Join the Challenge – Update

April 19th, 2005 by Steve Pavlina

A few pieces of advice for those courageous souls who are taking the 30-day challenge:

1) Focus on actions, not results. It’s easier to guarantee that you exercise every day vs. trying to lose a certain amount of weight. It’s easier to guarantee that you write for an hour vs. finishing a page of text. Of course you want to select actions that you feel will give you positive results, but the main point of this challenge is to condition a new habit or to decondition a bad habit. In the long run, it’s the habit that will produce results.

2) Make it specific and measurable. Be specific in how you describe your new daily action such that an independent observer who watched you could say with complete certainty whether or not you succeeded. If your new habit is to “eat more fruits and vegetables,” that’s too vague. “Eat at least 5 six-ounce servings of fruit or vegetables each day” is better. It’s easier to succeed when you have a specific target; you’re more likely to fall off course when the target is too general. You need to know with total certainty whether you hit your target each day — don’t allow any room for rationalizations. Make it binary. Either you hit the bullseye or you didn’t.

3) Don’t give up. If you miss your target one day, start over at day 1 with the goal of making it further on your second attempt.

4) Expect to succeed. Intend and expect that you’ll make it through the whole 30 days and will share your success story on May 20. In fact, go ahead and intend for everyone doing this to succeed. Sometimes people get better results with a group than they do with individual efforts.


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