My 30-Day Challenge

By Susan Schilke; March 2, 2015

My personal quest for self-improvement is a never-ending journey.  I’ve recently incorporated a new strategy and wanted to share it with you – the 30-Day Challenge.  This started as an attendance contest at my fitness center.  I was intrigued by the idea of a short-term challenge, and signed up, plus set my own goal to log 200 miles on my FitBit for the month of February (a 28-day challenge!).

I’ve use my FitBit for nearly a year now, and regularly track my steps to stay ahead of that magic 10,000 steps a day measure.  I’ve consistently achieved that goal, so I thought I would raise the bar.   My target required averaging over 15,000 steps/and over 7 miles a day for the challenge period.  Every day.  I was hitting that target– some days.  And falling short some days (like TeamStrength meeting days).  I wasn’t really having a lot of days where I was way over that target.  It would definitely be a challenge.

I did some research on 30-day challenges, and found this TEDx video:

Matt Cutts does a great job of explaining the concept and value of pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.  And as he says, for 30 days you can do anything.  Your challenge doesn’t need to be limited to fitness challenges – Matt wrote a novel in 30 days!  Here are some other potential challenges to consider:

  • Take a 30-minute walk each day
  • Try a new recipe each day
  • Go alcohol free for 30 days
  • Learn something new – spend 30 minutes every day studying, reading, or practicing something you’ve wanted to learn
  • Don’t watch the news for 30 days
  • Ditch a bad habit for 30 days – video games, sugar, smoking
  • Write a thank you/thinking of you/what I like about you note/text/email every day
  • Go to bed earlier/wake up earlier
  • Mediate every day for 10 minutes
  • Practice one completely selfless act each day
  • Take a photograph every day – and log your thoughts about the picture
  • Put 30 minutes to one hour on the calendar each day for you
  • Read for 30 minutes every day
  • Write down three things that you’re grateful for every day for 30 days – no repeats

Back to my challenge – been there, done that and got the t-shirt! I achieved my personal challenge target of over 200 miles in the month of February (207.95 according to FitBit – over 440,000 steps!).  It was definitely a challenge requiring attention and planning – I put a ton of classes on my calendar, and snuck in walks early, late, and in-between appointments.  Meeting days were the toughest – after all day in an intense meeting, I’d have less than 2,000 steps – so instead of a glass of wine and some downtime, I hit the pavement.  Achieving the goal was harder than I thought, especially when I caught a nasty cold the last week of the month.

I guess that’s why they call it a challenge.

I’m hooked.  I plan to incorporate more 30-day challenges into my year – April, June, September & November are preset with 30 days and are ideal months for this.  I invite you to select a 30-day challenge of your own and get started!