A new month has begun, and that means I need a new challenge (or 3). I get bored easily, so I like to find areas to improve in 30 day blocks. This article will show you how to choose a monthly challenge. Go for it!
When each month is nearing its end, I start some introspective work. I list all areas of my life that are working. It doesn’t mean they are perfect, but I’m pretty content in those areas.
Then, I create a list of areas I need to improve. I don’t limit it to health, but that is usually where it lands. As I age, I am pretty content with most areas of my life. Now, I want to focus on growing old gracefully and physically fit. I always keep an open mind, though, because you never know what may come up month to month.
Once you have your lists, take some time to focus on feeling appreciation for the things that are going well. Then, look at your other list. If there are many things, pick the top 3. Then ask yourself: What impact can I have in 30 days to improve this item? Repeat for the top three things on your list.
Then, do some research. There are a lot of 30 day challenges out there. I find that creating my own is usually the best option, but I always use outside resources for inspiration.
Finally, make it fun! A challenge you dread doing won’t have the effect you desire. Keep it fun by tracking it on a white board or coming up with a reward system. The possibilities are endless here.
Set Yourself Up for Success
If you follow these simple guidelines, you should have a fun time achieving your goals.
- Don’t use monthly challenges as a punishment. If you overextended yourself over the holidays, don’t force yourself to eat only vegetables for the month of January.
- Do the challenge with a spirit of joy and gratitude. If you dread it, you won’t stick to it.
- Make sure your goal is something you really want to accomplish and not something others are expecting of you.
- Find a fun way to track your progress. Journal about your experience.
- Don’t do a challenge for something you know you can’t do or something you know will be easy.
- Share your challenge with someone else so you can compare notes.
- Measure where you are in the beginning and where you are in the end. If it can’t be measured, you may want to try another challenge.
In all of your planning and execution of a monthly challenge, stay flexible. Something might come up that makes your challenge difficult or impossible. You may get an injury or have a work obligation arise. Just roll with it. It’s ok if you modify your plan – you made it, you can change it.
Just show up for yourself and give yourself grace when needed.
In sum, when you are ready to start planning your next monthly challenge, take these steps:
- Make a list of what is going well
- Make a list of what needs to improve
- Take a mindful moment of appreciation to honor what is going well
- Pick the top 3 items in your ‘needs improvement’ list
- Take a moment to determine what you can do in 30 days to make those items better
- Do some research
- Create your plan
- Track it
- Celebrate it!
Have fun and good luck! Comment below to let me know how you like to challenge yourself.