Growing up, ABC Family‘s “25 Days of Christmas” was the most highly anticipated event of the year. Each night from December first until Christmas Day, the channel featured a different holiday movie – and no, there are not 25 good holiday movies in existence, but that didn’t stop ABC Family from showing them or us from watching them. Around eight pm or so, my family would gather in the tv room with mugs of hot chocolate and delve into a world of glowing reindeer, sentient snowmen, and miraculous holiday wishes come true. These nights were what made the holiday season so magical for my young self. What more could a child want than an excuse to consume sugar and watch tv, and even better, to do both at the same time?
Now, at 22, the holiday season has lost much of its magic. ABC Family no longer exists, my family is spread out across the country, and the past few years we haven’t even always gotten a Christmas tree. For a while it seemed like the magic of Christmas was lost forever, but I recently started to consider – what if there was a way to get it back? What if I created my own countdown to look forward to, marking the 25 days that used to bring me so much joy?
Here is where we arrive at the title of this post, the “25 Days Challenge.” For the next 25 days, I am committing myself to a concrete goal that will help me be more focused and intentional going into the new year. Often, the month of December spirals into a free-for-all of stress and poor decisions, qualified by saying “I’ll change on January 1st.” What I’ve found, however, is that when the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve, my patterns do not change. And even worse is the added pressure of altering so much about yourself and your routine at once, along with the knowledge that everyone else in the world is probably doing the same thing. It begins to feel like a race of “who is going to fail first?”
So, the challenge. It goes like this: think of your broad goals for the coming year. Do you want to be more organized? Get a new job? Make more time for creative pursuits? Then pick one of those goals and create a concrete challenge for yourself that will establish a constructive habit before the year is even over.
I personally have many goals for the coming year, but one that I can easily measure is that I want to write more. As a college student, most of my time is spent doing academic writing, and other writing projects tend to fall by the wayside. The hardest part of this goal is simply making the time to sit down and do it. My challenge to myself is to write 500 words a day for the next 25 days. The words can come in the form of blog posts, creative writing, or even journal entries. All that matters is that I take the time to sit down and put words on a page.
- Takes 30 minutes or less
- Establishes a constructive habit
- Is measurable
- Moves me towards my larger goals for 2020
Other possible goals include:
- Meditate for 10 minutes every morning
- Make and complete a daily to-do list
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Do something kind for someone else
There are no rules to the scope of your individual goal, what matters is that you create a small shift in your daily life that brings you closer to the version of yourself you want to be.
Though I look back fondly on the days of ABC Family‘s 25 Days of Christmas, I’m more excited for the upcoming 25 days of writing and reflection. What better holiday gift to yourself than an improved version of you?
(Note: this post is ~650 words – Day 1, complete!)