30 days

30 days is enough time to build a habit. Last month, I started trying to walk 10,000 steps a day for 30 days. I didn’t walk 10K steps every day, but I did keep at it until I’d walked over 10K steps for at least 30 days. In the process, I discovered that walking to the grocery store can be a relaxing way to unwind and get some exercise.

I’m just now wrapping up an effort to not watch any television for 30 days. I started on May 22nd (right after all the season finales finished). I learned that other than a few times at night, I don’t really miss the television–and I ended up reading a lot more books. I’ll still watch some TV after this experiment, but I think I’ll watch less. I also noticed when I watched TV after a month off that when a pizza commercial came on, I started to hanker for pizza. Search ads have wonderful, trackable ROI–but branding ads can be effective too.

So now the question is: what project or challenge should I attempt next? I wrote down a few ideas ranging from hard (read 15 books in 30 days) to near-impossible (no email for 30 days). I’m curious to hear what you think I should try:

(This poll is closed, but I’ll include a picture of what the results were.)

Pick my next 30 day challenge!

If you have other suggestions, leave them in the comments! :)

240 Responses to 30 days (Leave a comment)

  1. Take a look, it’s in a book! Can’t go wrong reading! I usually try to read at least two or three books a month no matter what. Have fun whatever you do!

  2. No deer for a month!

    Seriously, if you don’t do this already, you could go straightedge for 30 days (no drugs, alcohol, or tobacco). Punk music optional.

  3. This is a cool idea Matt.. .I choose Biking to Work for you! Sorry!

  4. Why don’t those results surprise me? LOL

  5. How about no *nix for 30 days?

  6. BlueMoon

    Instead of No sugar, try No fake sugars. They are worse for you then real sugar is. Just my thought.

  7. Bike to work! Healthy and great for the environment.

  8. I voted no meat. I went without eating meat for a year. It was a good experience. I will warn you that you will blow up bathrooms and your wife will probably hate you for it. No meat does a doozie to the digestive system.

  9. MWA, I’m pretty much straight-edge all the time.

    No Unix/Linux for 30 days? youfoundjake, there’s no need to be cruel. :)

  10. I voted for “read 15 books”…But i don’t think this is a very achievable target… 15 books in a month is kinnda insane.

    But try listening to some audiobooks instead of actually reading them. Its awesome… Good luck Matt :)

  11. Mike Wheeler

    Polyphasic Sleep for 30 days! You’ll be the next Ben Franklin or Thomas Edison.

  12. Amy

    They’re all good goals. I vote for no meat because it’s so rewarding and has such an impact on animals, the environment, and your own health.

  13. Suggestion: Replace with a positive rather than focus on “no” this or that.

    I voted for “bike to work” not because I’m a cycleaholic. However, at SMX Advanced, you were one of the only peeps who was able to walk up Seattle’s hills w/o being seriously out of breath. You’d serve yourself well to make a habit out of biking to work, because next year I’m racing you to the top! :-)

  14. Polyphasic Sleep for 30 days made me laugh out loud–but it’s not a crazy idea. Thanks, Mike Wheeler.

    Dana Lookadoo, you were jetting up those hills. It was very impressive!

  15. I suggest a diary for thirty days. I did it once for a few months and it was kind of amazing. When I did it I was living without electricity in a cabin…so the blocks of time were bigger, less diced. Still, journals of any kind can be very enlightening.

  16. McMohan

    What else a vegan could suggest? I suggested No Meat of course :-)

  17. Leave Sugar for 30 days and keep your 10,000 Steps a Day thingie ON… after 23 days you will feel change in your Body… and that will be a Good Change.. you will loose some FAT weight and look more leaner :)

  18. @Mike, he’d be the next Ben Franklin or Kosmo Kramer. Seriously though, I totally vote for that one.

  19. Matt,
    Hi.
    If you were to engage in a work related activity, I’d like to see the results from either a revue of submissions or your own research. The topic would be examples of implementation of Google Rich Snippets structured data in both microformats and RDFa. It would be great to see examples of best practices Reviews, People, Products, and Businesses and organizations.
    Thanks.
    Rob

  20. No posting media of cats for 30 days? :P

    My SO’s mom once did a 30 day wishlist for her birthday. She wrote down 30 things that she’s always wanted to do but never did for some reason (like going to a movie by herself) and for 30 days leading up to her birthday she HAD to do something on her list. She says to this day it was her favorite birthday. In any case, I think it’s a neat idea.

  21. Just Tweeted: @mattcutts sell 30 items on eBay, Matt Cutts selling out… (no links though..!!) summer clean up

    I can tell you, it’s fun, but also a challenge. A couple of tips:
    - Seek out stuff you would like to sell
    - Make sure you have a sellers account at eBay
    - Prepare your item description
    - Make clear pictures, preferably at daylight
    - Research what it would cost to ship the item
    - Order flat rate shipping boxes from USPS.com
    - Start selling…

    It can be such a rush to see your item go up in price, especially when a bidding war is taking off at the end of the auction.

    Also to consider, you can automatically support a good cause, through donating a piece of the proceedings to eBay Giving Works.

    If you are considering this challenge, I will copy, and work with you to sell 30 items in 30 days in the months of July.

  22. Get your body count down.

    Ingest less than 10 words of any story that involves dead bodies.
    Turn it off.
    Humm or sing loudly.
    Skip the link
    Skip the article.

    Very quickly you will realise how much gratuitous death we are being served up with.
    99% of which has no effective outcome that we can create in response.
    Less junkfood.
    Less junkdeath.

    After a week or two you will start to see humanity in a much more positive light.

    S

  23. I vote “no meat” because of the chances it will have similar effects to some of your other experiments – open up other options and potentially impact habits. I’ve done it for shorter stretches and it really makes you look at what you eat, where you eat, and can have a lasting effect.

    My suggestion, though:

    * Drink nothing but water for 30 days. (No pop, milk, coffee, gatorade, or anything but water!)

