By Sarah Schrock
The new year is very close to 2020, which to me sounds like a sci-fi turning point in the history of mankind. Twenty-twenty sounds like the future-images and depictions of a futuristic world where people teleport, cities will be built in the sky, flying vehicles will be whizzing by and cyborgs will be living among us. The Jetsons are supposed to be my neighbors.
I recently heard a comment from some credible person that said something to the effect of: “All the technological impossibilities that were sci-fi when we were growing up aren’t fiction anymore. We’ve actually already achieved most of them. They just aren’t mainstream technology available to the general public yet.”
The leap into the future has been a bit more of a gradual shift, and while I haven’t heard of anyone teleporting yet, chances are, artificial intelligence will take more work from humans in 2019. For instance, more vehicles will be self-driving, more smart devices will be connected to the web and monitoring our location and activity, more smart companions like Siri and Alexa will be searching the web as opposed to people typing in search engines, and more of your customer service agents will be robots. These subtle shifts are becoming commonplace, so yeah, the future is upon us.
While some of these changes are happening and we don’t feel like we have much control over them, the new year has always been a time when people try to tackle change through the tradition of resolutions. Research shows that most resolutions don’t stick, so one new trend hitting the self-help world is the 30-day challenge. This is a practice where you adopt a new behavior and try it on for 30 days.
The 30-day challenge is similar to a concept that has gotten some fanfare in the pop-psychology world lately, asserting that it takes 21 days to break a habit or form a new one. According to Beyoncé, a new habit is made by the 22nd day (and I suppose we should all be listening to Beyoncé for personal help). She transitioned to a becoming vegan in 22 days through a plan that is now marketed by her food delivery business. You can ask Alexa or Siri about it.
This weekend I interviewed a group of local women who have tried a variety of 30-day challenges or aspire to, and asked them to share their recommendations, so I can share them with you. These goals range from personal growth, beauty, spiritual, environmental, physical, stress reducing and brain enhancement, to relationship-building, or simplifying life.
Here are some 30-day challenge recommendations from Methow women (of distinction):
• No use of plastic (maybe start with bags first)
• No Facebook
• Exercise each day, same time
• Read daily
• Meditate or pray daily
• Have sex daily
• Eat a salad a day
• Show someone appreciation each day
• Carve out quality time with a loved friend or family member
• Try a new hobby and do it every day
• Eat, wake and sleep at the same time
• Eliminate sugar, alcohol or coffee
• Draw daily
• Write a poem a day
One bigger ambition is to try a new 30-day challenge each month. This could result in feeling like you’ve teleported yourself into a new you by 2020 if you adopt 12 new habits, even if Scotty isn’t there to beam you up. For my challenge, I am trying 10 minutes of tidying each day. By next week, I hope to have a tidy pantry, well-organized linen closet, and uncluttered buffet cabinet. Wish me luck! I need it.
Share with me your 30-day challenge, resolution or personal goal and let me know how it goes — the stranger the better.