When you’re trying to make any sort of life change or improvement, you’ve got to go through a period of adjustment. At first, the new thing feels strange and different. But eventually, as you proceed, the new thing becomes your new normal. Eventually you can’t even fathom returning to your old ways.
As someone who is into self-improvement, one of the fun little hacks I use to support this process is to put myself on a 30 day program. The 30 day timing is somewhat arbitrary, but it just seems like the right amount of time to truly try something and be able to tell if it’s something you might want to continue. Having a finite end makes it easier to stick with and push past any inertia because we can all deal with discomfort for just one single month, especially if we suspect the end result will be worth it.
Your 30 day experiments don’t have to be a hard slog either. They can totally be highly enjoyable, even revelatory, depending on what you choose to do.
Want some ideas? Okay here you go:
* 30 days of drinking a gallon of water a day – most people drink far less water than is optimal for their bodies to work best. The way to find out if you fall into this camp is to increase the amount of water and notice how you feel. If a whole gallon freaks you out, got for half a gallon. Many who have tried this experiment opt to make it a life-long habit because they find they feel better, sleep better and don’t get sick as much.
* 30 days of taking quality supplements – Studies show many Americans are deficient in Vitamin D and magnesium, and depending upon your health and history, you may discover great benefit from taking other vitamins and minerals as well. But you’ll never know if you never take the time to figure out what deficiencies you have and take action. A month should be long enough to notice a difference and decide if quality supplements should be an ongoing part of your self-care efforts.
* 30 days of getting enough sleep – how much sleep is the right amount for you? Do you regularly get it? Maybe you need to start leaving your phone in another room starting at 9 p.m. so that you can gradually unwind and be asleep and dreaming by 10 each night. If you know you need more sleep, tweaking your life for just 30 days might allow you to make the adjustments you need to keep that habit going forward.
* 30 days of looking your best – do you sometimes scrape your hair into a top knot, throw on some flip flops or spend the day in your workout clothes because you don’t feel like changing? Taking the time to don a cute outfit, put on some makeup, style your hair and groom your nails might open up a whole new way of relating to the world. Sure it will take some extra time but only for 30 days. Then you can return to your sweats if you truly want to.
Consider taking next month to experiment for 30 days on something that will uplevel your beauty, health and/or well being. Who knows, it just might wind up being something you decide to keep for the rest of the year.
Barbara Wayman, APR