We’ve all taken on challenges of one sort of another for 30 days. Maybe you tried a diet or an exercise program. Perhaps you decided to give up TV for 30 days. Even if you didn’t stick with the program long-term, the results were great, weren’t they? Now imagine if you expanded that idea to incorporate many areas of your life.
This program includes implementing several 30-day challenges simultaneously. You can use these suggestions or develop your own. Try creating a 30-day challenge from each category, and see where your new adventures lead you.
- Adjust your finances. Making more money or spending less is always a good financial theme. Alternatively, you might try balancing your accounts each day.
- Kick start your physical health. Diet, exercise, or combinations of both are great places to start. You could begin with something as simple as the doing the 20-minute yoga program that’s on TV every morning or taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
- Eliminate a time waster. Think about the amount of time you spend watching TV, surfing the Internet, window-shopping, playing video games, or lurking on Facebook. We all know the activities we tend to engage in when we’re bored or trying to avoid dealing with life’s challenges. Try getting rid of just one, and see how much more time you have!
- Add in another positive activity. Come up with something more enriching or satisfying than the time waster you’re eliminating. Maybe reading or taking a class would be in order. Perhaps you’ll spend all your newly found time playing a musical instrument.
- Commit to something else that appeals to you. Perhaps checking your email only 3 times a week or going to bed by 11:00 every night would be a beneficial habit you’d enjoy.
Tips for Success in Your Program
Now that you have some idea of changes you might want to make, how can you stick to them?
Try these ideas:
- Get enough sleep. If you set a challenge of cutting two hours of sleep each night (or even just one hour!), it’s going to make everything else more difficult. Regardless of whatever time-related goals you may set, allow yourself the 7-8 hours a night that you deserve.
- Set goals that you can do daily, seven days a week. Creating a new habit with an activity you only do 3 times a week is often much harder. Try to keep all new activities limited to ones you can do every day.
- Prepare ahead of time. Have everything you need in advance. Eliminate anything that might get in the way. For example, if you’re trying to follow a specific diet, buy the food you’ll need beforehand and get rid of food you want to avoid. You can’t break down and eat that bag of chips if there aren’t any chips in the house!
- Plan on social support. Tell your goals to your friends or family members that will support you in your efforts. Be careful in whom you confide. Changing is a challenge in itself. Success is harder if others are making unsupportive comments.
Trying to change several aspects of your life simultaneously may require other changes as well, depending on your chosen goals. All of our behaviors tend to interact with other behaviors, which can make changing any of them a demanding task.
For example, if you give up TV and junk food, and those are your main coping mechanisms for life’s challenges, you’re going to have to deal with your negative feelings a new way. Or better yet, you can face your concerns head-on. The distractions you’re used to falling back on may have just been ways to avoid the issues at hand.
To work this program, choose the 30-day challenges you can implement and get started. Remember to adequately prepare. If you can create several new positive habits and get rid of a few bad ones, your life will change dramatically for the better.