You may have heard about the 30 day challenge method/technique to form new habits, modifying behaviors or simply challenging yourself to achieve and pursuit goals. The appeal of these challenges is that they are not too long in time to scare you away, but at the same time just long enough to get you to succeed. Plus when you set them up correctly the performance can be tracked and monitored easily.
While there’s no definite answer to how long it takes to adopt a new behavior or change habits, one study suggest that it can take you anywhere from two to eight months. There are many variables that come into play here, like the kind of challenge (wake up half an hour earlier vs quit smoking) ,your personality and the circumstances (Trying to lose weight when no one around exercises and eating junk food for example).
If you decide to take on such a challenge, remember that modifying or building habits/behaviors is a process and it is OK to mess up every now and then, it’s not an all or nothing process.
So before we jump into 30 day challenge ideas we prepared this checklist to help you prepare your challenge:
1. Pick one habit/behavior to change or add to your life, make sure it is something specific you can track and monitor. For example: In the next 30 days I want to do 10 pushups every day. Or in the next 30 days instead of drinking 3 cups of coffee a day I am only allowed to drink 2 a day.
2.Commit to one habit only –the one you choose in step 1.
3. Set a start date, and mark the 30 days in your calendar-the sooner the better!
4. Write down what triggers the habit you want to change, or what prevents you from performing a habit/behavior you’re trying to embrace. This will help you because as you start to understand why you behave a certain way you will understand how you can change it. So if you are trying to reduce coffee consumption during the day and you realize that right after lunch you are in desperate need for coffee, maybe you need to eat lighter lunches? Or maybe drink a refreshing juice or a cup of tea instead of coffee to achieve a similar impact the coffee gives you. If your habit is triggered in specific locations or around specific people and or time of day write that down as well.
5. Mark every day you succeed in your challenge on a calendar with a check mark or a smiley face.
6. Try to get a friend to take on a challenge with you. You will be more committed to the challenge with another person keeping each other on track.
Here are 10 30 Day Challenges you can take upon yourself in case you don’t know where to start:
Talk to a stranger every day
In a digital world where most of our interactions are digital, it feels like we are losing our ability to communicate outside of Facebook, twitter, Instagram and YouTube comments. When was the last time you started a conversation with a stranger? Try greeting the person sitting next to you in the bus, starting up a conversation about the weather with a person walking next you in the park. Sure you might get “who’s that weirdo look” every now and then, but you will also meet nice people and maybe even create new friendship, you’d be surprised.
Exercise for 30 days.
10 pushups a day for 30 day, or 15 min walk/run, it can be any kind of exercise that you feel you can stick with for 30 days. You can use different apps today to measure activity , so you can say you want to walk 10,000 steps every day you can use an app that measure that kind of activity.
Take one unhealthy item from your diet
The truth is the food we consume isn’t good for our bodies for the most parts. Did you know that even Ketchup has sugar in it? Pick one food/beverage to remove from your menu. It can be coffee, soft drink, chocolate bar or anything that you know isn’t good for you or you regret eating right after you do.
Find 1 more way to make money
What can you do in the next 30 days to generate an extra $5/day? Are you a good writer?Programmer? maybe you can take freelance gigs online and make some extra income. Maybe you have stuff in your home you consider junk and other people find use of? You can sell it to them.You can start your own blog=> and make money of your articles Be creative and make some extra cash.
Read 1 paperback book
When was the last time you read something that wasn’t on your cell phone? Find a book that interest you, divide the number of pages to 30, and read that amount of pages a day in the next 30 days. Turn off your cell phone when you read and make sure you’re in a distraction free environment (Park, beach, bedroom, etc.). You can check out or recommended book list=>
Write a journal
Great for memory, reflection and especially awesome to look back to in the future and remember the good old times when you did these challenges!
Don’t lie for 30 days
Did you know that studies found that the average person lies 100 times a day! Challenge yourself in the next 30 days and try to be as truthful as possible.
Don’t complain for an entire day
Us humans, especially in western civilizations tend to complain a lot, and most of our complaints are “first world problems” Try not to complain in the next 30 days, and if you feel that you must try to do it in a positive manner. Instead of saying “This coffee is too hot” say “it would be nice to get the same coffee at a lower temperature. You’d be surprised how getting rid of this negative energy will better your day.
Take a cold shower each day
Taking cold showers has many health benefits which we discussed in more details here. It has been known to increase alertness, refines your hair and skin, ease stress, relieve depression and even stimulate weight loss. Take a shower with hot water and end in a few seconds of cold water, it feels really nice after, we swear!
Wake up earlier
Wake up half an hour earlier in the next 30 days, see how it changes your day, your productivity, and your general feeling.
What challenge do you plan to take? Tell us about it and challenge your friends.