Boom! 30-Day Challenge

I was perusing the interweb this afternoon looking for some "let's be successful" motivational clips for my students when I found this clip by Matt Cutts (it's only three minutes, watch it). He has taken Morgan Spurlock's (Supersize Me) 30 day challenge and made it his own. It not only looks like he's altered his own life's capacity for fun, but it's like he's continually inspiring himself to be a better person.

And so I'm going to go for it...and so are my students because they have to. I would love to have some adults take on some personal changes with me if you are into it. Here is the assignment for any of you brave enough to try. (You don't have to do the written assignment portion if you choose to do this (smirk), but you probably want to check out the pre-project requirements to pump yourself up with inspiration.) Also, I would love to hear about your progress and overall experience. I'll even post it up here if you want, or not, if you don't want. This will be it with me!

[Start Date: 1/14/2013]

My habits to change:
Habit to Begin: Write a minimum of 1/2 hour daily.
Habit to Lose: No What Would Tyler Durden Do. (celeb gossip site that I do not need in my life, but find myself addicted to)

30-Day Challenge Project

1) Pre-Project Requirement-- Watch/read one (or all) of the following:

         -  Matt Cutts' Blog --blog about various 30 day challenges from the same guy we watched in class.        
         - Steve Pavlina's Blog --another blog about the 30 day challenge
         - 30 Days TV show clips --mini clips from Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days TV Show (Season 1 and 2 clips)
         - Supersize Me --Morgan Spurlock’s original documentary about eating only fast food for 30 days. (Full Film)
         - 30 Day Finance Suggestions --Finance options for the challenge (Article)

2) Project Goal—Choose a minimum of one habit to begin and one habit to lose for the next 30 days. [Not academic] The beginning habit should be like the video suggests—something you’ve always wanted to do…for a small period of time. The habit to lose should be something you WANT to rid yourself of—maybe make you a better person (in your eyes).

3) Project Documentation- You must document how the challenge is progressing a minimum of 5 times during the course of the project. Think of it like a diary or blog entry. Each entry is a minimum of 7 sentences. Writing more will add more to your project. Writing every single day will double your total project score.

-Discuss any successes or falls that you encounter throughout the project experience.
-Discuss any difficulties, frustrations or “slips” that may occur throughout the challenge. (This is especially important since we are documenting 30 days, not five—If you “mess up”, use the next day to start over)
-Discuss your enjoyment level and any other positives that arise from participating in the project.

(Pictures and videos documenting your 30-Day Challenge are welcome, but not required, to enhance your point-age on this project.)

4) Project Finale –Write a minimum of one page referencing and adding to your documentation, as well as describing your overall experience.

5) Project Calendar and Required Components Deadlines-

--Monday, January 14, 2013—Project Start Date,
Your name, and two habits on a “sticky” is due. (This will be done in class on Monday, 1/14/2013)

--Tuesday, January 22, 2013—
First documentation check-in for dates January 14th-January 20th is due.
(See project documentation above for particulars)

--Monday, January 28, 2013—
Check in #2 for January 21st- January 26th is due.

--Monday, February 4, 2013—
Check in #3 for January 27th- February 1st is due.

--Monday, February 11, 2013—
Check in #4 for February 2nd- February 7th is due.

--Tuesday, February 19th, 2013—
Final Check-in for February 8th- February 14th is due.

--Wednesday, February 20th, 2013—
Overall written experience due. Guided questions will be available.


30-Day Challenge Project—Check-in #1

--Tuesday, January 22, 2013—
Documentation check-in for dates January 14th-January 20th

         My 30-day challenge consists of two changes I wish to make within my daily schedule. My first change was to incorporate a half hour of writing into my day. When I watched Matt’s 30-day challenge video he mentioned something about choosing things he always wanted to do. I decided to take his advice and do the same. I like writing and I already write at least once a week as a hobby. Sometimes I write more depending on what is going on in my life, so for me, this challenge is really more about focusing every single day on this particular activity, instead of writing only when I feel like I “need” to.
         The other part of my challenge was removing the website, from my daily routine. What Would Tyler Durden Do is a site geared toward entertainment gossip, but instead of idolizing those in entertainment, the writer basically makes fun of them. What I realized is it doesn’t matter if I’m reading a magazine like People that glorifies fame, or if I’m perusing wwtdd which only mocks it, I’m still spending my time knowing crap about people that aren’t even important. This is why I wanted to rid myself of it. 
         Both aspects of my challenge are going really good so far. Not using the website has been super easy, but that might be because I spend enough time on Reddit to make up for it. The writing every day has also not been too bad. Since day one (January 14th) I have been writing a fictional story. When I write, I usually write non-fiction narratives and so this challenge has been a little different, a little harder; however, it has also been fun for me. I enjoy making up the random characters and their interactions, and whether anyone ever sees what I’ve done, it’s good practice.
*I don’t see wwtdd being a problem for the remaining month. I think this is something I could easily give up for good.

*I think I can keep up with the writing and would like to make myself keep going even when my time is up each day. 

