Monday, May 28, 2012

30 Day Challenge

My sister in law emailed me the other day with, what I consider to be, a great idea for a challenge. She included a link to this TED talk. I watched the talk, it's only about three and a half minutes--you can watch it too. If you're at all like me, when I get something emailed to me and if it requires what I estimate to take more than about five minutes, I usually reserve it for later that night when I tell myself I will have the peace and quiet to watch/read said article or clip with true focus. What usually happens is when that time of peace and calm arrives, my brain is so fried that I convince myself that what I really need is to veg out in front of the TV and try to pretend like I have nothing more important to do.
The gist of it is this: try something new for 30 days. Groundbreaking!!! Not really. It immediately reminded me of the book I read last year by Gretchen Rubin called, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. Mrs. Rubin took several goals she'd always hoped to accomplish and broke them down into different months and implemented various goals for each month--trying to build on the goals as the months went by. Her project was more ambitious than this--simply take one thing you would like to do and do it for 30 days.
Want to know why I like this idea? Well, first, there's the positive spin--something you want to DO. It wasn't phrased as something you don't want to do. Like for instance, you don't want to phrase your goal like, "I don't want to be a fat lard for 30 days." Instead you could say, "I want to eat healthy for 30 days." That feels so much better. It's like when you tell your kids to go play outside when what you really want to say is, "Quit yelling at each other or I'm going to yell louder than all of you."
When I got around to reading this email from my sister in law--it fell into that category of needing more than five minutes of brain time to process--I started to think of that long list of New Year's Resolutions that I cycle through every year. I'm sure you have one like it. Something like:
1. Never yell at my kids again.
2.Never eat sugar even though it takes me to a happy place.
3. Write in my journal every single day to chronicle this amazing journey I call life.
4. Make my own baby food.
5. Grow the food I will convert into baby food.
6. Design labels for the jars that the baby food will go in.
And on and on and on. It's a bit of a frustrating thing we do to ourselves trying to change into these "other" people we want to be.
BUT, I'm not even going to go to that list of New Year's Resolutions. I decided that I needed a fresh take. What is something that is small that I can change? Better yet, after I thought about it for quite a while, I thought, what can I change that will in turn lead to even better changes?
Drum roll please........
I am going to give up TV for 30 days. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't really watch all that much TV. I do however, watch TV at night when I could be doing better things. I could be getting back at my family history work. My ancestors are yelling at me right now "Why are you blogging when you could be finding out information about our lives???" I could go on a walk or (gulp) start running again with my husband. I could be reading more. I could be...well, doing a lot of other things than sitting like a blob in front of the TV.
So, my challenge is going to be TV freedom for 30 days. What are you going to DO?


rachel said...

I want to wake my kids up by singing a primary song. I tried doing it for two weeks a while ago and Hunter said it was his favorite thing on his mother's day card. So, I am going to try it again. I am admiring you for the no TV thing. It's inspiring.

JLJ said...

About three years ago I decided to go on a TV fast for an undetermined amount of time. After a few weeks I realized I didn't miss my shows at all and I haven't watched TV since. I don't think TV is bad, but for me it was a time waster and a spiritual drain. I like having my evenings free to read or just talk to my husband. I didn't expect my husband to join my fast, but after a while his TV viewing also greatly diminished and now he rarely watches TV. Good luck with your 30 day challenge!

peachytiffers said...

Oh, Audrey, I haven't looked at blogs forever and chose yours to catch up with first. I just love what you share and your voice that comes through your writing! Miss you!

That's an awesome goal. We have done that a few times, but always because of circumstance, never choice and I am ALWAYS happy with the results. It's amazing how much you can get done and I always find that I don't miss it all that much. Good luck!