30 Days To Success And Personal Growth

Article based on, “30 Days to Success” by Steve Pavlina.

For Steve’s full post see Steve Pavlina’s Blog here.

The blog post titled “30 Days to Success” by Steve Pavlina, presents a method for personal growth and development drawn from the shareware industry. Here is the gist of it

Introduction to the 30-Day Path to Accomplishment

The concept of a 30-day trial is a potent tool for personal growth. This idea is derived from the shareware industry where you can test a piece of software for 30 days before purchasing the complete version. Remarkably, this concept is an effective way to establish new habits, and it is extremely straightforward to implement.

The Challenge of Starting and Maintaining New Habits

Imagine you are considering adopting a new habit, such as regular exercise, or letting go of a harmful one, like smoking. The toughest part is typically getting started and then maintaining the new habit for a couple of weeks. Once this hurdle is overcome, continuing with the habit becomes less challenging.

However, we often intimidate ourselves out of starting because we think of the change as a long-term commitment before we even commence. Contemplating about a significant, permanent change, especially when you are used to the opposite, can be quite daunting. This mindset often results in inaction.

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Temporary Change: An Easier Path

What if you change your perspective and consider the change as temporary, say for 30 days? After this period, you are free to revert to your previous habits. This approach seems less intimidating. For instance, maintaining an organized workspace for 30 days, reading an hour a day for a month, or exercising daily for 30 days all seem more manageable.

While this approach still requires discipline and commitment, it is less demanding than making a lifetime change. Any sense of deprivation is temporary. You will gain some benefits, and it will only take up one month of your life.

The Impact of a Completed 30-Day Trial

Upon completing a 30-day trial, several outcomes are possible. First, you would have created a new habit, making it easier to maintain. Secondly, you break free from your old habit during this period. Thirdly, you accumulate 30 days of success, increasing your confidence that you can maintain the change. Lastly, you gain practical insights into what you can expect if you persist with the new habit.

Hence, at the end of a 30-day trial, your capacity to make the habit a permanent fixture in your life is significantly enhanced. If you’re not ready to commit to the new habit permanently, you have the option to extend the trial to 60 or 90 days. The longer the trial period, the easier it becomes to sustain the habit long-term.

Experimenting with Potential Lifestyle Changes

The 30-day trial also allows you to experiment with potential lifestyle changes without making a long-term commitment. This approach is particularly useful for trying out a new diet that you might find too restrictive. If the new habit doesn’t suit you, there’s no harm in reverting to your old ways, much like uninstalling a shareware if it doesn’t meet your needs.

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Personal Experiences with 30-Day Trials

Here are some personal experiences where 30-day trials were used to establish new habits:

  1. In the summer of 1993, a 30-day trial was employed to try vegetarianism. Despite initial skepticism about this change becoming permanent, the experience yielded positive results including increased energy and improved concentration. At the end of the 30 days, it was a straightforward decision to maintain the vegetarian lifestyle.

  2. In January 1997, a 30-day trial was used to transition from being a vegetarian to a vegan. Despite initial doubts about the feasibility of this change, the trial led to unexpected positive outcomes including increased energy levels, improved mental clarity, and enhanced endurance. These benefits made it easy to maintain the vegan diet beyond the trial period.

  3. In 1997, a goal was set to exercise daily for a year. Thinking about 365 consecutive days of exercise was daunting, so the approach was to start with a 30-day trial. This made the goal seem more achievable, and after setting a record of exercising for 30 consecutive days, the motivation to continue was high. This eventually led to successfully completing a year of daily exercise.

  4. After several years of being a vegan, 30-day trials were implemented to experiment with variations of the vegan diet including the macrobiotic diet and the raw foods diet. While these trials provided new insights, the decision was made not to continue with these dietary changes.

The 30-day method seems most effective for daily habits. However, the method can still work if you initially apply it daily for 30 days and then reduce the frequency.

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Other Potential Applications of 30-Day Trials

Here are other suggestions for using 30-day trials:

  • Avoid watching TV. Record your favorite shows and watch them after the trial.
  • Avoid participating in online forums. This can help break any potential addiction.
  • Meet a new person every day.
  • Spend 30 minutes each day cleaning or organizing your space.
  • List a new item for sale on eBay each day.
  • Date someone new every day.
  • If you’re in a relationship, give your partner a daily massage.
  • Quit unhealthy habits like smoking, junk food, and excessive caffeine intake.
  • Write in your journal daily.
  • Make 25 sales calls daily to solicit new business.
  • Write a daily blog post.
  • Read for an hour each day on a topic that interests you.
  • Meditate daily.

Don’t feel obligated to continue these habits beyond the 30 days. You can assess the benefits after the trial period. Regardless of the outcome, the experience alone will yield personal growth.

The simplicity of committing to doing something daily for 30 days makes this approach potent. Though it may not be the most efficient way to establish a habit, it often leads to higher adherence. With a daily commitment, you cannot rationalize missing a day, making it a highly effective strategy for personal growth.