Ok BA50’s, I’m throwing down a challenge. This past Sunday we all woke up with a gift. We got an extra hour in our day. We set the clocks back and got more time – one hour to be specific. So, what did you do with it?
Ugh! Not sure! Mostly likely, like the rest of us, you were just glad to have an extra hour to do – whatever – sleep more, hang more, nothing particularly definable.
But what if you actually decided to consciously do something with that extra hour? Like for instance, something that you’ve wanted to do for a while but haven’t had the time or discipline to do? .
Saturday night, out with friends – someone said – “hey you want to come back to our place and hang out…try this new great ‘sipping’ Tequila – after all, we have an extra hour.”
Really! It was 10 pm, we were in suburbia, we’d had a great dinner – and now we were going to an after-party? Surprisingly, we all took the dare with a resounding “YES!”
We discussed that we had a bonus hour, so what the hell – we could sleep a little longer tomorrow. Wow a gift – an extra hour – and we dedicated that hour to chilling in our friends’ living room sipping tequila….sweet!
I started thinking, what would I do if I actually carved out an extra hour each day, knowing that I would not be sipping Tequila every day with my new found time?
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he talks about 10,000 hours to achieve mastery. Gladwell is all about the concept that you don’t have to be great at something to become a master of it. It’s all about practice and dedication but the reality is, it takes that much time to become an expert or a Master at whatever – piano, tennis, your work…
But who is ready to set aside 10,000 hours for a new avocation, or passion? Finding this kind of time is some tall challenge at this mid-life mark. I think it may even be beyond the ability of our “Fit Bits” to calculate.
But still, what if I took my new found hour from this past Sunday and harnessed it – set it aside and earmarked it for a special focus? What if I took that hour and did the same thing each day, just for one hour? I did the math to see how long it would take me to put 10,000 extra hours into my “practice” (at one hour per day) to become a “master,” and it turns out it would take 27 Years! Ha! No Way!
Backing off this big gun challenge of 10,000 hours, or the hope of becoming a “master”, the baby step route was my fall back. I decided to carve out 30 hours for 30 days to focus on something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile and I am going to dedicate one hour each day to it. I’m starting today, Tuesday November 4th and finishing on December 4th.
The trouble is, trying to figure out what I should focus on wasn’t so easy, so I created a list. I came up with 9 activities I could do with my extra hour – and each one was something I would do alone – because I couldn’t necessarily count on someone else to engage with consistently every day. I basically nixed most to these as I went along until I finally came up with something I could get psyched for:
- Abdominals –I could maybe have a 6 pack in 30 days– sounds awful and I knew I’d quit by Day 3!
- Read – I could read more because I love it but I do this anyway.
- Meditate and practice yoga for 30 days. Thirty minutes of each. Every day? Big commitment! I knew I wouldn’t do it.
- Paint: Buy a canvass and paints and just start. I think I need a teacher!
- Cook: A new recipe every day. Feed my family or cook for a family in need. (No: everyday in the kitchen is not pleasurable).
- Write: Journal, or blog or finish the book I have been working on. (I need to do this anyway– kind of feels like cheating).
- Photo albums: finish the photo album projects and make books for the kids just in time for the holidays.(Torture!)
- Music: listen to music, learn to sing harmonies and/or practice an instrument. Learn a new song. (This sounds dreamy!)
- Give back: Take an extra hour each day to help someone else. Make time for a friend who is sick and visit regularly. Or volunteer time to help someone out. (Very appealing and satisfying).
The obstacle that makes this challenge super tough is picking just one goal and sticking with it. I decided that because an hour can feel very long and 30 days seems like a lot to do the same thing each day over and over — I need to pick more than one. So, I’m picking #8 and #9 and plan to toggle between the two. Wish me luck. What about you?