Try Something new for 30 days...

This is a post I wrote on my old blog about 6 years ago before entering into the health business, It's a little crass in places but it amused me today so I thought I'd share it again. (The classes I was day dreaming in weren't yoga classes I was once a school teacher! )


Some of you may be familiar with TED Talks, TED is an organisation introduced to me by a wonderful friend, TEDs main aim is to spread ideas worth spreading. On their webpage they offer “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” For those of you who aren’t familiar with the awesomeness of all things TED you should be! I’ve included links to some great talks to get you started, including; a man from Birmingham who’s art is so small his paintbrush is the hair from a flies back, a synesthesiac mathemagician who turns numbers into cookies and those guys off the Youtube video on the train with that crazy French woman joining in. (You’ll know what I mean!) About a year ago I watched Matt Cutts, the Director of the organization giving a speech entitled: Try something new for 30 days. (Link below also)



Mr Cutts was stuck in a self proclaimed ‘rut’ and decided to take the simple advice of a standup comedian and think of something he had always wanted to do…. And then do it. Perfectly simple no?

In theory yes but how many of us have little (or large) ambitions that niggle at us almost daily yet never come to fruition. Mainly because there’s always a good reason not to, like feeding the dog or taping Eastenders. It turns out the 30 days is just the RIGHT amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a habit. During the speech Matt convincingly takes you on a journey from ‘desk dwelling computer nerd’ to hiking mount Kilimanjaro.

Whilst watching this 3 minute video I felt inspired, energetic and motivated. I loved the concept, it was so simple if you want to do something… do it! It was pure genius, everything that is lacking in our lives is absent because we are yet to put it there and ‘if you really want something badly enough you can do anything for 30 days.' After all it’s just 30 days, it’s not for life it’s a personal challenge with achievable goals. I felt a surge of potential course through me, for the first time in a long time I reveled in the possibilities of me. I could do anything I set my mind to. My mind raced with infinite ideas such as learning Spanish, learning French, learning French and Spanish, read Arabic, master the hula hoop, learn to flair, write a novel, dance, juggle, contact juggle, fire hoop, fire staff, fir poi, study online, gardening, pottering, mug painting and oh the list seemed unending and yet at my finger tips ready for me to stretch them out and just take whatever life skills I’d secretly fantasized about possessing but never acted upon. And then slowly month by month become some form of super fit, super flexible circus trick yielding, fire breathing, WI destroying craft champion, with a firm knowledge of calculus, quantum physics and salsa. I shut down the laptop alive with possibilities of the entire cosmos pulsating through my veins and proceeded then and there to do... absolute bollocks all.

You see I was living on a boat at the time and I wanted to mull over my new found superpowers with a cup of tea, having electrical problems so the kettle killed everything. Anyone who’s ever been in the van on festival sites, or had penchant for Shell Island in the summer or subscribed to ‘Caravan and Camping’ knows the treachery of the magnificent surge of petty electric kettle. The principle on the boat is the same, so one had to microwave the cup of water, and whilst watching the little yellow and orange cracked handle turn clumsily though the darkened greasy window, I soon forgot all about me and my superhuman brain power and ability to make soufflé every day for 30 days without ever seeing the recipe and became transfixed on how bloody hard life was without a kettle. And how much I HAD to do and how little I wanted to do, and how tea wasn’t really what I wanted and how long it would be before people who worked office hours would stop this ludicrous behavior of 9 till sodding 5 and go halfs on a few litres of Crumptons with me. Aspirations farted into the wind.

It is was over a year later for reasons irrelevant to the this tale I decided bugger it, it’s only 30 days. Hardly the poetic pep rally I’d given myself on the boat many many moons ago. But hey, I’m living in a flat with my own name on the deeds, paying monthly rent, it does not float or have wheels and I work Monday to Friday, 7-5 how did this happened I’m not sure. But I now have the novelty of evenings to myself. one does tend to get philosophical in the throngs of a boredom in a Thai bedsit I decide to pick up a hula hoop and head to pool, to exercise for 1 hour every day! By the time I get to the pool I decide it hot outside and best not run before you can walk, so on day one I decided on 15 minutes swimming and 15 hoop in the reverse order I decide to document my feelings. And so my challenge begins… ... After 5 days I got into a routine one that I was happy with, after 2 weeks I was bored of said routine and flagging due to multiple hip bruises but I managed to keep up half an hours hooping a day sometimes 45 minutes. After about day 16 I starting to get good, really good, kick tricks and whirly mejiggs I'd wanted to do for years this was addictive. After day 20 I started to crave my time out by the pool hooping day dreaming in class about the next tricks I could. It became so much part of my routine that by day 30 it seems ridiculous to give it up, so I'm still doing it!


http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/willard_wigan_hold_your_breath_for_micro_sculpture.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/arthur_benjamin_does_mathemagic.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/naturally_7_jams_fly_baby_with_an_orchestra_of_vocals.html

Polly Castellano

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