30 day challenge update: stretching!

I like to set myself different challenges every 30 days. In October 2013, I tried to eat better and exercise more. I did alright on that, but without a specific daily goal, I had a hard time deciding how well I did. I mostly got back into the habit of exercising daily, so that was helpful.

For November 2013, I tried to do a “no work November.” I had enough vacation days built up that I was hitting the upper limit for work, so I took a bunch of vacation in November. My in-laws visited one week, then it was a family member’s birthday, so we took some time off at a resort in Arizona. Then it was back home for a week before spending the week before Thanksgiving in Kentucky with my family.

I learned a few things in my month off:
- I still enjoy reading tech and Google news for fun. It’s amazing (or problematic?) how much time you can spend just surfing the web each day and reading what other people are writing.
- My initial goal was to not read work email at all, but I had to give up on that. There were a few urgent things I genuinely had to weigh in on. I eventually settled for reading work email but trying really hard not to reply unless it was an emergency. I probably ended up writing 20-30 replies over the month, along with passing on spam reports that people emailed to me.
- I realized that I’d gotten in the bad habit of giving friends my work email address, as well as forwarding my personal email address to my work email. Takeaway: keep your work email separate from your personal email. Seems like common sense, but after almost 14 years at Google, things had gotten tangled together.
- A couple good pieces of advice that I failed to heed: 1) remove your work account from your phone, so you can’t check work email or docs on your phone. 2) if you have an “email tab” that you keep pinned on your browser, unpin and close that tab. I didn’t take either of those steps, but I should have.
- I didn’t feel the need to start any big projects, or write any Android apps, or blog a lot. I have a newer Linux computer that has configuration issues; I didn’t tackle that. Mostly I enjoyed reading a few books.
- I’m incredibly proud of the whole webspam team at Google. Things ran like clockwork while I was gone. I’m really grateful to the phenomenal people that fight spam for Google’s users every day.

Which brings us to December 2013. Back in September, I threw my back out. I can still move around fine, but it sometimes hurts if I bend in various ways. So my goal for December 2013 is to do 15-20 minutes of stretching–things like cat and camel–each day to help my back recuperate.

How about you? Are you doing any 30 day challenges?

26 Responses to 30 day challenge update: stretching! (Leave a comment)

  1. Now I realise that we should have a specific goal in our life or else we might land up some where we never imagine for. From this December 2nd I am making a plan of action for every month and put my full effort to achieve those goals.

  2. I hope 2014 will be a challenging year for me to SUBSCRIBE new clients for Internet Marketing services.

  3. i too keep my personal and office mobile number, email and all other stuff separate, this help me to avoid or engage with people easier. anyhow matt best of luck for your cat camel, you can add body stretch or any weight loss workout (any light exercise). Hope you gonna shed extra pounds in 2013 :)
    lastly, i’m trying to gain more mass in December and already joined the gym.

  4. Thanks for your insights Matt.
    For december I just started my 30-Day Challenge: ‘Just in time’ learning instead of ‘just in case’ learning.
    Which means, 30 days that I’m not going to read newsletters/rss…Just if I need that information, when I needed.

    Let’s see how it works

  5. Hmm…Good approach to refresh yourself yet manage work routine.

  6. Hey Matt,

    30 Days challenge is great idea. Ala.. But December is already started and not any plan in my mind to do anything. But surely can set new challenge for new year’s first month. probably to go for long vacation like you did in month of November.
    Secondly talking about working in vacation period, I keep two mobile numbers, one is only for family, friends and personal contacts and other one is only for office. Mostly I don’t share other number vice versa. And always trying to keep office number off in vacation period. That’s working great.

  7. I’m a little concerned when someone publishes great suggestions like this – you see, if everyone does cat and camel stretches, my chiropractic business will decrease significantly…

  8. The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score. — Bill Copeland
    Specifically, goals give order and structure in all of our lives. Goals allow us to measure our progress.

  9. Good Idea about setting a goal every 30days.
    Want to be self employed building websites and marketing them very soon so ill have to think about some specific goals related to that.

    Its always a good idea to have a target if not we always do ‘well’

  10. Great challenge and goal champ! Hope the best for you! :)

  11. I thought this was called cat and cow stretching. I usually do this in yoga.

    Mix in some cobra and child’s pose as well.

  12. Matt,
    I too have back issues and have found a great remedy that is too good not to share: apart from getting/keeping your core in shape, try floating in a float tank (sensory deprivation tank). I don’t know what your options are in the valley, but up here in Portland, I go to floathq.com. You, and especially your back, will feel miraculous after just one float.

  13. Check out my site, http://www.30daysofliving.blogspot.com, for motivation, ideas, and stories from myself and others about the power of 30 day challenges!

  14. My challenge would be to filter out my private and business email accounts and to find some new goals for 2014 :)

  15. I did Matt! I took on the NO CARB thing for two weeks, and then moved into low carb. I feel much better and realize how much of that I was eating. It’s you blogging about 30 day challenges that got me motivated. Thanks!

  16. I feel like when I don’t work for a week I suffer the week before and the week after. I think it’s still good to get away occasionally but it’s hard to find a balance. As a small business owner when I’m not answering phone calls or emails the money stops coming in.

  17. I have separate personal and work email, but I still have them dumping into one Gmail account and it took a few months to get them dropping into separate tabs. Important stuff drops into the right tab, social, promotions etc. into the appropriate tabs.

    I can now check my mail for important items (like an email from my daughter) without going through a whole slew of “nice to know” stuff.

  18. Greg

    I urge the people at Youtube to fight whats going on right now. The filtering of video and comments is damaging freedom. You are still young enough to walk away from this thoroughly corrupt manipulative organization and start over. Walk away and tell the truth.

  19. Greg

    I watched “The Internship” well some of it its such a crap film I fell asleep. What did I miss……….. Tell me did they reveal NSA/CIA money seeded Google. That you censor a third of the world’s news and employ frequently fruitcakes from government agencies to management positions.

    Or was it all about bean cushions?

  20. Greg

    You asked what I had planned in next 30 days. I’ll tell ya a finality. When all you are is a drain on the families resources it’s time to check out. I am too tired to fight anymore.

  21. The 30-day challenge sounds like it can lead to some longer term benefits! I am very on-board with separate emails/social media/etc for business and personal. That makes it easy to turn off business when needed. And planning your work for vacation is as important as planning your vacation! No projects, notify clients and inform co-workers.

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