My new year goal for 2022 was to complete some 30 day challenges, try out some new things, get some habits forming, generally be industrious throughout the year. I completed 11 30 day challenges some of which have formed habits which have stuck, some of which I never want to revisit again, and some which were good but probably need another go. I think it’s been a really successful year and something I might try again in 2023.
Thirty days of guitar completed and I’m a pro now! Just kidding, I can play some of the easier chords and attempt to play some of the other easy ones and pick the occasional note from a string. There’s a long, long way to go. One of the things I was really worried about with this challenge was that I knew how much playing guitar can take a toll on the fingertips - and playing every day might not be the wisest idea.
I had planned to do a quick update halfway through my 30 days of guitar challenge, I’m a couple of days late but let’s do it anyway. It’s really just to note down a few of the things I’ve found over the first half of the month:
I was really worried about the tips of my fingers being painful and potentially prohibitive to playing every single day, but the good news is I’m trying to be quite strict on the time I play each day which helps make it more manageable.
November has arrived and with it comes the dark nights, cold weather and general feeling that hibernation would be the right choice for any sensible person. Unfortunately, that’s not really an option, so instead, it’s time to come up with another 30 day challenge to get me through the month. This time? Guitar! Hooray!
This has been on the list since I first started thinking about doing many thirty day challenges, but there was a small problem - up until recently, I didn’t have access to a guitar.
I wasn’t sure how October’s 30 day challenge was going to go - learning sign language with this online course. The guidance suggests really taking your time so I didn’t want to rush through and set artificial deadlines when all I really wanted to do was explore the language. However, I was at a massive advantage being able to fingerspell already, so it became an achievable goal to get through the whole course in the month.
Last year, when Rose won Strictly, I was one of those people who had been completely intrigued by sign language and curious about learning some myself. I didn’t do anything about it at the time, and somehow an entire year has passed, but my thoughts returned to the subject when Rose popped up on this year’s launch show, and then a small amount of research later highlighted that it was International Sign Languages day on September 23rd.
My 30 days of walking has come to an end, and this was a challenge that I really enjoyed. It was nice to have the oomph to get outside every day and nice to know that it didn’t have to be a long walk… although sometimes it was. September was a pretty reasonably month for weather, so I was quite lucky. Only a couple of my outings were in full on rain, although the final walk of all 30 was in horrible wind and drizzly conditions.
In the first ten days of walking, I was really all about no pressure, just getting outside and trying to be consistent about it. The next 10 days have been a bit more adventurous and have seen me explore different routes around my immediate start point, try out some longer routes when time allows, and more importantly than anything, walk with some wildlife.
I didn’t know alpaca walks were a thing until the past couple of months and then suddenly found myself upon one.
I’m ten days in to this month’s challenge and so far quite enjoying it. The plan was simply to get outside and walk for at least ten minutes every day and so far I’ve not managed less than 15 minutes, not so much because of enthusiasm but more because that’s just how long the short ‘routes around the block’ take. It’s nice though, getting outside, getting some fresh air, breaking up the day.
This is typical me. My Apple Watch fitness goal for August was based on completing a certain number of kilometres across the course of the month. I achieved it, just, but have now decided for September, I’m going to do a bit of walking every day. If I’d done this last month, I’d have easily achieved that badge. Oh well.
On the flip side, it’s an Apple Watch badge that has prompted this challenge.