Try something new for 30 days

Think about something you’ve always wanted to add to you life and try it for the next 30 days. ~ Matt Cutts (TED video)

I really recommend the video. It’s only 3 minutes long and pretty inspiring and persuasive.

TL-DR: the usual “thought -> action -> habit -> character -> destiny” progression logic. 30 days is apparently long enough to form new habits; be they exercise, diet, a photo a day, write a novel, avoid Facebook, TV, etc.

Something new

Inspired, I thought I’d give it a go. I picked doodling. A bunch of people like Sunni Brown have been championing the learning, creativity, problem-solving and innovation benefits of doodling recently.

So I began drawing. Very simple things and shapes. The sort of thing you can scribble on a whiteboard as a visual aid. Not Turner prize material. Using a free app on the iPad with one-click publishing to a free basic Tumblr site: Dreadful daily doodles

So far so good

20120911-145520.jpgI finished the 30 days and am carrying on with my new habit as I’ve learnt loads: cats can easily look like rats, dogs are really hard, our brains override what our eyes see with preconceived ideas of what something looks like, outline and shape can imply movement much better than detail, less is more.

My note-taking has become more memorable with doodling. And I discovered that, when facilitating groups, visual hooks are great ways to frame thinking e.g. empathy maps and the business model canvas.

Sometimes I’m busy or am lacking inspiration for what to draw but I force myself to scribble something down anyway. It was a struggle at first but now I look forward to it. It’s morphing into a kind of visual diary and it’s fun to look back on. Like Mo and Usain larking about:

So, is there something new you want to try for the next 30 days?

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Rob is a consultant, technologist, facilitator and outdoorsman. He lives with his wife in Henley-on-Thames.

2 thoughts on “Try something new for 30 days”

  1. It is funny you should mention that doodles facilitate team meetings and discussions because I have just been seating through 3 days of conference presentations and I remember the images used by the presenters much better than the text or numbers… So, I am vowing to use more images in my own presentations – though not doodles 🙂

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