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Home A Complete Guide to Reorganizing Your Year Into 24 Jeolgi Challenges | by Mathias Barra | Better Humans | Feb, 2021

A Complete Guide to Reorganizing Your Year Into 24 Jeolgi Challenges | by Mathias Barra | Better Humans | Feb, 2021

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One Jeolgi is about two weeks and I believe that’s the best length for challenges you set to yourself. 14 days to start, learn, experiment, and conclude. It’s like a shot of experiences you take. Better than spending a long evening drinking. You get to go through all stages of a party in no time.

Keep expectations under control

By giving yourself a two-week challenge, you aren’t setting your eyes on the very long term. You get to keep things manageable because you are well-aware of how fast two weeks pass by.

Start over

If you still “fail”, you get to adapt and try again soon. When you drop your resolutions, you think it’s the end of the world. You’ve tried your hardest but you’ve failed. It feels like the “only way” to try again won’t come before next January.

Increase self-control

Have you ever decided to work out regularly? If not, I’ll tell you my experience: it was extremely hard. After a few weeks, I began pushing my workouts in favor of meeting friends or learning languages (my passion and main hobby). The principal reason it was so difficult was that I had decided I’d do it forever.

Surround yourself with novelty

There’s a short proverb I love: “You don’t know what you don’t know”. When you start learning something you think you know what you’ll have to tackle. As you keep learning, you discover there’s a lot more hiding under the rock.

Meta-learn beforehand

Each Jeolgi should be spent actually working on the challenge you’ve chosen. If you’ve decided to learn guitar, do so. If you’ve picked to work out, do so. No part of these two weeks should be spent figuring out what you have to do for these tasks.

“If effectiveness is doing the right things, efficiency is doing things right.” — Tim Ferriss

For instance, if you decided to learn how to introduce yourself in Korean for a Jeolgi, you should gather resources to learn the script (Hangul), basics of sentence constructions, as well as reading and listening material. For challenges that need physical tools, like watercolor or origami, get them during this time as well.

  • Selection: “Which 20% of the units should I focus on for 80% or more of the outcome I want?
  • Sequencing: “In what order should I learn the units?”
  • Stakes: “How do I set up stakes to create real consequences and guarantee I follow the program?”
Photo of the four main seasons in Korea, created by the author using Canva


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