Three 30-day challenges that you can start today

As you probably know, creating new and long-lasting habits can be a big commitment that takes willpower, time and effort. According to a 2010 study in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes anywhere between 18 and 254 (!) days for a new behavior to become automatic. On average, however, creating a habit took around 66 days. If you are ready to challenge yourself, but are not sure whether you’re ready to make a 66-day commitment, doing a 30-day challenge is the perfect way to try out something new and get the ball rolling! Regardless if you turn your challenge into a habit or not, you have definitely made the first step in creating a better version of yourself. Sounds good, right? Before you get started, be sure to check out three of our favourite 30-day challenges. 

Home decluttering challenge 

A clear home makes for a clear mind. A study led by Nicole R. Keith, an associate professor and research scientist at Indiana University found that people with clean houses are healthier than people with messy houses. In fact, participants who kept their homes clean were not only healthier but also more active than those who didn’t. House cleanliness was even a stronger predictor of physical health than neighborhood walkability.

In 2011, researchers at Princeton University found that clutter can actually make it more difficult to focus on a particular task. Specifically, they found that the visual cortex can be overwhelmed by task-irrelevant objects, making it harder to allocate attention and complete tasks efficiently.

With this in mind, what better place is there to start your challenge than in your own home! Unless you have a completely minimalistic lifestyle, you have probably stacked up too much clutter in several areas of your flat or house. In many cases, decluttering all at once would be very time consuming and even thinking of where to start is overwhelming. 

The perfect solution for this issue is the 30-day home decluttering challenge. Roughly divide your home into 30 areas and focus only one area a day. Approaching the decluttering in little sections will enable you to focus on one area at a time and will make it easier to decide on which things you really need.To make the best out of this, you could organize a garage sale in a month from now. Who said you can’t make money from a 30-day challenge? Your old belongings may be of use to someone else and at the same time you will be able to save a bit for your next holiday. It’s a win-win! 

Positivity correction challenge 

On days where things go well, it is easy to keep a good mood and high motivation. But when we have a bad day, it’s even easier to slip into a spiral of negative thinking. Spilling our morning coffee might lead to being late for work and going into the first meeting unprepared and stressed. If then we also get a parking fine on top of it, a bad mood is probably guaranteed for the rest of the day. 

What can help you in dealing with such days and generally improve your mindset is a 30-day positivity correction challenge. For the next 30 days, whenever you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative, catch that thought and reframe it in a more positive way. Remember thoughts do not necessarily represent reality. For example, if you are to look in the mirror and think “I look awful”, immediately catch that thought. You can transform this thought by saying “I’m healthy and able-bodied”. To make that even more powerful, you can take a piece of paper and write your thoughts. First the negative thought and beside it the transformed positive version. alongside its positive transformation. 

Doing this over the course of a month will help you focus on the positives in life, increase gratitude and also be more present in the moment. And that’s just to name a few benefits. Perhaps you will also inspire people around you to think more positively too!

No phone for the first hour of the day challenge 

Smartphones can be a great addition to our lives,with social media enabling us to stay connected with all our friends. But in the same breath, our smartphones are becoming a detriment to our mental health. Starting your day by watching instagram stories, be it a friend or influencer, will probably not be of service to your mind or motivation.

Starting our day this way keeps us in a reactive mindset. We let our phone decide how we feel and perhaps, if you also check your email and messages, what we will do first. This often leads to forgetting about dedicating some time for ourselves. But what can you do to get out of this without having to quit social media completely? 

This leads us to our third and final 30-day challenge favourite - no phone for the first hour of the day. Not using your phone and any social media for the first hour of the day will help you to keep a proactive mindset. This way you can start the day by taking care of the most important person in your life - yourself. The 15 minutes of mindless scrolling can easily be turned into a little meditation or some positive affirmations. You will be in control of the day.

You will see that these small changes at the start of your day can have a massive positive effect on everything that comes after. Especially if you manage to turn it into a long-term habit, you will be surprised how tiny changes like this can lead to great results over time. 

Whatever challenge you may choose, keep in mind that they are double the fun if you do it together with  friends, partners or family members. Whether you use the 30-day challenge tracker to stay accountable or  simply use your calendar or a piece of paper, you will see trying something new can add great value to your life.