Can #[number]daysof[something] Improve Your Life?

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They've become pretty popular, haven't they? #30daysofthis, #40daysofthat or even #100daysoftheotherthing. Have you ever participated in one of these challenges? If not, what are your reasons? (No judgement here, I promise!) 

My first challenge was self-imposed and was did not actually have anything to do with an Instagram challenge. It was self-prescribed art therapy during a challenging time in my life and I needed a daily outlet of expressing what I was going through. I didn't commit to a particular period of time, only that it would be daily. To make it easier to achieve success, I made some parameters for myself so I'd avoid excuses. It had to be completed on my phone (always with me and no need for set-up time) and I was limited to three colors: black, white and red. I posted these daily creations on Facebook and ended up doing it every day for over a year.

Fast forward about five years and after seeing a friend's participation in the #100DaysOf Challenge for several rounds, something was prompting me to give it a try. I recalled the days of my doodling challenge and figured if I could stay engaged with that for so long, I probably stood a decent chance of 100 days—IF, again, I made it simple. So, I participated with #100daysofpersonalsymbols. A year later, I participated again with #100daysofteastains. 

One-hundred days is a lot, I won't lie. But it was doable and the sense of satisfaction I gained was totally worth it, not to mention the bodies of work that resulted from each. I also learned something new about myself each time. So when a friend recently challenged me to a yoga challenge, I had to really think about it for a bit, but knew it was something I could tackle and felt highly compelled to try. By the way, so far it's going GREAT and I am reaping the rewards physically. What I didn't expect was to run across another challenge today (yesterday as of the publishing of this post) that I found hard to resist. (#40daysofnocomplaining if you're interested.) My thought after committing: What is happening to me?

A part of me is now wondering if participating in these could become its own habit. Here's what I'm finding to be the benefits of these challenges and I challenge you to give a #[number]daysof[something] challenge a try!

  • The chance to try something new
  • The probability you'll learn something new about yourself. I discovered I'm a much better illustrator than I'd every imagined! Also, I'm now learning I've spent years bending my spine one direction, but not the other and in moving in new ways, I'm increasing great energy flow!
  • Reasonable commitment. New Year's challenges can be pretty tough to live up to, but thirty days (or so) is completely doable!
  • Accountability. Completing challenges is so much more fun when you have a community to share your daily experience with. I really believe this part—daily posting on Instagram or the platform of your choice—is the key to success. 
  • Self-love. Participating and achieving what you set out to accomplish really feels like a gift to yourself.
  • Fulfillment. Participation builds self-confidence.

I'd love to hear about your experiences with this sort of challenge or with any new challenge you're considering. I've been brainstorming about what type of challenge I'd like to initiate myself and would love to hear your thoughts on that as well!

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