For October 2012, I tried to practice the ukulele every day. I ended up doing more traveling than I expected, but I managed to play ukulele most of the days. I’m still a total beginner, but it was a lot of fun! My favorite song to play so far is M.T.A. by the Kingston Trio. My Dad used to play that sometimes as I was growing up.
For November 2012, I mentioned to my wife that I was thinking of trying to get good sleep this month, like eight hours a night. My wife’s reaction could be categorized as skeptical at best. Which just makes me want to do it, of course.
So I’m setting a goal of eight hours of sleep a night for the next 30 days. We’ll see how it goes! If you want more context, here’s what I mean when I talk about 30 day challenges:
Why not think about something that sounds like fun, or that you’ve wanted to start, and give it a shot for the next 30 days?
Last month I did a secret 30 day challenge: everyday I did something nice for my wife. It could be surprising her with flowers, doing some chore around the house without her asking, or just trying to be present and focused when she wanted to talk. This challenge turned out really well.
At first, I thought of writing down the nice thing I did each day, like when I tracked my “month of kindness” challenge. But instead, I found myself adopting an attitude of trying to be more supportive throughout the day. My wife noticed the change in my behavior and remarked on it mid-month, so I guess I still had some room to be a better husband.
If you’re married, you should definitely consider this challenge. I was a little worried that when I revealed my challenge, my wife would feel like I’d been deceiving her or holding something back, but she was just happy that I’d been doing thoughtful things for her this month.
Okay, so what’s up for the month of October? I’m going a little more light-hearted. My wife got me a ukulele a couple months ago, and I’m going to try to play the ukulele each day. The ukulele is a great instrument because you can’t take yourself too seriously playing a ukulele. It’s a very low-pressure instrument.
I’ve never had much musical training, so I’m complete beginner. Don’t expect me to upload any YouTube videos or perform in public. I’m just having fun with it, which is exactly what you should do with a ukulele. Here’s a little video to get your day started:
If you want to join me in a 30 day challenge, just pick out something you’ve always wanted to try and give it a go!
Last month (June 2012), my 30 day challenge was to try to eat mindfully (eat more slowly, don’t eat while distracted by TV or web browsing, chew more, stop eating when I’m full, etc.). It turns out that eating mindfully is hard. I’m the sort of person that eats whatever is on my plate, so a couple tricks that worked for me were to 1) get smaller plates and utensils, and 2) don’t put a serving of food on your plate unless you know you want it.
My 30 day challenge this month (July 2012) is “Don’t send any emails after 9 p.m.” Email is the part of my life that is most out of control, so it’s worth trying a few approaches to tackle it. I thought about doing something like “Only send 25 emails a day” but time tracking is much easier. Danish to English dictionary . You can help by not sending me any emails this month.
By the way, if you’re wondering about this whole “30 day challenge” thing, you can watch my TED talk about it: