Achieve your goals by turning them into challenges.
I believe in the power of challenges to make changes in your life. In particular, I like challenges that can be taken in a short amount of time, such as 30 days. After all, we all want to see quick results.
Below you’ll find 30 small challenges, covering several different life areas, to jump-start the best version of your life in the next 30 days. Of course, the idea isn’t to do all of them, but to pick the ones that you feel will have the greatest impact on your life. One option is to pick the 12 challenges that you like best and do one-a-month over the course of a year. Another option is to set aside one-hour-a-day for 30 days and devote that hour to completing the three or four challenges that you feel would be most helpful to you. It’s up to you.
Here are the challenges:
Finances – Related 30 Day Challenges
1. Track your spending for 30 days to discover your money weaknesses. A lot of people don’t realize how much money they’re spending wastefully. Keeping track of how you spend your money for 30 days will allow you to become aware of your money weaknesses so that you can get them under control.
2. Save $1000 in 30 days. Ramit Sethi created a “Save $1000 in 30 Days Challenge” on his blog, “I Will Teach You to Be Rich”. Sethi offers one tip a day, for 30 days. His challenge follows the C.E.O. approach, which stands for the following:
- C- – Cut Costs
- E – Earn More
- O – Optimize Your Bills
3. Take a “create a money jar” in 30-days challenge. For the next 30 days pay for everything with cash. Then, at the end of the day put all of your loose change–and any $1 bills that you have–in a jar. You can use the money that you accumulate in the jar during the 30 days to jump-start your emergency fund; begin paying off debt; or start saving for something you really want — for example, one of my eBooks. 🙂
4. Take a “create a passive source of income” in 30-days challenge. Set aside one-hour-a-day, every day, for 30 days to brainstorm ideas on how to create an additional source of income. Use your hour to research the different options available, analyze your skills and interests to choose the option that’s right for you, and start drawing up a plan on how to proceed with the option that you choose.
5. Take the 30-steps to financial wellness challenge. In honor of financial literacy month, the experts at Money Management International (MMI) created a 30-step path to financial wellness. Take one step a day, for 30 days, to begin improving your overall financial health.
Home-Related 30 Day Challenges
6. Take a 30-day house cleaning challenge. If you need to get your house clean, take a 30-day house cleaning challenge. Give yourself one cleaning project a day, every day, for 30 days. Here are some ideas:
- Day 1: Surface Clean the Kitchen
- Day 2: Deep Clean the Kitchen
- Day 3: Surface Clean the Bathrooms
- Day 4: Deep Clean the Bathrooms
- Day 5: Clean Out the Closet
Here’s a 30-day house cleaning challenge you can use as a guideline.
7. Take the 30-day declutter challenge. Having a clean home is a good step in the right direction. However, if your home is cluttered you’ll feel stressed and disorganized, and you’ll waste time cleaning, storing, and repairing stuff you don’t really need.
One idea for a 30-day declutter challenge is is to do the following:
- Declutter one item on day one;
- Declutter two items on day two,
- Declutter three items on day three; and so on until you declutter 30 items on day 30.
You can also do it the other way around: declutter 30 items on day one; declutter 29 items on day two; declutter 28 items on day three; and so on until you declutter one item on day 30.
Another idea is to find a declutter challenge online and just follow along. Here’s one you can use: 30 Days of De-cluttering!
8. Take a 30-day organization challenge. The three pillars of a welcoming home are a home that’s clean, clear of clutter, and organized. Once you’ve taken a cleaning challenge and a decluttering challenge, it’s time to take an organizational challenge. Organize your home in 30 days with a home organization 30-day challenge.
9. Take a 30-day DIY projects challenge. There are probably plenty of things that need to get done around the house, such as changing burnt light bulbs, putting up a shelf to store the pile of books that’s currently piled up on the floor next to your reading chair (I’m looking at my book pile right now), fixing the bathroom cabinet door, and so on.
Make a list of 30 things that need to get done around the house and do one a day, for the next 30 days.
10. Take a 20-minute home maintenance 30-day challenge. Once your home is clean, decluttered, and organized, you’ll be in maintenance-mode. Keep your home in tip-top shape for the next 30-days by taking a 20-minute pick up challenge. Each day, set a timer for twenty minutes and tackle as many house cleaning shores as you can in those 20 minutes.