  24. Biking to work is a great idea. Too bad you missed Bike to Work Day last month, a special day that helps kick-start new cyclists. However there are a lot of resources at http://bicycling.511.org/ (Bay Area only) and I’m sure there is some info in Google’s HR department.

  25. A diary is a good suggestion, kathleen duey. Thanks!

    Brian Wetjen, I mostly drink water, but giving up my daily can of Red Bull and two cups of coffee each day would be hard.

    Dan Wood, yup–Google had cool yellow “Bike to work day” T-shirts this year, too.

  26. I voted no meat. But I really meant no non-meat. I went without eating non-meat for a year. It was a good experience. I will warn you that you will blow up bathrooms (at about day 30) and your wife will probably hate you for it. All meat does a doozie to the digestive system.

  27. dribble a soccer ball everywhere you go for 30 days

  28. No watching, listening, or reading news.

  29. No Linux 30 days is not cruel, compare this with use Bing for 30 days :)

  30. zoransa

    sex 30 days morning and evening

  31. Bike to work! You’d be surprised at how quick it is to get around on a bike. It’s a great way to decompress on the way home too.

  32. cheeky I know…. but perhaps if you added 1 day you could spend 31 days improving your blog (http://www.problogger.net/31dbbb-workbook/) :-)

  33. Well, Zoransa is going to be tough act to follow, but I was thinking: how about turning off the lights for an hour each night? I’m remembering “lights out san francisco” (aka earth hour) and what a joy it was.

  34. i see Matt in twitter rarely, so i think no social media is easy project and vote it.

  35. Review a website that you’ve never read, once a day for 30 days.

    You might find something interesting and I’m sure the sites would appreciate the focus.

  36. Sorry Matt, bike to work got my vote – start pedaling mate!

  37. I don’t know about polyphasic sleep (a little too extreme for me), but I was going to suggest biphasic sleep, which I tried myself for 30 days. I had great results with this one!

    I also tried the “no TV for 30 days” several years ago and to this day I rarely feel like watching TV anymore – there are exceptions, but for the most part I pretty much don’t watch TV.

    I voted for “no meat”, though. I also did that. (Yes, I do a lot of 30 day trials!) :)

  38. Bike to work! I’ve made some lifestyle changes too. Gave up the red and white meat, started exercising daily and I’m trying to read two books a month (one business related and one for fun). With two active kids, a business to run, it’s hard, but there is a lot of reward at the end of the day. Regardless, don’t stop blogging. My next 30 day goal is to be in bed before 2 a.m.

  39. Big Daddy

    How about getting up an hour earlier for 30 days. 30 extra hours in a month to do something for yourself :-) Maybe read, exercise and just cruz the net checking out interesting stuff.

    I myself just gave up coffee and sodas. Going to do green tea instead. Hopefully I will lose a little weight and be a little more relaxed.

    Good luck what ever choose.

  40. giedrius

    I have voted no sugar. It is quite useful experience, and good for health, as long as you replace it with fruits.

  41. Narendra

    Hey Matt,

    Why don’t you add Yoga as well in your routine. Believe me, it really helps

  42. Odd quirk in the poll: I just noticed that it says 15% of people voted for no sugar (34 votes), but 16% of people voted no social media (33 votes). How does that work?

  43. One thing I’m sure you cant do – 30 days without electricity! No offense, but there’s no man enoug in you for that.

  44. It’s interesting to see where peoples loves and hates lie here! So far it’s almost a tie between saving the environment with exercise, and removing Microsoft from someone’s life. Good to see some light-hearted humour in the world of SEO. I voted to get rid of Uncle Bill, just because it’s the kindest gift I could give someone. Enjoy!

  45. Learn to play a song on the piano, perfectly, by the music sheet :) Actually i’m doing that myself.

  46. Every day for 30 days try to find a way to help a small web business. It can be an SEM company, Web Design company, small mom and pop (roofing company, auto shop), or ecom shop.

    Shoot em a link. Write a post about them. Call it “The 30 days of looking out for the little guy”.

    Hey, if you need an idea, take a look at http://www.clocktowermedia.com!

    Best of luck

    Gabriel

  47. Matt it’s great idea. I will try to figure out something for myself ;]
    Try to use some more bicycle and drink more mineral water, it’s better then coffee in the mornig;d

  48. “no meat” would not be good for you
    “no blogging” would not be good for us :)

  49. Get a sketchbook and draw something in it every day for 30 days.

  50. NG

    Write in your blog every day for 30 days. The SEO community will go bonkers.

  51. I bet you, you can’t do this for 30 days or even 3 days :)

    “Stay away from Google search – Don’t use Google for searching for 30 days. Try to keep up with Bing or Yahoo”

    Happy mission 30
    ~R

  52. Reverse Cowgirl

    Write a ‘green app’ using the Bing API :-)

  53. haha i voted to bike to work!but i thought it’s not a big challenge.are u like singing?maybe u can singing to ur family every morning when they waked up.or to stranges,in a word singing to one ppl each day aha.why i didn’t see the face emotion?i will use the “lol”.^_^

  54. Seriously, biking to work gets you addicted. I (mostly) extremely calming, and it’s a good way of clearing your thoughts and getting ready for work :-)

  55. I agree with Remiz you can’t stay away from google search engine, Will you?

    I voted to get out from uncle bills trap (Microsoft) Let’s hope some new OS can bring the revolution but not from microsoft.

  56. CJ

    I vited no meat, but I think you should take up a daily yoga practise. You will be surprised what it does for you. And you won’t become a hippy or leave Google to live in a cave. Probably.

  57. Carsten

    To practise an – unplugged ;) – instrument for X minutes each day.

