Can a 30-Day Challenge Transform Your Life?
I broke out of my comfort zone for 30 days. Here’s what happened.
The 30-Day-Challenge Book: 500 Ideas to Inspire Your Life by Clare Hudson lists 500 challenges ideally suited for a 30-day challenge. They are grouped into themed categories: recreation, art, and creative; career boosting and work; social, relationship, and kindness; home, food, and fitness; intellectual and educational; and five other categories. The book’s premise was inspired by Matt Cutts’ TED talk “Try Something New for 30 Days,” in which Cutts discusses how small changes can inspire, motivate, and transform your life.
After browsing through the subject categories, I was inspired to select two of the 30-day challenges. For my first challenge, I chose Challenge 373: Read a book you wouldn’t normally read. Since I never read books related to sports, I decided to select a sports-themed book to complete within 30 days.
For my second challenge, I chose Challenge 375: Learn how to say common phrases in different languages. Select which language you are going to use and then pick 30 common universal phrases.
I chose to learn 30 common Spanish phrases because I’ve already studied French, Italian, and some common Mandarin phrases. I wanted to start fresh with a language I’ve never studied.
How Did It Go?
To kickstart my 30-day reading challenge, I surfed over to Amazon. Selecting a book for the challenge was difficult until I stumbled upon Reemus Bailey’s The Cus D’Amato Mind: Learn the Simple Secrets That Took Boxers Like Mike Tyson to Greatness.
Much to my surprise, I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. After reading it, I understood why Mike Tyson adored the late Cus D’Amato, the legendary boxing coach who had trained boxing champions Mike Tyson, Floyd Patterson, and Jose Torres.
There is a lot to admire about D’Amato. I loved that he was an innovator who taught his boxers to win fights by using a unique “peek-a-boo” style in which fighters hold their hands up near their cheeks while using peek-a-boo movements such as slips and ducks. D’Amato instilled discipline and mental toughness in his boxers. He taught them how to overcome challenges inside and outside of the training ring.
Unlike some boxing coaches and agents, D’Amato acted as a father and protective friend to the boxers he trained. During an era in which segregation was still being practiced in certain places, D’Amato boxers were often prevented from staying at the hotels where Cus registered. When such instances occurred, D’Amato would sleep wherever his boxers were staying.
I’m not a fan of boxing. However, you don’t have to like boxing to enjoy reading this book. I learned a great deal by reading about D’Amato’s leadership, his philosophy, and his methods of training champions. I’m glad that I stepped out my comfort zone to read this book.
My second challenge was fairly easy to complete. To start learning common conversational Spanish phrases, I signed up with this site. I also signed up for a Spanish Pod “Word of the Day” newsletter that sent me one Spanish vocabulary word per day. Most of my lessons involved looking at videos and reviewing each lesson using practice sheets. There were days when I was so busy that I had to skip my lesson and would double up on my lessons the next day. Although my goal was to learn 30 commonly used Spanish words, most of my lessons involved using a particular word or phrase in a complete sentence. Therefore, I ended up learning more than 30 vocabulary words.
My 30-day challenges introduced me to a genre of books I had never considered reading and a language I had never considered learning. Because the challenges were enjoyable and not difficult to complete, I thought about taking on another challenge or continuing further with my language challenge.
For anyone who is seeking inspiration or a challenge that will take you out of your comfort zone and possibly inspire a new hobby, interest, or career, I highly recommend The 30-Day-Challenge Book: 500 Ideas to Inspire Your Life.