Here are some ideas:
- Day One: Sweep for 20 minutes.
- Day Two: Mop for 20 minutes.
- Day Three: Dust for 20 minutes.
Fitness – Related 30 Day Challenges
11. Take a 30-day ten-thousand steps challenge. Most people take from 5,000 to 7,000 steps a day as they go through their regular daily routines. Walking helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. Therefore, it’s a good idea to increase the number of steps you take each day.
Ten thousand is a good number to aim for; after all, it’s not that much more than the number of steps you would normally take over the course of the day. In order to take 10,000 steps a day, you just have to push yourself a little bit more. The good news that this extra push will allow you to burn an additional 375 calories.
12. Take a 30-day cardio challenge. As a general rule, you should aim for getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day if you want to lose weight, improve your mood, reduce your chances of getting certain diseases, and even live longer. Physical activity includes activities such as going for a brisk walk, taking a spinning class, or even mowing the lawn.
Every day, for 30 days, participate for half an hour in an activity that elevates your heart rate and makes you sweat. Pick something that you love to do, and have fun with it!
13. Take a 30-day CrossFit challenge. You’ve almost undoubtedly heard of CrossFit: it’s a high-intensity workout that combines cardio, plyometrics, strength training, and other exercises for maximum results. Basic CrossFit exercises include squats, deadlifts, and kettlebell swings. Here’s a 30-day CrossFit challenge you can try.
14. Take a 30-day Yoga challenge. A 30-day yoga challenge is exactly what the name implies: do yoga every day for 30 days. Here’s Day One of a 30-day yoga challenge I found on YouTube. All you have to do is follow along with the video for each of the thirties days.
15. Take a 30-day upper-body challenge. There are many exercises you can do to tone and firm up your biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest and back. Start building your ultimate upper body with a 30-day upper body challenge.
Relationship – Related 30 Day Challenges
16. Read a book on how to improve your relationship in 30 days. Find a great book on how to improve your relationship with your significant other and read it from cover to cover in 30 days. You can even read it out loud to your partner.
17. Take a 30-day kiss hello and goodbye challenge. For the next 30 days, kiss your partner hello and goodbye. No exceptions! Make sure each kiss lasts for at least 5 seconds.
18. Take a 30-day appreciation challenge. Every day for the next 30 days actively look for something that you can praise or compliment your partner for. They’ll feel appreciated and–after spending 30 days recognizing your partner’s good qualities–you’ll feel proud you managed to snag such a hottie!
19. Take a 30-days of surprises challenge. Have a small surprise ready for your significant other every day for 30-days. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Surprises can include the following:
- Write a short love note on a post-it and leave it in their briefcase.
- Make a reservation at their favorite restaurant.
- Get a pint of that Ben & Jerry’s flavor that they love.
20. Take a 30-days of questions challenge. Enhance communication in your relationship by putting together thirty questions you can ask each other to initiate interesting conversations. Here are some sample questions:
- What do you remember the most about our first date?
- What do you want for me to do differently when we argue?
- Let’s plan a make-believe vacation: where would we go and what would we do?
You can find ideas for questions here.
Happiness – Related 30 Day Challenges
21. Take the 30 minutes in nature for 30-days challenge. This is a challenge that I wrote about in my post, “8 Reasons Why You Need To Spend More Time In Nature“. The challenge is as follows: spend 30 minutes in nature, every day, for 30 days. People who have taken this challenge report that after the 30 days they felt increased well-being and happier.
22. Take the “simple pleasures” 30-day challenge. You may have heard the saying that every day you should do something that makes you wealthy, something that makes you healthy, and something that makes you happy. For this challenge you’re going to focus on the last one of these: do something that makes you happy every day for 30 days.
It doesn’t have to be something big; you can choose things such as the following: read a great novel for 20 minutes; call up your favorite nephew just to hear his great laugh; or buy yourself some flowers and put them in a colorful vase on your desk.
23. Take a 30-day random acts of kindness challenge. Research done in the area of positive psychology shows that performing random acts of kindness can make one feel happier. Your random acts of kindness can include things such as the following:
- Giving an elderly person your seat on the bus.