  58. Its an awesome idea.

    I’d like to suggest you try 1 hour of silent meditation each day for 30 days. Simplicity is important… 30 days of the same boring, simple periodic movement, combined with mental meditation on some concept (peace, tolerance, sensing some normally undetectable feature of your existence, pretending to have super hearing, try to bend the spoon, etc). It might even take 20 days to develop tolerance for the solitude and quiet, or discipline to comply with the plan. By day 30 you may discover the hour seems to last but a minute or two.

    BTW I think some blood types have more trouble with a meatless diet than others.

  59. No sugar should be an psychedelic experience.
    Sugar is a drug and if you stop taking it, you will get cold turkey,
    it will change the way you see, the way you think and your personality.

    But even more extrem: do 30 days without sugar and then eat something really sweet.
    Been there, done that.

  60. Do not consume anything that is advertised on television

  61. R U Kiddin

    When out on the bike, select a gear and stay in that gear for the whole trip.

  62. I voted for “no meat”….. i am on it for 45 days to see what kind of changes it brings to my system…. there are a lot of things said to me like it helps in reducing weight and one even said that it would make me calm and live at peace……. its been 20 days….. the only thing am seeing is am not eating as much as i do….. try it out……

  63. Eko

    Go to fitness for 30 days so you have a body just like Arnold Swachanager :D

  64. angilina

    Hello Matt,

    How About one of these?

    [No Blog Post For The Next 30 Days]

    [No Political Answers To Our Questions] For The Next 30 Days

    [Not Taking Any Picture Of Your Cat Ozzie] For The Next 30 Days

    :) Just Joking

    Anyway, I guess you personally will prefer to vote for this one:

    “No Microsoft operating system (OS)” :)

    Regards

  65. Hi Matt,

    As we stay in an electronic world,it’s great to see you are trying to get yourself closer to nature. I’ve started to walk myself quite often these days. I would recommend keeping fast as muslim do during the month of Ramadhan from dawn to dusk. Not because Muslims do it, but becasue God who has created us recommends that this the best measure to keep healthy. He knows us better than Do it with the right belief and you will reap its benefits.

    Thanks.

  66. i thought it takes at least 6 months before something becomes a habit. for an IT geek, no social media for a month must be worse than prison!

  67. Sebastian

    How about answering one SEO question every day for 30 days in a detailed, nice blogpost?
    Feel free to contact me if you need 30 questions ;-)

  68. Ken

    Not for 30, but for 2 weeks: No food whatsoever. Only lots of water and 1 glass of 100% fruit juice per day. No other drinks, supplements, etc. I am doing this regularly and the effect is amazing.

    From your list, only bicycling to work would have some benefit IMO. Highly recommend it. Another suggestion: 5 miles walking or slow running every morning before work.

  69. I wonder why “No Microsoft OS”. Are you so much into it? I don’t think so ;)

  70. What about a blog post everyday during 30 days?

  71. Another 30-day project is to read a chapter out of the Bible every day for 30 days. I was surprised what I learned reading it on my own instead of relying on others have said about the book and the life of Jesus. There are a lot of misconceptions until you find out for yourself. The book of John is a good starting point.

  72. I like the idea of No Microsoft operating system (OS) for 30 days, but someone like you could probably cope with that quite easly

  73. I agree with Guillaume Voyer.You have a good job, so just do your best.
    PS.Maybe you can come to China and go to KFC with me….
    I like your posts^

  74. I would hate it if you don’t blog for 30 days, Matt. Really bad idea :-)
    Voted for Biking, which I think I might try myself (only it’s so damn hot here in Tel-Aviv…)

  75. Zee

    I think you should meditate an hour every day

  76. I defo recommend “…no access email for only one hour a day…”

    It’s great to just close down your B-berry-access and Outlook and start making some “offline-work” It’ saves time and energy.

  77. I voted for no meat, and I’m very much a carnivore (especially a nice steak!)

    If you’re doing 30 day trials in order to expand your worldview, it’s a great option. I used to date a vegetarian and so gave up meat for the majority of my meals. It’s amazing what tasty dishes you can prepare that are quite different to your normal diet, plus it’s quite an eye opener whilst eating out or doing the weekly food shop – more things than you would expect contain ingredients derived from animal products.

  78. It’s absolutely helpful to form a good habbit. but bad habbit can be formed in less than 30 days.

  79. Sla

    No sugar for 30 days :D
    I’ll try it too!
    Summer is coming here in Switzerland!

    P.S. I discovered this blog 3 days ago. Thank you very much for all the information you share! :)

  80. righini

    your best post ever! go bike GO green!

  81. i think biking would be good for health .. You started right with walking steps .. so now the next step is biking …

    Best,
    Daina

  82. Jas

    Instead of no MS operating system for 30 days, why not use a Mac for 30 days – it will improve your life immeasurably!

    Go on, you know it makes sense ;)

  83. maeghith

    I voted no sugar, but then I thought: Change your keyboard layout!

    I don’t know if you are using the Qwerty standard, but you could try some alternative like the infamous Dvorak, or the more obscure Colemak or Arensito.

    I’m also surprised I’m the first one suggesting this.

  84. No Sugar…..it has to be realistic AND I would be very interested in hearing about your energy and fitness levels…..

  85. How about no caffeine for 30 days.

    Or, 10k a day for another 30 days. Can’t hurt, right?

  86. What about no cellphone for 30 days? that is relaxing!

  87. Get your head into those books Matt… If that’s the winner, can we have a vote for the 15 books you have to read? ;)

  88. I was going to say “No Internet Explorer for 30 Days”, but who uses Internet Explorer?

  89. I think matt your next target must be Read 15 books or go on cycle for work…

  90. Don’t respond to @graywolf’s tweetbait for at least 30 days. ;-)

  91. Andy, you just won this thread. Thread over.

  92. Wow, what a coincidence. I just kicked off a 30 day workout every day challenge. It’s actually the third or fourth 30 day challenge of my life, and I’ve had great experience with everything so far. http://www.glowingfaceman.com/2009/06/30-day-workout-day-1.html

  93. I was going to say bike to work, then I saw no meat, so I voted no meat, which might make biking to work easier for the 30 days after that.

