30 Day Trials: 30 ideas for change!


The other day I blogged about 30 Day Trials and some ideas to introduce change your life!

Here are some ideas, big and small. So for the next 30 days you might like to experiment with one of these trials, or make up your own. Here’s some ideas to get you thinking and more importantly, testing the waters:

Every day for the next 30 days:

  1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier and do something different with your mornings – like make a fresh juice, journal, write a gratitude list, meditate or take a walk.
  2. Write down 3 things you are grateful for every evening. Gala Darling writes “Things I love” every Thursday. It’s amazing what you start to notice about your life when you are consciously seeking out the good stuff!
  3. Eat a piece of fruit every day. Or eat a raw vegetable. Check out Food Matters for more information about adding raw food to your diet.
  4. Take on a 30 day fitness challenge, like planking or crunches. Get your work team on board, or a group of friends.
  5. Make a different person a cup of tea/coffee/milo each day
  6. Write 100 words of your dream novel, or a poem each day.
  7. Learn a new word in a different language, or learn a new symbol (for example Japanese Kanji ) each day
  8. Walk! Try walking around the city block at lunchtime, or 10 minutes take your dog for a walk, or even walk up and down your stairs 5 times. Just start!
  9. Read a page of a book each morning over breakfast
  10. Eat one meal that is 51 % raw. Check out Food Matters for ideas.
  11. Buy a juicer and drink a fresh juice (vegetable or fruit) Or walk to the juice bar and treat your taste buds and cells to a mini health spa in a cup!
  12. Meditate. Attend a class, buy a CD, or check out free instructions on Google or Youtube.
  13. Be brave and give up chocolate
  14. Be even braver and give up processed sugar
  15. Actively speak with someone new every day
  16. Go to bed an hour early, turn off the light and sleep. Make up your bed with fresh sheets, buy a beautiful blanket and new pillows and spend some time creating a bedroom that feels like your sanctuary, or boudoir! You might want to hit the sack earlier!
  17. Sing along to your favourite songs in the shower at the top of your voice – try a new song every day.
  18.  Aim to connect with a member of your family every day. It could be as simple as a text, a phone call, a visit or a meal. If getting this close to your family seems like cliff diving, try it with friends instead.
  19. Take a photo of yourself every day. Take a photo of your outfits, or your hair styles, or you with a different friend, or your shoes. I have a friend who posts a photo of her shoes on the tram every morning. I love seeing what quirky footwear she has pulled out of her wardrobe each day!
  20. Give up drinking alcohol. One of my friends saved her 6 week all expenses paid trip to India when she gave up alcohol – not to mention all of the extra time she seemed to have when she wasn’t recovering from a big night out! (her observation, not mine)
  21. Cook a recipe from your favourite cook book – or find a chef/cook that you love and cook a different meal from their cook book or website each day.
  22. Turn off the news and go news free!
  23. Stop eating fast food! Give fast food a miss for 30 days! If you can give up fast food, perhaps go the next step and give up some of the processed food that has snuck into your diet. (cereal, ready made sauces, pasta etc)
  24. Join a dance class or teach yourself to dance, one step at a time!
  25. Look at your reflection in the mirror every day and tell yourself “I love you! You are imperfect but you are worthy!” Just try it for 30 days and see what a difference it makes. Check out Louise Hay’s little book ‘You Can Do It’ Or her CD of the same name. Awesome stuff!
  26. Pay It Forward! Do something selfless every day. Donate a coin, help lift that pram onto the bus or tram, buy a copy of the Big Issue and leave a tip, help your little sister clean her room, or your mum or dad wash the dishes. Give someone a ride home even if you weren’t headed that way!
  27. Learn a new word every day – check out the dictionary…the English language is pretty amazing. Count how many times you use your new word in a sentence, appropriately, then at the end of 30 days load all of the words you have learnt as many times you have used them into Wordle. Soooo much fun!
  28. Buy a cheap money box and donate your loose change at the end of the day, every day. You can save up for a special dinner, a new pair of shoes, or give the money to a local charity.
  29. Give your partner a ‘Valentine” every day…this could be a kiss, a cuddle, a cuppa, tell them you love them, or that they are beautiful, make a card, leave some hand picked flowers, from your garden or buy something little but cute (spiderman socks), make breakfast in bed…even if its Vegemite toast, write a little love poem, or a love letter, give a foot massage, or a hand massage or load up their favourite movie and watch it together on a ‘school night’. The list is endless!
  30. Here’s the last idea. Write down your dream. And do one small thing every day that brings you closer to making it a reality. So for example. I want to go to Ireland more than anything. I have thought about this amazing trip since I was 15 years old, but I always allowed other things to get in the way. This is the year though. So I have written down my goal and pasted it on my wardrobe door so I see it every day when I wake up, and every night before I go to sleep. Then each day I do something small that is a step towards making my goal a reality. First I cut out some beautiful pictures of Ireland and put them up next to my goal. The next day I looked up airfares. The next day I bought a money-box and opened a savings account with my bank, and I started saving for the airfare. Everyday I do something and my trip to Ireland is in my thoughts every day and will be, initially for the next 30 days.  What’s your dream?

