Do you want to develop new habits that will help you improve your health, productivity, finances, or something else? If so, you’re not alone. But if you’ve ever tried to implement a new habit – such as going to the gym 3 days a week, meditating for 5 minutes a day, sticking to a budget, or even flossing your teeth every night – and failed, you know that implementing a new habit is easier said than done. So what can you do about this? Enter the 30-day challenge.
A 30-day challenge is a month-long period in which you implement small, simple daily actions that can result in life-changing outcomes over the long term. 30-day challenges may be guided, or they may be self-directed.
Either way, 30-day challenges are fun and engaging. They are an excellent way to start and stick to the habits you want to build into your life.
So whether you’re looking to take control of your finances, improve your physical health, begin a self-care regime, or spend more time learning a new skill, a 30-day challenge may be just the motivation you need to start your journey toward creating a long-lasting, fulfilling new habit.
Why 30-day challenges?
There are a few things we know about habit formation, one of which is that there is no “magic number” for how many days it takes for a new habit to stick.
In fact, research shows that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a habit to become automatic. This is often dependent on the type of habit you’re trying to implement.
So while a 30-day challenge doesn’t guarantee you’ll reach the point where your habit becomes automatic, 30 days is a perfect amount of time to truly challenge yourself without feeling overwhelmed.
And if you do stick to your 30-day challenge, you might find that your habit is now a normal part of your routine at the end of the 30 days.
Tips for how to complete 30-day challenges successfully
Even with a 30-day challenge, implementing a new habit isn’t easy. So you need to do everything you can to set yourself up for success. Perhaps you’ve failed before because the habit you were trying to implement was too big of a change.
Or perhaps the habit itself was so unpleasant that just the thought of taking that action each day made you want to cry. With that in mind, the actions you take in a 30-day challenge should be small and easily implemented into one of your existing daily routines.
Additionally, you can make the action more attractive in some way so that even on days you don’t feel like it; you’ll be more likely to do the habit. In other words, add something you already enjoy to the action to make it more appealing.
For example, if your 30-day challenge is to exercise more, allow yourself to watch a guilty pleasure TV show while you’re cycling on a stationary bike at the gym. When you combine an activity you enjoy with the new habit you’re implementing; you’ll be more motivated to take the actions you’ve committed to.
Finally, give yourself some grace by allowing for a 90% success rate rather than a 100% success rate. If you miss a day (or three) of your challenge, you’ll still have been 90% successful by the end of the month.
When you go for a success rate percentage rather than perfection, you take into account the fact that you’re human. After all, done is better than perfect.
30-Day challenges ideas: 16 of our favs!
To give you inspiration, I’ve created a list of 30-day challenge ideas that you can try below. Depending on your goals and in what ways you want to improve your life, you might like to try one of these challenges, or you might like to try multiple!
No matter what, remember to have fun! And don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make big changes all at once.
1. Self-love 30-day challenge
Self-love is a form of self-care that we don’t often think about. But it can be oh-so-important to our mental health and ability to reach our full potential.
When we take the time to attend to our own self-love, we’re actually more likely to be able to provide love and support to significant others, children, family members, and friends without feeling burnt out ourselves. Try our 30-day self-love challenge to get started!
2. Minimalism challenge
A 30-day minimalism challenge is for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or frazzled – in any area of life!
Whether you want to declutter your home or declutter your mental space, this 30-day minimalism challenge will help you prioritize the most important things in your life while eliminating the things that are no longer serving you.
3. Tidy-up challenge
This guided challenge helps you tackle one closet, one room, and one table-top at a time. So you can clean up problematic areas and then maintain that cleanliness for the long term.
4. Quitting challenge
Habit formation isn’t always about implementing something new into your life. It can also be about pruning bad habits that are no longer serving you.
A 30-day quitting challenge targets a habit you want to kick to the curb, whether that’s nail-biting, smoking, drinking alcohol, or pressing the snooze button. Commit to quitting that habit for 30 days and see how you feel at the end of the challenge!
5. Sleep challenge
If you’re like me, getting enough sleep every night is a challenge in and of itself! But we all know how important a good night of sleep is for our health and productivity levels. A 30-day sleep challenge might help you commit to getting more sleep in a more intentional way.
For example, committing to a 10:00 pm bedtime for 30 days (even on the weekends!) can be a good way to get more sleep and implement a sustainable sleep routine.
6. Track your spending 30-day challenge
If you’re looking to get control of your finances, a 30-day track-your-spending challenge is a great way to ease into a financial reset. With this challenge, the idea is not to try to make any changes to your spending or to control how you spend.
