Embarking on these 30 day challenge ideas can be an exhilarating yet daunting journey. In fact, when it’s time to commit and dive in, the #1 concern is…The uncertainty of completing the 30 day challenge successfully (we humans operate weird).
Many people have NO idea how to approach it. This step separates those who merely dream about fitness from those who become true health enthusiasts. But if you don’t know how to navigate this challenge sustainably, reaching your ultimate fitness goal may remain elusive.
Embracing the 30 Day Challenge ideas & reducing negative self talk
The process of habit formation suggests that it takes an average of two months – or precisely, 66 days – for new behaviors to become an automatic healthy habit. While one month might not be enough time for a new habit to fully take root, it’s certainly long enough to make significant progress and lay the groundwork for sustainable changes.
Tying these new routines into existing patterns can also prove beneficial when forming healthy lifestyle practices. For instance, if you already have a morning ritual like making your cup of coffee or catching up on world news on your laptop , adding ten minutes of yoga could easily fit into this established pattern without feeling disruptive.
In essence, embarking on such challenges allows you to break down larger objectives into manageable tasks that are easier both mentally and physically. This method should reduce negative thoughts or self talk about the new task.
Look at it as adding another chain link to your typical morning and before you know it…it will become automatic. Also, by focusing only on today’s task at hand rather than worrying about future milestones like day 15, day 20, etc., it makes the whole process more enjoyable and less daunting.
Starting Small but Thinking Big
- Fitness challenges encourage starting small while keeping big-picture goals in mind. It’s all about taking those first steps (or squats) during Day 1 then gradually increasing intensity by Day 3 or even further along until reaching peak performance levels by end stages such as Day 29-30. Healthline suggests that noticeable improvements can occur within just three weeks.
Make Habits Stick
- A new habit formed during this period often sticks because they’re tied directly with our everyday routine activities, making them part and of our lives instead of separate chores needing extra effort and attention every single time we need to do them. This makes transitioning from the temporary phase post-challenge completion smoother, leading us onto the path of sustained long-term healthier lifestyles.
Kick off your wellness journey with these 30 day challenge ideas , breaking big goals into daily tasks. This approach lays the groundwork for lasting habits and fits seamlessly into existing routines. Start small, but dream big – noticeable progress can happen in just three weeks.
Setting Realistic Expectations
Your goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Avoid the pitfall of unrealistic targets which can lead to frustration or even giving up on your journey from day 1 to day 30.
Small steps towards your goal are still progress in their own right and it helps limit negative self talk. In short, Do-Not-Stop. You can wobble along the path but don’t lose momentum. You’ll be much happier knowing you stuck it through.
What are the Best 30 Day Challenge Ideas?
This is a question that may pop up immediately. The good news is, there’s a simple way to figure this out. Sit down with a pen and paper and write down a handful of areas in your life that you know needs improvement.
Perhaps you’ve had a couple areas in your life that are in immediate need of change. Such as addressing some bad dietary habits you picked up during the holidays , feeling too overwhelmed to accomplish anything or just feeling really stiff from sitting in front of a screen all day.
Make the list, figure out which ones can make the biggest impact in your life right now and let’s get started.
1. 30 Day Challenge: Fitness
Embark on a comprehensive fitness journey that includes a mix of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility routines. This can be as simple as going for a 30 min walk around your neighborhood every morning ( try to go between sunrise and 9am to set your body’s circadian rhythm through morning sunlight. It works!).
Another idea is to do a push up or squat challenge , increasing the repetitions daily by 10 reps. On your first day see how many push ups/ squats you can get in one shot and start from there. Our modern daily life tends to put our physical health in the backseat which is a bit ironic ( we only have one body!). You work so hard through your career and handling life’s ups and downs….do you really want to reach retirement in poor health?
This can truly be a fun challenge that can be the spark to beginning new habits that will help you stay healthy for the long run. Want to start ASAP? Check phone apps like 500 Squats : Home Workout to scale up your squat volume week by week.
2. 30 Day Challenge: Clean Eating
This is a big one. I feel all of us need some type of diet challenge these days. The pandemic certainly took your average Americans diet down a couple of notches. A study done by Frontiers in Nutrition showed that more than 60% of calorie intake in the US comes from ultra-processed foods( Is my 4 year old in charge?).
I follow the J.E.R.F diet ( Just Eat Real Food ) . For the next month… just eat real food ( whether you’re vegetarian or meat eater ) and remove all baked goods , dairy ( yup , even cheese) , fruit drinks etc from your diet. Your first breakfast and lunch break may seem bizarre once you remove bread and cheese from the menu but stay the course and give yourself this opportunity to see the light.
