Month: December 2017

Start the New Year with a 30-Day Trial

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One of the best ways to kick off the New Year is by starting a 30-day trial of a new daily habit or activity. Instead of creating a New Year’s Resolution that probably won’t stick, just commit to a short-term change. Make a January resolution only. If it doesn’t work out, you’re completely free to abandon it on January 31st, but for the first 30 days, use every ounce of resolve and self-discipline you can muster to stick to it, whatever it takes. At the end of the 30 days, you’ll be in a great position to decide whether you want to commit to a permanent change, having 30 days of success behind you.

Some actual results people have achieved with this approach include:

  • quitting smoking
  • becoming vegetarian or vegan
  • launching a new online businesses and/or blog
  • learning to invest
  • getting out of debt
  • starting a new exercise program
  • waking up early
  • going to bed early
  • practicing daily meditation
  • practicing a talent or skill like playing a musical instrument
  • learning a new language
  • improving computer skills
  • improving social/dating skills
  • learning to type faster and more accurately
  • reading daily
  • setting aside time for school work
  • completing a thesis
  • doing daily organizing and/or cleaning
  • giving up TV
  • giving up soda
  • quitting coffee
  • … and lots more

Some people have found that after testing a change for 30 days, they realized it wasn’t right for them, but they were glad to learn this from direct experience.  Even when the 30-day trial ends with a return to old habits, the trial can still be beneficial. Usually people are grateful for what they learned, even if it doesn’t work out as expected.

I find that I do best when I take time to prepare for about a week in advance. I immerse myself in the new habit I want to install by reading about it, thinking about it, and imagining what it will be like. I hold myself back from starting until I feel a strong internal pressure to begin. This helps me make it through the first several days with high enthusiasm, which helps a lot since the first week.

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