At the beginning of last month, I challenged myself to get up every morning at 4:45 and walk the dog. Both she and I need the exercise and it’s a much gentler way to wake up in the morning than being jolted into awareness by a hot shower or cup of coffee. This is the first time that I’ve tried a month-long challenge, an idea that I picked up from Matt Cutts. It was such a success that I’m working on a new 30-day challenge this month. No spoilers: apparently, telling other people your goal [SLYT] is a great way to ruin your motivation to complete it.

Instead, here is a list of 30-day challenges that I’m planning to attempt, many of which were inspired by Cutts’s list. Which one should I do next? What others do you recommend?

  • write a page of text daily
  • eat vegan
  • get 8 hrs of sleep each evening
  • give my partner a new compliment each day
  • meditate for 30 minutes daily
  • eat more slowly (take 10 seconds between each bite)
  • remove the work email app from my phone
  • stretch daily
  • record 1 second of video per day
  • stop reading the news
  • play the ukulele daily
  • draw a picture daily
  • discover something new to be thankful for each day
  • learn a new word daily
  • take a non-selfie picture a day
  • no facebook
  • no refined sugar
  • no caffeine
  • no TV
  • set a vacation message on my personal email
  • get rid of one household item each day

The goal of each of these isn’t necessarily to learn a new skill or develop a new habit, but to see how I react to a concerted effort to change my daily routine. To spice things up. As I said, I’m working on one of these already for the month of September. I’ll let you know how it goes in a few weeks!