What are you going to do with the next 30 days?

Feb 5, 2015 by

“What are you waiting for? I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days?”

– Matt Cutts


          Today marks one month since I first tried pole dancing. It was on January 5 that I purchased my intro membership for a month’s access to unlimited classes. I went all in for a month before trying a class to see if I liked it first, because I knew I wouldn’t grasp pole dancing in one or even a few classes, and I wanted to give myself a legitimate chance to like it. I’m glad I did, because I wasn’t instantly “hooked” on it the way many girls at the studio said they were when they first started. I enjoyed it, but I can remember thinking after a week, before I had fully overcome my fear of lifting my feet off the ground, that pole dancing would probably only be a one-month adventure for me.

          Now, I’m registered for two additional months of unlimited classes. After a full month’s membership at the studio, I see that pole dancing has had too much of a positive impact on my attitude to stop doing it. I am still at the most basic level, below the beginner stage, but I’ve certainly seen improvement in myself. I feel more and more accomplished with each class. I’m increasingly trusting of the pole and my spins are gaining more momentum. Not only is this boosting my confidence on the pole, it’s rebuilding my confidence off the pole by reassuring me that I have control over my story. I chose to throw myself into something different. I chose to do something I’ve never done before, something that requires my concentration to grasp. As a result, I’ve become significantly less concerned about the stressors that led me to the pole, including the guy I had been spending too much of my energy wanting.

          Furthermore, by giving myself a month to experience the studio, I’ve had the opportunity to explore a variety of fitness classes. Ironically, the one I was least enthused about trying has turned out to be my favourite. It’s a stretch class with the ultimate goal of doing the splits. I am extremely inflexible. I used to think I was inflexible because I’m not a dancer; but, no, no, I am most definitely inflexible in general, as in less flexible than non-dancers, i.e. the average person. For this reason, I didn’t expect to like stretch, but I’ve surprisingly found that I do. It hurts, making it challenging, so millimetres of progress toward splitting my legs feels like moving mountains. Had I not given the studio a one-month commitment, I probably wouldn’t have paid to try a stretch class, and I wouldn’t have discovered that I like stretch enough to have incorporated straddle wall stretching into my workout regimen at the gym.

          In spending the last month trying something new, I have discovered different forms of fitness that have positively seeped into other aspects of my life and that I will be continuing to practice for two more months. This brings me to Matt Cutts’ TED talk called Try something new for 30 days. I came across it about halfway through my first month of pole. According to Matt, it so happens that 30 days (or precisely 32 days in the case of my intro pole membership; because yes, I counted, and yes, I have to be exact) is approximately the amount of time it takes to decide whether or not a new activity will become a habit. Moreover, whether it becomes a habit or not, 30 days of something new boosts your confidence in what you can do.

Happiness Tip: Give something new a 30-day shot.

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