When I first started this blog, one of the things I did was try a concept called the 30-Day Habit Experiment.
Today I’d like to talk about this concept; why I initially failed with it; and how it’s now helping me get incredible results with my Internet lifestyle.
Introducing the 30-Day Habit Experiment (30DHE)
The 30-Day Habit Experiment (30DHE) is a popular concept in personal development. The idea is simple. You “test drive” a habit for a month and see if it sticks.
We all want to live better lives. Lose weight. Quit smoking. Make more friends. Get that promotion. Find that special someone. These are all goals people make for themselves. But they often fail because it’s hard to make a permanent change to their behavior.
The reason people fail is because ‘forever’ seems like, well…FOREVER. If you wanted to quit smoking, it’s really hard to say you’ll never have another cigarette.
With the 30DHE, you don’t talk about forever. Instead you make the promise to develop (or change) a habit for only a month. That’s it. After the month is over, you evaluate this habit and decide if you want to keep doing it.
My Experiments with the 30 Day Habit Experiment
Back in January of 2010, I implemented the 30DHE. It worked well for a few months. In fact, I started a number of habits that I still do on a daily basis. Unfortunately I stopped this experiment while I spent seven months in Europe. I guess I didn’t develop the habit of sticking with the 30 day habit. 🙂
This March I decided to reintroduce the thirty day habit. This time I wanted it to stick. So I made sure each habit was applicable to my Internet Lifestyle. For instance, here are a few habits I’ve successfully implemented:
- March Habit- Write Every Day: I’ve always found time to create content. But I never made this a formalized habit. In March, I “time blocked” 1 ½ hours each morning for writing. Most of this time was spent working on the course I’m launching on the 4th of July.
(To learn more about this habit, read my free Book Empire 2011 report which talks about the importance of writing on a daily basis.)
- April Habit- Use a Notebook to Track my Projects: During this month, I developed the habit of writing down my projects into a single notebook. Each section has a list of step-by-step actions that need to be completed. So whenever I work on a “project,” I immediately know what I need to do next. This is a concept I cover in this post: The Art of Completing Internet Marketing Projects.
- May Habit- Set a Timer for Each Task: For many months, I’ve used an iPhone App to time certain tasks. But in May, I turned this into an official habit. Now I put a clock on every single action I do online. This has had an amazing impact on my productivity. I’m now able to get a lot more done in the same amount of time.
- June Habit- Use Twitter on a Daily Basis: Networking is a skill that I lack. And I think that’s why I’ve never had much success with Twitter and Facebook. So this month, I’ve decided to work on developing the Twitter habit.
My goal is simple. All I have to do is use Twitter once a day and talk to people. This goes beyond the automated content that I’ve done in the past. Instead I try to form actual relationships with the people I’ve met online.
So far, I’ve managed to develop four habits in four months. Not a bad start if you ask me. Hopefully I’ll develop many more habits in the months to come!
How to Start YOUR Experiments with the 30 Day Habit
The key to the 30DHE is tracking. I use a single document to track my daily habits. This goes on the same clipboard as my projects and weekly to-do list.
What I do is list each of the habits in a column and check it off when I’ve done it that day. I also set my iPhone to ring daily. This helps me remember that I need to complete this tracking sheet.
Here’s a PDF version of this file —> Monthly Habit Tracking Sheet
Feel free to print this out and use it on your own. You’ll discover this is a great way develop success habits.
What habits should you develop? That depends on you. My advice is to cultivate a habit that’s critical to the current skill you’re trying to develop. This makes it easier to follow through with your goal.
If you’re stuck, then check out my post on the 42 Internet Lifestyle Habits to Develop. These are concepts I’ve implemented in my business. Perhaps one of them will be the genesis for the next habit you develop.
The 30DHE can have an amazing impact on your Internet productivity. So be sure to test it out. Try a different habit each month. Who knows? You might develop a powerful routine that leads to lots of online success.Take Action. Get Results.