substituting something constructive in their place. So this 30 day challenge is part of a test run and/or momentum builder for that resolution.

This 30 day challenge is 30 days without Twitter, Google+, or other social media and message boards. All except Facebook.

The logic is simple. I want to eliminate distractions and time wasters, but not cut out social interaction all together. I find Facebook valuable in keeping connected with people, and I don’t spend/waste a lot of time on there. Twitter, Google+, and the others, however, I find I spend way more time just browsing and not connecting with anything or anyone in any valuable way. It’s more of a boredom filler than anything else.

I do have a few caveats though. If someone DMs (or @’s me) me, I will respond–I set notifications accordingly so I don’t have to go Twitter, etc. to look for those messages. Again, I don’t want to abandon real social connections. I also can’t abandon the usage for my company, which is minimal anyway.

Now that I’ve gotten those distractions out of the way, it’s time to button up and finalize my new year’s resolutions.

First 30 day challenge ends in a tap out

Well that one didn’t last long at all. I started my first 30 day challenge last week. And it only lasted 4 days. I wanted to do a stream of consciousness writing every night for 30 days. I may go back to the drawing board though and try to salvage it for another try (another month). I tried 30 minutes each. That may have been too long for each night. Maybe 15 minutes is enough??? I had to fight to get myself to do the last one, then threw in the towel the next day. To be honest I didn’t know what would come out of it. I did get to write down a lot of what was floating in my head (2 hours worth). There are some things I want to get done because of the writing. So maybe it was valuable in some way… Anyway my next 30 day challenge will be something easier/faster so I can get some momentum going with this concept.

30 Day Challenges

I got this idea from Matt Cutts of Google. Committing to something different for 30 days each month (or every other month or whatever). I was thinking about doing this for quite a while.

During Lent this year, I gave up junk food, which I narrowed down to the 4 c’s (cake, candy, chips, cookies). That was sort of a 30 day challenge of itself (40+ days actually). I only messed up once completely accidentally and mindlessly during Church coffee hour. I picked up a brownie and took a bite, then realized it and threw the rest away. Besides being the annoying one who turns down cake at birthday parties, it was relatively easy for me. I don’t eat much of it to begin with.

The 30 day challenge doesn’t need to be a sacrifice however. Rather motivation to try new things.

So the new month begins and so does my first 30 day challenge. This is something I put off for over a year and a half. It is stream-of-consciousness writing. The one recommendation I’m going to ignore is to do it in writing. Rather, I’m going to type them keep them in a Google Docs folder. I’m going to isolate myself from distractions first and commit a half hour to each.

Lets see how this goes…