In reality, there’s loads of challenges you can do in thirty days. What have you always wanted to do or be good at? What new skill would you like to learn? What don’t you like about your life right now that you could change or do for thirty days to make an improvement? Create your own challenge or choose one from the list below.
Take a photo a day
Whether you’re into photography or not, taking a photo a day could give you new inspiration for future projects, help to create memories you may have forgotten otherwise. A photo a day could turn into a visual journal. Alternatively, the act of photographing things regularly might help you to feel more present and notice the details around you more.
Cycle to work
Forget the ‘but I’ll need a shower once I get to work’ excuse. You don’t need to splash out on a super fast bike with all the trimmings — a good old second hand ‘sit up and beg’ style bike will do the job and you’ll be able to cycle at a leisurely pace so you won’t get all sweaty and you’ll probably enjoy your cycle ride more.
Write a book
On the site, ‘National Novel Writing Month’ you can write a novel in 30 days. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a writer or not — you can write your book with the help of the free online resources and meet other people also doing the challenge who will be able to give you feedback, tips and advice.
Start small and put aside just 10 minutes every day to meditate. Find somewhere quiet, sit either cross legged or on a chair with your back straight and focus on your breath. Alternatively, try the Wim Hof Method of meditating. It’s a bit longer than 30 days but well worth it.
Learn a new language
You won’t necessarily be able to learn the whole of a new language in 30 days, but practising for 40 minutes a day could really help. The Michel Thomas method is a really efficient and productive way of learning a new language. When I downloaded the Spanish course, I was really impressed — Michele Thomas has a way of boosting your confidence and making language learning more fun.
Write a gratitude list
Every day for thirty days, spend a few minutes at the beginning or the end of your day writing a gratitude list of ten things you’re grateful for.
Eat something new
You could try eating something you’ve never tried before every day or if you’d like to take the challenge to the next step, you could try making a new dish every day. Whether you decide to follow recipes or get creative in the kitchen, this challenge will certainly brighten up mealtimes and really benefit others you live with.
Do 30 sit-ups every day
The stomach is often the place most people want to tone up and lose weight from. For thirty days, just focus on your core by doing thirty sit ups each day. You’ll really notice a difference after the thirty days is up. This has to be one of the easiest but most beneficial exercise routines because it only takes a few minutes each day.
Speak to a stranger
Last year, artist Gemma Seltzer gave a talk about her ‘Speak to Strangers’ project which involved speaking to a stranger a day in London and writing about her experiences. You don’t have to have in depth conversations with strangers every day, but a brief compliment, ‘hi’, or comment could really make someone’s day.
Otherwise known as karma yoga, doing a few minutes of selfless service every day for thirty days could change your life. You don’t have to necessarily volunteer hours of your time — simple gestures or acts of kindness could go a long way. Make tea, tell someone they’ve got their skirt tucked into their pants, or volunteer to clean the house…
Give up gossiping
As creatures of conversation, we love to gossip and talk about others. Observe what will happen if you give up bitching and talking negatively about others for thirty days.
Give a compliment a day
Say one genuine, honest compliment a day to someone — friends, family, co-workers, or strangers.
Stop with the complaints
Every time you find yourself complaining about the weather, how cold you are, how annoying the person you sit next to at work is (insert complaint), stop. Don’t give this stuff your full attention — it’ll irritate you even more.
Keep a scrapbook or laughter journal
Write down your thoughts in a few paragraphs every day. People keep a journal when they travel, so why not also document the memorable moments of everyday life. Stick in concert tickets, photos and drawings you’ve done. Alternatively, write a laughter journal or keep a quote book. Every time you laugh, keep a note of it. Whenever you’re feeling low, you can look back and smile.
Give up alcohol
See how you feel after a teetotal thirty day alcohol free month.
Do a drawing a day
Similar to the photography challenge, keep a sketchbook or get together thirty small pieces of card and do a drawing a day. You could draw to a theme such as faces or you could draw to a time frame and see what you can draw in five minutes. After thirty days, you can put all the drawings together to create a thirty day collage like a film strip of drawings documenting snippets of your life over the last month.
Learn to draw
If you think you can’t draw, put aside thirty minutes to one hour a day to learn. Document everything in a sketchbook and see how you’ve progressed after the thirty day challenge.
Try a new activity, skill, sport…
Life drawing, tai chi, chocolate making, rugby, pottery making, writing, yoga…pick something you’ve never done before and do it for thirty days straight or try something new every day.
Stop watching the news
I’m not suggesting you cut yourself off from what’s going on in the world, but if you do watch the news religiously every day, see what happens when you don’t.
Rather than go on a drastic diet or make massive changes to what you eat on a daily basis, try to make a few small changes each day, such as making sure you have your five a day, or drinking plenty of water each day.
Listen to a new band every day
Get people to recommend different music and listen to something new every day or drastically branch out and listen to music you wouldn’t usually listen to.
If you’re not a fan of running, then begin by just slowly jogging one kilometre a day which will get your endorphins going, make you feel fitter and overall more healthy. Each day, you could run further and see how many kilometres you can run at the end of your thirty day challenge.
If you’ve got any thirty day challenge ideas you think would make good additions to the list or you’d like to share your thirty day challenge experiences, leave your thoughts below.
This article was inspired by TED talk, Try something new for 30 days by Matt Cutts.
Want more 30 day challenge ideas?
And finally, due to the popularity of this blog post, I wrote a book called The 30 Day Challenge Book: 500 Ideas to Inspire Your Life. It includes 500 ideas which have all been organised into the following categories:
- Health, food and fitness 30 day challenges
- Self improvement, inner life and meditation 30 day challenges
- Recreation, art and creative 30 day challenges
- Home life, Professional life and finance 30 day challenges
- Intellectual and educational 30 day challenges
- Social, relationships and kindness 30 day challenges
As part of the book, you also get a free 30 day challenge planner chart which you can print out to track your progress.