You’ll be surprised by how quickly you can lose a few pounds , feel more energized and feel more satiated ( thank you fiber!) just by eating healthy food. I also gain more mental clarity when I’m sticking to spaced out whole food meals and not just grazing on snacks all day (Yep, points for mental health and not just physically).
Meal prepping foods for several days in advance is critical here. So go buy some real whole foods in bulk and get cooking. You’ve got this.
3. 30 Day Challenge: Meditation and Mindfulness
Improve your mental well-being by practicing meditation and mindfulness daily. Why? Let’s think about how often our mind is truly quiet and we can reflect on things or just enjoy the no noise mental space. These days……mostly never ( maybe the shower?).
This challenge enhances your focus, reduces stress and promotes overall emotional balance. There’s a reason why many top tier fitness & health experts include meditation as part of their morning routine…it primes the mind to take on the day as efficiently as possible.
So sit back , close your eyes and empty your mind ( shockingly hard to do these days) or meditate on the tasks at hand for the day with a calming focus. Also, with the reduction in mental noise you can reset where you need to put mental energy and slowly reduce exposure to things that don’t matter ( Tik Tok pancake slapping challenges). Need some guidance? Try the Headspace app!
4. 30 Day Challenge: Walking For Health
The average US adult today walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day. For comparison, our ancestors walked 12,000 – 15,000 steps (we may be slowly turning into statues).
Walking exposes us to sunlight , aids in digestion and is the easiest way to burn calories at a slow steady state. It also keeps critical muscles strong such as the Glutes (criminally weak in most people today) quads and hamstrings.
Just starting with a mile and pacing yourself is a great way to get moving. Try this challenge for a month and your dog will also be happy. Everyone wins.
5. 30 Day Challenge: Sleep Optimization
Assessing one’s sleep quality is something that should be done regularly. This one is a critical pillar that holds up the rest of your day to day life from work quality , relationships , general outlook etc. It really is more of a self improvement challenge since it dictates so much of your health and performance.
We all know one bad night of sleep can trash the following day’s tasks. So what can we do? Here are a couple of easy tips to try over the entire month to develop a solid bedtime routine. First , black out your room enough so you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Research suggests that even a small amount of light ( ex. light from an alarm clock or street light outside) can decrease the amount of REM ( Rapid Eye Movement) you’ll get nightly.
Second,( you may have guessed it) is to apply a blue light filter on your phone screen ( most phones come with the option to do this today) and limit your time on all devices two hours before sleep. I personally have my blue light filter on from 7pm to 7am daily.
Next, drop the temperature in your bedroom at night. If you can take temps in the 60s , it’s been proven to increase the amount of REM sleep as well. Just grab a warm blanket and sweet dreams.
6. 30 Day Challenge: Hydration
Low energy , brain fog and/or constipated? You may just be dehydrated. The simple way to figure out your daily water intake is to get your body weight , divide in half and thats how many ounces of water you need a day. You will need more if you are physically active but this is this baseline.
Give this a go for 30 days and you may soon realize you’ve been missing this easy fix for a long time. I like to incorporate getting my water ready in my morning routine. Protein shake , check emails , fill my water canteen…and let’s go! ( Tip: add a small amount of pink Himalayan salt to your water for added electrolytes).
Also , filter your water as often as possible with carbon filters to remove toxins. A recent study showed that 45% of US tap water is contaminated with “ Forever Chemicals” (….yikes.).
7. 30 Day Challenge : Yoga Journey
We all know some benefits of Yoga but do you really take into account the back end of this?…. How tight have you gotten over the last 3 years? 5 years? Are you starting to feel daily aches and pains?
Chances are you’ve become much tighter ( especially if you have a desk job) through your hips , lower back and shoulders / neck. There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says “ You are as old as your spine “. Boy, as I approach 40…that is so true.
Opening up your joints to larger ranges of motion will have your body feeling great , promote more fluid movement and also reduce physical & mental stress. Find a nearby yoga class that offers beginner level sessions.
Or for a quick start , find a Yoga video on Youtube at home for just 30 mins and stay consistent. I want to see a full split in 4 weeks. (just kidding)
8. 30 Day Challenge: Sugar-Free
To be honest , Americans are addicted to refined sugars. This is a crisis that needs to be addressed beginning at home.
Nearly 1 out of 3 children today are pre diabetic and 1 out of 4 adults are diabetic or pre diabetic. That stat stuns my brain every time I think about it. Take the next month to remove all processed sugars from your diet ( sodas , coffee syrups , cereals etc ).
