Try 30

A while back a short TED Talk video crossed my newsfeed on Facebook about trying something new for 30 days. Like normal, it sat open as a tab for about a week before I got around to actually watching it. I’m glad I did actually watch it though, it kind of reinspired me to us this time in Missoula wisely. I’m only here until May and it would be unfortunate if this down time was spent watching the same shit on Netflix and just kind of drudging through my job. So, I decided to use this time to try new things and develop some healthier habits.

I started with a relatively easy one. About two weeks ago I decided to cut back my coffee consumption to 2 cups in the morning (as opposed to probably a dozen cups throughout the day). It has gone really well and I haven’t messed up yet. My afternoon and evening coffee has been replaced with tea mostly and I have found that I really enjoy Earl Grey (thanks Jean-Luc for the recommendation). Thanks to my change I am sleeping a lot better at night and my digestion is doing better.

This last week I added a couple new habits, including brushing my teeth at night and taking my multi-vitamin each day. I know it is gross that I never really brush my teeth in the evening, but hopefully this will turn into a lifelong habit. I knew ahead of time that just trying to remember wouldn’t work, so on the advice of one of my friends I put a calendar in my bathroom and I check off whenever I brush my teeth. It has worked like a charm.

Well, it is time to add some more difficult things. My next task will be more in line with the “try new things” instead of “develop good habits”, so I will probably need some new tools at my disposal. I think maybe setting a daily alarm on my phone for a time when I know I am always available could help, or maybe try to punish/reward myself when I accomplish my task. After giving it some thought I think I am going to try and blog every day for 30 days. These posts may be about current events, what I’m reading, random stuff I think about while stocking shelves at work, or maybe some fiction or poetry. I have no idea. I do know that remembering and motivating myself to do it will be tough so I am carrying a notepad around with me and am going to jot down blog ideas as they come up throughout the day, as Tom Clancy said in The Sum of All Fears, “If you don’t write it down then the idea never existed”… or something like that.

After I get into a good writing routine (or maybe after the 30 days) I have some other things on my list to try and improve about myself:

  • 100% Vegan – Right now I am at about 95%, I need to find good habits to replace my work meals which are usually vegetarian instead of vegan
  • Minimize My Trash – Based off of this post, I’d like to get to the point where I am creating as little trash as possible.
  • Meditate – There are so many benefits to meditation, I really need to stop being lazy and start scheduling 15 minutes a day or so for a still mind.
  • Music – I have a harmonica gathering dust on a shelf and should try to put in some practice. Music, like meditation, has incredible medical benefits and allows for a more creative mind.
  • Art – I have never been good at artistic endeavors but I’d love to start drawing, coloring, painting, taking pictures, or something to see if anything clicks.
  • Read – I do love to read but I don’t make much time for it. I should set aside an hour a day or so just to dive into a the written word
  • Education – The internet is filled with free education and I should take advantage of it. I do Khan Academy regularly but I want to start using more formal classes provided for free via MIT, Harvard, Yale, etc.
  • Coding – Learning to code seems like a wonderful skill to have, now and in the future. There are also a ton of free opportunities to get the basics down,

So, instead of watching The Office on Netflix for the thousandth time or scrolling my Facebook feed and engaging in worthless arguments I am going to try to develop some habits and learn some shit.

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