As I mentioned the other day, while talking about getting a life, I have a few challenges for my first 30 day challenge set, and I have various reasons for attempting each. I figure that 30 days, beyond being a neat and clean measurement of a month, is also a good amount of time for habit formation. While I don’t plan on making all of the changes I try for a month permanent (some that I have planned I don’t think could be reasonably or healthily maintained permanently), I believe that they can be useful for setting myself onto a better path in general. So, here is some reasoning for each, or as much as I figured before blindly steamrolling forward:
 

1. Going vegan for the month

I have been vegetarian for near a year already, and was never a humongous meat eater to begin with, so it’s not too far of a stretch for me. I haven’t held it as a perfect standard; I still enjoy sushi every once in a while, and if nothing else is readily available that interests me, can have chicken or a turkey burger with my meal. With the loss of meat though, I replaced it mainly with cheese, which isn’t really much healthier. I still try to keep moderation, but spending a month actively avoiding both I figure will help me to get a handle on what foods do what to my body. I’m still not going to be super-duper picky (like my coffee creamer, which has “less than 1% sodium caseinate, a milk derivative not from lactose”). I’m thinking that the hardest thing here will be my love for pizza and having to give that up for a month.

2. Drawing a new sketch every day

I have always held out a bit of hope of being able to incorporate illustration into my work in some way. Blogs like Hyperbole & a Half and Books of Adam are hilarious, and I only wish that I could get in on some of the fun. I keep a sketchbook at my desk, and use it once a week at best, so there is certainly room for improvement there. I figure if I can commit to just drawing something every day and not thinking about it too hard, I’ll improve a bit, or at least have a habit set up. I’ll post results every few days if I ever get the scanner hooked up.

3. Find something to be thankful for every day

This one is simultaneously the easiest, and hardest. Easiest of course because it requires no extra commitment of time or efforts, just thinking and writing something down. Hardest though, because I can get kind of cynical, and trust me, there are plenty of things in life and in this town that aggravate me. If I think on the positives, at least I’ll have some reason to feel a bit better each day and not want to throttle everyone I come across. I’ll tweet these when I think of them each day, and will compile them here as well when I make posts.

 

That’s it, anyone think I can accomplish any or all of these?

Get a LifeI am a horrible procrastinator, something that I can freely admit. This used to be a badge that I wore with pride, but now I feel is more a source of shame and a mark of sloth. I get embarrassed when looking at how little I accomplish with my free time, and spend more time than I care to admit aimlessly surfing the web. I recently installed leechblock on firefox to help stop myself from visiting time-wasting sites during the day, but while sick this week found myself scaling back and then just turning it off.

I have made and broken many promises to myself, but maybe I’ll be able to keep a few if I set quantifiable goals. I am greatly inspired by Google’s Matt Cutts, who does regular self-tests on himself, such as his 30-day challenges.  I have decided to blindly sheep along with him and try some out myself. Seeing as it is near the end of the month, I’m allowing another week of “preparation” (read: extra slack time) before putting this plan into action. I already have a few ideas lined up, but there are plenty of months to fill if it works out, so I’ll just start with a few for this one. My ideas for the next month are:

 

-Writing at least one thing that made me happy each day

-Doing at least one sketch each day

-Going the entire month vegan

 

I have various reasons why I chose these three things, which I’ll end up going over when I start, but this is basically my promise to you, internet, that I will make some minor goals with a set timeline and make myself complete something for once in my life.