list maker. I like to plan out goals and make To Do Lists for the day/week/month/year. Oh, and for my whole life. Yikes.
I'm good at the planning part. I suck at the executing part.
I know this, and yet I can't stop myself from listing unattainable goals for myself each year. December and January are stressful and exciting months for me as I try to figure out what I want to accomplish in the coming year. I usually scribble down a 3-5 page list and then feel overwhelmed because I know I won't be able to accomplish these things, but I know I will feel like I've failed if I take anything off the list, too.
DO ALL THE THINGS is not the most effective mantra for achieving anything.
So this year I am doing something different: The 30 Day Challenge. Times twelve.
Instead of trying to accomplish a hundred things in the next 12 months, I'm achieving long-term goals 30 days at a time. Each month a new challenge - doing something for 30 straight days (or 29 or 31, depending on the month!). It could be eliminating a bad habit, starting a good habit, or working on a project - but it has to be something that I will do every day for an entire month. And it's working!
Some of the challenges I will share here and some of them I won't. In January I read (from a book) every day and started a new skin care routine. Good for the mind and good for the body. Check and check. And while I won't put the pressure on myself to read every day after January is over, I've set myself up to continue these good habits - to read more and take better care of myself in the coming months.
I've done things like this before (I like to give up meat for Lent every year), but I'm really excited to do a new challenge each month in 2012. This format really works for me and I'm so much more successful when I have a challenge broken into smaller achievable steps. I can pretty much do anything for 30 straight days, and when I do, I really feel like I've accomplished something. (At the very least, I finished four books this month and now have smoother, healthier skin!)
And if that wasn't enough inspirational cheerleading (gag!) for you, check out Matt Cutts' TED Talk on trying something new for 30 days.
February, here I come!