    (ps my first comment here, been reading for a couple of years and love your blog.)

  94. Sofia Silva

    I loved these projects of yours!
    In the end I believe it’s all about making life work around you and not around things like TV, for examplo.
    Furthermore, the enthusiasm you show when describing it, is absolutely contagious.

    Keep this up, PLEASE!

  95. I say go for Polyphasic Sleep.

  96. I have a suggestion… if you focus on NOT doing something, all you’ll be able to think about is avoiding that thing. You won’t necessarily be able to replace the time saved with some better activity — and once the prohibition is over, you don’t necessarily have a reason to continue the habit.
    So instead, try focusing on accomplishing something – like the Read Books or Ride Bikes goal. Then the less useful behaviors will fall off naturally to make time for this new thing.

    For weight loss (or to maintain it, it your case – congrats!) most effective behavior is ‘record everything you eat’ for x days. Use a website or iPhone app, there are several OK ones.
    This will reveal much to you about your own habits – if you’re consuming too much X you’ll notice/adapt fast.

    JMHO

  97. Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! This is great. :)

  98. My own project is to stop drinking soda, i start with 30 days to see if i’m dependant or not, i will see but for the moment it looks like it’s not the case… less sugar is good for health so maybe i will completely stop :)

  99. Jonathan

    I think everyone is projecting… I know I *should* bike to work, it’s just easier if you do it for me ;)

  100. Hi Matt,
    I say try creating one new Web Master video each day :)

  101. I think no meat for 30 days will be good.

    At least no folks from internet get benefits . The real animal of world will have life, and may be some one get inspired from you. Try to be vegetarian and try some spirituality activities.

    And I am sure you will like this idea. Do something for your soul…

    Best of luck

  102. Hw abt using nly bing.com for 30 days ;)

  103. Read 15 books… that will probably pay off best for you

  104. Dave

    Have you done any other 30 day goals besides no TV and 10k steps/day?

    My outside-the-poll suggestions would be intensely practice a musical instrument for 30 days or to live like a tourist in your home town (visit all the tourist spots you’ve never seen, discover new restaurants and places to go, basically don’t allow yourself to go to your ‘normal’ grocery store, gas station, move theater, etc.)

  105. Work only from an Android phone for a month. No laptops, no PCs. Just go mobile!

  106. Go biking to work Matt, save the environment.

  107. will

    Since you love cats so much, and I am an animal lover, especially dogs. I’ll be willing to donate $1 to the ASPCA for every 1 mile biked to and from work. Wanted to donate to them anyway, but didn’t know how much so I think this will settle that. You game?

  108. I think the idea to play (or learn to play) music every day is excellent.

  109. I voted for no meat. Rather than no meat, though, I would suggest that you cut out all animal products from two meals a day, and then eat whatever you want (meat or otherwise) for the third. I got the recommendation from the book Food Matters by Mark Bittman and it has been great for me.

  110. Matt, I chose biking to work too. Hope you don’t live too far away from work. :)

  111. As we all know that it is next to impossible for you to avoid all the other options given except “No Meat”… this is the least you can do… am for sure. :)

    What you say about this… Matt Cutt ??

  112. Wash Streko’s mouth till he speaks with the elegance and pulchritude of a British lord but it is going to take you more than 30 days I guess

  113. I would vote for “No Microsoft OS for 30 days”. But it would be interesting to do “No Google Search for 30 days”. Or “No search for 30 days” if you dare.

  114. I put, “Ride your bike to work everyday” simply because it’s something I should do and don’t, so if you manage it it’ll inspire me to give it a better go! :-)

  115. Rick

    Matt,

    Seriously- how far away from the office do you live? That may be easier done than said. I voted for bike to work, but if you live closer than 2 miles I get to vote again :)

  116. Visit great restaurants for 30 days – Then you could do the biking/exercise for the following month to trim the extra kg :)

  117. I vote for no project contemplation for 30 days. You are to blog and email everyone you know about your 30 day hiatus from all project related activities.

    Additionally, email 30 people every 30 minutes for the next 30 days, describing in 30 words exactly, why you are taking this important break from projects of any kind.

    Every night, eat 30 grams of meat exactly 30 minutes before bed – then, right before you turn out the lights, 30 ml of sugar water. This pre-slumber diet will ensure that you don’t even dream of any type of project for the next month or so.

    If the temptation arises to partake in any sort of project contemplation, do 30 laps around the block on your bike!

    By the time the 30 days are up, the SEO community will probably have forgotten about the whole no-follow nonsense and it’ll be steak and TV for everyone!

  118. Go 30 days without spending a penny (that’s no including ongoing auto-withdrawal for mortgage etc. obviously)
    We do this every January for a full 30 days – we call it “austerity month”.
    It has nothing to do with money – but rather becomes a way of listening to what your self-talk
    says – how it rationalizes, decides when you do and don’t deserve that $6.00 latte.
    Once you tune into what kind of things you think and say to yourself, you will be able to hear it through the noise of regular life when you start spending again.
    And you just can’t let other people pay for that movie, coffee or dinner!

  119. lol, I had to think about it, but I say bike to work. Looks like I am with the majority. Because I love analysis I would love to see 2 experiments compared.

    1) 1 Hour bike ride a day followed by a jug of H2O
    2) 1 Hour bike ride a day followed by a jug of beer (choose brand)

    What I want to know is if beer actually has an advantage over H2O (water). Considering beer actually has nutritional values.

    I love the idea of using habits in a positive way!

    Rob

  120. I wouldnt recommend quitting social medias or blogging for a month. Its better to bike to work, in order to clear the brain and get some good ideas for your blog ;)

  121. As a coffee enthusiast (just didn’t want to say addict), I think it would be hard for me to stop drinking java for 30 days….but you may have given me an idea.

