Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

The 31-Minute Challenge FAQ: Getting Ready for January

Between the emails I have received over the last several days, and the comments on my previous post about the 31-minute challenge, we’ve got 18 participants so far — and the month has barely just started. To me this is a wondrous start! 🙂

This post is a summary of sorts, an “FAQ,” and some planning suggestions as we all gear up for January.

1. What is the 31-minute challenge? 31-minute challenge

It is a month-long campaign and a giveaway event for writers, artists or any other dreamers who want to give their dream a real chance by making sure they dedicate at least 31 minutes every single day for a month to working toward their most important goal.

2. When will it officially start?

Of course you can start anytime, as at least two participants will be doing. But officially, we’ll be using December, a busy holiday month, to get our ideas in order, think of our goals, spread the word, get into gear. I challenge you to start on New Year’s Day. Kick off the New Year, writing! (Or working toward whatever is important to you).

3. What are the rules?

— Sign up by emailing me: katiawrites@gmail.com or leaving a comment here saying you want to do this. Note: if you leave a comment but don’t specifically commit to participating, you’re not a participant (but I thank you for your encouragement, anyway!) I think it’s important to make that pledge, to publicly say, “yes, I’m doing this!”

— On Friday, February 1, I will ask everyone who signed up if they were able to meet the challenge every single day. I’ll give everyone a weekend  to confirm that yes, they did it, either via email or comments, so their name could be entered into a drawing for a $31 gift certificate from Barnes & Noble. The name of the winner will be posted on Monday, February 4.

sh-sh-sh! half an hour in progressImportant: If you skip even a single day, you are not eligible for the prize drawing. Harsh? Maybe. But that’s why this is called a challenge, and not just a giveaway. I want you to really do this right!

— Note: if you started earlier in the month, and have been keeping track, you may end your participation in the challenge earlier. As long as it comes to a total of 31 days in a row, I’ll count it.

4. How will you know if I really did do the work every single day for at least 31 minutes?

I have hired a few elves on the shelves to help me keep track of everyone’s progress. They’re invisible, but they’ll be watching you!

(Yes, it’s an honor system).

5. Who is this challenge for?

a) Those just starting their project.

b) Those in the midst of working on something and needing a boost.

c) Those who have been plodding along for a while, and want to make sure they stay disciplined.

6. Why 31 minutes?

I want to keep it small and non-threatening, in other words totally doable. But anything shorter than half an hour doesn’t feel quite substantial enough to make a great deal of difference. Half an hour, however, is not bad at all. The extra one minute is to allow you to run back to your desk once the timer is set, and go, go, go!

These are the basics. Look for more questions answered a week from today, and feel free to spread the word, to let your friends know!

I’ll leave you with a quote by John C. Maxwell from his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership:”

“See what a person is doing every day, day after day, and you’ll know who that person is and what he or she is becoming.”

Happy Monday, everyone!



December 10, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Thank you for being the taskmaster, Katia. I need ‘harsh’ to keep me focused. My goal in the next week is to get my website wendygreenley.com mostly complete. I’ve never blogged before, so it’s exciting!
    Looking forward to your writing community commitment in January.

    Comment by wendy greenley | December 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Awesome, Wendy! So glad to have you onboard, too. We’re up to 20 already 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | December 10, 2012 | Reply

  2. I’m going to be cheering people on. What a great way to focus.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | December 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks, Medeia! I appreciate it!

      Comment by Katia Raina | December 11, 2012 | Reply

  3. That’s a great quote!

    Katia, this will fit in perfectly with my new routine. Just today I saw a physical therapist for the pain I’ve been experiencing in my right leg. Turns out the pain is actually coming from my lower back — and it’s made worse by sitting too long. I’m only allowed to sit for 30 minutes at a time. The kitchen timer is quickly becoming my new friend. So I’ll be able to do your 31 minute challenge, get up and walk around for 5 minutes, then do it all over again if I want to! Yay!

    Comment by Joanne Fritz | December 12, 2012 | Reply

  4. I am so so thrilled! Not about the pain in the leg, but about the perfect timing of this challenge for you! You’re going to rock it, Joanne, I just know it.

    Comment by Katia Raina | December 12, 2012 | Reply

  5. […] Katia about your project and committing to working on it 31 minutes a day, every day in January. https://katiaraina.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/the-31-minute-challenge-faq-getting-ready-for-january/ […]

    Pingback by Marie Lamba On Submission Likes and Dislikes « Writing and Illustrating | December 12, 2012 | Reply

  6. As an illustrator, I have the art, but as an aspiring children’s writer, I need to finish the story for my interactive book and by doing that 31 minutes each day, I will be on my way to a completed project. Thank you for helping me to get organized!

    Comment by Becky Hall | December 12, 2012 | Reply

  7. Looking forward to revising my current YA…this is a perfect opportunity to keep focused on the goal of having a presentable MS by the end of the month. Thanks!

    Comment by darlenebeckjacobson | December 22, 2012 | Reply

    • Great goal, Darlene. Good luck!

      Comment by Katia Raina | December 24, 2012 | Reply

  8. Hi Katia ! Count me in for the challenge. I need it and I’m ready to start fresh and furiously in January. I’ve never had a problem with harsh so I’ll be ready January 1.

    Comment by Tracy Bermeo | December 30, 2012 | Reply

    • Perfect, Tracy! Welcome, and good luck. Although, honestly, you won’t even need it. This is going to be piece of cake. 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | December 30, 2012 | Reply

  9. I’m in. A new page, a new challenge, a new day. Looking forward to starting off the new year writing with a bunch of new friends. 🙂

    Comment by Vikk Simmons | December 31, 2012 | Reply

  10. Hi Katia, You can count me in too! I am the world’s greatest procrastinator and I need this challenge! I have really been slacking lately. Happy New Year! I will be starting tomorrow january 1, 2013!

    Comment by Debbie | December 31, 2012 | Reply

    • You’re in Debbie — world’s greatest procrastinators are perfect candidates for this challenge 😉 Happy New Year to you too.

      Comment by Katia Raina | December 31, 2012 | Reply

  11. Wow this sounds fun! I hope it’s not too late to join? I didn’t even know you visited my blog, haha, thanks though!

    Comment by July | January 2, 2013 | Reply

    • Hi July,
      Actually I never did visit your blog, until just now — and it looks really great, by the way. I love the concept of the power of words/books for your title. I am so very sorry to say it’s too late to formally sign up for the challenge now, because it started yesterday. But! Of course you can feel free to participate informally and still be a part of our little community by writing every day, and making sure you do it for 31 days in a row. You won’t be eligible for the prize drawing, but the biggest prize isn’t the chance to win a gift certificate anyway. It’s knowing that you did it, and getting hooked on working steadily every day. So whether or not you still join us — sort of — keep up the good work all month long, and beyond! 😉

      Comment by Katia Raina | January 2, 2013 | Reply

      • Oh, that’s too bad 😦 Maybe I’ll just do what you suggested!
        Sorry, I thought you visited my blog because somebody gave me the link for this contest in a comment and I couldn’t view the profile so I just assumed it was you. Haha, ok thanks anyway!

        Comment by July | January 3, 2013

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    Comment by sports | September 4, 2014 | Reply

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