I have been thinking recently that DO/AO has outlived its usefulness as a weekend-only experiment and that it is time to switch to week-long challenges.
While some changes seem more manageable to try for just a weekend – without the interruptions of work and weekday tasks – it no longer feels that this is enough to truly try to establish a new habit, wean myself off an old habit or to have the opportunity to put anything into practise in the Big Wide World. After all, weekends are typically when I’m being a hermit (well, even more of a hermit than usual) because I don’t have to go out.
I feel that some things are easy to try for two days when I have no other committments, but the real challenge is whether I can keep them up while I’m rushing around and tiring myself out by going to work, running errands and devoting time to family and friends. I’m feeling that some of the things that I have tried for a weekend have only lasted for that weekend, even though I thought they were beneficial.
In fact, there’s a case for taking on month-long challenges. I have just completed my month of trying to clean for 20 minutes each day. Coincidentally, I yesterday watched a TED talk on trying something new for 30 days. It made month-long changes sound exciting, although I’m not sure I’m ready for that. The point of this has always been to keep my weekly experiments bite-sized so that I’m not discouraged. However, I will consider incorporating a month-long trial if it feels right at some point (such as the cleaning challenge).
One of the things I think I’ve loved about my DO/AO experiment and, particularly, the blogging that has accompanied it is the way I feel it is slowly opening me up to better things. It’s taken and will continue to take a lot of time and a lot of patience, but I feel that it is helpiing me to recognise some of the faulty thinking that is deeply ingrained in me. It is helping me to begin to believe in myself more truly and identify when I am undermining that self-belief through unfounded doubts. It is helping me to be kinder to myself and to therefore feel braver about trying things that I’m not sure of succeeding at.
My new week-long experiments will last from Monday to Friday, which gives me the weekend to review the week and write up a new challenge (this will be a challenge in itself)! Some of the things I drop and add will be new things that perhaps haven’t felt worthwhile for or suited to a weekend, but I will also revisit older challenges and try them for a longer period.
(P.S. I don’t know why I’m getting these ad links. I will see what I can do about it.)
(Edit: Hopefully not all of you are seeing these Text Enhance ads. It appears they may be WordPress forcing me to have them to generate more money for them, or they may be some other problem. However, I found a cookie-based opt-out on the Text Enhance website you might like to try if you are bothered by seeing these ads on WP, and a WP thread about it.)