I’ll start this series of posts with writing about the 30-day challenges I am trying to complete in the next few months.
I’m sure many of you have seen this fascinating TED talk. (Of course, I’m immensely happy if this is your first time.) It has been sort of on my mind eversince I first saw it months and months ago and I suppose it has been secretly gnawing away at my obstinate refusal to try to do anything regular and stick to it.
I would never have thought to be able to something like this and I am still not sure I will keep up at least one of them. The preparation for the marathon (I wrote about it here) has put things into a somewhat different perspective though. Since I started training, I have done crazy things like getting up at 3 o’clock to be able to start off before the heat really sets in, or having a shower with the ablution hose at a public toilet because I had to do my run before I went to do a talk at a PD event.
(This image is is an illustration. Check out Sweetmaria’s Coffee Library – it’s one of the most interesting websites I have seen recently.)
I do like the idea of setting these challenges. They teach me a lot of things:
1. Enjoy success – the sense of achievement is intoxicating. When you realise that you can actually do something you would not have though possible.
2. Embrace failure – of course not everything works according to plan. Learning the lessons of these failures and finding new challenges is a great learning experience.
3. Have a different perspective of everything around me – everything is worth an attempt and there are so many things around you you haven’t done for one reason or another. Looking at things and turning them into small challenges helps understand them and my limitations and the intricacies behind them.
4. The beauty of the minute – I’m not thinking big things. I’m not going to climb Mount Everest or something. Things like, say one nice thing to or just simply smile at a stranger every day for 30 days sounds like an awesome challenge.
5. They are infectious – once you start doing this, you start having an impact on the people around you, they will start doing things differently, thinking about and approaching things in new ways.
6. These are all going to turn into stories – stories you can tell, stories you can share with your students.
7. They are self perpetuating – each challenge creates its own spawns, you don;t have to think, oh what to do next, it’s more like which to do next.
8. A life examined – these challenges also help me look at my life and the things I do with more scrutiny thus gaining a better understanding of my actions and their consequences and finding ways of making it more enjoyable and memorable
So, the first two 30-day challenges are sort of intertwined that’s why I decided to embark on a double challenge to start off with:
Challenges 1 & 2: No evening TV – Learn to Code
It has become a bad habit of mine to switch off by switching on and watching old episodes of TV series on DVD after the evening chaos has settled and the children are in bed and the dishwasher is humming away. While it’s not the most harmful of TV habits, it’s still a bit empty and pointless.
At the same time, the amount of time I spend on-line and not being able to do the smallest thing with a HTML code is really depressing for me. I have tried Codeacademy and I want more. It’s my kind of on-line course, I feel I’m learning and I can progress at my own pace.
So this is the plan for this month. Starting today.
Is it going to happen?
Check back on June 25 and I’ll tell you.
Over to you:
Do you think these 30-day challenges can work? Have you ever tried? How did it go? What have you learnt from it?