I’ve been seeing a lot of #photoaday challenges on Facebook. It’s pretty simple. You take a photo of something each day for 30 days. Boom. Done.
Sounds like quit the “challenge!” There’s nothing quite as life altering as taking a photo a day! Talk about gutting it out and making yourself better!
Ok that’s harsh but seriously. Seeing this got me thinking.
What is something that if I did for 30 days will actually improve me?
Improve me tangibly as a person. More than a 30 day ab challenge or a 30 day cleanse or vegan diet. I want to identify practices that will have life-long effects and offer a tangibly inspired perspective. I want to come out of the 30 days as a smarter, stronger, and more resourceful individual.
Here is my list of ten 30 days challenges guaranteed to actually improve your life.
Make $1,000 in a month
The purpose of this isn’t necessarily to start a booming business that will IPO one day. Rather, it’s to give you a taste of entrepreneurship that is invaluable should you decide to continue or not. Either way, it will teach you a sense of resourcefulness and self-reliance that your 9 to 5 cannot provide.
There are so many countless ways to make money online nowadays that the sky is truly the limit. Here are some thought starters. Whatever you choose, work at it for 30 days, set a goal for the end of it and reflect on the experience.
- Design/web development
- Tasks on Fiverr
- Freelance writing
- Create an e-commerce store
- Become a virtual assistant
- Sell/resell online
Reach out to 3 new people
I recently started out on this challenge myself and thus far I think this will be one of the most impactful challenges I’ve ever done.
I’ve been doing this predominately on Facebook and LinkedIn by connecting with people I admire and have previously wanted to connect with. What I do is simply reach out to said individual and set up a time to chat. I have had 3 of these calls so far this week and it is amazing what I have already learned. I have spoken with Inc 500 entrepreneurs, Forbes 30 Under 30 and more.
The key to this is to not diminish your value. Don’t think that just because you haven’t accomplished xyz, that so and so won’t talk with you.
Use your opposite hand
This one has incredible potential. All you have to do is dedicate yourself to using your non-dominant tasks for nonessential tasks. Normally open the door with your right hand? Use your left. Carry your bag with your right? Time for the left. You get the idea.
Why on earth would you do this? I don’t have any scientific evidence behind this but I am convinced that exercising the more dormant side of your brain unlocks the creative spirit in you. Perhaps its just a placebo, but regardless, the challenge of exercising your non-dominant hand is challening indeed and forces you to think and act differently.
I’m borrowing this challenge from the Seinfeld episode where George decides to do the opposite of what he would normally do… in every imaginable scenario.
This is more of a social self-improvement tactic and I can’t really define the specific things you should do for 30 days straight. Dig deep inside and identify the social things you normally do… and then do the opposite. Here are some examples:
- Don’t normally speak up in a meeting? Be the first to speak.
- Don’t noramlly introduce yourself to people you don’t know in the office? Introduce yourself.
- Get scared when someone asks for a volunteer? Be the first to volunteer.
This one requires commitment but is something that I have experimented with and can say that will have some very valuable tangible effects on your life. The mere act of writing daily gives an enormous boost to your vocabulary and ability to articulate and communicate ideas. More so, combine writing with goal setting and watch sh*t get real. Seriously. There is something to writing your goals down and articulating on them every day.
For this challenge, you don’t have to write 2,000 words each day. You don’t have to necessarily publish it either. Maybe start a private Medium or Tumblr account. Either way, hold yourself accountable to writing each day.
Keep it simple. You don’t have to move to the mountains and don robes, but you do have to commit yourself to the process. Go download a guided mediation app like Headspace and get started doing nothing.
The benefits of meditation and reflection run the gambit…improved immunity, focus, awareness, reduced stress, illness and greater cognitive ability.
This is something I have dedicated myself to doing for 30 days straight and the difference is remarkable. Yes, its great to get the nutritional benefit of breakfast but the benefits are more holistic than that. I have found myself to be more energized in the office and more optimistic and generally happier in my life.
This one is pretty simple but it will help move you from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur. All you do is develop the habit of actually writing down the ideas that are in your head. Write down at least 1 idea each day for 30 days straight. This helps train your brain in a creative fashion.
Here’s the kicker. At the end of 30 days, you HAVE TO act on one of the ideas and execute against it.
Enough said. This one is not entirely unique but I have proven it to be particularly effective in many areas of my life. Reading in a recreational manner daily for 30 days not only makes your a more knowledgeable and well-rounded individual, but it stimulates your brain, reduces stress, improves your memory, expands your vocabulary improves your writing skills.
The effects of this challenge are not quite as tangible as the others I suggested, but I still find them to be profound enough to have a prolonged effect on your life and your outlook. All you do is simply reflect on the things you are thankful for. Write them down each day and at the end of 30 days, look back on them and realize all of the things you have accomplished and that have a positive impact on you. You’d be surprised how many there are and how realizing this makes you more self aware and generally happier.
Photo credit: flickr