Day 1 of “Try something new for 30 days”

It’s the last day of the month and theoretically, I should be at the end of my “try something new for 30 days” journey, not at the beginning.  But I’m not. Instead of day 30, today is day one.  Let me explain.

I am a relative newcomer to the TED talks.  They’ve been around for a while, I’ve heard about them but I never really bothered to listen, wrongly assuming that I wouldn’t find these talks very interesting.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.  I love them!  One of the first talks I listened to was by Matt Cutts.  I had no idea who he is.  I just thought he was some guy who had succeeded in creating a new habit.  His was a short, lighthearted talk suggesting that if there was always something you wanted to do or accomplish that it would be a good idea to commit to doing it for 30 days.  As Matt puts it,

“The next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days?”

Thirty days is about how long it takes to create a new habit or break an old one.  I used to be someone who exercised every day.  That was a long time ago, however.  It’s amazing how much time can go by when you aren’t really paying attention.  For me, it’s almost ten years (!) since I did any kind of meaningful, regular exercise.  I would have said five, but in truth it is closer to ten.  So I decided to try walking every day for 30 days.  Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?  I’m not running after all, I’m only walking.  Today should have been day 30 and I would be writing about how I had changed my life and wasn’t it just wonderful and wasn’t I great to have challenged myself in this way?

What actually happened was I hedged my bets and didn’t tell anyone what I was planning to do.  Just in case I didn’t make it.  My 30 day goal was to walk every day.  A simple goal, no?  Well it was, until I decided to embellish it.  I had to walk in the morning right after my son got on the bus.  Even better, I should get up early and walk before anyone else was out of bed.  I would walk for an hour and it would have to be at least 10,000 steps.  This meant I had to be up and out of the house by 5:10 a.m.  That way my walk wouldn’t interfere with anything else on my schedule.  And I had to take our dog, Snoopy with me, so he would get some exercise, too.  Well, it went well for the first few days and then I just got overwhelmed.  Inertia set in.  I couldn’t always do an hour.  I didn’t always make 10,000 steps.  And I never was out of the house before 7:00, never mind 5:10.  Who was I kidding?  I felt like a failure and I stopped.  And I silently consoled myself for at least not blogging about this ahead of time, for choosing to wait until I had successfully completed my 30 day challenge because if I hadn’t, then I would be incredibly embarrassed by my failure.

And I am a little embarrassed, to be honest.  But just a little.  I’m not going to let it stop me.  I’m back to my simple goal of walking every day.  I’m not going to define it much more than that, except to say that I will try to do most of it in the morning because I find that I feel better after I get my walk in.  I have more energy and it feels good to accomplish something.  It may only be twenty minutes, but I’ll take it any way I can get it.

Is there something that you have been meaning to do or try and haven’t?  For whatever reason?  I invite you to join me and jump in.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  I’d love for you to keep me posted on yours. Here’s to the next 30 days!


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