365-Day Challenges

I shared a version of this post in the Conscious Growth Club forums and on my Facebook profile yesterday. Now I think it’s time to share it with my blog readers too, along with an additional update.

I’m considering a 365-day challenge for 2020 that might be a little crazy – okay, a lot crazy – but could also create tons of extra ripples.

I’m on the fence about doing this but currently am leaning towards it.

The challenge would be to publish a new blog post every day of 2020, so 365 posts for the year. A post could be text, audio, or video. If it’s video then I’ll likely post it to YouTube as well.

I wouldn’t have to create content every day per se, just publish something new each day. So I could batch-create sometimes, like record a few videos in a row. But most of the time I prefer to publish right after I create.

The most I’ve ever blogged in a year was probably 150-200 posts, and that was many years ago. I’ve done multiple 30-day blogging challenges and of course lots of other 30-day challenges too. In 2017 I did a 30-day video challenge while water fasting.

I’ve also done some 365-day challenges before like for daily exercise (twice). And Rachelle has been doing daily yoga for more than 2 years now without missing a day (she loves Yoga with Adriene workouts on YouTube).

One nice benefit of completing a full 365-day challenge is that it serves as a powerful reference experience for life. I still remember my first 365-day exercise challenge from 1997 (minimum 25 minutes of cardio per day), which I think was instrumental in eventually running the L.A. Marathon a few years later. It elevates your self-image about what you think is possible for you.

A 365-day challenge can feel pretty edgy because if you miss a single day, it will probably feel like you failed. Who wants to experience that six months in? But that same edginess also nudges you to raise your standards and move beyond your comfort zone. Such a commitment once nudged me to go running at 2am in the rain while I had a cold, after a long day at a workshop followed by a long drive. I was dead tired but still did it. It was physically hard but spiritually powerful. I wasn’t going to miss a day halfway through the year. I still remember that run 22+ years later because of what it meant to me at the time. And now I have the gift of knowing that I’m capable of exercising every day for year without making excuses because I’ve done it twice before.

Now and then it’s good to perturb – and sometimes explode – our comfort zones. So much growth comes from putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Blogging every day for a year doesn’t feel comfortable to me, yet it does feel spiritually powerful. I feel like when this idea infected my thoughts a few days ago, it’s been riling me up and igniting me the more I’ve danced with it. It’s not a comfortable dance partner though, reminding me of when I first tried tango dancing.

In the past several years, I haven’t blogged as often I as I did when I first started, mainly because I shifted to focusing on other aspects of life and business, such as doing live events, creating courses, and being active in Conscious Growth Club. This is only my 29th blog post for all of 2019, although there are more than 1300 overall.

Blogging is, however, still one of the primary engines that drives my business, and it creates many personal ripples as well – more social invites, speaking invites, interview requests, and interesting opportunities. More frequent blogging would undoubtedly attract more web traffic, email subscribers, YouTube subscribers, social media followers, course sales, Conscious Growth Club members, workshop attendees, and of course a lot more email too.

This idea mainly came from working on the new character sculpting deep dive that we’ll be launching on January 1st. The deep dive is about building stronger characters, and as I’ve been working on this course, I’ve been thinking and journaling a lot about how I’d like to reshape my own character for 2020 and beyond. And I realized that I want to play a more fully engaged character and step outside my comfort zone. I want to do this in a way that feels very meaningful.

I’m sure I could do it if I commit to it. The question is whether I want to take this on. It does feel a bit insane on some level, but I tend to like such insanities sometimes.

A few friends have done 365-day YouTube challenges (posting daily videos) and found it transformational. One friend actually published 730 videos in 365 days (2 per day).

The part that makes it hard not to say yes to this is linked with something I shared with someone on a recent coaching call – all the ripples it would create for other people. I have 15+ years of feedback to know what many of those ripples are. Knowing this type of work has prevented suicides really impacts how I feel about this. It’s not just a personal challenge. It will impact a lot of lives.

Energetically this would create a different type of year for me – really a whole different vibe than I’m used to. It would challenge me to connect with the flow of creative inspiration more strongly than ever, and that vibe will surely create its own ripples too.

What really attracts me to this idea is the joy, the thrill, and the challenge of staying in tune with the flow of creative inspiration and all the energy that would stir up in other people’s lives as well. Something about this just feels powerful to me. It looks hard, but I also sense a deeper form of beauty wanting to emerge.

It doesn’t feel entirely like I chose this idea. It feels more like it showed up in response to the character work I’ve been doing lately, as a way of inviting me into a stronger, deeper relationship with reality, much as we covered in depth in Submersion.

Are you considering stepping up for a 365-day challenge for 2020 as well? What feels insane or edgy to you… maybe too insane that you hesitate to share it? Yes, that one – the one you just censored!

What would push you way out of your comfort zone in 2020 but could also be hugely impactful or transformational if you actually did it? 🤔🤯

Let’s Do It!

I wrote the part above yesterday. Now on the morning of the 26th as I’m getting ready to post this, I also feel ready to say yes to it. So yeah, I’ll do it.

Simply sharing this idea with others when I felt 60-70% ready helped me process how I felt about it. That resulted in extra encouragement from friends, along with several other people stepping up and saying they’re ready to take on similar challenges for 2020. So this isn’t just about me or my blog. It’s already creating ripples well beyond, and 2020 hasn’t even started yet. Maybe posting this to my blog as well will encourage other people to join in… or at least to consider stepping outside their comfort zones for 2020.

If you’re considering a personal challenge like 365 days of exercise, I strongly encourage you to add a daily sharing element to it. Something much more powerful happens when you turn a personal challenge into a social one that can create ripples for others. Don’t discount the ripples you can’t even fathom yet; they will happen in ways you can’t predict in advance. If I were to do this as a private journaling challenge instead of a public blogging challenge, the results would be very different, even if the content was identical. It takes more trust and courage to publish, and can’t we all use more trust and courage? Courage is an invitation.

Since the energy in a decision like this exists in here and now, I’m not waiting till January 1st to start. I’ve blogged daily since December 24, and I intend to continue with daily posts from now through Dec 31, 2020. So that will be 373 days in a row.

Ha! I just remembered that 2020 is a leap year. So make it 374 days!

What feels spiritually powerful for you right now? Does this type of energy stir up anything within you?

At the very least, consider the challenge of reading these posts each day for a year. It will surely be good for you. If it explodes your head, well… you’ve still got your heart. 😉

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Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site stevepavlina.com and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

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