January 14, 2014

...Aaaand We're Back!

2013 is gone, and 2014 is here. We're now 14 days into, what will certainly be, the best year yet. But it's up to you to decide why. Start thinking now about what you want to change/do/become for your February #30daychallenge. 

Read and fill in the following sentence...

 "I'm going to show 2014 who's boss! This is my year! To start it off right, for the entire month of February, I will _________ every day, for 30 days."

Now get your butt out there and do it. If you've set New Year's Resolutions, or a doing a 30 day challenge for January, keep going strong! Don't get behind! There is power in daily discipline to accomplish the things we set out to do. Likewise, there is a feeling of disappointment that comes when we don't follow through with our goals. 30 day challenges are designed, built and intended to make you feel like King of the World everyday, by breaking even the largest goals (lose 75 lbs by Summer) down into small, manageable, daily goals, like exercising everyday for 30 minutes for 30 days.

   I've had interesting experiences with my own personal 30 day challenges the last few months. I have learned so much and grown as well. Rather than go on and on about what I've actually done in December and January and what I've learned (if you still want to hear it, send me an email at 30daysofliving@gmail.com!), I thought I would boil down and distill what I've learned about 30 day challenges and what makes them successful. I guess my hope is that I can save you some of the learning curves I've gone through. 

Steps to Change your life, in 30 days:

1) Get serious. Get excited. This will literally not work if you are not itching and begging to get up everyday just to check off your daily goal(s). The more you plan what you will do in advance, the better. Some challenges require serious time coordinating and can be difficult to do when you are trying to "squeeze" it in at the last minute.

2) Pick the right things to do.  I guess I could combine this with the first one, but it is so important that I thought it deserved its own point. A 30 day challenge should push you further than what you are already doing. But it shouldn't be impossible. Something I've learned in the last few months is to start with a large goal, then break it up into smaller goals -- 30 day challenges? Also, make sure your goal requires DAILY action. For example, in December, I had a goal to finish a book I wanted to read -- The Lost Symbol. I didn't do that. Not even close. And the reason it didn't work is because it wasn't broken down into a daily goal. Try writing your challenges like this:

"I will _________ every day, for 30 days!"

3) Write it/them down. You are 1 Billion times more likely to be successful when you take the time to write down your challenges/goals, and refer back to that paper/document often. I like to write it in as many places I can: in my journal, in my phone, on my blog, AND on my bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. Everyday as I get ready, I can look and see exactly what I'm set out to do that day.

4) Get support/motivation. This one is completely up to you. If you can't find a way to motivate your self, then nothing will change. And motivation isn't something I can just give you. To finish final preparations, think about the WHY, not the WHAT of 30 day challenges. Think about why you are doing all of this in the first place. Is it to be healthier and live longer? Is it so that you can save up enough money to buy your dream boat? Find your motivation, and chase that feeling like it stole your purse and your baby. Refer to that feeling often, when times get hard, or it becomes easy to not get up and get going.

Then, go watch this:

5) Have fun. You are about to have the time of your life. And the cool part is that you will be doing, for the most part, things that you have always been doing. The difference is that each day you will feel successful. Starting in small, little insignificant ways, and then more and more as you accomplish more and more each day, each month, and each year.

There is so much out there. So much to do and see and feel and learn. Get out there and make a difference in your life and in the life of others!

Happy Life Changing!

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December 17, 2013

December 17

   Well, it's December now, and we're already more than half way in! Things have been pretty crazy around our house, with finals coming to and end this week, and crazy work schedules to make up for holiday time off. I expected it would get kind of crazy.

  A lot of people have been wondering if I was still doing a 30 day challenge for the month of December, and I told every one of them the same thing: Absolutely! Why the heck would I stop?! This month, I am writing in my journal every day for 31 days, reading a book I've wanted to read for a while, and reading scriptures every night before we go to bed with Nell. Funny story time.

  So we've both got quite the school and work schedule. I'm doing about 35 hours a week at work and 15 credits at school. Nell is doing about 20 hours at work, and 14 credits at school. As finals have drawn closer, we've had some pretty late nights. One night, we were just exhausted and actually fell asleep, in our clothes, on top of the bed. Out of no where, I woke up at 3:50am and realized that we had gone to bed without reading that night. So, like any normal crazy person would do, I woke Nell up and handed her her book, and we read five verses together. At 3:50. Am. 

  This is such a special time of year. There is a lot of power that comes from looking back at the past year and noticing the difference between where you started 2013, and where you are now. Maybe you're much further ahead, or maybe your farther behind... Either way, learn from 2013 and get ready to show 2014 who's boss.

