Do or do not. There is no try.
In one of his podcasts, Tim Ferriss said ‘you can do pretty much anything for a month’, and he was right.
Back in November I accomplished something I thought was impossible — I went vegan for a full month. Yes, this meant drinking soy cappuccinos every day for 30 days. ‘The old me’ was horrified.
Yet I did it – and it actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be; partly because I got a real moral kick from doing something good for myself and the environment, but in large part because I had a clear goal with a deadline. At the end of the day, what’s a month in a life?
Turns out that all the Tony Robbins’ of this world were right — having a measurable, well-defined goal with a set deadline makes all the difference.
But guess what… it’s late December and I’m still drinking soy lattes. Removing milk from my diet for a full month made me realise drinking milk wasn’t making me feel that good after all — and that coffee with soy milk, when made properly, was actually quite yummy. I also still do a few fully vegan days per week, enjoying the ‘moral high’ and health benefits of a plant-based diet. And it’s occurred to me that:
- you really can do pretty much anything for a month (as per Tim’s advice);
- doing something for a month may help you discover a new activity or experience that’s actually good for you;
- you might then choose to organically incorporate that ‘thing’ into your lifestyle;
- and doing so, will be so much easier having practiced it for a month already.
From this realisation evolved an idea of a more mindful and efficient approach to going through the year — one month at a time and one activity/practice per month.
I shared this idea with my friend Drew (one of the cleverest and most diligent guys I know) and, after a bit of nagging, I got him on board with starting ‘The 12-month Journey’ with me.
So, every month of the year 2018 we will pick a well-being or growth-oriented activity or practice, and we’ll be doing it every day for a full month.
We’ll share our experience and thoughts here on Medium: to keep each other accountable and help us carry on through the murky, stormy seas of doubt and laziness (cheesy, I know), and to (hopefully) inspire others to join us in our amateur quest for a more directed, mindful and nurturing year.
For those of you who, like me, struggle to keep all your New Year’s resolutions throughout the year, you’ll get 11 more chances to incorporate a constructive activity into your daily routine. If you miss January, no worries at all – start from February! Eleven, three or even one month of being a better you, is – well – better than none.
We all have lots of ideas on how to improve our lives, yet all too often we try too many different ‘things’ without ever carrying them through to a point when they could have a meaningful impact on us and the world.
Hopefully this little project will help me, my mate Drew, and you, go through 2018 a little differently.
Welcome to The 12-month Journey.