Do You Participate in 30-Day Challenges?
Thirty-day challenges are popular because they involve pushing yourself and your body in a way that you can sustain for the short term. While this may not a long-term plan, it helps jump-start good habits. Results are motivating, and a 30-day challenge is a great way to see results. The beauty of a 30-day challenge is that it can be anything you want it to be. In order to create the perfect challenge for you, consider your goals, set realistic expectations, mix and match plans, make your plan, and celebrate any success.
How to create your own 30-day challenge
What’s Your Goal?
Whether you’re looking to strengthen your core, eat better, lose weight, quit a bad habit, live happier, run farther, or lift more, there’s a 30-day challenge for you. Before figuring out the logistics of your challenge, decide on your goal.
What would you like to accomplish at the end of these 30 days? You can either get really specific with your goal, such as aiming to deadlift X amount of weight or get really broad with your goal, such as living healthier.
Your success will depend on your objective, so decide on your goal. It doesn’t have to be the absolute target, it can just be a jumping off point.
Setting Realistic Expectations
If you’ve never hiked before, your 30-day challenge shouldn’t start with hiking 5 miles or you’re setting yourself up for failure. However, don’t discount yourself, either.
If you’re older, you can still get a lot out of a 30-day challenge. Americans are living longer, so staying healthy into old age is important. Just keep your abilities in mind in order to prevent injury.
You won’t be a marathon runner in 30 days, but you can still set a running challenge for yourself. Your 30-day prep may not have you marathon-ready, but it’s a great first step.
Mix and Match
If your goal is to be healthier, your 30-day challenge can include many fun things to make you a healthier person by the end of it. Maybe every third day, you learn a new healthy recipe; every fifth day, you increase your water intake; and every seventh day, you go on a longer hike. This way you are mixing and matching your activities to get to the same end goal.
Don’t be afraid to include a few mental health days in there, too. Maybe every Sunday you write something positive about yourself in lipstick on your mirror to look at over the week. This proves your 30-day challenge can be anything you want it to be, so mix and match the things that you’d like to accomplish and the things that will help you meet your end goal.
Make a Plan
Alright, you have your goal, you know your expectations, and you know how to mix and match. Now it’s time to make your 30-day challenge. Use your computer, phone, or an old-fashioned piece of paper and write down your challenge for each day.
Decide on which month works best for you, take any events or vacations into account, and get moving on your plan.
Decide how you’ll gauge your success each day. For some goals, it’s easy: if you did your 30 pushups, you completed your day. Other goals may be more difficult to gauge. If you have a wearable fitness tracker — which has become a popular way to promote healthy choices — you can use it to gauge your movement, sleep, and steps.
Each day you complete your challenge, cross it off with a pen, give yourself a sticker, or color that row bright pink. Give yourself an action to show you’ve completed that day.
Celebrate your Successes
At the end of your 30-day challenge, use the month as research and data for your next challenge. If you didn’t complete it, ask yourself why — but be proud of what you did complete and do some things differently next time. Maybe you were too busy, maybe you pushed yourself too hard, or maybe you got bored with it. Whatever it is, you have the freedom to tweak it into something you can accomplish.
Celebrate your successes, no matter how small. If your 30-day challenge was to help you quit smoking and in the end, you’re still smoking, don’t despair. Even a little bit of progress will get you that much closer to quitting, making you less susceptible to things like lung cancer and emphysema. If in the end you still can’t lift as much as you wanted, you’re still closer than you were before your challenge and that’s something to celebrate!
You’ve seen beach body challenges, planking challenges, and juicing challenges. Instead, create a challenge. This allows you to work towards a better you on your own terms. If you’re outdoorsy, create a challenge that gets you moving outdoors. If you want to work on your confidence, create a challenge about self-love. If you want to be able to run faster, create a challenge built around your abilities.
Your health is about you. You can create a 30-day challenge that will make you feel stronger, happier, and healthier on your own terms.
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