This is really going back to the J.E.R.F diet and allowing your gut biome to reset. This challenge could be a difficult one depending on how much sugar you take in daily. But trust me, take this challenge to see how much you crave sugar after a few days ( the cravings will subside after a couple weeks) and focus on the changing outcome. If you need some high protein/low sugar food options, check out my Top 5 Best Protein Powders for Diabetics article. It’s beneficial for everyone to get nutrient dense , low sugar foods into their diet. You can also opt for either stevia or monk fruit to meet your sweet tooth craving. Really try to notice how your brain is performing as well as your body during this month.
Sugar is a very inflammatory food and us humans are just not made to eat so much of it ( especially refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup). Check the graph below to see how far we’ve increased this issue over the last 200 years. This is a crucial one that can be a game changer for many peoples health.
9. 30 Day Challenge: Healthy Snacks Only!
Get up right now and take a look inside your pantry. What are your snacks like? What quick snacks do you purchase consistently during your daily trip to and from work?
This challenge is a great example of small changes making a big difference over time. By swapping out unhealthy snacks with fruit or healthy snacks with minimal ingredients , you’re building up a great diet over time.
It will become easier to make a healthy lunch and dinner once the ball gets rolling. Not to mention , avoiding a store bought snack on impulse will improve spending habits . This process should slowly reduce your cravings for sugar and as a result you’ll want more nutrient dense food options.
Tip: stick to snacks like seeds , beer jerky sticks or low sugar fruits like strawberries or grapefruit. There’s way too many “ healthy “ snack bars with as much sugar as a candy bar so beware!
10. 30 Day Challenge: Plank
All movement begins at your core. It’s a vital component of the body that provides stability to the spine and creates trunk rotation and flexion. That’s all good….but why do a plank challenge for a month?
There are several good reasons. First , it’s a movement that can be performed anywhere. Theres no need for a gym. You can do this right in your living room while watching a TV show or before work. Second , you are hitting several birds with one stone with this exercise. You can work on core strength as well as endurance simply by increasing the time slowly through the days and weeks.
Start with a 1 minute plank. ( If thats too much 30 secs). Increase the time by a challenging but reachable amount every day. Remember that once your core becomes stronger all other exercises and day to day movements become easier since your core is the foundation of all movement.
Form tips: Push your shoulder blades downward as well as inward toward each other. Squeeze your Glutes to lock your hips in place. Also, you want to make sure you develop the ability to pull your belly button up toward your spine while doing a plank and keep it there while still being able to breathe.
This takes a bit of practice but just focus and breathe. If your back begins to take over in holding yourself up, make sure your hips aren’t sagging below shoulder level. If your back is still doing most of the work then stop and try again tomorrow. You got this.
11. 30 Day Challenge: Mindful Eating
This is one that I have taken well beyond 30 days. It’s actually taken me years to truly reflect on what I eat day to day and what I want out of my nutrition short and long term. To me , this one is a great challenge that should be “put in the oven on low” for a while.
First, we are humans…and humans like to work on patterns. Pick up on what you are eating often and read nutrition labels. Is this really what you want in your body? Are you drinking caffeine past 3pm ( this stimulant can screw up your body’s natural sleep cycle)?
For 30 days start a food journal on your phone and see where your diet is lacking. Are most of your food choices based on what you’re in the mood to eat at that moment? Are you aware of how your gut bacteria is guiding your food choices based on what you’ve been eating the last few months?
These are all legitimate questions to keep in mind. This challenge can be very enlightening and I highly recommend coming back to this one often or just keep it going permanently. This self reflection on your diet may very well lead to personal growth in other areas of your life beyond your diet. See you on the other side.
12. 30 Day Challenge: Fitness Apps
We’re in the 2020’s and everyone and their grandma should be using fitness apps to make their lives easier. A couple of years ago I began using the RP Diet app and it made my life way easier.
There is a learning curve when you first begin using apps that calculate your Macros ( this is food broken down in protein/fat/carbs). But once you get the hang of weighing your food (you’ll need a food scale) that you meal prepped at home…you may never go back.
You will save a ton of money when compared to eating out, no food journal needed and it’s the easiest tool I’ve seen that shows imbalances in your diet. This is just one app that can quickly turn things around for you. Below are a few more apps I highly recommend. Get on it!
13. 30 Day Challenge: Bodyweight Exercises
Need a way to get out of the desk chair or couch and actually begin moving safely and effectively? Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges are great movements to build strength without the need for equipment.
