Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How Many Thirty Day Challenges Do You Need To Do?

This is the first month, I've "officially" had members doing thirty day challenges along with me. As we near the successful completion of a month of creating change in our lives, does doing a thirty day challenge for one month mean that you have mastered change in your life. And if it doesn't, then how many successful thirty day challenges do you have to do to achieve mastery?

I think that there are actually two levels to this question. The first level is mastering the concept itself. The second level is actually mastering it in your life.

Let's talk about the first level. Mastering concepts are the exciting part. It's new knowledge. There's the optimism of new techniques and ideas that challenge your self in ways you didn't know that you could.

I've often fallen into this trap. I get interested in a subject, I find the best information I can on the subject and I start applying it. Eventually, I start to see some success and feel that I know what I need to know. Just the knowledge that I know how to do it is enough and it's a powerful feeling. It's almost an addiction. It's an addiction to knowledge. Once it wears off, I move on to satisfy the craving once again.

Here, the concept of a my thirty day challenge is easy. You decide on something you will do or not do for thirty days. You make it through the thirty days. You continue it beyond the thirty days and you start another one. Rinse and repeat.

In reviewing the requirements of a white belt master, I have to decide when you have mastered the concept of a thirty day challenge. Because there are actually two parts to a thirty day challenge, one is making it through a whole month. The second part is continuing that habit beyond the first month while you start a new challenge.

It's hard for me to say that one month is mastery when it's really only one component of the challenge. Without making the change "stick", you haven't really mastered permanent change. If you want to change your life, permanent change is essential to your success.

For purposes of becoming a white belt master, I think it's important to recognize that you understand the concept plus actually that you have actually completed it. So in looking at my own personal experience, I know it takes a few "successes"  to actually get it and to get those successes to stick and to give you the momentum you need to create a mindset of constant improvement.

I think that for you to really start the see the power of this concept, it's important to set a goal of doing three consecutive thirty day challenges while making the first two stick.

If you do that, I think that you have mastered the concept.

You should make that your first objective. You should master the concept.

But after that, after the newness of the concept has worn off, you have to make a decision. Am I satisfied that I understand and truly know the concept. Or, do I want to really master it.

Once you think about that question, I think a true black belt knows the answer to how many successful thirty day challenges they need to do to be considered a master.

The answer is twelve a year.

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Michael Kuhn

Black Belt Project: Build Mental Strength