2 min read

The anatomy of a 30-day challenge

The anatomy of a 30-day challenge
Photo by Johannes W / Unsplash

For many years, I’ve done 30 day challenges.

They have helped me quit habits, try on new ideas, tweak diets, push myself to try on new projects. They’ve helped me shape who I want to be.

Why the 30 day format?

When it comes to change, there are several paths we could choose.

On the one hand, we have the immersive experience. Perhaps a retreat, where you submerge yourself into something new.

Everything changes. Your environment, people around you, food, habits.

Everything is disrupted and you’re invited to try on a completely different way to live.

Powerful in itself, not easy to bring with you back home.

On the other hand, we have a non-structured approach of trying to change something in our lives. A wish to change something but not sure what that would look like.

This can be difficult without structure. You might not have an environment that supports what you want to do, or the willpower to see it through.

A 30-day challenge is a sweet spot.

And one that is not too difficult to digest. You get a structure, and a specific flavor to that month which is often fun.

What does a typical 30 day challenge look like?

This is an overall representation of a very common 30-day flow 🙂

Day -4: The prep

If it’s a 30 day challenge I’m doing with others, this is the time to get mentally prepared, jazzed up and make preparations that will support your month.

Example: When I went vegan for one month, the pre-planning was invaluable. Cleaning out my fridge, researching meals and buying food beforehand. I’ve set myself up for success.

Day 1: The pledge or commitment 👆

In whatever form or way this works for you. Make a conscious decision! Be clear with why you want to do this, be proud and clear.

Day 1 – 9: The Honeymoon Phase

I’m committed, it’s fun, high energy! Let’s do thiiiis 🥳

Day 10 – 12: The Dip

“Why am I doing this? This challenge is so annoying. No one cares. Nothing matters.” 👀

By this time, my thoughts and ego comes out and has a field day. Every thought that makes me question what I’m doing. This is usually where I fail (hello coffee)

Because I expect a dip, I can plan for it.

Day 15: Halfway

What! I’m halfway? Ok cool. Let’ do this.

Day 20: The homestretch

This is when it suddenly feels like I’m moving into a new zone. Hitting 21 days – three weeks! – is a source of pride and it usually makes me step up. At this time, the habit feels stronger, and there’s no resistance What am I learning? How can I expand this month? Is there something I can add?

Day 26 – 28: Self-sabotage?

Once or twice, I’ve messed things up at this point. I’ve wondered if this is because of unconscious self-sabotage.

Day 30: Celebration 🥳

When completing a 30-day challenge, it’s important to celebrate!

You’ve shown up for yourself in a powerful way for an entire month. Making sure to integrate it into who you are, and reflect on it, is important.