This is a versatile solution for an inactive body because folks of all ages and shape can do bodyweight workouts. Push ups too hard? Begin with kneeling push ups and focus on solid form over higher repetitions. Any movement here can be modified to fit your fitness level. Also , there are several free body weight exercise challenges in your app store so download one that will push you safely but effectively.
If your job has you in front of screen all day , then I recommend starting with exercises that focus on your Glutes & core. (those muscles tend to become the weakest over time by sitting)
14. 30 Day Challenge: Improve Your Posture
Freeze!…..don’t move. How is your posture right now? If you ever thought that our modern day lifestyle is turning us back into hunched over primates then..you may be right.
We drive our cars , tap our cellphones , sit on our desk chairs…so many common tasks are in a forward head / shoulders forward position. Most people today tilt their heads 20-45 degrees when they are checking their phones and that alone results in 35lbs to 60lbs of shearing force onto the cervical spine.
Avoid future spine injuries, improve your breathing and self confidence by taking this challenge for the next month. I have provided 3 movements below to start you on the right path.
15. 30 Day Challenge: Paleo Diet
If Paleo principles guide your diet choices, prioritizing high-protein while keeping carbohydrates and fats low could work best for you. This diet relies heavily on lean meats as primary food sources, making it suitable for various training programs from CrossFit to more simple bodyweight workouts in your home.
A great “reset” diet to try is the Paleo 30-Day Challenge , where its as simple as it gets…eat real food (J.E.R.F) that our ancestors would have eaten thousands of years ago. This diet doesn’t need much meal planning as some others.
Purchasing real food from the ground and from an animal has you set up for success. I personally find that I feel best when eating a paleo diet. I also feel my body knows when to stop eating when I go Paleo since eating vegetables and meat satiates my hunger faster ( carb heavy meals can often have you pecking at fries when you’re not even hungry).
Within two weeks of getting strict with just lean meats and vegetables I feel an energy boost , I trim a few pounds and I save money by not buying carb heavy snacks all the time.
Vegan , Paleo or Carnivore…it’s really amazing what removing junk food can do to the body. I also strongly feel getting off of bread and dairy products alone does wonders for joint pain and the immune system. Get started on the Paleo diet for this months challenge and listen to your body. You may be surprised at how amazing you feel.
16. 30 Day Challenge: Daily Stretching
This challenge is similar to the 30 Day Yoga Challenge but I look at it with a more specific lens and I think you should too. Take this challenge to focus on the specific muscles that are always tight on you and observe how much better you feel over the next 4 weeks.
Do you sit often? Then chances are you should focus on muscles surrounding your hip joints. Since sitting shortens the length of your muscles and your body becomes accustomed to this limited range….you will be chronically tight in these areas.
So look up quick Youtube videos on stretches for your psoas ( this is a key muscle that connects from your lower back to your upper femur ) , glutes ( focus on the gluteus medius and minimus that’s located on the side of your hip) and your hamstrings.
Also just take a minute and think about where you are in constant pain or tense. You want to stretch at least 2 minutes per side to allow the muscle belly time to relax and open up. You will be surprised at how good you will feel with just a few minutes of stretching a day. Sometimes , it’s just that simple.
17. 30 Day Challenge: Healthy Breakfast Only
Think about what your classic American breakfast looks like and I will show you why Americans are becoming increasingly overweight and unhealthy.
Pancakes with syrup ( basically candy) , Orange juice ( average sugar: 24 grams) and bacon which is loaded with nitrates and unhealthy amounts of fats. Or a Starbucks coffee with sugar and a muffin thats encrusted with sugar.
This is just a very poor way to build a morning routine. I’m not trying to rain on the breakfast parade but the first meal of the day has been hijacked by big food companies to just please your taste buds and not your health. Take this next month to pledge that you will simplify the way you eat breakfast with real foods that have a high amount of protein , fiber and moderate levels of healthy fats.
Sugar should be kept at a minimum since it provides little benefit and will just lead to a crash later on in the day.
Here’s an example of a quick breakfast idea : Zero-Sugar Chobani yogurt ( I swear they actually taste good ) with a sliced apple with some almond butter spread on the apple pieces. Really tasty and the sugar that you are taking in is also accompanied by fiber from the apple. Get back to basics and feel ready to take on the day.
18. 30 Day Challenge: Outdoor Adventures!
Look back for a second on the last 3 years of your life. Do you feel like you’ve increased or decreased your time spent out in nature? The time of world wide lock downs has really lingered with some folks and chances are most are spending more time at home.
