21 days is what they say…
Is what it takes to form a habit.
If you do something for 21 consecutive days, it will become a habit.
That is what science says, and you can’t really argue with science, right?
Regardless, I want to show you the power of 30 day challenges. I share some examples of how I have implemented these challenges and how they’ve changed my life.
I, then, challenge you for the month of April.
I read the book, The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness last November.
It’s a book about performing little daily habits that can change your life, when done each & everyday.
Now this doesn’t happen in a week or a month, but over time. Little things like taking the stairs instead of an elevator, eating an apple instead of a bag of chips, meditating for 5 minutes per day, etc.
In December, I read a book called The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
In the book, the author suggests 30 days to form a habit. He has a real estate version and I cannot recommend it enough. Check it out on Amazon.
The book is about getting up an hour earlier, although it does not have to be an hour. He suggests practicing 6 daily habits each morning guaranteed to transform your life before 8 am.
The habits are sitting in silence, reading affirmations aloud, visualizing, exercise, reading & writing.
Miracle Morning Challenge
I set out to do the Miracle Morning for 30 days on January 5th. I just completed my 84th consecutive morning routine. I’ve completed all 6 habits every single day. I have yet to miss a single one.
I have a spreadsheet where I track everything. A printed off one, I am kind of old school.
Now, I originally set out to do this for 30 days. I honestly didn’t believe I could wake up at 5:30 on a regular basis. On weekends, I do allow myself to “cheat” and sleep in a bit.
The Miracle Morning is now part of my day and couldn’t imagine a day without it.
Last May, I challenged myself to write out 5 things that I am grateful for. I couldn’t repeat anything and had to do it everyday. It was a difficult exercise. I completed the 30 days and took a few days off.
I missed doing it, so I started it up again.
I have been doing it ever since.
I challenged myself to a 30 day planking challenge. I would plank (for strengthening your core) everyday, starting at 20 seconds per day and increasing time every few days. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be.
Again, this was supposed to be for 30 days, but have been doing it for 2+ months. I did miss 2 days this month, so I am not as consistent with it.
However, I now do it for 3 minutes at a time.
Writing Copy Challenge
I started another 30 day challenge of hand writing sales copy. This is an exercise where I hand write successful advertisements from the top copywriters. This is to improve writing persuasively. This is extremely important for marketing.
When I sit down this afternoon to write, today will be my 70th consecutive day. I have not missed a single one.
This is now part of my day and my writing has drastically improved over the last 2+ months.
You can tell, right 🙂
Cold Shower Challenge
This is one I read about years ago, but was too scared to attempt. You must take a cold (read: not warm) shower for 5 minutes. This forces you to get comfortable in uncomfortable situations. There are some health benefits as well.
Today will be day #38, although I did miss one day last week, but did do it for 30 consecutive days.
This is now part of my day. I actually enjoy them and it really forces you to focus on living in the moment.
The Ripple Effect
Since starting my Miracle Mornings, I have also created other little daily habits that I have actually stuck with.
Not the typical, “I am going to do XYZ in January” and go back to my old ways in February.
Almost 3 months later, and still sticking with it. I find keeping track of everything to be the secret.
Some of these include;
- Quit smoking (day #81 today)
- Read 7 books so far this year — more than I read in 2014
- Haven’t eaten fast food — not once
- Quit eating sweets on February 1st (although I allow myself to cheat on Saturdays)
- Don’t eat after 8 pm
- Review my goals on a daily basis — read them aloud every morning
The purpose of this blog post (longer than I had planned) is to show you the power of these little 30 day challenges. As you can see, these started off as challenges to myself, but have now become part of my day.
I Challenge You!
We are 2 days away from April, which happens to have 30 days in it. I want you to come up with a 30 day challenge for the month of April. It doesn’t have to involve taking a cold shower or hand-writing advertisements or planking in your living room at 10:00 on a Saturday night.
Just think of something that you would like to form a habit of.
Maybe a gratitude challenge?
There are a ton of studies out there that prove the power of practicing daily gratitude. I can assure you that this is an extremely powerful exercise.
Now, 5 a day might be a bit much, so how about writing out 3 things EVERY morning for the month of April that you are grateful for.
This should only take 5-10 minutes and can be done while drinking your morning
Although, days 20 and on do take some time, as you’re not supposed to repeat any.
It is challenging, but it’s a great exercise. You’ll look at things differently. It’s hard to explain, but throughout your day, you will look around to find things you are grateful for. Things, you took for granted before.
It’s really powerful.
These habit forming routines are a great way to get a slight edge on your competition.
They can change your life.