do it for 30 days

Jacqueline Cochran / Smithsonian Institution Archives

 

Common pop-psych wisdom holds that it takes 30 days to break a habit. Most people apply this timeline to chucking cigarettes or curbing a guilty PerezHilton addiction. That’s why I love this quickie TED talk from Google’s Matt Cutts, who asks, what could you ADD to your life in 30 days?

Cutts proposes 30-day challenges as a goal-setting technique. Everyone’s got something they want to accomplish, like these usual suspects:

– write a novel (even a bad one)

– run a 5K, 10K or marathon

– cook a healthy dinner every night

Pick your target, do it for 30 days and watch your confidence soar. Even better, says Cutts, time doesn’t fly by quite so forgettably. The month becomes unusually memorable — and small changes are more likely to stick. It’s certainly sound advice for creatives, who always have a couple simmering projects that deserve their attention.

**Oh, just don’t tell anyone about your 30-day challenge. According to Derek Sivers (and a pile of longstanding research), the initial jolt of satisfaction we get from simply sharing our plans with others makes us less likely to do the work and take action.

Now go forth and conquer (but keep your mouth shut).

posted 11 Jul 11 in: art, business, inspiration, media. This post currently has no responses.

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