Take this next fitness challenge as an opportunity for a reset and get back to nature. Embrace the outdoors by engaging in activities like hiking, biking, or nature walks. Explore new trails and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while boosting your physical fitness.
Try downloading an app like AllTrails and find shorter walks/hikes on days you may be shorter on time. Leave some time on the weekends to hike new trails you’ve never been to before. This challenge can begin at a nearby park and progress to a beautiful state or national park you’ve never trekked.
Remember to go at your own pace and being outside is always a good thing.
19. 30 Day Challenge: No-Soda
There’s a secret I picked up on about 10 years ago one day when I was walking around a grocery store with my wife.
I haven’t had a can of soda in about 15 years and I grabbed one off a shelf. I looked at the nutrition label and I swore the sugar per can went up a few grams since I last paid attention. Sure enough, It did. I looked it up and soda companies need to keep increasing the sweetness of soda every few years because consumers become desensitized to the level of sugar.
This is essentially the same path as a drug addict. If you do still drink soda then this challenge should be on the top of your list. A can of Pepsi today contains a staggering 41 grams of sugar! That is 10 teaspoons of sugar.
We all know that high sugar diets lead to obesity and a host of diseases including diabetes and many cancers. Plus, with 69% of Americans today being overweight or Obese , it’s time to make the better choice and grab sparkling flavored water instead. Don’t be surprised if this new habit helps you lose weight while taking a small yet powerful step to a better life.
20. 30 Day Challenge: Cardio To The Rescue
Don’t want to lift weights but still want to get in better shape? There are several ways to ramp up your physical health besides weight training. You can do so with the 30 day challenge for improved cardio and good news….you can have fun while getting this challenge done.
Take a daily walk around your neighborhood ( maybe listen to a podcast here) , dust off your bicycle in the garage, sign up for a dance class or try a light jog if you are capable. Quick fact , 1 in every 5 deaths in the US is a result from heart disease. So let’s take some small steps now ( decent pun? ).
The point here is to get the new habit rolling with movement that you enjoy while improving your endurance and cardiovascular health. Walking , cycling or jogging? Start by picking a certain distance or landmark around your area and slowly try to increase the distance.
Your body will thank you with some endorphin-releasing magic that will relax muscles and lower stress.
21. 30 Day Challenge: Gratitude Mental Journal
This gratitude challenge can be done by writing down a handful of thoughts or by blocking out 10-15 minutes of quiet time to make a daily list in your mind. I personally find myself doing this gratitude challenge exercise in the shower when it’s just me and the white noise from the water.
Some may find this challenge trivial or something to speed through but there’s more going on here. This mental exercise is slowly rewiring your brain to amplify the positive thoughts and aspects of your life…and while that’s happening negative thoughts will begin falling off the mental table.
One study on positive psychology found that just one act of thoughtful gratitude quickly produced a 10% increase in happiness and a 35% reduction in depressive symptoms. These effects lasted several months.
Many folks take time in their morning routine to go over their daily gratitude list but you can do this challenge at any time that works for you. So give your mental health a boost with this easy yet effective gratitude challenge!
22. 30 Day Challenge: Digital Detox
This digital detox challenge may not seem closely related to fitness or health but hear me out. The average American today spends 7 hours and 4 minutes with their eyes glued to a screen. (Wild fact: South Africans spend 10 hrs and 46 mins on a screen per day…what is going on down there?!)
This amount of time in front of a screen pushes the first domino over to begin the domino run. Lack of time to exercise, working on personal goals , stress and anxiety building over time , way more blue light exposure that greatly affects our bodies natural sleep cycle ( your body thinks it’s daylight if you’re on your phone , tv or tablet in the evening).
You may see where this is going. A person can easily set themselves up to prefer watching tv shows or Tik Tok videos for much of their free time. This puts your sleep quality , exercise and even just going outside on the back burner.
We really need to consider our mental health here. Studies have shown that in just 2 years alone , from 2020 to 2022 , ADHD in adults 30-49 yrs old have nearly doubled from .34% to .64% of the population. Other factors play a role in ADHD as well but social media is really designed to keep you glued in with its rapid content structure.
My suggestion: download an app (there are several, such as RescueTime ) to limit the amount of time you are on your phone per day. Also, pause on the TV shows for the next 30 days ( Yes, I know. But our ancestors lived just fine before Yellowstone). You can even make this month a reading challenge to learn new skills or information while staying off screens.
Suddenly having a lot more time to think and focus without all the noise and ads thrown at you may have you performing at a higher level across several areas in life. So…..unplug from the Matrix, Neo.