  122. Take bribes for PageRank for 30 days. Then for the next 30, don’t work. After the first 30, the second 30 will be easy for many reasons.

  123. No “Google” for a month and try to see how was our lives before Google.

    National Geographic is offering a Science Book. I got the offer in my mailbox and when I was reading about the book, I though that’s a great book about almost everything I like to learn/read. Then I said to myself “why bother with a book to learn something when you have Google”.
    I think I miss those days when I had to go through all of those dusty books to find a small information. I think we don’t appreciate the information the way we used to before “Google”.

  124. David Minor

    Fun idea. Your improvement is our amusement!

    -Read a Harry Potter book in a language you don’t know well
    -Cook a meal every day using new recipes
    -Learn some breakdancing moves
    -Create a board game (Settlers of Cuttan?)
    -Train your cats to spin circles on cue

  125. Evelyn

    You can’t give up sugar– that’s impossible! Simple carbohydrates are sugars. Fruits have sugar! VEGETABLES HAVE SUGAR! You’ll kill yourself, Matt! Noooooo!

  126. I went vegan for a week, which wasn’t that bad. Going sugar free would actually be fairly tough (unless you don’t count corn syrup etc).

  127. Eduardo

    Not saying the word “Google” for 30 days?

  128. Mitesh

    No Google, use bing only

  129. Matt:

    It was a tough call between biking and reading. The only possible way to get 15 books in one month (which is very ambitious in my opinion) would be through audiobooks. Read while commuting to work. Hopefully your bike ride to work isn’t too far!

  130. Here’s one:
    Pick a random, “unknown” website each day for 30 days-Review it, give SEO advice, give random helpful exposure…
    I voted for the one your wife picked. :)

  131. No eating out! I am just about to finish my no food or drink from restaurants/bars/coffeehouses for 30 days stint, and I tell you what, I’ve saved oodles of money and learned to cook lots of great things!

  132. Tom

    Go big – write a novel (or possibly put this on your list for November for the official NaNoWriMo event).

    http://www.nanowrimo.org/

    BTW, Yogi Bhajan used to say that it took 30 days to break a habit and 90 days to set it. That’s more in line with my experience.

  133. I walk everyday, but I am living in Germany and it’s more common to walk to the next store, then in the US. So keep on walking and talking…

  134. No Google, or access to Google products for only 30 min. a day.

  135. First, consolidation is in order, walk the 10,000 steps per day while listening to audiobooks, that way you don’t have to waste your time reading.

    Second be realistic, you can’t stop the tweeting and you know it!

  136. Matt —

    Cut your household electricity use by 25%, or 50%, or 5%.

    I started on this and several other objectives like this in 2005 — it became a habit. We use massively less water, less than 1/2 the electricity, don’t need air conditioning any more, and next year expect to use about 25% less to heat our house. I bike to work, and drive my Prius when the weather sucks.

    And it all started when I changed about 5 light bulbs and noticed my electricity bill go down the next month. Details on my linked blog…

    It’s a perfect 30 day habit!

    Tom

  137. Matt,

    Progress from walking to running and stay off the TV.

    Morris

  138. No Sugar – if you do it I will too – and we can BOTH blog the joy + misery together.

    Come on – we can document the misery and accomplishment on Twitter/Blogs/FB :)

    -Jeremy

  139. I’ve gone without TV for 6 months. No cable, no satellite and I’m not missing it one bit. I would go with the “unplugged” version of life for one hour per day.

  140. Richard

    Your next 30 day project should be reviewing paid link reports. I’m up to 30+ reports over the last 8 months or so with none of the sites being penalized despite blatantly obvious paid links.

    What do I need to do in order to get someone at Google to read my paid link reports? Buy a spa day for the engineers? Schedule a Porsche test drive? Throw a pizza party? Invite over some “exotic” entertainment?

  141. No email for 30 days! That’s cruel…

  142. I voted “no sugar” because I want you to inspire me to do that one myself by becoming Brad Pitt through simply abstaining from sugar.

  143. Nice idea. i don’t really watch much TV at all. But, I am at the computer most of the time. Trying to take Mondays and start playing basketball again.

    I think you should bike to work. Getting the blood pumping in the morning is the best exercise for you brain. :~)

  144. I tried “no coffee for 30 days” and failed. Cracked in 10.

  145. How about read the Bible all the way through.

  146. I voted for No social media (Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook) as I don’t think you can do it.

    My Brother in law has given up smoking more times than I care to remember, but he wont REALLY give-up until he’s 6ft under. I think Matt would the same with bloging etc :)

    If not, give up your phone for 30 days, bet you can’t do that either :)

  147. You can’t give up sugar– that’s impossible!

    Yep. It’s also not all that bad for you, or fattening.

  148. EGOL

    Help enrich the web…. write one tip for building a kickass website each day for 30 days…. and ask readers to comment on how that idea can be refined or improved.

    (I voted for biking to work! I used to bike to work at least 200 days per year in any weather above 28 degrees F and no ice or snow on the road. Twenty-six hilly miles per day if I took the direct route – but usually did a few extra miles. :) Did that for 15 years. Most people thought that I was rich because I didn’t spend money on cars and gasoline…. but they would have fainted if they saw my grocery bill.)

  149. I think you could try a double challenge for 30 days…
    Like “no meat” + “bike to work”
    That would increase the stakes and make it more interesting.

    or as an alternative:
    How about a “Cool Tip of the Day” for 30 days?
    That would also be cool…

  150. Don’t shower for 30 days, pal.

  151. George

    Call a friend or relative every day for 30 days for no other reason than to ask them how their day is going.

  152. You have some time to think about it because it’s not until November, but I’ve always wanted to try National Novel Writing Month – http://www.nanowrimo.org/. You write a novel in 30 days. Instead of giving something up, make a concentrated effort to put a lot out there! Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  153. Look for the good in everyone you have to interact with. If the checkout lady is grumpy, comment about her beautiful eyes or lovely necklace…anything as long as it’s true and you say it with a loving attitude. It took me a long time to figure this one out. I’d grumble and groan about the other guy and when I finally realized that maybe I was part of the problem I started looking for something nice to say to everyone. Do it for 30 days and at the end you will have changed.

