PROMPT: Want to shake things up? Want a burst of inspiration? “Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days.”
Watch this short TED talk (3:27) on trying something new in your life for 30 days:
Would you like to Try Something New for 30 days?
What one new thing would you like to add to your life for 30 days?
What one thing would you like to subtract from your life for 30 days?
I asked a group of people these questions, and the responses were inspiring. Ride a bike on a 4-mile loop everyday. Take one special photograph everyday. Make meaningful connections with family. Discover a new recipe each day for dinner. Learn how to speak German. Meditate.
“Adding to” one’s life focused on the many positives that we dream about having time to do but haven’t quite figured out how to wedge into the day . . . to really experience them and luxuriate in them and to feel their added benefits and blessings. “Adding to” involves dreaming about and ultimately realizing those desirable priorities that seem to elude us with incredible grace and ease.
For most of the group, thinking of an “add to” took considerable thought and time. Everyone in the group wanted to make this question work for him or her. We all wrote our somethings down on paper. Scribbling the power of the written word, even onto a scrap of paper, can prove to be a daunting task. How often do we take the time to ask ourselves, “What is that I want to add to my life to enhance it? What is it that I am willing to prioritize, truly prioritize, in order to feel a sense of fulfillment?”
Thinking of what to subtract from one’s life seemed relatively easy: watching Netflix, eating sugar, smoking cigarettes, drinking red wine, gossiping, cussing, being negative, procrastinating, going to bed earlier, guzzling Red Bull each morning, breaking up with a bad boyfriend, falling asleep on the couch, eating junk after 8:00 at night.
These things involve current habits and behaviors that we know are not adding to our lives . . . still, we persist in the activity and say that we want different. If I know that it isn’t good for me, why do I keep doing it so blithely?
How revolutionary and satisfying it would be to discover how GREAT it feels to allow ourselves to experience that which we know we want and to eliminate that which we know we do not want. However, deciding to actually do something about it takes some soul revving.
It sounds so simple: just stop. Eliminate it. But such actions require thought and discipline. And, I believe, a measure of courage, too. We lean on tradition and habit and deep grooves that guide us throughout the day. What if we all just said, “Enough!” and got on board with that something new that has the potential to revolutionize our lives?
My add? Play my fiddle every single day for 30 days. My dog is a crooner whenever I pick up the fiddle. He sings, howls, and emotes his way through any song I play. He sits at my feet, throws back his head, and howls. My solution to this rather unnerving deterrant: ear plugs. For me. Not the dog. I have tried shutting the door on him, but this only generates more howling. He really wants to be part of the experience. So be it. I’ve got this.
My subtract? I am resisting! Subtract sugar for 30 days. Oh my . . . I wrote that out loud. And in bold. Looks like I am committed! The power of my own words convict me. This is going to be very, very interesting. I am not a sugar junkie, but sugar is in so. many. things. This exercise will create a new mindfulness about what I eat. An added benefit.
Anyone else want to join me? We can start today and share our experiences on May 24. I am excited! Let’s see what kind of revolution we can create by Trying Something New.