Monthly Commitment Challenge: Commit to Yourself

Health Hobbies Leisure
Photo: Public Domain

This year, I’m making a monthly commitment to myself to do something specific every day for a month, every month. That is, I’m choosing to do things to improve my life and take a small part of each day to take care of myself, physically, mentally, emotionally, or creatively.

So far, I’ve been quite successful. January, I committed to being more active, so I exercised and tried to move around more for 28 of the 31 days. I missed one day due to a bad migraine, and the other two due to time management issues. But I still got 90% of the days in.

For February, I’m doing something creative in the physical world (read: not on the computer or tablet) each day. I’m halfway through the month and so far I’m at 100%. Of course, doing handicrafts and other creative endeavors is much more fun than exercise, so it’s easier to prioritize than January’s commitment. But getting away from my computer and getting my hands on something tangible is as important to my mind as exercise is to my body.

I’m considering, for March, to commit to reading a book for at least 30 minutes each day (again, a physical book, not a book on a screen). I love to read, but rarely make it a priority anymore. Between the easy ability to watch television on my tablet in bed to sitting at my computer all day, reading physical books always seems to be too far down the list to happen as often as I’d like.

It’s no coincidence that all three of these ideas help me unplug.

Here’s the thing. We can stick to just about anything for a month. If you know there’s an end to whatever you’re doing and that end is just a few weeks away, we can push through it. Of course, doing creative endeavors and reading books aren’t exactly a hardship, and exercising is important regardless. But by scheduling in an activity that I can do for myself every day, and have a box to check off when I’m done, I make myself a priority, a task I often neglect because I’m always putting others first. If you don’t take care of yourself, though, you eventually won’t have much energy left to take care of others. If a commitment is a difficult task one month, do your best, and then commit to something more enjoyable—but no less important—the next month. Think of it as a reward for your hard work.

So far I’m really enjoying this commitment challenge. I’m not sure what I’ll do for the rest of the months of this year, but I’ve got plenty of ideas. I’m also likely to rotate some of the commitments I’ve already covered because all of them, especially physical activity, are important to prioritize.

I learned about this monthly challenge from the lady who put together the 2017 Volt Planner. I backed it on Kickstarter for $1 and got the PDF download. Some of its content doesn’t fit with my workflow, but I was really intrigued by the monthly challenges and goals. So, like with everything else in my life, I’m using what speaks to me and ignoring the rest.

Want to give this a try for yourself? Here are some ideas to consider doing daily for one month at a time.

  • Physical fitness
  • Physically creative endeavors
  • Reading physical books
  • Cleaning your house
  • Purging old possessions
  • Spending time outside
  • Counting your calories
  • Home improvement or repair projects
  • Try a new food
  • Get up at reasonable time
  • Go to bed at a reasonable time
  • Fill up a sketchbook page with sketches
  • Write a personal letter (or email)
  • Call people on the phone who you miss talking to
  • Work toward writing a book
  • Write blog posts
  • Play different board games with your family
  • Learn more about countries you’re not familiar with
  • Listen to music
  • Meditate
  • Collect photos of your kids on a CD
  • Take photos
  • Take a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)
  • Eat five fruits or vegetables

What are some other ideas of things you can commit to doing for yourself, each day for a month at a time? What have you committed to in the past? Let us know in the comments!

So, who’s with me?

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