Instead, just commit to tracking your spending for 30 days. Tracking your spending allows you to gain insights into where your money goes each month. This will help you make more informed savings decisions in the future. This is one of our favorite 30-day challenge ideas!
7. Savings challenge
I recommend trying a 30-day savings challenge only after you’ve been tracking your spending. Once you see where your money is going, you’re better prepared to choose a single savings category to target for your 30-day challenge.
This challenge requires you to only stop spending on one category for a month. For instance, eating out, clothing, alcohol, or something else. You could even combine this challenge with a 30-day quitting challenge!
8. Master your spending 30-day challenge
If you’re ready to level up, our master-your-spending challenge, which is part of our free Savings Challenge Bundle, asks you to only spend money on necessities for 30 days.
Before you dismiss this one as being too hard, give it a try! We guarantee you’ll be amazed at just how much money you can save when you intentionally refrain from spending on unnecessary items.
9. Meal planning challenge
Another component of our free Savings Challenge Bundle is a 30-day meal planning challenge. (Buying lunch at work can cost you anywhere from $10–$20 a day). If you’re trying to save money and eat more healthy foods, this meal planning challenge can help you hit two birds with one stone!
10. Glow-up 30-day challenge
If you haven’t heard this term before, a glow-up is a positive transformation in your physical appearance, your mental health, or your emotional wellbeing. Sometimes glow-ups happen naturally (like when you fall in love or you find out you’re pregnant). But other times you can intentionally plan a glow-up!
11. Social media cleanse
There’s no getting around it: social media is a time-suck. Not only that, our social media use may be contributing to mental health or mood issues, such as depression and irritability. If you’re wanting to quit social media, start with a 30-day social media cleanse.
You might simply delete social media apps from your phone for 30 days, or you might deactivate your accounts entirely. Enjoy the extra time you have to read, spend time with loved ones, practice a new or existing hobby, and take in your surroundings.
12. “Get outside” challenge
Whether you’re working from the office or from the comfort of your home, it can be tough to remember to go outside. But spending time in the great outdoors – whether in open spaces or simply in your backyard – may help to improve your mood.
Additionally, getting outside makes it more likely that you’ll exercise. With a “get outside” challenge, commit to going outside at least once every day for an entire month. You can go for a walk, explore a new hiking trail, or simply sit in the sun in your backyard.
13. Fitness challenge
Fitness challenges are great ways to improve your physical health and even feel better mentally. And 30-day fitness challenges don’t have to be difficult.
You can customize a fitness challenge to align with your goals and abilities, and the options are limitless. Find ideas for all kinds of fitness challenges here.
14. Gratitude challenge
Intentionally taking time to practice gratitude can make us happier and more appreciative of the people and things around us. A 30-day gratitude challenge can ensure you’re constantly remembering all the things you have to be grateful for.
If you’re doing a gratitude challenge, I recommend writing one to five things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal every morning or night. (Or anytime during the day that suits you).
If you’re really trying to challenge yourself, commit to journaling about different people or things you’re grateful for every day!
15. Reading challenge
Many of us wish we had more time to read. Luckily, you don’t have to commit to hours and hours of reading to enjoy the pleasure and benefits reading can give us.
Make reading part of your daily routine with a 30-day challenge. This challenge asks you to read 10 pages of a book a day or for 10 minutes per day. How much or how often you read each day is up to you!
16. Meditation challenge
Meditation brings clarity and focus to our lives, especially when we’re feeling busy, overwhelmed, and stressed. As stated above, 30-day challenges are meant to help you make small, simple changes to your life.
Therefore, start by committing to meditation for just five to ten minutes a day. Then try increasing your meditation time as the month goes on. If you’re not sure where to start, try a guided meditation challenge.
Change your life for the better with one of these 30-day challenge ideas
Hopefully, one or more of these 30-day challenges sound both exciting and doable as you continue your never-ending journey of self-growth, development, and improvement.
If you find yourself wanting to try all the challenges, I recommend choosing just one or two challenges a month at a time. If you try to implement too many challenges at once, you’re more likely to get overwhelmed and stop doing one or all of your challenges before the end of the 30 days.
Whatever challenge you choose, write down why you’re doing that challenge and how you hope to feel at the end of the 30 days. Make your daily actions small, simple, and easily implementable into your existing routines.
And if you’re struggling to figure out where to start, try our 7 Steps To Create A Plan For Personal Development. Creating a plan for your personal development journey will help you prioritize your 30-day challenges and deeply understand why you’re committing to the habits you’ve chosen. As always, I wish you the best of luck and all the success. Rooting for you!