23. 30 Day Challenge: Vegan Fitness Challenge
If you’re vegan-minded, look for challenges that combine plant-based nutrition with physical activity. Plenty of possibilities exist that incorporate regular exercise and plant-based nutrition.
This approach ensures adequate nutrient intake while promoting strength and endurance. Yoga or Pilates routines often resonate well within the vegan community due to their holistic focus on overall well-being( Hug your house plant if you’d like).
Remember, though, any chosen challenge should be supplemented by balanced meals rich in protein sources like lentils, chickpeas, or tofu – these will fuel muscle recovery post-workout. I would even take this further and breakdown your diet through a food journal and see if you are possibly lacking in some nutrients by eating similar foods often. ( same goes for carnivore diets and just overall diets in general. Humans like patterns.)
I often see vegans slip into a carbohydrate heavy diet so be aware (Yes , chips are Vegan..but…come on). Lastly, perhaps take this month to find some new vegetables to try as well as exercise regimens to perform. Often these small changes in how we eat and move can lead to new found health benefits.
24. 30 Day Challenge: Step-Up’s For Strength
This step-up challenge (no, we don’t want you to dance like Channing Tatum) may seem like something your grandma would be asked to do by her PT.
But the mechanics of a proper step up onto a height of your knee level or higher requires all the muscles that are commonly weak in todays forever seated world. First, your Glutes are probably weak. Properly performed step ups will help. The Glutes are responsible for hip stability as well as hip extension.
By sitting often and not keeping your brain muscle connection ( neuromuscular pathway ) strong, specifically to your glues , your rear end becomes lazy. Why does this matter? Do you have back pain? Tight hamstrings or knee pain? This could be directly related from your Glutes not firing properly.
The step up is a simple movement yet very challenging for most to do correctly. Begin with a step/box that you can step up onto AND come back down to the ground with excellent control. Use a step or box near a doorway or something you can have nearby in case you need balance support. I like to have my clients bend at the hips and have their chest over the knee of the leg thats on the box working.
Whether you’re standing on the box or down on the ground keep the chest leaning forward. This will activate the working Glute much more. Begin with low reps ( 8-12 per leg) and focus on great control on the up phase and down. Don’t push off the foot that hits the ground. Land on the ground and drive primarily with the heel of the leg on the box.
Once you build up to 3-4 sets you can add some weight ( dumbbells) if you can keep great form. Start slow, and make sure you’re remaining stable through the movement. You will soon know how great it feels to walk/run/squat when your Glutes are ready for action.
25. 30 Day Challenge: Declutter Your Pad
We all know the feeling….you get home from being out all day and you come home to the same messy items still in the same spot.
We also know the feeling of how good it feels to take a few minutes and clean up your place. One day we will have robots we can boss around and put them on these monotonous chores. But for now….let’s get on with it.
My advice is to set up a calendar for the next month. Begin with the most clutter-filled areas of your home on the first few days while you have the most motivation. Tackling these areas will give you more momentum to continue once you start seeing your home look like no one actually lives there ( Clean and oh so nice ).
You should also try to address high traffic areas early for the same effect previously mentioned. Next , you want to fill your calendar with every room , closet and jam packed dresser ( my wife’s dresser always looks like it vomited ) until every area is covered within the next 30 days. Don’t forget the refrigerator. Toss expired items and anything you haven’t touched in 3 months. (you wont use those half filled bottle of hot sauce from last year…move on).
Speaking of untouched items, I make it a rule for my belongings as well as my kids toys…if it hasn’t been used in 3 months then it gets donated. Win/win situation. Notice how your stress levels will decrease as you move along in your sweet calendar of purging.
26. 30 Day Challenge: Self Care Time
A self care challenge can be approached in a few different ways. You can decide to take more hot baths to reduce stress or go to a spa more frequently. I will focus on daily routines you can do at home that are intended to build good habits , not cost money and will develop a greater sense of connection spending time with your own body.
Below are 5 self care challenge ideas you can begin today.
- Foam Roll commonly tight areas on your body
- Inspect and moisturize your skin where needed
- Develop a new skill set
- Make a stretch or Yoga routine
- Try a new superfood
~ When it comes to foam rolling , this is as close to getting a free massage as you’ll get. Yes, some areas will be more painful than others ( IT band and calves are it for me ) but take this time as yours to examine your body. Begin rolling in a position where most of your weight is distributed to your limbs ( legs & arms ). This will make the roller feel less intense on muscles that may be sensitive to the new pressure.