  154. Another idea…reach out to 30 female search experts or ad words customers. Found out what our needs are and how they differ from the guys. I’m told there are “hush’ Hush” invitation only social events after SES. Since as a Hot Shot Googler you are in the thick of things why not find 30 of us less desirable re. female SEOer;s and fill us in on the social loop at SES San Jose.
    Not for nothing, but girls can add a little glam to a party.

  155. Dries

    How about stop picking your nose for 30 days ? Now that’s a challenge ! Everyone does it, but won’t admit they do it.

  156. ScubaBoy

    Let’s be honest, the vast majority of us could do with losing a few pounds. I started a diet in January and it’s really worked for me. All I’ve done is changed one thing every meal. This has ranged from no extra portions to no dessert to one less roast potatoe. It’s really worked for me, I’ve lost 5 inches from my waist. I’d suggest trying this for 30 days and then if you like that changes, carry on with it.

  157. Visit the nearest Hare Krishna temple and get started on your Journey back home (the final journey after you leave this material body) – Back to Godhead!

    http://introduction.krishna.org/

    Please give it a try, this is a humble request.

  158. I like use bing for 30 days instead Google idea ;d
    but in fact that You work in Google it will be preety hard….

    no sugar always good, but sugar is almost everywhere take only the good one…

    no microsoft OS is not a challenge for Matt:P

    1 more:
    every day from these 30 put an image of Your cat here;d

  159. This is a great idea Matt. Coincidentally I just started ShakeUpYourLifeWeek on my twitter. The idea is to do something out of the ordinary for a day, but doing it for 30 days is even better of course. Anyway, the reactions here have given me some good ideas for my little project too.

    I always thinks it’s good to not do or use something you’re used to like sugar/coffee/television/google (sry ;-)/twitter/meat/red bull. If you can’t pull it off, you know you have a problem.

  160. I have a sweet idea. No webspam check-ups for the next 30 days. Just let the spam loose and let’s see how it affects Google’s results. ;)

  161. Yay – looks like biking will win! Once you get used to it, you probably will never ever want to switch back to car… or maybe you will :)

  162. Terry King

    I would say, try to go for 30 days doing something nice for someone each of the 30 days. It’s a little difficult, but very rewarding.

  163. Sleep longer each day. Sleep is something busy people tend to neglect these days. :)

  164. HI matt,

    I know it’s cruel, No Google search for 30 day :)

    Bast Regards from Israel,
    Roei

  165. How about no pay for 30 days !! Or seriously doing so many hours voluntary work a week ? I don’t mean for your employer I am thinking in your own community. We could all give something could be setting up web site for a local charity, help with sports and community clubs. Need to fill the free time away from the TV so why not.

  166. While my vote opted for “no sugar,” I agree with a few other posters that the fake sugars are the real problem. Look at the ingredients of everything you buy and you will be *amazed* at how sucralose (Splenda), saccharin and aspartame is in everything.

    Biking is addictive and just as sweet – do it and do it often! Reading feeds the brain. Going meatless a few days a week saves money, the lives of a few animals and helps shed pounds without being too rough on ya.

    And, really, who needs that MS OS anyway? LOL

    Good luck!

  167. You should have included “NO INTERNET ACCESS FOR 30 DAYS” hehehe.. Just a suggestion. :D

    But if that happens to me, I’d rather be dead by day 1. Hehehe. :D

  168. @Mitesh – hahaha! Watta suggestion :D

  169. Biking to work is both good for you and for the environment so I would go with that one. It’s one that will not only benefit you, but others as well by making a small difference. :D

  170. I would suggest trying to learn a new language for 30 days. No, you won’t learn the entire language in 30 days, but you’ll pick up a few fun phrases you can use. And who knows? You might get the travel bug in the process and end up traveling to a country you wouldn’t have thought of visiting before.

  171. I hope you’re able to do ALL of these at some point. It will be an awesome book :)

  172. Hi Matt,

    I voted no meat but really want to suggest that you try to go high welfare for a month and let us know how you get on… that means you can eat meat and dairy but choose organic or free-range options. If you eat fish, make sure it is sustainably sourced. These options are a bit more expensive so you eat a bit less of them and that is healthier for you and the environment (and the animals concerned).

    This is a sustainable diet for the future and it promotes animal welfare by not voting for factory farming with your shopping choices.

  173. Bike to work will be the best for you… :) you will find it the best time consuming activity of your day. You can ask Mr. Bill (from FindBug fame!)
    Then while you twitter in your ride check out: http://good-bike-ride.blogspot.com but watch the road first.

  174. MJ

    I voted for riding a bike to work, but I think you should try this, Matt:

    Find an under advertised charity or worthy cause and volunteer your services for 30 days. Or, maybe take 30 days to start your own charity.

  175. I’m surprised no one has found the flaw in Matt not using the Microsoft OS for 30 days. He would have a rather dull browsing experience if he did.

  176. A blog post everyday for thirty days.

  177. Lucifer

    Matt, When does your new challenge start?

  178. Vic

    What about no Google searches for 30 days! It might give you a real insight into how some of the competition does things and make you really appreciate the little things that makes Google so handy :-)

  179. Matt, When does your new challenge start?

    Later on…:)

  180. Reading will always recharge us, so it will be an advantage that after 30 days you would feel reinvigorated after that as many books as you have mentioned. Its time to recharge your battery it seems.

  181. Well, DUH, the answer is obvious…

    No Microsoft OS for 30 days…or, how about 365? It’ll make your life better ;)

  182. Michael Weir

    Time for a real challenge Matt: Not blogging for 30 days.

