Never underestimate the power of a fresh start. As each month begins, it's a new start. That's a great time to start a new habit, cut a bad habit, or embrace a fun new adventure. If you've never attempted a monthly 30-day challenge, here's a list to get you thinking. Read on for more...
I recently posted on my blog 5 Tips to Kick Off the New Year, and in that post I wrote about 5 things that I've found to be beneficial in planning and organizing a new year to be happy and successful. In that post, the #5 tip was to try out some meaningful 30 Day Challenges. In this post, I'd like to expound on that idea just a tad and then list a bunch of ideas to get your wheels turning.
For starters, you don't have to wait until a new year or new month to claim your new start. Deciding on a fresh start is incredibly empowering, and I think you have to strike while the iron is hot. So don't put it off for a new year or new month if you feel like starting over in the middle of a random Tuesday.
The goal of a 30 day challenge is to stick to something doable— but important— for 30 days. For me, it's extremely effective because it breaks something you really want to do down into manageable steps for 30 days. That's plenty of time to gain some momentum on a goal, but without seeming overwhelming or impossible.
Some 30 Day Challenges I've completed over the past few years that have impacted my life in a fun or meaningful way are: read a tough book (and get it done!), focus on a super challenging yoga pose (and see incredible progress), clean out my email inbox of digital clutter (an ongoing battle, but it definitely helps), clean my house of physical clutter (donate what you no longer need), get up on time (the struggle is real), study/prepare for upcoming yoga trainings (reading books, manuals, and all the required materials for trainings can be a lot), take up running using a 5k training app (I did this one many years ago and now I run a 10k every year with my in-laws), and the one that started it all for me— move every day— which I loved so much it immediately became my lifestyle.
A 30 day challenge can be used to help you eliminate a bad habit, start a new (good) habit, begin a new hobby, do something to nourish your mind, body, or soul, or even to keep in touch with loved ones. Your list may be completely different than the ideas below, so take some time to think about what you would like to change or accomplish in your life. If you set goals that don't mean much to you, then you absolutely won't stick to it.
Choose something that you'd really love to see in your life and then do one small thing a day for it. It can be the exact same thing every day, like drinking 64oz of water, or it can be chipping away at a big thing, like spending 20 minutes a day promoting your business.
Lastly, a note on accountability... there is something so empowering about seeing your progress in writing. For this, I recommend having some sort of visual where you can literally check off, "X" off, or scratch off every day that you complete your challenge. Believe me, once you get even just a few days in, it means a lot not to break the streak. So whether it's on your planner, chalkboard, monthly view print off, or whatever— put it somewhere you will see it every single day, and will make you want to keep your streak alive. If you don't have a way of tracking this, it's easy to forget all about your challenge when life gets busy.
If you're not convinced about the power of not-breaking-the-chain, read this article by James Clear (author of one of my favorite books, Atomic Habits, which I recommended in my own post 5 Tips to Kick Off the New Year) about the Seinfeld Strategy. It's a great (and short) article which reinforces much of what I've already said, but also describes Jerry Seinfeld's secret to success: writing a joke a day, having a wall calendar that shows the whole year, and scratching every day that he writes a joke off with a big red X. I'll take Jerry's advice. He's not only hilarious, but he also made $267 million in one year, largely from the power of his consistency.
If you really stick to it, you'll be amazed to see all of your progress at the end of 30 days.
Here are some ideas to get you started...
• Go to bed on time
• Create a relaxing bedtime routine
• Close all screens 1 hour before bed
• Get up on time
• Quiet time / Devotional / Prayer time every morning
• Walk every day for 30 minutes
• 10,000 steps
• 30 days of exercise: a specific activity (biking, weights, etc)
• 30 days of exercise: just move every day in whatever way appeals to you
• Write / Blog every day
• 64 oz water daily
• 1 salad a day
• eliminate sugar
• zero caffeine
• zero alcohol
• zero smoking
• practice yoga
• choose a specific yoga pose to work on
• Read 15 minutes every day in a life-changing book
• do something nice for a different person every day
• cut an unnecessary or expensive habit (like a daily Starbucks purchase)
• No eating out or ordering take-out. Make your own meals.
• call a friend
• write a letter
• read a different interesting article every day
• don't watch the news
• no gossip
• give a compliment
• no social media
• no TV
• practice gratitude
• 30 days of trying a new recipe
• no shopping (other than groceries)
• de-clutter your home for 10 minutes a day
• learn a new thing / skill
• dive in to a new hobby (knitting, a musical instrument, tai chi, etc.)
• learn a new language
• no complaining
• no negative self-talk
• choose a topic you're interesting in and spend 10 minutes a day reading or researching it (art history, cooking techniques, a new sport, coding, etc.)
• do 100 squats every day
• work up to 50 pushups a day by the end of the month, or a 3 minute plank, etc.
• create a bucket list. Add 1 thing each day that you'd really like to do, see, or experience.
• practice mindfulness
• add something that you no longer use to sell on ebay
• plan your dream trip: the budget, when you'll go, learn about the culture, research things to do... really make it happen instead of it being a dream.
• thoughtfully organize your office (or any cluttered zone in your home)
• progress towards Inbox Zero at the end of the month: zero emails in your inbox. That means, deleting, unsubscribing, and sorting emails
• nourish your marriage
What's the most life-changing 30-day challenge you've completed? I'd love to hear it in the comments.
Love + Light.
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Hi, I'm Blake. I love adventure, cooking, costume parties, wine, yoga, and reading...in that order. Follow my blog for yoga stuff, fitness tips, & healthy recipes...
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