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You can do anything for 30 days.

This is the message I recently heard while listening to a 3 minute TED Talk by Matt Cutts. In this popular, little video clip, Matt shares how he created new habits and conquered life-long dreams by simply setting 30 day goals. I was inspired.

I love the idea of setting goals and achieving them; however, maybe like you, I have this one little problem. I rarely follow through with my goals. Which is why I absolutely love what Matt said in his TED Talk. “You can do ANYTHING for 30 days!”

What is your “anything” that you can do for 30 days?

Maybe it’s to quit smoking. Sound too hard? Remember, it’s just for 30 days. Maybe you want to read the Bible but never find time. What about 5 minutes a day for 30 days? You could pay a compliment to one person daily. Think about what that would do for your relationships. Or you could begin simplifying your life by giving away one item every day and reach the end feeling less cluttered and more generous.

November is a great time to start a 30 Day Challenge.

Why? Well, for starters, the month has exactly 30 Days!

It’s also a month that many others have already adopted as the perfect time to tackle a challenge.

  • Think 30 Days of Thankfulness—write down something you are thankful for every day for 30 days.
  • No Shave November—for all you dudes out there, dare to go one entire month without shaving. Your wives will either love you or hate you.
  • And then there’s my personal favorite—NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writers Month, and it takes place every November. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days from start to finish. I have always wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo, but I’ve never had the time. Well, it looks like this November will be my first opportunity. So (deep breath), I am undertaking the challenge.

Now, here’s the thing about writing a novel in 30 days… It will be crap. I mean really, I’m trying to write a novel in 30 days. But the point is not to write the world’s greatest novel in 30 days. The goal, as with any 30 Day Challenge, is to develop a habit. Matt Cutt said it best:

“Small changes are sustainable.”

In order to write 50,000 words in the month of November, I will need to write 1,667 words every single day. That means I will be building a rhythm of consistent writing, something every author needs in order to complete a writing project. If you read my last post, then you already know I have just recently made the commitment to writing my next novel.

What rhythm can you build into your life over the next 30 days?

A rhythm of kindness? A rhythm of thankfulness? A rhythm of self-control or productivity?

Whatever it is, I am encouraging you to join me. Choose something that will be empowering to you, and make sure your goal is a SMART Goal. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Here’s my example:

  • Specific – write a novel
  • Measurable – 50,000 words (1,667 words daily)
  • Achievable – this is an attainable goal; I will be stretching myself, but it is not impossible
  • Relevant – this is relevant to the work I do and the rhythms I want to establish in my life
  • Time-bound – 30 DAYS!

Will you accept the challenge?

As I prepare to undertake this experiment, I’d also like to throw down the gauntlet for you. What is your “anything” that you can do for 30 days? Will you accept the challenge?