You can foam roll just about every part of your body by laying on the ground and rolling or placing the roller on the wall and leaning on it. Take your time and notice where you are very sensitive and where you are not. This very well may be your body telling you there is too much tension in the area and you need to stretch/mobilize the muscle more often.
~ Inspecting your skin may be a random one but we are talking about your body’s largest organ. We’ve all seen the commercials of women lathering themselves with fancy moisturizers but this one really is for women and men. We all need healthy skin to avoid infections or rashes.
Keep your skin in good condition by applying any needed high quality moisturizer and if you find any odd looking skin tags or bumps you would be playing it safe by going to your doctor. This is an easy task to look younger and more vibrant as well.
~A new skill set. Whens the last time you learned a new skill? I have found that the older people get the less likely they are to develop new skills that could better their health , career or mental health. This is a critical step we all should be open to considering the fast changes going on around us ( AI , crypto , online jobs ).
Developing a new skill can be a life changing reward for yourself down the road. Do your research and see where your interests can pair with growing trends in todays fast moving world. You may end up in a completely different career or head space 5 years from now.
~ Beginning a new stretch or Yoga routine has been covered already but it can not be over stated. Everyone has at least one or two areas that are chronically tight which leads to discomfort and stiffness.
Make it a non negotiable to stretch these areas at least 3 minutes per muscle daily. If you’re looking for a self care act that works its magic immediately then this is it. You will be shocked at how quickly you begin to feel great once you create better muscular balance within your body.
~ Chia seeds , Spirulina or Goji berries….chances are you haven’t tried one of these amazing superfoods. Take the next month to select new superfoods and find new fun ways you can incorporate them into your diet (ex. in a protein shake or if you must, pill form).
Want to take it to another level? Go get a full panel blood test and see where you are deficient in vitamins and minerals ( I do this myself every 6 months). Get the results and select superfoods that boost up any deficiencies. You are now closer to being a superhero.
27. 30 Day Challenge: Self Reflection
Here is a great challenge that works purely on the mental side of health through personal growth. Look around us… politics , Vegan/ Carnivore , race issues etc. Tribalism has certainly sky rocketed in the last decade.
Is this really how we want to be living? I try to pick up on patterns I sink into often and self reflect as best I can. Is this what I want out of myself? Is it helpful for me or my family? We are humans, and we love to get into a routine with our lives especially as we get older. This challenge is made to look within and see what you want out of yourself.
Take at least 15 minutes a day to ask yourself the easy and the hard questions you need to get through. A book that helped me “see the light” was The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. One phrase he mentions often in the book is ” Observe your thoughts ” and how our thoughts come and go like the wind once we begin to take notice. This is a powerful one that will leave you in a much better place than where you started.
I will recommend a second book so this is sort of a reading challenge if you’d like as well. ” Meditations” by ancient Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. This book ( really a journal ) is awe inspiring when you consider how powerful this man was and yet so aware of his thoughts and behaviors and how it would carve out his life and legacy.
28. 30 Day Challenge: Gratitude Walks
This challenge is a hybrid of a few previously mentioned challenges. You can knock out several areas that can optimize your life while saving time.
For example, you can go for a walk every morning between sunrise and 9am while thinking of a handful of new things you are grateful for and not having any digital devices present. Congrats , you are now performing multiple optimizing challenges at once.
While taking in early morning sunlight that is proven to reset your circadian rhythm (your body’s sleep clock) , you will also be getting in your daily steps that will keep your cardiovascular system in check while also taking a break from mind buzzing screen time.
But don’t take your eyes off the prize here…from the small things ( my morning protein shake blender , you rock ) to the bigger things. Develop the muscle in your brain that makes it easy to look around often , be in the present moment and be grateful for so many advantages.
This , like most things in life , just requires repetitions and a willingness to gain perspective. Taking quality time for you and your mind….now theres a good habit we can all use.
29. 30 Day Challenge: Learn to Breathe
Did you know that you’re probably breathing wrong? I know, it’s breathing…how? A recent study showed 80% of people today breathe incorrectly.
To correctly inhale you should begin by breathing in through the nose and your belly should rise causing your diaphragm to go down and the intercostal muscles within your ribs expand your chest. So to word it easier , two thirds of your inhale should be in your belly and the last third should be in your chest.
Why does this matter? Your posture greatly dictates how well you breathe. So for folks who have desk jobs( a standing desk isn’t the worst idea! ) you are almost certainly breathing more shallow breaths ( chest breathing ). This creates a “ fight or flight” response in the body which raises cortisol levels in the body, can cause fatigue and unwanted stress.
