At the end of 2020, I've decided to make 2021 a challenging year. I have committed to doing 12 monthly challenges, one for each month. You can see the list of all the challenges here. Below is a summary of the July challenge.
What was the challenge?
Challenge: Daily post on Instagram
Why: I was looking was something different and unusual for the last challenge of the year. Posting on Instagram sounded like a nice challenge. It was completely out of character for me (I usually post maybe twice a year), so I would have to make an effort, and it was interesting to do something unusual.
How well did it go?
Challenge completion rate: 74% (23 out of 31) - Failed
At the end of each day, I recorded if I had completed the challenge for the day. For each entry, I also usually added the amount of effort it took to perform the task, but this one, I didn't record effort because posting on Instagram isn't that hard 😄
These were all my posts for the month (the top-left one is from the next year).
What did I learn from it?
It sounded easy enough and not like a real challenge, so I often didn't even think about it throughout the day. It meant that I often had to come up with something at the end of the day. You can come up with only so many ideas to take a picture when you're alone in a dark room at night. This resulted in a missed day, and then it snowballed, and there were two more streaks of failed days.
Two main learnings:
- If you decide on a challenge, don't ignore it, and don't underestimate it. Don't leave it for last. It's too easy to miss a day or accidentally forget if it's never on your mind or if you're sleepy and tired.
- Once you break the chain, you're in danger of completely failing. It sounds like no big deal - one failed day. You could go on with the rest of the days and only have one miss. But no, the brain unconsciously knows that the chain is broken, that it's possible not to do the thing, and that the task is negotiable. That's why doing even the crappiest version of the task is better than missing it. One miss turns into two, which turns into a streak, and soon it's like you haven't even started the challenge.
- Interesting challenge. It was something completely different from all the other challenges, and I liked it.
- Increased creativity. The first few days were easy, but after that, I needed to start thinking about what to post. I was staying at home most of the month, so there was no easy supply of travel content, so I needed to look at old things in new ways.
- Not challenging enough. It felt too easy, so it was never a priority during the day. And this is why I failed at it. I didn't find enough motivation for it.
Will I keep doing it?
No. It was an interesting experiment, but it was a one-time thing. Maybe I'll post a little more often than twice a year but not every day.
(Spoiler alert: No, I didn't. Next year, in 2022, I posted a total of... 1 time. To my defense, I did post on Instagram Stories more often.)
What's the next month's challenge?
This was the last challenge of the year.