TED Talks: ‘Try Something New For 30 Days’

UPDATED: April 11, 2020
PUBLISHED: December 28, 2016
something new

Goal-setting doesn’t have to be super serious or even strict—in fact, achieving goals can be a ton a fun.

In this TED Talk, technologist Matt Cutts shares the importance of trying new things when life becomes a tad too predictable. If you’re bored or stuck in a never-ending loop of unmemorable days, here’s why a 30-day challenge could be the pick-me-up you need:

Related: 5 Ways Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone Made Me a Better Person

You could form a new habit or drop an old one.

“Think about something you”ve always wanted to add to your life and try it for the next 30 days. It turns out 30 days is just about the right amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a habit—like watching the news—from your life.”

Each day matters.

“Instead of the months flying by, forgotten, the time was much more memorable. This was part of a challenge I did to take a picture every day for a month. And I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that day.”

You get a confidence boost.

“As I started to do more and harder 30-day challenges, my self-confidence grew. I went from desk-dwelling computer nerd to the kind of guy who bikes to work. For fun! I ended up hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. I would never have been that adventurous before I started my 30-day challenges.”

It’s a reminder that you can do anything.

“If you really want something badly enough, you can do anything for 30 days. Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Every November [for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)], tens of thousands of people try to write their own 50,000-word novel, from scratch, in 30 days. It turns out, all you have to do is write 1,667 words a day for a month.”

Small changes become powerful.

“I learned that when I made small, sustainable changes, things I could keep doing, they were more likely to stick. There”s nothing wrong with big, crazy challenges. In fact, they”re a ton of fun. But they”re less likely to stick.”

Related: How to Learn Something New

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics—from science to business to global issues—in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. See more at TED.com.