We’re at the start of a new 30 x 30 challenge (30 minutes of genealogy research for a 30 days in a row). For me, throwing down the gauntlet of the challenge is enough to get me sticking to it–it’s my challenge after all. But I wanted to share some strategies to help you feel successful about the 30 x 30 challenge when the month is over.
This is something that my co-host, Shannon Wilkinson, and I discuss on our weekly podcast Getting to Good Enough, which is about letting go of perfectionism so you can do more of what you love. Perfectionism can truly get in the way of sticking with a challenge like this. But it doesn’t have to.
I think the key is building in flexibility to allow yourself to stick with the challenge, even if you miss a day or don’t put in the full 30 minutes. As I said in the post that started this month’s challenge, I’m traveling for a week this month and I know it will be hard to carve out 30 minutes of research some days. So I’ve adapted the challenge a bit. I will feel successful if I research each day (even if it’s just for a few minutes, as it was for me in the airport yesterday), with an average of 30 minutes a day accomplished. And I’m not going to be too upset if I miss a day.
Reader Kim adapted the challenge to be 900 minutes total for the month, regardless of how many days she is able to research. Beautiful! To keep track of those minutes, she found an Evernote habit tracker template and was kind enough to follow up with a comment on last week’s post and tell us how to access it. (Start a new note, click Template in the first line of the new note, select Personal Well-Being from the sidebar, then scroll down to Habit Tracker.) This is a tool that many of us can use to keep track of the challenge. I know it will help me ensure that I average 30 minutes a day. Thank you, Kim, for taking the time to share that information!
Sometimes planning for going off track can help you find success. Things come up that might prevent you from researching some days. Accept that as inevitability and think about how you’ll handle it if it happens. There’s no need to beat yourself up. Just keep going if that happens.
I don’t want you to drop the challenge entirely if you miss a day. You can still get so much done if you research the other days. (And if you take a moment to plan the next day’s research at the end of a session, you can jump right in at the beginning of the next session, which makes everything easier.)
This week’s episode of Getting to Good Enough is called Getting Back on Track and it’s all about gently re-starting habits that inevitably fall by the wayside. If you have a half hour, give it a listen and you’ll hear some strategies for hopping back on the wagon if you fall off.
To your success!