During the New Year you can expect everyone to be talking about goals and goal setting.
While there is value in goal setting, I’ve pretty much walked away from goal setting in the traditional sense. That’s not to say I’ll never go back over to the dark side, but today I want to highlight the value of 30 day challenges.
If you’re accomplishing all of your goals set on December 31st, then you can ignore this post. If, however, you set goals at the New Year and they didn’t last more than a few weeks, you might want to keep reading.
What is a 30 Day Challenge?
A single ‘mini-goal’ that you focus on with intensity for 30 days. The important part of a 30 day challenge is that you never do more than one at a time.
How are 30 Day Challenges Beneficial?
They work better for times of transition.
Michael Hyatt has a free guide on how to develop a life plan. I’ve read the book and really like it. The problem is that I haven’t been at a place in life where the concepts have been easy for me to apply. Over the last year and a half, I didn’t even know what was coming up in the next few months, so that made it hard to look further ahead. As a result, I’ve enjoyed being able to set 30 day challenges because the time commitment is shorter.
They are easier to accomplish because of the shorter time period.
A few months ago, I decided to go a month without drinking caffeine. A couple of weeks into it I started to try and self talk myself out of it because I was only drinking a caffeinated cup of tea a day. However, I started the challenge due to a challenge someone offered me. In the end, I stuck with it because it was only two more weeks. If I didn’t have a short time period to experiment with skipping caffeine, I would have only lasted a week or two.
You’ll gain confidence.
Since this is a short term goal, it’s easier to accomplish than goals you think you’ll continue for the rest of your life.
Remember that feeling when you look back and realize that you didn’t keep any of your New Years Resolutions? You start to have negative thoughts about how you just don’t have the discipline or self control. Then the next time you walk into a new setting you’ll already be half convinced that you couldn’t do it even if you tried.
However, when you stick with a small, measurable challenge for 30 days, you’ll remind yourself that you can set and accomplish valuable goals.
30 day challenges allow you explore differing types of goals.
- Some people say you’ll spend less using cash than a credit card. Why not try it for 30 days and see if that’s true?
- You’ll hear that budgeting is a key to healthy finances. Why not try it for 30 days to see if that’s true?
- Got debt? Why not set an aggressive goal for a month to pay off as much debt as possible in that 30 day period?
- Is there a finance book you’ve been wanting to read? Set a 30 day challenge to read the book within that time period.
- Do you have some bookkeeping tasks you’ve been putting off for a long time? Decide that by the end of the next 30 days you’ll have a will, life insurance, and any other important items.
It just might stick.
After spending 30 days doing something you’ve actually developed a habit. If the task was easier than you thought or more important than you anticipated, you may just decide to keep up the new habit. Remember, this is not necessarily the goal. The goal is to do it for 30 days to accomplish some important things in your life and to build confidence.
If there’s a part of your financial life that is lacking, why not try identifying the issue and set a 30 day challenge to address or remedy that situation in your life?