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go!


Leaving the land of the walking dead


I used to work for an organisation that one of my dear friends referred to as the ‘land of the walking dead’. No one looked happy. No one. People wandered the corridors looking lost, in their grey corporate suits, shuffling papers for 8 – 10 hours a day. They sat in their cramped little cubicles, at their grey desks barely speaking to each other, heads down, bum up, endlessly typing up yet another corporate policy. I’m sure you could see their spirits slowly being sucked out through their ears and up into the air conditioning. Even the staff room which was located at the bottom of the building was referred to as ‘the dungeon’.

It was hard to imagine anything better when you were surrounded by this level of living death. I have often wondered, if I hadn’t had some amazing friends on the outside, how would I have escaped? I’m not sure I would have realised what kind of culture I was working in every day if not for them.

Realising that you are born to fly, not endlessly walk the corporate corridors, is the first step. Working out your dream and purpose is the next. Once you realise that you have a dream to manifest, the next steps are all about being brave and vulnerable.

Most people go back to being grey. It’s safe and they may not like it, but it’s predictable and they know this way of life well. No surprises. No putting yourself out there and above all no risk of failure! They may be part of the living dead, but there’s a level of certainty about it – and its true that we need a level of certainty in our lives. But not everything in our life should be certain. If we don’t have uncertainty as well, we wither and fade. Never being vulnerable or failing or making mistakes doesn’t protect us in the end, it makes us empty and will finally kill us, or at least kill our spirit.

For a very few, finding our passion and realising our dream becomes such a driving force in our life that we are willing to risk it all. (A bit similar to how we feel when we fall in love or lust!) We are prepared to do almost anything. We are prepared to put ourselves out there. To become vulnerable. To fall over and pick ourselves up again as many times as we have to. To make mistakes. Lots and lots of mistakes. Nothing will stop us realising our dreams and living a life of purpose!

But what if you are in the ‘certainty’ community and you would really like to escape the walking dead? You just don’t know how and it all seems too big and hard and so overwhelming!

Why not trial it for 30 days?

Here’s the thing: You can change anything. Add anything. Delete anything from your life. Change any behaviour you like in just 30 days. This concept was first thought up by Steve Pavlina, who is an awesome blogger on personal development. His idea was based on the 30 day trial, which most of us would be familiar with when buying software products or anything off the shopping channels. Do steak knives for a 30 day trial sound familiar?

Recent research tells us if you introduce small sustainable changes into your life, they have a much better success rate and are much more likely to stick.

So the process is pretty straight forward.

If you are a little anxious about change you can start with something fairly simple and small. In an earlier blog I spoke about taking on a planking challenge for 30 days and achieving five minutes by the end of the challenge. Another one of my recent 30 day trials was all about adding more raw food to my diet. I really wanted to eat better and after lots of reading up on the benefits of eating fresh raw food, I decided to give it a go.

The trick is that instead of thinking that you will change this for the rest of your life, which seems paramount to climbing Mount Everest, you just think, I’m just doing this for 30 days. If you don’t like it you can stop after 30 days, or you can add another 30 days.

So for me, I decided to make it even simpler. Every day, for the next 30 days, I would make one of my meals 51% raw. You may want to add a juice, walk in the mornings for 20 minutes, mediate, write a gratitude list every morning,  stop drinking coffee, write a hundred words, learn a new word in another language, write a love letter to your partner every day, drink water, do a headstand, stop smoking, make your lunch for work, go to the gym, read a chapter of a book, hula hoop for 10 minutes every afternoon, read the newspaper, get up half an hour earlier every day, cook a new dish…the list goes on.

I’m up to eating two meals a day that are 51% raw, and I add a fresh vegetable juice every two days. Every time I add something, I tell myself, “It’s just for 30 days”, but I find that the 30 days is usually just long enough for the new behaviour to become routine.

Practice with something small. You may like to do a few trials. Remember you can add as well as delete. Add something positive to your life! Don’t just stop something. Test the water!

Over the past year I have changed quite a few things in my life with a 30 day trial. Every now and then I get to the end of the trial and think, well that was a great experience, but I don’t want to keep going with this.

As Matt Cutts said in his TED Talk: “Thirty days will pass whether you like it or not, so why don’t you try something new. Think of something you have always wanted to do and give it a shot!”