Naga Chokkanathan

Why Not? — 30 Day Challenges

Posted on: March 11, 2011

Matt Cutts is a Software Engineer working at Google, heading its Webspam team. Before this he wrote the very popular “Family Filter” Functionality in Google search. (You can read more about Matt in his blog at

(Image Courtesy:

In the last few months, Matt Cutts is very popular among net-izens for a non-Google reason: He is trying something called “30 Day Challenges” and recording his experiences / learnings online.

For example, in the month of December 2010, Matt Cutts decided to learn 30 new words. In November 2010, he wrote a novel in 30 days. In October 2010, he clicked a new picture every day. Earlier he took similar challenges like “No twitter for 30 days”, “No Microsoft Software for 30 days”, “No Coffee for 30 days”, “No TV for 30 days”, “Only cloud software for 30 days”, “Don’t respond to Email after 10 PM for 30 days”, “10000 steps a day for 30 days” and so on.

Obviously, he is not doing all these for popularity. Behavioral experts say it takes roughly around 3 to 4 weeks to build a habit and it looks relatively easier to try something for 30 days, than doing it lifetime!

So, If you always wanted to try something but didn’t start, this is a good shortcut. Take a 30 day challenge; declare your intention in blog / facebook / twitter; make sure your friends read it (So that going back is difficult ;)); and most important, record your observations on a regular basis; as long as you are open minded about the challenge, anything can be converted to a life long habit.

Not sure where to start? Ask your spouse / friends, Or you can refer to 100s of ideas from readers of Matt Cutts’ blog: Bike to work for 30 days, No Personal Emails for 30 days, No Sugar for 30 days, Read 15 books in 30 days, No Complaining for 30 days, Go Left handed (instead of right) for 30 days,….



N. Chokkan …

11 03 2011


1 Response to "Why Not? — 30 Day Challenges"

very nice article chokkan!

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