28 Feb 2019, 21:37

30 Day Challenges

Fashionably late as ever, I’m just now getting around to something that I picked up on around the new year amid the annual torrent of resolutions for self improvement. Normally I give most of these things a hard pass but the 30 day challenge seemed like an idea that would be a good fit for me. This isn’t anything new, the talk is from 2011 but I just happened to come across it a few weeks ago.

I love the idea of running lots of short experiments just to see what happens. Unlike a resolution, this doesn’t presuppose that a change will be for the better and gives you a way out for ideas that don’t work out, without feeling like you’re giving up. At the same time, sticking it out for 30 days could help get you through something that seems awful in the first week but starts to improve as you go. I’m also drawn to the aspect of having another thing to record and track. In no particular order, here are some of the things I’m thinking about:

Challenges I’d like to try

  • Read for an hour every day
  • Write for 30 minutes every day
  • Write some code for fun every day
  • Don’t use my phone while I’m at home
  • Read a paper from Papers We Love every day
  • Cut out refined sugar
  • Organize for 30 minutes every day
  • Draw something every day. I’m no artist, but being able to visually represent an abstract or complex idea is a valuable communication skill for software developers and I’d like to get better at that.
  • Finish Godel Escher Bach
  • Stay off of Twitter

I’m planning to start in March and the first thing that I’ll try is to avoid using my phone while I’m at home. (That’ll be a tough one so I’m really jumping straight into the deep end here.)