What do you do when you have an hour of free time? Do you work, check emails and/or social media, text, do chores, or plan ahead and schedule your next busy day? In a busy society where it is seen as unimportant to unwind, relax and do things for ourselves that aren’t considered productive, we tend to be neglectful of doing things we want to do for ourselves.
We also seem to forget the importance of self-growth and learning. Instead, we live day-to-day in a routine or even a rut where we are busy doing everything we have to do to the point where we forget to take even an hour for ourselves. This is where the 1-hour-a-day challenge comes into play.
What is the 1-Hour-A-Day Challenge?
The 1-hour-a-day challenge was created by Benjamin Franklin, who essentially lived by this challenge. He would set aside 1 hour every day to do something different and meaningful that allowed him to achieve a goal to provide himself the time and opportunity to learn and grow as a person while having ‘me-time.’
Me-time is something that many people just don’t do anymore let alone make time for; instead, we rush around, trying to complete everything on our schedule daily. Franklin, however, valued this time as an opportunity to do what he pleased and would wake up daily and ask, “What good will I do today?” Similarly, he would end each day by asking “What good have I done today?”
What is the purpose of the 1-Hour-A-Day Challenge?
The purpose of this challenge is simple: you set goals for yourself and you accomplish them with the time that you set aside for yourself daily. The point is to learn and continue to grow as a person instead of letting your life take control.
I view it as a reminder not to let life pass me by. Think about it: we work, do what we have to do, but we don’t always do what WE want to do. We often say, “Maybe later,” but we never actually come around and act on it. We seem to let our dreams, goals, and me-time pass us by because we have better or more productive things to do.
This inadvertently means that life is just slipping by because we put our personal growth, exploration and time for ourselves on pause. The 1-hour-a-day challenge is designed to remind us to grow as a person, and to do things for ourselves in life that make us happy; it is also there to get us to break free of ruts.
What happens when you do the 1-Hour-A-Day Challenge?
For some people, setting aside an hour to do things from themselves is hard; it’s a task that leaves them not sure where to start or uncertain what to do. If this is a struggle you face, then break it up into segments of 20 minutes each where you can do something different in each interval or the same thing, just at three different times in the day. Over time, it will get easier, and it will come naturally to you.
Many people don’t actually feel the need for the 1-hour-a-day challenge because they already live life doing things for themselves, where they are constantly growing and ensuring that they get their me-time. In that case, good for you, and keep it up. After doing the 1-hour-a-day challenge long enough, you might not need to because you’ll be doing what you please more often.
Some people will take to the 1-hour-a-day challenge easily. For them, it will be a little piece of peace and relaxation while doing whatever they please. Maybe they won't do anything to self-improve and just use that time to rest from work or boring tasks. But even that is a good thing – relaxing is necessary to both body and mind.
No matter how you handle the 1-hour-a-day challenge, it will become easier and part of your everyday life to the point where you’ll want more than an hour—and rightfully so! You should always be growing and learning as a person while doing things for yourself.
Some common goals of people who do the challenge are: read a book, exercise more, walk X-number of steps, immerse themselves in nature, redecorate a room, watch a tv show, learn to draw or paint, make more time for music, learn a sport or musical instrument, have more family time or have no phone for an hour. There are many more things you can do—the sky's the limit; it’s just up to you to choose one and make yourself happy while doing it
No matter how big or small your goal is, it is still very important and something you should do for yourself. Set aside an hour of your day to do what makes you happy, and what you want to do. This will not only let you learn and grow as a person, it will also allow for you to be happier and feel more accomplished—not to mention you will be doing something new, which will break you out of your daily routine and rut.
Feel free to share your experience and goals below!