  183. I have started a new job where walking is a big portion of the day. Last week I purchased a pedometer to see how many steps I take. I was shocked the first day when I diccovered I walk over 20,000 steps a day. I can feel what good shape I am getting in, but my SEO is struggling.

  184. Elaine 15 books in a month isnt hard i could do that in a week :-)

  185. Hello, i’m new at all of this.
    There seems to be soo many websites that want you to have them as your community.
    i got orkut now, what do you think of those?
    how do you search other people googledocs?
    i’m looking for a template to do my bills each month could you help me?
    Thanks.

  186. Matt what did You choose?

  187. I had the same lesson with television: I stopped watching it because I was so pitifully broke I couldn’t afford to pay the bill. Over time, and before I knew it, I stopped missing it. Eventually I got to the point where I actually find it fairly irritating. At this point, it’s been more than a decade since I had TV, and I am highly resistant to getting it back — especially now that most of the content I could ever be interested in watching is available online.

    In reality, most things are not as hard to do without as we think they will be.

    And, I voted for sugar. This one is hard because it’s in more things than we usually think about, and because most of us actually have low-level addictions to it without realizing it. Everyone I know whose ever spent 30-days cutting sugar out of their lives has not only discovered they feel better and healthier, but they almost always discover a new appreciation and taste bud sensitivity to food. (Much like smokers who quit smoking and suddenly start to realize how much better food tastes once their taste buds start to recover.)

  188. don

    Matt, life is too short not to enjoy… almost everything in moderation is ok, when you start giving up simple things like sugar it may become much harder to get through the day

  189. Jan

    bike to work. i don’t know how far, but if that’s within reach, you will simply love it. plus you show a lot of ppl that it is possible.

  190. I voted for biking to work, but the 15 books goal would be dandy as well. Biking won out, mostly because I have a broken hand and haven’t been able to ride for a month and the weather has been amazing this week. Sigh… Good luck!

  191. Colin

    No meat!!

    We dont have to kill to eat – so why do it? :)

    Not eating meat makes me feel very proud of myself, give it a try.

  192. Bike riding rocks, I mean rolls; please do not stop blogging Matt!

  193. My sister has been trying to get me to do the no meat thing for years. How about 30 days of using only public transportation?

  194. Tabitha

    -go vegan for 30 days, but don’t forget to use a b12 supplement.
    -spend 2 hours a day with Rosetta Stone, any language
    -do a media fast, no news or blogs for 30 days

  195. How this poll is made?
    Some kind of free ready components?

  196. Its got to be the no-sugar. Rediscover your tastebuds and what food really tastes like!

  197. Ian

    Pity, I missed the poll, I would have voted for “No Microsoft operating system (OS)”, which I’ve been aiming for as an eventual direction myself.

    Started by:
    - Putting a ban on getting any more Microsoft products
    - Replacing Windows-only products with cross-platform ones (e.g. Firefox main browser for now, trying OpenOffice.org, VLC for video, SongBird will probably replace WinAmp).

    Thus far Windows-wise I’ve got my main PC on XP (gaming machine), an old laptop that’s also XP (might be a potential Ubuntu convert, now I think about it), oh and an old iPaq (the sole reason I keep it is due to a game which only runs on it – that’s it).

    I bought a Linux-based NAS/home server rather than a Windows Home Server one, have not bought any XBoxes (actually have an old Playstation to play with, but if I ever bought a new console it’d be a Wii or maybe a PS3 for the BluRay), and bought an Android-based phone.

    The things holding up further progress are:
    - Games games games :-(
    - Not trusting OpenOffice.org for complex important Word documents
    - Time (family)

    I’m also explicitly avoiding Apple products, as their vendor lock-in is worse than Microsoft’s! So no OSX, iPhone, iPod, or iTunes.

  198. 30 days of not dining out is my July project.

  199. if you really want to bike farther and enjoy it more than ever look at the optibike. It is an electric bike that is top of the line in every way and Handmade in Boulder, CO.
    I can arrange a trial during your 30 day challenge. Let me know if you are interested.

  200. Biking to work… Yes, that is something I am also planning to do… For 2 years now :-(
    I’ve done it for a month 3 years ago. But now I always have some excuse = need to take child to kindergarten, maybe it will rain today, my bike not ready, you name it. Could at least drive to the gym before work like I used to, but that means getting up early. Need to break the laziness cycle. I started to eliminate sugar intaake, so that’s a start!

  201. One option should be a month without technology. :) You would probably come up with the next online killer app doodled on the back of a napkin. When your co-workers ask if you got their email you can reply with I will have a look to see when I can, I will get back to you in 3 to 4 weeks.

  202. Hi Matt

    Just a quick question of the no follow attribute, will it generate any relevance, meaning will it be recognized as a backlink or not.

  203. Try not to blog Matt, I can’t…

  204. You should definitely go meatless for 30 days! Who needs meat anyway? Here’s a website to help you out: tryveg.com.

  205. You should definitely try bike to work every day for 30 days. My best bet is you will continue to bike to work even after the stipulated 30 days are over.

    If you need inspiration to start biking, you may read the following articles.

  206. I couldn’t go 30 minutes without looking something up on the web. It is pretty sad how often, I’m checking my email, or researching something new.

  207. Try living without accessing the internet for 30 days. I think that would be pretty much impossible and very very hard to do! I would bet money on the fact you couldnt do it :0)

  208. No Google products for next 30 days…so that you can discover some great features of other products… like Yahoo groups (compared to Google groups), Mybloglog (compared to Google Friend Connect), etc. :-)

  209. I think that would be pretty much impossible and very very hard to do!

  210. One option should be a month without technology

  211. Marekk

    My company’s website was dropped down by google, so i smoke 40 cigarettes / day. That’s so cool to lose a job. Congratulations you have a time for bullshit like resting and enjoing life. My life is a nightmare thanks to google. Maybe try to think about how many people are fully dependent on google and how many are depressed today, tomorrow, in next 5 days. What ? Who cares – you don’t need to think about it – enjoy your great life !

