So, I started the whole "monthly challenge" thing kind of by accident. It was November, so a bunch of people were doing NaBloPoMo, and then there was a group of people doing NoBloShoeMo which was 30 days of showing off your shoes. So I thought I'd put my own little spin on NoBloShoeMo and do a month of paring down my shoe collection. And then when that was done, I thought, "Well, that was fun, let me try another monthly challenge."
So it was random fluke that made me start the whole monthly challenge thing, but I found that the challenges gave me something to a) write about and b) focus on for the month.
And now that I've completed three monthly challenges I think I can safely say that I think they're a very effective tool for changing habits. For instance, when I started DeSloFooMo, I was terrified. I *lived* on pre-packaged one serving meals: Trader Joe's packaged salads, frozen mac and cheese, the occasional Lean Cuisine. I assumed that I would try out cooking for a month, and that would be that. In January, I'd be back to my pre-packaged convenience meals.
Except, that it didn't happen. This past month, I ordered delivery three times (all with friends.) I got fast food once (I had a desperate craving for Subway.) I got a pre-packaged one serving meal exactly never. That's right. I went from someone who lived on pre-packaged meals to not eating one once this month.
The monthly challenges have allowed me to sort of test the waters, to take challenges on that I would normally never take, because I can tell myself, "Oh, it's just for a month." But guess what? After the month is over, my habits have re-formed.
Similarly with JaLeDiMo, I was freaked out about giving up toilet paper. But, it honestly hasn't been as big as a deal as I was making it out to be. So, I'm not going back. I like my spray bottle just fine. I didn't love the handkerchief thing, but I'll probably keep it unless I have a bad cold (in which case I'll probably use recycled tissue.)
So, what started as a fluke has turned into a very effective tool for me for re-shaping my behavior. Tune in tomorrow for my February challenge.
13 hours ago