Easter. Even without the religious associations, it feels like an occasion to withdraw from the world for a little while, contemplate for a few days, and then hopefully return renewed, ready to start some new things.

The whole chocolate, rabbits, eggs and ribbons thing doesn’t have much resonance for me, but that death and rebirth metaphor is an interesting one. Powerful. Useful. Timely…

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m heading up to the Lake District for a few days which, you must admit, is way better than dying. I’m going to read, walk, write and think. And when I come back, I’ll be – if not different, then at least doing some new stuff. And that’s always helpful, psychologically speaking.

Monday coincides with the start of April which, as you know, is a 30-day month. And all of this ‘starting fresh after withdrawing’ stuff feels like the perfect occasion to reintroduce the 30 Day Calendar into my life.

If the 30 Day Calendar is new to you, it’s something I came up with while I was actually doing a 30-day project. I do these from time to time: commit to doing something every day for 30 days as a way of forming habits, learning skills, improving some aspect of my life, or just as a kind of game.

The Saddest Cats, for instance, came out of one of those projects.

For one 30-day project, I decided to have a new idea every day and blog about it – and the calendar was idea number 5. So far, it’s been a pretty useful one and people seem to like it. I even got interviewed on the radio about it. The simple ideas are usually the best.

Essentially, it’s just a piece of paper with 30 boxes on it, and you put an X in the box each day when you’ve done something you committed to doing on that regular basis. That’s pretty much the whole thing – but of course, you can make it more complicated if you wish.

It could be writing, exercising, not drinking alcohol, making a mix tape for a different friend each day, starting the morning with one of Glenn Gould’s 30 Bach Goldberg Variations (I’ve done all of these) – or some other daily regular task of your choosing.

So – I’m going to print out a bunch of them, take them away with me, and figure out what it is I’m going to commit myself to doing every day for the entirety of April. The aim of the game is to get to the end of the month with no gaps.

If you want to play along, here’s a link to the PDF. Grab it, print some out, and on Monday, let’s start doing a bunch of small things every day that make life a little better, more interesting, or more weird.

Take it from me – it’s amazing what can happen when you do a little bit of something every day for a month. And I kinda like amazing, so I’m going to pick a few different things for April.

Have a great Easter break.