Try Something New for 30 Days


Are you stuck in a rut? Feeling bound by your routines and the everyday norm? Looking for a new sense of inspiration or a more flexible you? In this TED Talk, Matt Cutts, a Technologist, delivers a lighthearted call to action, a new way to look at life and challenge yourself to seek out the unfamiliar.

The Learning Upshot

After completing the work on this page, you will be able to:

  • Recall that 30-days is about the amount of time it takes to form a habit
  • Recognize that small sustainable changes are more likely to stick
  • Investigate the benefits of trying something new

Watch the Video

Make It Actionable

Now it’s time to personalize it. Give this concept some momentum in the workplace and your own life by trying the following:

  1. Over the course of 5 days, try 5 new things. These can be big or small. Here are some examples:
    • Use a different eating or drinking utensil
    • Sit in a different seat
    • Wear something from the back of your closet
    • Brush your teeth in a different room
    • Try a different temperature of water in your shower
    • Take a different route to the grocery store
    • Make a new recipe or eat a new food
    • Mix up the order of your evening routine
    • Strike up a conversation with someone new
    • Ask a co-worker an unexpected question
  2. Reflect on your own or discuss with others:
    • What is the connection between self-confidence and trying something different?
    • Why is trying something new more memorable?
    • List 2-3 benefits of trying something unfamiliar to you.
    • After trying the 5-day challenge, what did you discover about yourself?
  3. Bonus (optional): Take the 30-day challenge and try one new thing each day. At the end of 30-days, reflect on these questions:
    • How easy or difficult was this challenge for you?
    • What did you discover about yourself?
    • What did you try that you are going to keep doing?
    • What did others notice about you trying new things? If it’s not obvious, ask them.

Want More?

Dig deeper on this topic with the following resources:

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  1. In 2008 I did a variation of this where I tried something new once/week for a year. I’m STILL doing it! (Last year was lots of new recipes.)
    If you take out the new places I traveled to, many of which were one-shots, things mostly fall on a bell curve. Some were definitely been there, done that, NOT doing it again: a bunch were kind of interesting; and a few are now regular parts of my life that I did for the first time specifically because I’d never tried them before and I figured, why not?
    Get a notebook and keep a list of the things you try. It’s interesting to look back and see what stuck and what didn’t.

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