30 Days

Mar, 26 2020
3 Minutes

Yesterday, I watched a short TED talk called “Try something new for 30 days”:

It's a nice message of things you can do in 30 days, but ends with a wake up call:

I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass, whether you like it or not

When I heard that, I panicked. It spurred me to research 30 day challenges - and so, here we are.

Presenting five inspiration stories of what you can do in just 30 days:

1) Bootstrap a Business

Pieter Levels is a solo internet entrepreneur who makes hundreds of thousands dollars a year (and publishes his numbers here). He’s a digital nomad and lives the dream of not having a boss and traveling the world. He’s a success and inspiration to so many entrepreneurs across the world. But did you know that his story got started with a… you guessed it, 30 day challenge.

He didn’t call it a 30 day challenge, but rather, “12 Startups in 12 Months”, but that’s basically just twelve 30 day challenges in a row. The businesses that account for the majority of his revenue were started in just 30 days!

2) Learn to Dance

Ashly Perez learned to dance in 30 days.

Now I know she had excellent instruction, but that doesn’t take away from the work she put in. At the beginning of the YouTube video, Ashly was AWKWARD. She walks awkward, she moves awkward, and her vibe is awkward. But by the end - just watch it for yourself.

3) Launch a YouTube Channel

Yes Theory is a YouTube channel with over 5 million subscribers but they got their start with a 30 day challenge of their own:

In 2015, as new grads discontent with the idea of applying for jobs they had no interest in, Thomas, Matt, Amar, and Derin, decided to do something different. They got together, brainstormed 30 things they had never done before and spent the next 30 days making videos of each. The series became a hit, and it launched their channel.

The origin story of the 1,695th largest YouTube channel started with a 30 day challenge.

4) Get in shape

This is probably the most common category, but I've found dozens of videos and apps that all are focused on the 30 day timeframe:

I got so inspired by one of them, that I’m starting my own “100 Burpees in 30 days” challenge.

(Update 2020-10-13: I've completed multiple 30 day exercise challenges, and while I don't recommend it as a long term strategy, it works wonders to kickstart your commitment to fitness!)

5) Write a novel

(OK, I stole this one from the TED talk)

All across the country, every November, thousands upon thousands of aspiring novelists commit to writing 50,000 words - enough for a manuscript of a novel. And many succeed! You might have heard of these:

Books that got started with a 30 day challenge

They all got their starts in just 30 days.

To wrap it up

There's obviously much more behind the scenes - Pieter had started unsuccessful online businesses in the past. Novelists incubate ideas and refine their skills over years. Yes Theory didn't create their sense of humor during the 30 day challenge, that was in place before they started.

Still, a 30 day challenge was the catalyst they all needed to make a big change.

30 days is short enough to feel manageable, but long enough to start changing your brain.

So - how are you going to spend the next 30 days?