The Benefits of A 30-Day Challenge

The Benefits of A 30-Day Challenge

Sometimes a 30-day challenge can be more beneficial than a 365-day challenge.

Have you ever promised yourself to stick to a personal goal, but your intention fell short weeks later? If so, a "30-Day Challenge" is right for you! A 30-day challenge is an excellent strategy to use to develop a new habit or break an old one. I learned this concept two years ago when I stumbled upon Matt Cutts’ blog. What’s cool about this concept is that it isn't "permanent." You can change your challenge every 30 days. When you give it a shot, I know that you will experience all the amazing benefits the challenge has to offer.

Committing to a 30-day challenge is beneficial because it's temporary and measurable. You don't have to think that you have to commit to something your whole life, especially if you didn't enjoy it. Furthermore, we tend to lose motivation for something we have been doing for a very long time if we don’t get rewarded for it.

Let's say you want to exercise an hour a day for the whole year starting from tomorrow. The story will go as follows. A spark of excitement will rush through you. You run to your nearest store to buy some exercising equipment and a notebook to track your progress. You will also have a sleepless night because you can't wait to start exercising in the morning. Finally, you wake up early in the morning and exercise for three hours instead of one. By now, you probably figured out the ending of the story: You may eventually give up! Giving up the exercise routine you set doesn't mean that you weren't capable of exercising. It just means that you were not getting rewarded for the overwhelming long-term goal you set. In addition, if you are not in the habit of exercising then more than likely you won't achieve your goal unless you start building that habit step by step. If you don't want to give up then you have to develop realistic, short-term personal goals. This is why a 30 day challenge works. At the end of the 30 days, you will hopefully overcome that inertia. You can continue exercising after 30 days while adding a new habit. More importantly, you won't feel discouraged if you quit exercising in the future because you had already accomplished that goal!

I highly encourage you to start a 30-day challenge if you haven't done so in the past. Who knows? Your challenge may turn into a habit. If your challenge does turn into a habit, make sure to stick to it and add on a new habit as well. Again, whether you enjoyed your challenge or not, you will change it later on. For me, sticking to the same routine can be quite boring. That's why I think doing 12 different personal goals a year is better than only one personal goal. I chose 10 random examples to get you started. Feel free to share some of your own ideas with us in the Facebook chat below.

Do one of the following every day for 30 days:

1. Chew your food more "slowly."Take a 5-10 second break between each bite. In other words, don't inhale your food!

2. Talk to someone new every day. Expand your network and make new friends.

3. Look up and memorize the "Word of the Day." Merriam Webster is a resource. Increase your vocabulary.

4. No social media. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). It's not as bad as you think it is.

5. Only drink "water" as a beverage. It was very challenging for me when I did it.

6. Write a novel (50,000 words). "All you have to do is write 1,667 words a day for a month." Matt Cutts

7. Read and finish a book. You can read more if you have time.

8. Write 250-500 words. Your topic can be about anything you like.

9. Don't complain. This can be quite challenging.

10. Give up your TV. That includes Netflix and video games too.

Blog of Matt Cutts - 30 Days

Steve Pavlina's Blog- 30 Day to Success

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I Stalked The Carells Around UMich Campus, And I'd Do It Again

Elisabeth Carell, you should DEFINITELY go blue.

Last Monday, I was sitting in lecture with three of my friends when we first heard the rumor: "Somebody just told me that they heard Steve Carell is coming to campus tomorrow." What?? No, way. I could not stop thinking about how cool it would be if I met him.

Unsure of why he was coming, we asked the girl, and she then told us that he was apparently touring the school with his daughter. She heard it from someone who heard it from a tour guide. We were aware that the Carells were touring University of Wisconsin that day, so it made perfect sense that they were coming to Michigan next.

I got home from class and did what any Steve Carell fan would do: binge-watch The Office. After doing so, I was even more determined to make it my mission to meet him. My two friends, Grace and Katherine, were just as determined as I, and the three of us started to devise a plan.

"What if we sign up for the tour?!" suggested Grace. We decided to go with this genius idea. We logged on and realized there were still open spots on the tour, so the three of us used our high school emails, fake names, and signed ourselves up!

The next morning we woke up at the crack of dawn, the eager Steve Carell fan girls that we were, and headed to the Student Activities Building where the pre-tour presentation was. We sit down in a room with about 60 people and listen to a woman go on and on about how to apply to the school we already got into, and statistics about the school that we already attend.

I wasn't paying any attention, for I was looking around the room for Steve! That's when my friend Katherine leaned into my ear and said "Steve is sitting DIRECTLY behind us." My jaw dropped, my heart started beating faster with excitement, and I caught a glimpse of Steve Carell out of my peripheral vision when turning to look at her.

OH.MY.GOD. I could not believe I was sitting ten inches in front of a legend. It was the best 45 minutes long presentation of my life, and I simply could not wait to hop on his tour.

But then....a plot twist. Steve, Nancy, and their two kids left the presentation a few minutes early, and we soon realized they were going on a PRIVATE TOUR!!

Our plan was officially ruined. We had thought out conversations to have with his daughter to become friends with her, and jokes to drop on the tour that we thought Steve would appreciate, but all of that was out the window now. We had no chance of getting on his tour and we only had one option left.