30-Day Challenge Project—Check-in #2
Documentation check-in for dates January 21st-January 26th

         It is right now 13 days into the challenge. This portion went really well for a few days, but it also seemed to get more difficult to maintain over the last couple days. Since we had off on Monday, writing was especially easy and I put in a couple of hours. Tuesday and Wednesday were okay too except Mr. Anderson did have to remind on Wednesday.          
        Thursday and Friday were much harder for me. On Thursday, I went to see a live version of Macbeth leaving me a couple of hours in between work and the performance to basically walk my pups and eat dinner. I probably could have pushed myself when I got home, but I just went to bed instead. On Friday, I felt pretty sick and so after tutoring, I just went home and back to bed for a couple of hours. I still felt sick when I woke up and it was really hard to make myself do anything…and so I didn’t.
         I tried to make up for my two missed days of writing by spending a few hours on Saturday. However, that is not exactly the challenge I designed for myself. My change was to be more routine about my writing—making it happen every day instead of a spending a few hours here and there. Also during this challenge, I have been trying to work with fiction, but ultimately wrote another narrative piece about my experiences in Okinawa, Japan for my blog. (Banana Lady Link)
         So, as a whole, this last 6 days were harder for me than the first 6. On a more positive note, the wwtdd website is not even in my frame of mind. I just don’t go to it. It has been way easier than I thought it would be. And, because some students insinuated that I was compensating for the loss completely by going on reddit, I hardly spent any time on reddit this last week either (even though I still maintain the fact that they are completely different websites).
* wwtdd will still be easy to stay away from.
* I think the writing will get harder and harder…I’m trying to remain positive and believe it to be a daily possibility in addition to my full time job of teaching. 

30-Day Challenge Project—Check-in #3
Documentation for dates January 27th (Sunday)- February 2nd (Friday)

         Twenty days into the challenge…I’m finding that Wednesdays and Thursdays are harder for me to maintain my habits over any other days. Both days are meeting days here at work and I tend to get home an hour later than normal. Just that one hour less of time at home causes difficulty for me to sit down with my writing. I end up making up for missed days which again is fine, but not exactly how I set up my goals. Otherwise, I still view the challenge positively and am going to try my best to complete my daily writing over the next ten days.
         I’ve decided to alter my challenge a bit too. Since the website addiction has not actually been difficult for me to redirect, I am going to start another 30 day challenge to overlap. After watching the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead documentary trailer four times last week, I am going to try to juice once a day, every day, for the next thirty days. My goal is to supplement my breakfast with a juice drink and then go about my day as normal.

* Adding on juicing to my daily routine.
* I’m going to really try and push myself this week, mid-week, when I know I have difficulty to try and get my writing finished.

30-Day Challenge Project—Check-in #4
Documentation for dates Feb. 3rd (Saturday)- Feb. 8th (Thursday)

         Besides the first week, this week was the easiest week for me to stick to the challenge. I made it a point to wake up earlier each day before work so that I had time to juice. I also pushed myself to get my writing finished earlier in the day as opposed to waiting until evening. This made it much easier. Additionally, my British Literature classes watched a movie last week and I was able to use bits of that time to write a little. That was pretty convenient.
         I also feel like part of me knows the challenge is almost over and from the last check-in I only had ten more days left. It was easy to tell myself, “I could do anything for the next ten days”. By the time my students do this assignment tomorrow, we will only have four days left in the challenge. I know a few of them have been trying really hard to complete this challenge and I know some of them have been struggling with their choices of habits to lose and gain. Hopefully, we can all push forward for these last few days.
*So far, I think I missed four days of writing. I would like those days to be the only ones I miss as I finish up the challenge.
*My first seven days of juicing went extremely well and am going to continue setting my alarm a little earlier.
*I did not fall back on WWTDD so I see that continuing positively too.

Final Check-in

         Overall, my goal with this challenge was to make little changes in my life as a means to form more positive habits. One habit I specifically chose to rid myself of was spending time on the website, WWTDD. For me, it is a time waster. It was something I automatically checked when I got home from work and daily it ended up absorbing minutes from my life without adding anything. The other habit was to write everyday for 30 minutes. I enjoy writing in general and so my plan was to make it more habitual by requiring a set amount of time to accomplish each day.
         I quickly learned that my spending time on the website wasn’t actually that difficult to stop since I basically just make the conscious decision not to and that was enough. About mid-way through the challenge I decided to replace those 5-10 minutes per day and spend that time differently, juicing. I have now completed 14 days of juicing for breakfast and see this as a much more positive use of my time. Additionally, I am continuing without the website. I didn’t go back the first day after the challenge and I am avoiding those types of entertainment articles when online altogether. I would much rather waste my time on people I actually care about as opposed to people I will never know in real life.
         The writing portion of the challenge was definitely more of a challenge. I missed five days total from the 30 days and I am a little disappointed that I didn’t fulfill the full 30. The hardest parts of the challenge were mid-end of the week when I was just tired and didn’t have the will to push myself. I tried very hard to “make up” for missed days by writing longer the next day or spending a few hours over the weekend, but again that wasn’t exactly the challenge I designed.
         I consider myself to be very goal-oriented and so I looked at this challenge as a positive, as a means to be more productive. I think setting goals in general is important for me at this stage in my life. I would hate to look back and think I was stagnant or missed some opportunity because I was too lazy or scared to try something new and so, I will continue with different goals like these. I still have two weeks left of my juicing and I have a couple other ideas for future challenges dealing with nutrition and new writing activities, but will probably start them after spring break. 
         If I had a magic wand and wanted to make changes in my life with very little effort it would probably center on nutrition and fitness. For the most part, I’m pretty conscious of what I eat. However, I would love to have a cook make all the recipes I want that take up way too much time than I have during the day. That would be the best. Also, I’m pretty active but would love to have the opportunity or availability that some people have to workout as far as time and access to professional instruction.
         Even without a magic wand, I will continue trying to improve myself with little steps. I wish more people spent time attempting to improve themselves as opposed to judging and trying to fix others. I don’t have time to fix anyone else but me. 


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