Experts say that it takes about thirty days to make or break a habit. Whether you’re looking to start exercising or stop smoking , doctors say that if you can stick with it for at least one month, you have a solid chance of seeing real change. That’s an encouraging thought, and it led me to consider other productive ways to spend thirty-one days.

My friend, Amy Weiss Mable, dedicated the month of October to sharing some of her favorite books with her blog followers. Borrowing the idea from The Nester, Amy’s Thirty-One Days of Good Books highlighted a different title every day—a great idea all around for those of us who love books and are always looking for the next great read. So when she asked me to offer a suggestion, I was happy to share the low-down on one of my favorites: The Messenger by Siri Mitchell. You can find my review of this title here, and I encourage you to visit Amy’s website and see which book you want to pick up next.

Perhaps you’re looking for a tougher challenge for your one-month focus. You’re itching to step beyond spectator status and dive headlong into the writing world. All you need is a place to start. The Office of Letters and Light has the perfect solution for you. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, begins on Thursday, November 1st, and anyone can join. The idea is for all participants to complete a novel of at least 50,000 words before the end of the month.  All you have to do is sign up and start writing. The NaNoWriMo website provides the tools to track your progress, share your experience, and receive encouragement from others. Upon completion and verification of your 50,000 word goal, you’re rewarded with a sense of personal satisfaction and an official winner’s certificate and web badge. Now is the perfect time to jumpstart your dream. Are you ready?

How are you going to spend your next thirty days?

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