I’ve been doing some random reading, and came upon this dude’s personal development site. Now, I usually don’t put too much stock in things like that. Everyone’s different, I tell myself; you can’t motivate everyone using the same strategy. Feel-good reading material isn’t actually going to make a difference in my life.

And maybe it won’t.

But why not try?

One of the articles is about the tool of the 30-day trial. The idea stems from the shareware software industry: usually you get the software as a free download, and you have 30 days to try it out before you have to buy it, with no obligation to buy. (Some applications would have a timebomb that caused them to stop working after 30 days; others would rely on the honor system to hope you’d pay.)

Anyway, the idea is: you pick a well-defined task, possibly a goal for something you think you might like to make permanent, and say you’re going to do it for 30 days. After the 30 days are up, you reevaluate, and see if you want to continue. If you genuinely don’t want to continue, you stop. If you really do want to continue, or if you’re on the fence, inertia will help keep you going, as 30 days is enough to be habit-forming.

So, here it is: for the next 30 days, I will run 3 miles every other day. If I’m feeling up to it, I might push it to 3.5 or 4. Ideally, I’ll run in the gym at my apartment, but if necessary (there’s only one treadmill), I’ll run up the street and back. It’s 1.6 miles up to Sunnyvale-Saratoga along El Camino, so there and back will give me my 3 miles.

Now, we’ll see if I actually do it…