- Leaving spare change in a vending machine so that someone else can get a free snack.
- When you’re done reading a good book, leave it at a coffee shop for someone else to read; and so on.
24. Take the 30-days of inspiration challenge. Every morning for 30 days read or listen to something inspirational. You can choose from any of the following: watch inspirational YouTube videos; read a collection of inspirational quotes; or read from the Bible (or any spiritual book).
Learning/Personal Development – Related 30 Day Challenges
25. Take a 30-day random acts of courage challenge. Every day for 30 days, take a risk or do something new. This can include things such as the following:
- Try a new fruit (the fruit in the picture is mangosteen; I tried it for the first time a little while ago and it’s delicious).
- Cook a meal you’ve never made before.
- Go to a store to buy something you need and ask for a discount (I asked for and got a 15% discount the last time I bought running shoes).
- Visit a museum you’ve never been to before.
- Walk into a high-end boutique and try something on.
26. Take a 30-day journaling challenge. Judging from the success of my blog post on journaling prompts and “18 Things to Do With a Moleskine, or Any Notebook”, lots of people are interested in journaling. However, they sometimes have trouble getting started. Taking a 30-day journaling challenge–that is, making a commitment to journaling every day for 30 days–is a great way to get started.
27. Take the “start a new habit in 30-days challenge”. Steve Pavlina–owner of the blog “Personal Development for Smart People”–argues that the best way to start a new habit is to commit to it for 30 days. After all, it’s really hard to commit to something that you tell yourself you have to do for the rest of your life. On the other hand, telling yourself that you’re going to do something for 30 days is much more doable.
What habit would you like to adopt? Waking up early? Meditating for 20 minutes a day? Writing down five things that you’re grateful for each day? Give it a 30-day dry run.
28. Take the no-TV for 30-days challenge. How much time do you usually spend watching TV each day? For 30 days, quit watching TV and use that extra time to work on a project that’s important to you or read a non-fiction book.
If there are certain TV shows that you absolutely must watch, then for 30 days practice temptation bundling. That is, you can’t watch TV unless you’re doing something productive at the same time, such as walking on the treadmill or folding laundry.
29. Take the” increase your productivity by one percent-a-day” for 30 days challenge. Increase your productivity by 1% every day for 30 days. This challenge consists of identifying 30 ways in which you can be 1% more productive each day, and then applying one-a-day for the next 30 days. I got the idea for this challenge from my blog post, “How to Increase Your Productivity by 1000%“.
Here are three ideas to help you get started:
- Day One: Get up five minutes earlier in the morning.
- Day Two: Don’t check Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media until you’ve completed your most important task for the day.
- Day Three: Start working in time blocks: block out X amount of time for each task that you need to accomplish, set a timer for that amount of time, and work on nothing bu that task until the timer goes off.
30. Take the “learn something new every day” 30-day challenge. Make it a point to learn something new every day for the next thirty days. Here are some examples: learn the name of a flower that grows in your backyard; learn the capital of a far-off country; or learn the name of the leader of a neighboring country.
Here’s Day One for you: Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia. (Don’t you just love saying that? “Addis Ababa”.)
Thirty-day challenges are a powerful tool for making changes in your life. Choose a challenge from those listed above and jump-start the best version of your life, today!
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Comments on this entry are closed.
I’m on it. I’ve chosen some new activities, from this list, to add to my current routine. About this time of year, summer ending I feel like going into fall with a list of things before the end of the year.
If this post doesn’t get your neurons fired, I’m not sure what will.
I like that you emphasized blocking out time. I know that I’ve wavered in that area, although in the past it’s worked.
Back to making a schedule.
Once again Marelisa you created another outstanding post full of great suggestions. I see I have my work cut out for me! Love it!!
Hi Sandy: Writing this post definitely got my neurons fired. I think I’m going to turn it into an eBook. I’m glad you’re going to apply some of the ideas in your own life. 🙂
Hi Bryan: I’ve been wanting to write something like this for awhile now. I’m very glad you found the post useful.
Marelisa, I enjoy your blog and emails every week. This one is one of your best, and that’s really saying something! Now I have to decide which one I want to do first. So many inspiring ones! ~Hobby