In the past month, I’ve read two books centered around one-year projects: The Happiness Project and Julie and Julia. In each, the writer picks something to tackle with a 365-day deadline.
It’s pretty ingenious, actually. One year is an easy chunk of time in which to try things out.
A year is:
- Long enough to be challenging
- Short enough that it’s still pretty temporary
- Long enough to see results
- Short enough that the finish line is always in sight
- Long enough to form a new habit
- Short enough that you can revert to your old habits later on
I’m currently testing the freelance waters for year (results TBD), but that’s more of a minimum than an end-all. For all I know, this could just be life as I know it from here on out. But these books did get me thinking about some other one-year projects that might be fun to try.
- Cutting out certain food items (processed foods, refined sugar, etc.). Or, more realistically, cutting out something different each month for a year.
- Exercising regularly. A lot of people already do this (and last more than one year…gasp), but this would be a real challenge for me.
- Reading the entire Bible or other tome. Shakespeare’s entire library would also be a fun project.
- Making your own clothes or thrift shopping.
- Cutting out reality TV.
- Growing out your hair (laziest one-year challenge ever)
- Reading one book a week.
- Doing a photo-a-day challenge.
- Writing and sending birthday cards to friends and family (on time…ahem).
Come to think of it, I’ve already done a one-year challenge—in March 2010, I joined The Great American Apparel Diet and swore off buying new clothes for a year. And I blogged about it. I wonder whether that would make a good book…any takers?