I’m an avid listener of podcasts on the TWIT.tv network, through which I was introduced to Matt Cutts. Matt is a Google employee who is responsible for the elimination of spam in Google email. I hate spam, and therefore through the inverse property of internet absolutes, I love Matt Cutts. Aside from this great public service to humanity, Matt has been doing a monthly 30 day challenge, which he presented as a TED talk. I think the genesis of the 30 day challenge came from the desire to try new things, to enhance his life, and to form new habits. As Matt says, it turns out the 30 days just happens to be the right amount of time for a new challenge to become a habit. It also fits nicely into a monthly boundary, which is easy to track.
I started my 30 day challenge this December. With twins on the way, I’ve been feeling the need to get the house organized. The room that is becoming the nursery had been used as a big storage closet since we moved here a year ago. I needed to clean that room and start with a fresh slate. The babies are going to bring a whole new set of devices, gadgets, toys, and clothes into a house that is full of the collected belongings of a couple who has been married 10 years. People tend to collect a lot of stuff in that time. My challenge this month is to declutter and organize the house, to remove what is unnecessary, and what has been bogging us down as we’ve moved around the country. Each day, I have to make some progress towards that goal, either by cleaning the baby room, donating some clothes or household items, or organizing our files.
So far, this challenge has been excellent, and I’m pleased with the results. I’ve finished the baby room, and yesterday, I hacked my desk to hide all cords and allow my keyboard tray to slide into a completely hidden position. I’m almost done organizing my files, and next, we’ll tackle our old clothes, many of which should be donated for lack of use. We are well on our way to having a well organized house, before the twins arrive and force increased entropy.
I plan to continue these challenges, knowing full well that I might miss a month or 2 post baby delivery. But I hope to continue this exercise in perpetuity, always pushing myself to try new things, improve myself, learn a skill, etc. This is a trait I want to pass on to my children.
Wish me luck!