Sunday, February 06, 2011

Better Than A New Year's Resolution

30 Day Trials

Not sure Steve Pavlina invented them, maybe - whatever, it's a very effective way to change a strong habit, to direct attention to it, and to work on it with persistence.

30 Days to Success

Start the New Year With a 30 Day Trial
I find that I do best when I take time to prepare for about a week in advance. I immerse myself in the new habit I want to install by reading about it, thinking about it, and imagining what it will be like. I hold myself back from starting until I feel a strong internal pressure to begin. This helps me make it through the first several days with high enthusiasm, which helps a lot since the first week is usually the hardest.
30-Day Supertrials
Your level of self-discipline will have a strong impact on your self-esteem. The more disciplined you are, the more you can adopt positive habits and shed negative ones. Positive habits yield positive results, and positive results feel good. Feeling good gives you more energy, and that feeds into more positive actions, which in turn become positive habits.

30-day trials can be very challenging, but they’re also very effective. This is my #1 favorite tool for habit change.

Now in the past, I’ve cautioned people not to overdo it. Many people who are new to the concept of 30-day trials go kittywompus and try to install 5-10 new habits simultaneously. And almost without exception, they crash and burn. Usually they don’t even make it past Day 3.
It’s like trying to juggle too many balls at once. You end up dropping all of them. Zero results.

So I’ve advised people to stick with one 30-day trial at a time. One trial will be plenty challenging. And you can do 12 of these per year if you’d like. Even if you only succeed at half of them, that’s still a tremendous amount of improvement within a year.


SimpleGoals is a tool for the iPhone or iPod touch to easily and conveniently track your status or progress of reaching your habitual goal(s). Thought with this tool it is easy to track too many things you might want to change all at once and get frustrated by falling back and failing with too many "resolutions". As Steve Pavlina wrote above, it is much easier and effective to concentrate just on a single behavior and let the rest follow by itself (month after month:).