I’ve written previously in italian on this blog how enthusiastic I’m about the 30 days trial idea of Steve Pavlina.
The concept of a trial period of 30 days isn’t really a new idea, for example Stephen Covey mentioned it in his book The 7 habits of highly effective people, but Pavlina did something what Covey didn’t. He formalized the rules to make this trial really effective to establish a new habit. If you haven’t yet, go and read this two articles written by Pavlina ( 1, 2 ).
The first time I applied the 30 days trial, was last year when I decided to become an early riser and to exercise every morning. It was a great personal success and it had a great impact on my life. In that experience I learned two important things about the 30 days technique.
First, it is very important to keep a journal of your experience. Thirty days is a long time, at the end of the trial when you want to decide if it’s really worth to keep the habit or not, you may not remember all the small details of your experience. In order to have all elements before making the choice, it’s a good idea to take daily some short notes (it isn’t necessary to write a poem, one or two sentences is quite enough).
Second, it’s hard to stay focused after the first 7-10 days.
As Dave Pollard stated several times (and now he has named it by himself the Pollard’s Law), it is in human nature that we do what we must, then we do what’s easy, and then we do what’s fun. As I’m also a big fan of Dave Seah‘s The Printable CEO series and I love the style of his worksheets, I decided to make my own worksheet for the 30 days trial. It helps me to stay focused as long as I have every time the rules in front and I can see immediately how far I’m from the end. Furthermore crossing a box each day is fun and gives me a small extra motivation kick. Finally the second page (which you can print as many times as you need) is for take track of your experiences.
I wish you a great success and let me know if you find my worksheet useful.