Personal Challenges

As we meander our way through life we pick up some good and bad habits along the way. Most of these are accidental; however, a few are assertive attempts at improving one’s self. In my experience very few of these assertive attempts have much longevity – much like my desire to regularly write a blog. I want to challenge myself, and see what sticks. In a sense, these challenges could be considered as trial periods. So today I will start my first challenge.

I first came across the 30 Day Challenge when reading Matt Cutts’ blog a few years ago and I promised myself that one day I would do the same. Here are a few of the challenges that he has done that I find interesting:

  • Bike to work
  • No TV (I did this for 6th months, it was quite rewarding)
  • No Sugar (I too tried this last summer)
  • Meditation
  • Write a Novel
  • Learn the Ukulele
  • Get good sleep
  • Record a second of video every day

So enough of Matt, what am I going to do?

I have begun writing what has turned out to be quite a long list of things that I want to improve. I really wanted to bike to work for a month this month, but since I am going to be on holiday for half of that, it sounds rather a lot like cheating. I’ll put that back on the list for next month.

I am going to attempt these two challenges.

  • Get up at 6am every morning.
  • Guitar practice for at least thirty minutes every day.

Why 6am every day? Let me start by saying that this is quite late really. I wouldn’t consider someone who gets up at 6am an early riser, but normal. Anyway, it is not a well kept secret that some of the worlds most successful and productive people are early risers. I on the other hand get up at 7am, and generally feel like crap and rush off to work before I’ve properly woken up. I want to see what it feels like to have an extra hour in my day and what I might do with it.

I used to play bass guitar in a band. We practiced infrequently, and did not play many gigs. I ended up playing bass because no one else would. I did learn to love it – but I would have preferred to play guitar. As we all grew up the band slowly drifted apart, and recently I started saving up for a new guitar, my dream guitar. Now that I have it, I’ve discovered that I am a shit guitarist. I have bad habits, my fingers are weak, my ear can’t transcribe stuff… and I need to practice! And so, just as I did when I first started learning the guitar twenty-seven years ago, I shall now practice for at least 30 minutes a day for at least a month.

Of the two challenges I have set my self, I can’t decide which I would rather see succeed. Either way, I’ll update you one month from now.

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