Why A 30-Day Health Challenge Might Be Exactly What You Need Right Now
If you’re thinking about or in the process of stopping a negative vice like alcohol or sugar. Or maybe you want to stop a compulsive behavior like overspending or spending too much time scrolling FaceBook, try ADDING something healthy into your life.
This will help you create new neuropathways in your brain and get unstuck.
Variety is the spice of life. Your psyche, mind, and body crave connection, nourishment, creativity and pleasure.
Have an honest conversation with yourself about what you desire. Stay with it, keep revisiting this internal conversation. Your body knows. See if you can uncover what really brings you connection, nourishment, pleasure and creativity.
Why do a 30-day challenge when you take away a negative vice or behavior?
Because 30-days is long enough to reap noticeable benefits, yet short enough that you can sustain your focus and motivation. 30-days of consistent action will catapult you into a fresh, new start.
When you change one area of your life, a ripple effect can happen in all areas of your life. Things are interconnected. A 30-day challenge is a great way to shake yourself out of unhealthy patterns, habits, or routines. You’ll be surprised how quickly your resiliency and inner strength builds when you take daily consistent action.
You have two choices. 1.) Stagnation or 2.) Transformation. I guarantee that something uncomfortable will happen during your 30-days. You’ll have a bad day, you’ll get bored, you’ll become frustrated, you’ll have a crazy busy day, you’ll feel tired, you’ll get stressed. So what will you do? Will you stagnate and quit? Or will you continue and transform? Teach yourself how to stay and not flee from the transformation process by committing to and following through with a personal 30-day health challenge.
Be kind to yourself. When selecting your “challenge” if you are physically exhausted and depleted I would not recommend trying to exercise for 30-days straight. If you obsess about food perhaps a nutrition challenge isn’t the best focus for you right now. Instead, how about embarking on a random act of kindness challenge? If you give your energy to others every day, whether at home or at work, try a relaxation or leisure challenge for 30-days. Choose the thing that will push (challenge) you out of your normal comfort zone, yet it will still nourish, feed and fortify you.
Here are some ideas to get you started. Pick one thing that resonates with you and is doable within your life for the next 30 days. Remember, if you’re taking something out of your life – alcohol, sugar, etc. it’s important to ADD something into your life.
Little things that are done consistently make the biggest difference.
30 ideas for your 30-day health challenge:
- Exercise – Walk, run, hike, go the gym, take a workout class, do a workout DVD or yoga every day.
- Journal – Write for a minimum of 15 minutes every day.
- Take a picture of the day – A picture is worth a thousand words. Take a picture of something that depicts your mood or experience from each day. Look back on these pictures at the end of the 30-days and notice what themes or changes happened within (reflected through what you chose to photograph).
- Drink 100 oz of water every day – This is the magic number that is said to increase metabolism by 30% and keep your brain hydrated and healthy. See what shifts happen after 30-days of adequate hydration.
- Random act of kindness – Offer a kind word, gesture, or gift to a stranger or person you know. Look for opportunities throughout the day. Do a kind deed and then let it be. See what changes in your life as a result.
- Cook one meal at home every day – Home cooked meals! Prep, prepare and create a nourishing meal for yourself and others if you choose. Sit down with nice plates, cutlery and perhaps fresh flowers on the table. Eat slowly and chew mindfully. Notice.
- Write down one thing that inspired you today – Keep a notebook with you. Be curious. When inspiration hits, write it down. You might be surprised how this random string of inspiration weaves together and offers you useful insight after 30-days.
- Meditate – 5-20 minutes, whatever works for you. Pick a time and place and a meditation practice that you like. Sit. Be still. Notice what happens after four weeks of daily, consistent meditation.
- Write a card or note of appreciation – Give a handwritten note of your appreciation to someone in your life every day for the next 30-days.
- Hug at least one person every day – The neuroscience says to hug someone (full on bear hug) for 20 seconds. Try it! See what happens after 30-days.
- Eat some type of vegetable at every meal (even breakfast) – Fresh, local, frozen, grilled, steamed, raw, blended in soups or smoothies, it doesn’t matter, just get a vegetable(s) into every meal for 30-days.
- Go outside and sit in the sunshine for 15 minutes – Even if it’s a cloudy, stormy day go outside and sit or walk on dirt. Vitamin D and fresh air can be a wonderful addition to your life.
- Create a song of the day list – Match your daily mood with a song. Keep an archive of which song you chose as the soundtrack for each day.
- Draw, paint, sketch – Keep a notebook and create, draw, paint a picture that represents what happened each day during this challenge.
- Sit in silence – See what happens when you seek out complete silence for 5-20 minutes every day for the next 30-days.
- Play an instrument – If you play the guitar, piano, flute, drums, etc. Dust them off and play your instrument every day during for your 30-day health challenge. There are a lot of healing benefits to creating your own music.
- Read a book – Not on a screen or device, but read actual books and expose yourself to new stories and ways of thinking for the next month.
- Drink a cup of tea – Add a tea ritual (whatever type of tea you like) to your day and see what happens.
- Take one teaspoon or two capsules of fish oil – Omega 3’s are good for your brain, but it takes time for them to build up in your system. Take a high-quality Omega 3 supplement every day for 30-days.
- Tell someone you love them – Every day. See what shifts.
- Create a piece of art every day – Pottery, crafts, knitting, flower garden. Create or make something each day.
- Pray. Sit in a cathedral, church, temple or another place of worship – Go to a sacred site in your city every day for 30-days and see what shifts inside and around you.
- Play a brain game – Crossword, Sudoku, Tetris, puzzles, cards. Let yourself have fun. Play a game every day.
- Take a 20-minute nap – Rest, lie down, take a cat nap. Notice the benefits of daily (middle of the day) rest.
- Dance once a day whether you’re good at it or not – Turn on some music and dance! It’s a great way to move stuck energy every single day!
- Take a cold shower every morning – This gets your lymph moving and stimulates your adrenal glands which can quickly boost and shift your energy over a 30-day time period.
- Write a poem – Reflect on your day, then write a poem about your day. Be creative with this and see what happens as a result.
- Watch an inspirational TED talk– Keep a written log of what you watched and liked the best during your 30-day challenge.
- Eat dinner with your family or friends every night for 30 days – Share a meal with uplifting people at least once a day and see if you feel more connected and nourished.
- Save $10 a day – In 30-days you’ll have $300 for a rainy day fund, or do something fun and healthy with that money to mark the successful completion of your 30-day challenge.
Pick one thing to focus on and add it into your life for the next 30-days. Challenge yourself. Stay consistent. Follow through. You can do one healthy thing every single day for 30-days! Make the decision and start.
I like tracking 30-day challenges on the Good Habits App (for iPhones only) or a desk calendar. Don’t break the chain!
If you want to follow me on Instagram, I’d love to hear what you decide to do via this hashtag #HealthyDiscoveries30DayChallenge.
More information about my Craving Brain coaching program.