  212. You should do the no social media for 30 days, lets see how that works out.

  213. Hare Krsna Matt,
    I very much appreciate your blog and openness and your desire to communicate. After all, that’s the purpose of the Internet. Your 30 days post inspired me to compile this page for you:
    http://vaniquotes.org/wiki/Thirty_days
    It’s part of our Vanipedia dictionary of the words and teachings of our spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta swami Prabhupada and it’s what he said about 30 days. It’s quite amazing how this person was able to convey so much understanding of Vedic knowledge. If you read the page and follow the links to the source verses in the different scriptures, I think you will be quite inspired as well, and while you do the 30 days of no meat you could try chanting 16 rounds of the Maha-mantra for 30 days.

    Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare
    Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

    This meditation, if done sincerely with an open heart will surly make a difference to your life.
    Chant and be happy :-)

    ys
    saha,
    Vrindavan, India

  214. I like the bike to work for 30 days idea, but that wouldn’t work for me since I work from home. It would be a short commute. For me the no social media for 30 days is not a big deal since I don’t real take part in that anyway.

  215. Thanks for this Matt a friend of mine followed a similar programme and she is cycling to africa now for charity: http://www.joinmecycle2sa

  216. By the way, how did this experiment go for you? Never stop trying. I am currently forcing myself to take a 30 minute walk everyday. The computer is giving me a gut!

  217. I vote bike to work for 30 days. I’d like to try it myself. My commute by car is 7 minutes. My office is right by the beach. Why not? It’s also a great, natural energizer boost to start off the day!

  218. Undoubtedly “No Microsoft operating system” and keep blogging! ….BTW, why you need MS?

  219. I wish you accomplish your goal. I am also trying to get into a exercise routine. I guess we have to do it one day at the time, but also prepare mentally to do it.

  220. Making changes like this is good, of course you have to make it a habit which is hard. You can apply the same tactic to almost anything in life. I wish I could do the same myself! I am honest enough to admit I don’t stick to it often enough. I hope its still working out for you Matt ;)

  221. What would the world be like without Microsoft?? Unless your already a Mac user, I would like to know how life without Microsoft would be. Does this include software under the Microsoft Umbrella?

  222. Oh dear ! I tried turning you into a non meater for a month. Seeing the results I wish I’d have got you biking to work.

    It really is nice to set these goals in life and let other people have their say. It makes one a stronger and more resilient person – not to mention healthier.

    David Saunders
    Plymouth, England

  223. 30 days with no drink containers thrown into the trash — only reusable, returnable or recyclable containers allowed, but only if you really reuse (glasses, cups, mugs), return (does something like this exist in the U. S., returning glass or PET bottles for cleaning and refilling to retrieve a deposit?) or recycle (e. g. glass and PET bottles into the proper recycling containers).

    I know I am repeating myself, but my stay at our company headquarters in January showed me that the situation re: avoidable trash today in the US is much worse than it was in Europe in the Seventies.

  224. Jack

    Try Biking to work. It s great. I tryed Running 8km every Day but got very Sleep in the afternoon. Bettet Mix it up.

  225. Who voted no Blog! I get really excited when I see the new post jump into my Google RSS Reader!! Yes I am that sad :)

  226. Tomasz Banas

    What happened to “30 days with guitar”? ;-( I just started it.

  227. My biggest problem is iPhone gaming. Especially when waiting. I have no longer have the ability to tolerate bordem. On the toilet, queuing, walking to work, while girlfriend is watching ‘her shows’, there’s always an opportunity albeit sometimes inappropriate time to play.

    Good Luck!

  228. Read one chapter of the Bible each day for 30 days.
    Clean up your house for 15 minutes each day for 30 days.
    Choose a skill, then practice it 15 min a day for 30 days.

  229. Lindsay

    Hey Matt,

    I’m about to start my own 30 days project, starting with: no clothes on the bedroom floor. :)

    If you’re willing to play with your diet a bit, try going gluten-free for 30 days. Once you figure it out, you’ll find it’s pretty easy and the health benefits are huge! Read about it, then try it.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  230. How about not buying gasoline/diesel for 30 days? I dare ya…

  231. Going without email is almost impossible these days! But I would say biking to work is a nice, healthy, realistic choice!

  232. @Martin: haha, no gasoline for a month? That’s a little outrageous, ain’t it???

  233. The biking and walking thing is good have been doing that for the last 4months. I am also trying to get back to the days when i checked my email once a day on my desk top ! Instead of my blackberry overheating with emails every 2 minutes.
    My partner and I have experimented with no computers, email, blackberry,iphone etc… on weekends. Tried it for 2 weeks and I have to say it is pretty relaxing…………………….. But here Iam on the net on the weekend again. Its HARD!
    Help

  234. My biggest distraction is definitely forum browsing. If I could swear off that for a month, I bet I would be super productive!

  235. How did this go? I like Gage’s suggestions of every day for 30 days try to find a way to help a small web business. It can be an SEM company, Web Design company, small mom and pop (roofing company, auto shop), or ecom shop.

    Shoot em a link. Write a post about them. Call it “The 30 days of looking out for the little guy”.

    hey, if you need an idea, take a look at http://www.efellemedia.com!

    Best of luck

  236. Meditate, play tennis and write blog daily to help us matt.These are only kind suggestions matt.Above all spend the day in a manner which you like most.

  237. i think riding a bicycle wouldn’t be too hard on you especially if you got an electric bicycle. You could ride, pedal, ride until you got better at pedaling? Give it a try. Make it a little easier on yourself to make changes. Changes don’t have to be so dramatic.

  238. Ha ha. I am sure I quite late with commenting but I think – no meat would be the greatest torture:-) or I will not say ‘social media’ – we will miss you too much.

  239. No social media? That would likely leave half of the visitors to your blog dead, Matt.

  240. Krystal

    30 days of writing down a quote that resonates with the day.

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