The Rory Challenge
I’ve been learning a lot from analyzing the show, writing about it, and coming up with the list of tips and character guides. But I want to give myself some concrete tasks that will help me really learn from this experience. I guess most people would create a “30-day challenge” or something like that, but I don’t know how many ideas I will come up with yet so I’ll leave it open. I also know that everyone’s on a different schedule, so I’ll leave it up to you to set aside a time each day or each week to take a look at a new “day”. Leave a comment if you’ve got any good ideas you’d like to add.
#1: Set Your Goals
Take a sheet of paper and write down all of the things you’d like to accomplish in your life. If you’re worried about going on too long, set a timer (you can always add more later). Now, take a look at the list and figure out what your major goal is (or goals). It may be a career choice (becoming an astronaut), a family situation (getting married and having children), or a personal desire (climbing Mount Everest). Find a goal that you truly want to commit to, not just because it’s an accomplishment but because it’s part of who you are. While you can have several major goals, target only a few so you don’t divide your focus too much.
Now that you have it, make a list of the things that inspire you towards that goal. Assemble a collection of pictures, quotes, articles, etc. that relate to your goal. This can be on a bulletin board, in a notebook, on an online site (such as Pinterest), or anything else that is in plain site. Eventually this “inspiration board” may grow outside of a single medium, so be prepared to let it grow. The important thing is to have a constant, present reminder of why you want to accomplish your goal.
Got your board? Good. Don’t throw out that original list of goals though. We’ll use it another day.
#2: Learn Something New
Think back to your first day of school (pick any, it doesn’t really matter). What subject did you most look forward to? Maybe it was English and you couldn’t wait read a new set of books or poems. Maybe it was Physics and you wanted to understand how the world works. Maybe it was simply Gym and you wanted to pick up a new sport. Looking back, did you learn all that you wanted to? Even more so, do you remember all that you wish you did?
We’ve all got at least some mental list of things we want to learn: hobbies, languages, historical facts, vocabulary, etc. Sometimes they’re topics that we were exposed to once and want to learn more about, and sometimes they’re just things we’ve always wanted to try. It can be overwhelming when there’s so much that we want to do. So overwhelming, in fact, that it stops us from taking on something new.
So here’s the new challenge: choose something (a topic, hobby, etc.) that you want to learn more about. Grab a notebook and devote it to your new “class”. Then (here’s the hard part) figure out how much time a day you can reserve for your class. It could be an hour a day or it could be ten minutes (even an hour a week), so long as you can set aside the time. Put it in your schedule so you know you’ll have that time to yourself. And then start learning.
Because we are so tied in to technology, the greatest source available is most likely the internet. Perhaps you want to become more educated on politics, so you might start reading about the Constitution or exploring the latest candidates. If you’re trying to build your vocabulary you can check out dictionary.com and their “word a day” setup (I have mine set to my igoogle homepage). If you want to learn more about WWII (or any historical events) there are thousands of websites devoted to the subject, plus libraries full of books available to you. Sometimes you may have to venture off the internet, however. If you’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano you could ask a friend who can play or find cheap lessons. Local community centers often have art and/or dance classes. You could also ask a friend to help teach you a sport. There are tons of different sources; just find the ones that work best for you and your schedule.
My topic of choice is Russian. I’ve been wanting to learn it for a while and I’m using a combination of Rosetta Stone and some books to get started. In accordance with this challenge I’m going to set aside fifteen minutes a day to practice the language. My boyfriend is helping to keep me on track, and this is a great motivator. I’ve also gotten a copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Russian so I have a goal to word towards.
What will you choose to learn? Remember, it doesn’t have to take over your whole life – a little bit of progress each day goes a long way.