Thought Catalog

Unique 30-Day Challenges You Can Start Today

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Twenty20 / @karly.valencia

I had a friend who did 30 day challenges. And then the murders began.

There’s this theory that no matter what you are writing, if you write, “And then the murders began” on the second sentence, it becomes better. Did it?

Why ask if someone likes 30 day challenges. Let’s just make it fun instead. Let’s make a list of 30 day challenges I think are interesting. Most of these I have tried. In fact, maybe all of them.

1. HUG one stranger a day. Not as easy as you think, despite the many benefits.

2. NEGOTIATE once a day. At a Starbucks? Ask for 10% off, for instance.

3. DO STANDUP COMEDY once a week for a month.

4. LIVE ONLY IN AIRBNBs for 30 days. I’m on my 21st month and it’s been great.

5. RETURN AN EMAIL to someone from 10 years ago that you’ve never returned. Do this every day for 30 days. You’ll be amazed how grateful and happy you make people. One time someone bought me “jamesaltucher.com” for my birthday. I didn’t respond to his email for four or five years. Finally I wrote back, “ok, I’ll take it”. We’re good friends now. AND I am the proud owner of “jamesaltucher.com”

6. PLAY every day. In last few days I’ve played basketball, ping pong, poker, virtual reality games, etc.

7. GIVE AWAY 10% of your income this month. But not to charities. Just to random homeless people or as extra-large tips, etc. You will have at last 30–50 individual moments of charity you are not used to.

8. PUT YOUR SHOWER ON EXTREME COLD for at least 4 seconds at the end of the shower. This is supposed to be very healthy. But for the first few days until you are used to it, VERY hard to do.

9. TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH A DAY and put it on Instagram. I did this for a month about a year ago. I’d try to find the most interesting person I could find, photo them and interview them. It’s hard to go up to people!

10. WRITE every day. I’ve been writing every day since 2002. The great thing is, if you write 1000 words a day you have enough material for about 6–8 books a year. Because of this “challenge” I started so long ago I’ve written 18 books (13 bad books, one ok book, 4 good books).

11. THE NO COMPLAINTS CHALLENGE. Probably the hardest challenge on this list. Simply don’t complain for 30 days in a row.

12. COME UP WITH ONE APP IDEA A DAY. Then spec it out, put it on Freelancer – Hire & Find Jobs and see if people bid to do it. Yesterday I spec-ed out an app for people who are “Going Steady” (the app deletes all the dating apps on your phone). I put it on Freelancer – Hire & Find Jobs and then wrote about what happened next (on my FB page).

13. WRITE A BOOK IN A MONTH. Think of something you love, write about it every day for 30 days, then upload the result to Amazon and self-publish it as a book. It doesn’t matter how long it is. For instance, if you love TV, write about a different favorite TV show every day and what you learned from it, then title the book, “Everything I Know about Love I Learned from TV”.

14. EXERCISE EVERY DAY. 30 minutes at least. See how you feel after 30 days.

Ok, this is a good number of challenges to start with. If you can even do one of these I guarantee your life will change.

At the very least do this:

15. WRITE DOWN TEN IDEAS A DAY FOR 30 DAYS.

Your idea muscle needs to be exercised, like any other muscle. Do this for a month and you will become an idea machine.

Even further, write down ten ideas to help others and send the ideas to them.

This will make you an idea machine and a networking machine. You will meet people and create opportunities.

Don’t think of these thing as challenges. Think of them as beginnings.

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Love a soft person. The ones who are positive, even in the worst of circumstances. Someone whose strength is not in bravado, but in their quiet. Someone who is strong for others because that is what is needed in that moment. Someone who is the moon that soothes instead of the sun that burns. Someone who sees the very best in people even when you think they aren’t worth it. The kind of person who always wants to do the best for those they love.

“I bought this on a whim to read as I was resting for the night, and I do not regret it one bit! Everything about the poetry in this book is amazing, heart breaking, and soul searching. It will lift your spirits on your darkest days. I want to thank the author so much for writing this, as it’s something I will be rereading a lot! Always remember, everything about you is important. You matter.” —McKayla

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