30 Days

30 Days.

One month. That’s not much time, is it? I literally just found myself saying, “wait. August is over?” Life can happen so fast. 30 days might not be much time, but is it enough time to do something significant? To make a change, try something new, create, develop a skill… I think so. In fact, it’s probably just the right amount of time.

My mom used to say to me that you can do anything for a year. Then I started applying that other time frames. “You can do anything for a month” is a great example. It’s such a short period of time! Of course you can finish that class, deal with that person, try that new fad diet (guilty) when it’s only 30 days. I’ve been giving myself survival time frames along those lines for years. It’s like a little competition with myself. And I am very competitive. Even if it’s just me against me. 😉

I’ve also read, researched, and listened to podcasts that describe 30 days as the perfect window to create a new habit. I used this myself when I stopped biting my nails and gave up drinking coca-cola. Honestly, it worked for me. I started with just a goal of 30 days, crossing off one day at a time. Every day it got a little easier, and I was so proud when I reached the end. The added benefit was that I wanted to keep going, to see that number grow. What is it about humans and our love for keeping a streak going? Remember the quiet game in elementary school? And we’ve all seen the signs that say something like “We’ve gone ___ many days without incident.” We love to see that number build up! It’s exciting, empowering. It’s also great self-discipline. I think there is something positive that happens when you put a time frame on a goal, a habit, or skill you want to learn. So, I’m doing that!

In August I started with a 30 Day Challenge to take a photo (and post it) every single day. I had been feeling like my days were passing in a blur, and I wanted some way to mark the passage of time. I wanted every day to be individual and memorable. So, I took a photo to capture that, and I truly enjoyed the experience! Even on the days where it was 8:00 PM, and I just remembered that I hadn’t taken a single photo that day. 😳 Cue me scrambling to decide what would make a worthwhile picture to mark the day. Ha! I learned a lot, it gave me something to focus on, and now I have 30 photos to remember August of 2017. I’m really proud of myself for completing this 30 (and a bonus) day experiment of sorts. If you want to check out my #PhotoADay challenge you can find it on my instagram: @JoannaHackman.

Well, like I said at the start of the post, AUGUST IS OVER! Heading into this next month, I was ready to start a new 30 day experiment. I had a whole list of things I was choosing from, but there was one that kept coming back to me. So, in September I am trying meditation. If you don’t know me personally, I am definitely a Type A personality. I am very detail-oriented, organized, and I love a good plan. Normally, I feel like this part of my personality is a strength, but it comes with some downfalls as well. For example, I tend to worry. A lot. The unknown can just be so daunting. I get anxious, and then I just hang on to that stress for dear life. Well, it is time to let it go. (Thanks Elsa. ❄️) I do not want to be this tightly wound person. Especially when so often I am worrying over things that I quite literally have no control over. It’s completely useless. That said, I’ve been looking for some outlets and some ways to move beyond my anxiety. Meditation is the practice that keeps coming back to me. Truthfully, I am not great at just sitting (unless it’s binge-watching Netflix). The thought of sitting with all my thoughts for an extended period of time is a little anxiety inducing. But I truly believe that meditation is a useful skill that could help me cope and reduce stress. For 30 days I will meditate with my goal being at least ten minutes a day. Currently I am using the HeadSpace app. I like the guy who leads it. His voice is soothing. Today was day 4, and you know what? I think I’m going to like it. ☺️ I’ll report back soon.


Anyone out there a fan of meditation? What do you find to be the biggest benefit? Any other positive ways of dealing with stress?

Who is jumping on this 30 Day Challenge bandwagon with me?! What will you accomplish in your 30 days? The possibilities are endless. 

 

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