Rabit Rabit! Happy April everyone!
To me, a new month means new opportunities for success and a chance to try something new! Really, every day is a chance to try something new, but I personally love monthly challenges, because they really give you time to foster and grow new habits and to build on your success!
I’ve already told you all about The Power of a New Year’s Resolution - and monthly challenges can be just as rewarding and life changing. As I mentioned in last week’s blog, it was a monthly challenge (“No meat November”) that turned me into a vegetarian!
There are so many ways to go about a monthly challenge - the possibilities are pretty much endless.
One style of the 30-day challenge is to do the same thing every day for 30 days.
The first time I tried a monthly challenge was when a coworker told me he was doing a 30-day push up challenge, and that I should join him. The concept was simple: 30 push-ups a day, every day, for 30 days. I didn’t need a calendar to check in on or an app to remind me what today’s task was. It was clear and consistent and easy to remember!
At the beginning of that challenge, I think I could do 3 decent push-ups in a row. So I broke it up into sets throughout the day. Within a few days I could do 6 sets of 5 push ups. Then 3 sets of 10. By the end of the month I was doing 15 full-fledged push-ups in a row! Something I don’t think I’d ever done before in my whole life!
The next month, I continued the 30 push-ups, but also added 30 squats, and a 30 second plank. Every day, for 30 days.
Now that I’m thinking about it, this might have been what led me to my crazy NYR where I challenged myself to do like 6 things every day for a whole year.
I’ve lived, and I’ve learned, and I don’t recommend that.
But I do recommend trying a 30-day challenge. It can be for anything! It could be to drink 64oz of water every day. Go for a 10 minute walk every day - rain or shine. Write in a journal. Meditate or floss your teeth or eat an apple for breakfast. Every day for 30 days. It’s a great way to add a new habit or just to mix up your daily routine.
Another style I’ve seen of the 30-day challenges are the planned out calendars.
You can find these pretty much anywhere online for free. Just type in “30 day _____ challenge” and fill in the blank for what you want to focus on, like “abs” “lower body” “low sugar” “meditation” “running,” etc.
What I love about these types of challenges is that they build on your success. Every day, you go a little longer, or a little harder, or add something new. I love the idea of doing just a little bit more each day to challenge yourself.
My first experience with this type of challenge came from My Favorite Yoga Instructor, Adrienne of Yoga with Adriene. Every January, Adrienne does what she refers to as a “30-day journey,” which I love, because it’s a little more gentle than a “challenge.” I’ve done these for the past three years now, and I’ve even done some of the older series if I need a boost later in the year. One thing I love about her journeys specifically is that you not only get a calendar with the names and times of the workouts, but you can also sign up for the email version, where you get an email every morning telling you a little about what to expect in the video, and reminding you to stay on track and remember your reason for starting this journey.
These types of challenges can also serve as a way to get you to a goal: 30 days to a 5k, 30 days to do a handstand, or 30 days to declutter your house!
Another type of 30-day challenge is what I call an “omission challenge.”
This is very similar to the idea of Lent, where you give up something for the whole month. As I mentioned earlier, my big omission challenge was “No Meat November,” but you could do this for anything toxic that you want to remove from your life, whether it’s food, a substance, social media, or anything really.
This is a great way to notice the effects something has on your body and your life. For example, if you think you could have a food intolerance, you could try going a month without that food. If you think you would be more productive if you gave up instagram, uninstall the app and see what you can accomplish!
A 30-day challenge is also a great way to do a “test drive” of a big lifestyle change.
If you’ve always thought about going vegan/vegetarian, or you’ve always wanted to try a zero-waste life, a 30-day challenge is a great way to see if you can really stick to it. If you go the month and think: “nope, wasn’t for me,” then you learned something about yourself - and that’s always a win!
Whatever your goals are, a 30-day challenge is a great way to give yourself a kickstart or a kick in the pants. A challenge like this offers you a narrow focus and a daily task that helps you stay consistent. This month, I’ll be logging my calories every day to help me get back on track with my eating habits.
I look forward to seeing some changes unfold for us all in the next 30 days!