Monthly Challenges

I have a tendency to go overboard with preparation. I started this blog quicker than I usually do. Normally, I will do a lot of research and learn everything I can. I would have read a book on WordPress, researched “How to write a blog”, in addition to the research for my subject matter, play around with various hosting sites, etc. Being prepared is a good thing, unless it causes you to become overwhelmed and not start the activity you are preparing for.

This time I jumped right in. I have been investing for years, so I have a good handle on the subject matter, but I still feel like a beginner. Writing? I don’t feel like I am good at it (can you tell?), so that aspect has been especially hard. I write for hours and feel like I only get one or two good paragraphs in! I haven’t planned out anything on this blog, my plan is to add a little bit at a time and figure out what I find most useful in building a successful dividend stream. I want this to be an archive to help me remember why I choose to make an investment and to document the journey. And at some point, I’ll need to decide how I want it to look instead of using this canned WordPress template.

What does all of this rambling have to do with “Monthly Challenges”? I am a very long term goal oriented person, which is good and bad. It is good because I will setup a system that helps me towards the desired result. This can be bad because I may start much more slowly because I feel I need to be more prepared(see above) or not start at all if the goal seems to unachievable (or I get overwhelmed when I initially start). Once I get started towards a goal, I have a good track record of achievement.

The purpose of “Monthly Challenges” is to encourage me to do something a little bit at a time. Ideally, the challenge is performed everyday, is small and easily traceable. These challenges can be anything you want. Have a bad habit you want to get ride of? Change it a little bit this month and then change it a little more next month.

These goals can be anything that is easy to track and achieve. Some examples include:

  • Don’t exercise? Plan to walk each day for 15 minutes at lunch.
  • Eat too much candy? Don’t buy any for a month
  • Want to drink less soda? Keep bottled water in the fridge
  • Want to brush your teeth twice a day? Challenge yourself to do it when you wake up and before you sleep

Once each month finishes, you can begin the next month of challenges. Some challenges will be one and done, others may be progressive. If you walked for 15 minutes the first month, then change one day to a 15 minute run.

My monthly challenges will be easy for me to follow and I will record the status of them on my Challenges page.

For the month of March, I will attempt the following monthly challenges.

  1. Write at least 5 blog posts. (Not just publish)
  2. Don’t miss any run workouts (I have been skipping out on the cold mornings)
  3. No soda. I drink way too much!
  4. Eat breakfast at home each day. Trying to save a few extra dollars and eat better

None of these challenges are hard. Each one will require me to do a little work each day (some more than others). The hardest part for me will be the first few days of each challenge. Once I have a “streak” going, I get stubborn enough to keep it up (10 days of no soda!).

The additional benefit of Monthly Challenges is that they only last a month. I may find that I really enjoyed having a soda and once I am done with my challenge, than I can continue on as usual, but I have completed the challenge successfully.

Alright. Time to start thinking of five posts to write next month! I will be doing a February portfolio review, but that won’t count towards my total!

Have a great day!

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