This challenge is simple…..reset the way you inhale by taking 10 mins 2-3 times a day to work on belly breathing the first 2 ⁄ 3 of your breath…then chest breathe the last third and exhale slowly. I like to put my hands on my stomach and chest when doing this to get great feedback.
Relax and inhale through your stomach first and feel it rise then feel the last 1⁄3 as it makes your chest rise. Slowly exhale. Try this for 20 reps ( don’t rush it ) a few times a day and notice how much more relaxed you feel. This…is the way.
30. 30 Day Challenge: Build Your Will Power
This challenge should probably be closer to the top of the list considering it’s a foundational mindset piece for any challenge in life. To quote Muhammad Ali , ” The will must be stronger than the skill “.
Without will power, what great achievements would we have? Would there be personal growth? Pick one task that will challenge you as well as build your will power. Here are a few ideas to consider and remember, you don’t have to dive into some extreme scenario. Thats how most people quit new habits. One step at a time!
- Cold shower ( start with slightly cooler water and decrease the temp over the next 30 days)
- Eat for performance ( before every meal ,think, don’t let your taste buds decide your meal for you)
- Social media blackout ( for one month (yep…a month) remove it from your life. Keep tabs on how your focus and stress levels feel )Feel free to sit back for a few minutes and think of what aspects of your life need more will power. Could you cut down on late night snacking? Need to exercise for at least 20 mins a day? Perhaps you always wanted to pick up a hobby like jogging or learning how to cook. Take this month to walk the first few steps up the mountain of an improved self. Break the daily routine and see how great momentum feels when you’re challenging yourself to become better.
31. 30 Day Challenge : Learn Something New Daily
In today’s hectic lifestyle , we can often put learning or reading on the back burner. We also tend to stick to subjects that we enjoy and can often ignore new information that can be greatly beneficial.
Again, think about where this puts you for personal growth and being adaptable. This challenge will help in two ways. One, it will break your daily pattern of your life’s tasks just by you learning a new and interesting topic.
Second , this will force your brain to consider new alternatives to just about everything in your life from career, diet and other long standing beliefs. Thankfully, theres apps you can download such as Nerdish that will save you a ton of time by providing new facts daily on various topics.
The world is changing rapidly and between AI & CBDC ( Currency Backed Digital Currency ) alone , this upcoming decade will look very different. Stay current with the changing times with this challenge and…enjoy the ride.
What is the 30 Day Challenge?
The 30 Day Challenge is a popular way to break the day to day patterns we all build through time. Its designed to break the hamster wheel and get you performing a new habit (big or small) every day until it’s a natural part of your daily life.
We all need to “shake the nest” to provide personal development. This month long challenge is an excellent way to make it happen.
How can a 30 Day Challenge benefit you
By now you should have picked up on a common trend over these challenges. They are designed to get you out of your comfort zone and take the next step up toward the better you. Sit back for a minute and think of your day to day tasks. How many of them are almost identical each time you do it? ( I even use the bar of soap the same way every time in the shower…..is this a simulation?!) The 30 day challenge will benefit you by getting you off the daily train tracks and try something new that you probably know you need to improve on. This will only lead to better outcomes…..promise.
So now that you’ve gone through the list…which 30 day challenge ideas will you take? You can pick one that you know you are clearly lacking on or that needs immediate attention. For example , poor posture really giving you back or neck pain? Then I would recommend to go with the posture challenge to get immediate relief.
You can also stack a couple of 30 day challenge ideas with ones that are less time intensive. (ex. combine the Declutter challenge with the self reflection challenge).
Consider these options or just jump to more monthly challenges every 30 days. This is a month where if you need to set a slower pace to build momentum….then do so.
If you want to ” jog instead of run ” this next month then pick a few you can manage and let the multiple 30 day challenge ideas amplify each other. The results will accelerate your personal growth and you will climb life’s mountains with pride. See you at the top.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are 30 Day Challenges effective?
The answer here is not back and white. As mentioned in the beginning of the article , a 30 day Challenge is a great way to initiate a new habit. It takes roughly 8 weeks (2 months) to set a new habit in place but that doesn’t mean you wont see impressive results or improvements in the first 4 weeks.
To be short, if you follow the process and commit to the positive change then , yes, it is effective.
Can you transform your body in 4 weeks?
Yes! Depending on how intense you put your diet and exercise , you can get into noticeably better shape. The CDC reported that folks on a more restrictive diet and moderate exercise can expect to lose 1 to 2 pounds of bodyweight per week ( 4-8lbs a month). Your fitter self is waiting for you.