Do you want to form a new habit? Research shows that it takes anywhere from 18-254 days to embrace a new way of living, with the average time being 66 days. That may seem like a long time, but most people find that chipping away at a goal each day makes the process unbelievably easier.
30-day challenges can offer structure, routine, and accountability towards achieving important goals. But do they actually work? And should you consider doing one yourself? Let's dive in.
What Are 30-Day Challenges?
30-day challenges are exactly what they sound like. You set a goal, and you make it a point to implement that goal each day for 30 days.
Let's say you have identified that you want to implement a new habit. Whether it's meditating for five minutes each morning, brushing your teeth every night, or stopping texting while driving, you want to think about a habit that occurs on a daily basis.
While there are numerous types of 30-day challenges, they all have one premise in common: you need to commit to the goal for thirty consecutive days. Ideally, as you continue holding yourself accountable, the daily repetition will maintain your momentum and keep you feeling empowered.
Of course, 30 days is just the baseline. You don't want to just do something for one month and then abandon it altogether. The 30 days should offer you enough discipline to want to keep moving forward.
Some common 30-day challenges include:
drinking a certain amount of water
waking up at the same time every morning
writing down your gratitude
taking a daily walk
reading for 10-15 minutes
writing in a journal
making your bed
Ideally, the challenge should be interesting and challenging enough to stretch you out of your comfort zone. That said, it also needs to be realistic. If it's so difficult that it completely overwhelms you (or takes too much of your time), you'll likely give it up quickly.
How Can You Succeed In Your 30-Day Challenge?
A goal without a plan may very well just be a lofty wish. Think about it- how many times have you wanted to do something only to feel overwhelmed by the task? Or, how many times have you started something only to lose steam quickly and give up altogether?
The first (and most essential) part of any 30-day challenge is identifying your why. Why is this goal important to you right now? Why do you want to succeed? What are you hoping it changes in your life?
Spend some time reflecting on your answers, and then write them down. Make sure you leave your responses in a visible location (like in a note on your phone or on a post-it on your desk). You will likely need to refer to them later as motivation wanes.
Then, you need a plan of action. How exactly do you intend to achieve your goal? What obstacles do you envision getting in your way? If you slip one day (which could certainly happen), how will you discipline yourself to get back on track?
Finally, it may be helpful to share your goal with someone. Whether it's a trusted friend, sponsor, therapist, or even an online community, accountability matters. Having someone who will support and encourage you can help you stay the course.
What If You Struggle With Your Challenge?
Change is hard, and implementing new habits can feel awkward, uncomfortable, or even unpleasant. We tend to be creatures of habit, which means we gravitate towards our normal homeostasis when life gets stressful.
Unfortunately, it can be easy to fall into all-or-nothing thinking when setting goals. For example, if you regress one day, you might automatically assume you failed. As a result, you may quit the goal prematurely and feel ashamed or guilty.
Try to avoid this cognitive trap. Progress is rarely linear, and even the most successful people will often happily share about all the times they struggled or spectacularly failed. The key isn't if you make a mistake. The key is recognizing your mistakes and adapting to them quickly.
Setting goals- and smashing right through them- can strengthen your self-esteem and boost significant confidence. When you trust yourself to make positive changes, you tend to feel more empowered (and excited) about your life.
That said, we understand that certain barriers can make change hard. For example, mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or trauma can impact your ability to take care of yourself. Furthermore, financial, relationship, or work-related stressors may rob your energy and make sustainable changes hard to achieve.
Regardless of your circumstances, we are here to help encourage you every step of the way. We witness people make transformative changes each day. We are here to watch you do exactly that! Contact us today to get started.