Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Challenges: 30 Days and Beyond

Several aspects of the definition of challenge that particularly resonate with me include: "a call to confrontation; a test of one’s abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking." Let me elaborate. I started a blog over a year ago and hadn’t written a post in quite a while. I was not happy with this reality. After viewing a TED Talk regarding taking on a 30 Day Challenge, I committed to taking on the challenge of 30 consecutive days of writing and posting to this blog. The essence of the challenge was to engage in a specific action for 30 consecutive days in order to develop a new habit. According to the research behind the TED Talk, it takes about 30 consecutive days to turn a behavior into a habit. I was initially apprehensive about the 30 day commitment, specifically around being able to come up with something different each day to write about that was potentially valuable to the reader and personally meaningful.

What unfolded during the 30 Day Challenge was profound for me on a myriad of levels. If you’ve been following the blog for the past 30 days, or tuned in at some point during the challenge, you would have witnessed that I was able to come up with a fresh topic to explore for each of the 30 days. I also accumulated a notebook filled with potential blog topics and discovered that there is an entire world out there of engaging ideas. Additionally, many of you generously shared topics to explore in future blog posts. My perceptual filters have expanded to notice potential blog topics in every experience. In other words, writing and posting for 30 consecutive days shifted my way of experiencing and moving through the world – a major paradigm shift.

Was it challenging at times to turn an idea into a post and sit down and write every day? You bet it was! Ironically, the most challenging days turned into some of my favorite posts. How did I get through the most confronting days? I did it by reconnecting with my original commitment; on each particularly challenging day, I asked myself if I was still committed to the 30 Day Challenge. The answer was always yes.

Many of you asked about what will follow my initial challenge regarding the blog and taking on another 30 Day Challenge. With regard to the blog, the 30 Day Challenge worked its magic. Much to my delight, the blog writing habit is established and I am thoroughly enjoying exploring the various topics that float through my mind. I sincerely hope you find personal meaning in my observations and reflective questions. With regard to my next 30 Day Challenge, I’m exploring several possibilities and will choose one by the end of this week. When I ran a few options by several dear friends, the consensus was that these would be hard to do for 30 consecutive days. That’s the point! The beauty of a challenge is that it’s both confrontational and calls one to confront internal and external roadblocks. When the confrontations are in service of a personally stimulating and meaningful endeavor, growth and paradigm shifting occur on levels beyond one’s imagination. It’s worth the confrontation and the resultant stretching of personal resources.

In what area of you life do you want to experience a paradigm shift? What 30 Day Challenge will you commit to?


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