We had to stalk him.

We immediately ditched our tour group (which we never had any real interest of going on anyway) to follow the Carell family. We kept a distance, for we didn't want them to know they were being followed.

For a while, it was just Katherine, Grace and I following them everywhere they went. We felt like true spies. We even asked Steve if we could get a photo with him, but he was deeply focused on the tour guide, and respectfully declined.

We continued to follow the Carells for about another hour, but more and more students began to catch on and, as the news of them being on campus spread, our posse grew.

We finally decided to leave the Carells alone once the tour ended, and they had hundreds of students following them. Part of me felt bad that there were so many people stalking them, but I'm sure they are used to it by now.

I can honestly say that it was one of the most exciting and adventurous days I've had at Michigan so far, and I can only hope that Elisabeth chooses to be a Wolverine so I can do it all again on Parents Weekend.

Cover Image Credit: Flannery O'Donnell

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Without R2D2, The Events Of Star Wars Would Never Have Happened

R2D2 is the unsung hero of the Star Wars franchise.

To say I'm a Star Wars fan is an understatement. My parents grew up on Star Wars and implemented their love for the franchise into my brother and me at a very young age. Movie nights in my family consisted of a wood burning fire, buttered popcorn. and binge-watching the original Star Wars trilogy, until my younger brother and I inevitably fell asleep on the couch. That night, I'd dream of becoming a Jedi like Luke Skywalker, flying around in space like Han Solo and being a badass woman like Leia.

Recently, while driving in the car with my boyfriend (who is also an avid Star Wars fanatic), he mentioned that although R2D2, Luke's robotic companion, is wonderful comedic relief, he didn't add much functionality to the overall plotline of the trilogy. I thought it over and realized that although my boyfriend is wonderful, on this front he is absolutely and irrevocably wrong.

My argument is this: Without R2D2, the entire Star Wars trilogy would never have happened.

Now, this sounds pretty weird, but bear with me, and I can tell you exactly why.

The backstory for R2D2 is pretty generic, which is why his capabilities within the movies are so amazing. R2D2 was manufactured as a maintenance droid for Queen Amadala's ship, a droid with basic capabilities When Queen Amadala and Anakin Skywalker were married, Amadala gave R2D2 to Anakin as a gift to keep him company on his adventures during the Clone Wars.

Later, after Anakin becomes Darth Vader, R2D2 stays on the light side, working alongside Senator Organa, and then with the resistance as a droid on Princess Leia's ship. This is the beginning of the original Star Wars movie, "A New Hope," and where everything important really happens.

At the beginning of "A New Hope," we watch Princess Leia try to deliver her message to Obi-Wan Kenobi by way of the droid. Although this is a valiant effort by the princess, there are a few problems with this plan.

1. The resistance has no idea if Obi-Wan Kenobi is even alive, let alone where he is

2. There are millions upon millions of miles of the galaxy to search in order to find Obi-Wan

and 3. Princess Leia's whole plan is based on relying on two droids to find an ancient Jedi Master, and convincing him to take on The Empire singlehandedly.

By the grace of the Force (and the magic of cinematic writing), R2D2 and C3PO miraculously land on the planet of Tatooine, a desolate, sand-covered planet home to Banthas, Jawas, and many other species, including humans. Once landing on Tatooine, R2 and C3PO are bought by Luke Skywalker to help with the harvest on his Uncle Owen's farm. This leads to one of the pivotal moments in the movie, when Luke Skywalker discovers Leia's hidden message to Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Intrigued by the message, and the beautiful girl crying for help, Luke goes to his family for advice on what his next steps should be, only to be told to wipe the droid's memory by his Uncle Owen. And so, like the clueless teenager he is, Luke goes to comply, only to find that the little blue droid is missing from the workshop. R2D2 has set out on his own to find the missing Jedi.

Although this may not seem like that big of a deal, we have to keep in mind R2D2's history, and specifically, his purpose during his creation. He was originally intended to be a maintenance droid, and therefore, is mainly focused on fixing things that are broken around him. Namely, the resistance against the tyrannous Empire.

The resistance is falling apart. Princess Leia has just been abducted by Darth Vader, the Jedi Order has all but disappeared, and the Rebels' last hope lies in the memory of a maintenance droid they have sent out into the galaxy. R2D2 realizes how dire their situation is, and sets off to complete his mission, and find Obi-Wan Kenobi. He rolls off into the desert of Tatooine, determined to find Obi-Wan, and fix the broken rebellion.

Eventually, R2D2 finds Obi-Wan with a little help from Luke Skywalker and sets the events of the rest of the series in motion. Luke realizes his destiny, and sets out to help Obi-Wan save the rebellion. But without the initiative of one little maintenance droid, the resistance would have been all but destroyed. Because of the utter incompetence of the humans around him, R2 realizes that he must take matters into his own hands, so to speak, and ensure that hope can be restored to the resistance.

Although Luke, Leia, and Han Solo may be the heroic faces of this epic franchise, their stories would never have been put into motion without the initiative of a little droid trying to do what he does best: fix what's broken, and effectively, save a revolution.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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