I’ll admit up front that working with R every day for thirty days, producing a new visualization every day, was both harder and easier than I thought it was going to be.
There were days when I felt like I was on fire, found an interesting thread and produced four or five days of visualizations all at once. There were also days where it felt like a real drag, just trying to find something that even looked a little interesting.
There is some debate on the internet about whether a thirty day time period is sufficient to make something a habit – I can’t really speak to that, as creating a habit wasn’t the goal. The goal was to become familiar with a particular R library (ggplot2), and I think that goal has certainly been accomplished.
I really liked this format – thirty days is long enough to feel possible, for the finish line to always be in sight, but still requires discipline and buy-in. As far as a way to jump start a new skill, we’ll have to see a bit farther down the line, but I certainly feel about a hundred times more comfortable with ggplot2 than I did when I started the whole thing.
I’d recommend this format to folks who are looking to mix up their personal development. The hardest part is choosing an activity that will be interesting and challenging to do, thirty times, every day, but without picking something so large that it becomes onerous or negatively stressful.
I had considered, for instance, to use a new statistical analysis every day for thirty days. That would probably have been a bit too large a bite for me, and I would have really struggled to accomplish it.
Now, the only question remaining is: what should my next challenge be?