   Among so many other things to think about this season, begin thinking about what you want to accomplish in 2014. Who do you want to become? What do you want to have done? Dreams and aspirations are great, but mean nothing until you start working to achieve those goals. Start now, and begin to think of ideas for 30 day challenges you would like to tackle. Here are a couple steps that I recommend taking as you do so:

-Don't you dare let yourself believe that there is something that you cannot do.

-Be realistic. Goals are tricky because they should push your further and stretch your capabilities, but they shouldn't be impossible to reach. No one likes to fail. Pick something appropriate for what you can handle (or would like to be able to handle) and do it, every day, for 30 days.

-Tell people about it. You don't have to start a blog about it (but why not?) or have a report on the news about it. Tell friends and family that you've decided to change and you're going to do something everyday for thirty days! Use social media! You could even copy and paste the post below, then add your specific goal(s).

"I'm going to show 2014 who's boss! For the entire month of January, I will _______ every day, for 30 days. You should try a 30 day challenge as well! All you have to do is pick something you'd love to do/become, then do it for 30 days! #30daysofliving #january"

 That's the formula for success right there. I guarantee that if you just try it, you'll feel the difference it makes, right from day one.

2013 has been great, but 2014 is going to be much better.

Happy Life Changing!

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November 30, 2013

Day 30 - Nov

On November 1st, 2013, I started my first 30 day challenges. Now, one month later, I feel completely different. Just like everyone feels from time to time, I felt like I had so many great and wonderful goals, but a lot of them, never made it past the paper I wrote them on. I have been taught my whole life, specifically from my parents, of the value of setting goals. I wanted to set my own goals and just try to do it for 30 days. My first two challenges were to 1) work out everyday but Sunday, for a minimum of 30 minutes, and 2) to take a short, 10 second video of myself doing something that day, to compile at the end of the month. 

In order to properly function, goals need to be achievable, measurable and have an effective action plan of what you plan to accomplish. Goals also MUST have an "end of the tunnel" in mind. What would a cross-country race be like if there was no end in site... just running and running and running in circles forever? Sit down, define your goals, and plan them out. Trying to just "wing it," is like trying to fly a kite with no wind, or cut a piece of wood with your bare hands. It's not going to work. As I've talked with people over the last 30 days, I've discovered that  motivation and drive are the biggest reasons why our goals often are never fulfilled. It can be discouraging to try time and time again to accomplish a goal, only to give up, or fall short only a few days in. In fact, rejection and an internal feeling of failure can be very damaging to our self-confidence.


If you have felt like that before, THIS time can be different. Think about something you'd like to change or a hobby you'd like to pick up. The incredible beauty of a 30 day challenge, is that it doesn't have to be something like exercise or diet related goals. Those aren't bad options, but they are certainly not the only options. For example, this last month, I recorded a ten second video everyday. I wanted to have a goal that would help me to live and  remember each day, and not just simply pass them by. If you've got a huge goal in mind, but feel like it may be out of your reach right now, set a more realistic goal that can be easily accomplished in 30 days to get things moving. Nothing is more motivating than feeling like you can accomplish things you set out to do.

Between November 1st and November 30th 2013, I exercised and worked out for at least 30 minutes for 26 days (30-4, for the 4 Sundays.) I also recorded a ten second video everyday that I will compile into a short video to remember my first month's challenges. I was 100% successful. Not 50%. Not 75%. Not even 99.999999%. I was 100% successful, and that feels... amazing. Napoleon Hill said, "What the mind can conceive, it can achieve," and I believe that with all my heart. I feel great.

So now what? Tomorrow is the start of a new month! December is going to be even better! As for the exercising, I don't see that stopping any time soon. As I intended, exercising has now become a habit and something that I actually enjoy. I am healthier, look better, and feel more alive than I've felt in years. Why the heck would I stop that? December 1st, means it is time to start new challenges, and I encourage you to do the same. For the month of December, I will...

- Read scriptures with my wife every day (Couple 30 day challenges are fun too!)
- Write in my journal every day
- Read a book I want to read in thirty days.

We'll see how it goes! I think it is important to strike a balance between challenges that are fun and excited, and ones that make you stretch and grow. I saw a quote this morning that said, "If your goals don't scare you, they aren't big enough." Truth. December, here I come.

Happy Life Changing!

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November 29, 2013

Day 29 - Nov

It's Black Friday! Nothing says "I'm thankful" like plowing over people at 12am, to save $50 on a TV. I heard a man was tazed. A human being actually tazed another human being whilst shopping on Black Friday. Wow. I think there's never been a better time to shop online.

What crazy Black Friday stories do you have? Get any good deals? Find anything to help you accomplish your next #30daychallenge? Let us know! Brag a little, share a little! And Finish 2013 strong!


Happy Life Changing!

Follow along on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest! --> @30daysofliving