Michael Keogh   Feb 17, 2023   -   min read

Do you ever feel like your goals are just out of reach?

You know what big results you want to achieve, but no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to make progress. Maybe you want to get fitter, be more flexible, lose those stubborn kilos, or get your mental health in check.

Whatever your goal may be, the key to achieving it are the small actions you take every day, and 30-Day Challenges are your secret weapon in staying consistent, especially over the first few weeks of a new habit. Read on below to learn more!

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The importance of starting small

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of a goal? It can be discouraging to think about all the steps it takes to achieve something big. That's why it's important to start small. By breaking down a goal into smaller, more manageable pieces, you can overcome resistance and build momentum.

Overcome resistance

Resistance is a natural part of the goal-setting process. Our brains are wired to resist change, even if it's for the better. When we try to make a big change all at once, our brains perceive it as a threat and try to keep us from taking action. This is why it's crucial to start small. By taking small actions, you can ease your brain into the new habit and avoid triggering resistance.

Build momentum

Once you've overcome resistance, the key is to build momentum. By taking small actions consistently, you can build up the habit and make it easier to maintain. This is where 30-day challenges come in. By committing to a small action for 30 days, you can build the habit and create momentum and consistency that will carry you through to larger success.

Create a sense of accomplishment

Starting small and committing to a 30-day challenge can give you a sense of accomplishment and progress towards your bigger goal. When you achieve small milestones along the way, it can boost your confidence and motivate you to keep going. This feeling of accomplishment can be a powerful tool in maintaining momentum and staying motivated towards achieving your larger goal.

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The power of 30-Day Challenges

Now that you understand the importance of starting small, let's dive into why 30 Day Challenges are the best way to get started when it comes to new habits and behaviours.

The science behind habits

Habits are formed through repetition. When we repeat an action enough times, it becomes automatic and we no longer have to think about it. But another factor people often forget about is the FREQUENCY of these repetitions.

If doing something once a fortnight is good, what if you did that thing once a week, 3 times a week, daily even!? Of course your progress will be so much faster! This is why 30-day challenges are so effective. By committing to a small action daily or every few days for 30 days, you repeat an action often and establish new habits faster than if you didn't do the challenge.

30 Day Challenges only take 30 days

This might seem a redundant statement, but starting a new habit thinking "I now need to do this every day for the rest of my life" is terribly overwhelming, even if your a Type A go-getter!

Instead, just try to do something new for a finite and relatively short term amount of time. Remember that 30 days is only 4 weeks, just 1 month. The only cost of trying something new is usually just your time, but it could have a significant impact on your life, so why not give it a go!

Gaining clarity

One of the main benefits of 30-Day Challenges is the clarity they bring, which then supports more informed decision making moving forward, leading you to future success and greater wellbeing. 30-Day Challenges offer the clarity that maybe:

  • Your target for the challenge was too big or not big enough, or
  • Your chosen action wasn't the right action to get you the results you wanted, or
  • Your chosen action wasn't frequent enough, or was too frequent, or
  • You didn't have the right systems and support to make sure you stayed on track,
  • And potentially a host of other things as well!

You'll only learn all this and more once you give a 30-Day Challenge a go!

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A few 30-Day Challenge examples

30-day challenges can be applied to any area of life, whether it's fitness and health, business and productivity, or personal development. Here are some examples of how you can use 30-day challenges to achieve success:

Improve your strength and fitness:

Do you want to take your strength or fitness to the next level? A 30-day exercise challenge can help target your activity and maximise your effort and results!

With a focused workout plan, consistent effort, and appropriate support and accountability, you'll be amazed at how much progress you can make in just 30 days! So identify what exercise you're curious and committed to trying, and get started to create your best self!

Focus on flexibility and comfort:

Do you struggle with tight muscles and limited range of motion? A 30-day flexibility challenge can help you improve your mobility and overall comfort.

This could be as simple as a 5-10 minute daily stretching routine. This will help you to loosen up tight areas, reduce pain and stiffness, and improve your overall flexibility. Plus, taking the time to prioritise your physical wellbeing will also have a positive impact on your mental and emotional health. So consider doing something that won't take so long, and embrace the comfort and flexibility you deserve!

Get your diet on track:

Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy and balanced diet? A 30-day diet challenge can help you establish healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

By committing to a healthy eating plan for just 30 days, you'll start to notice positive changes in your energy levels, mood, clothing fit, and overall wellbeing. Plus, a healthier diet can also support weight loss and improved physical health. So take control of your diet, and start nourishing your body and life!

Give stress the flick:

Are you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out? A 30-day stress challenge can help you manage your stress levels and find inner peace.

By committing to daily stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or journaling, you can take control of your mental and emotional wellbeing and be less reactive to the countless stressors in life. With regular practice over time, you'll find that you approach stressful situations with a sense of calm and clarity. Say goodbye to stress and finally welcome in the peace and tranquility!

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The key to long-term success

The key to long-term success with 30-day challenges is to celebrate small wins and focus on consistency above all else. By acknowledging and celebrating each small success, you'll build the momentum and motivation to keep going. And staying consistent will lead to far greater success over time that fewer larger actions.

Once you reach the 30-day mark, have a frank chat with yourself and your support teams (family, friends, practitioners, etc) and assess if the challenge improved your life or not. If not, just stop it and move onto the next challenge. But if the challenge and your new habits have IMPROVED your health and life, amazing! Just keep that good thing going and continue to integrate it into your daily life.

If you do twelve 30-Day Challenges a year, and you only keep three new habits, your habits are now 25% better than they were last year. Do this every year and soon enough you won't believe the person you've become is actually YOU!

A Runner on the Starting Block

Most importantly, get started!

Whilst there are countless approaches to all possible challenges, that will suit every different kind of person, it's more important to just start somewhere and correct as you go. Don't let trying to be 'perfect' stop you from making 'progress'.

  • Start small, build momentum, celebrate the small wins, and create a sense of accomplishment,
  • Repeat the right action frequently enough to quickly form new habits,
  • Learn as you go, seeking clarity on what brings you closer to your goals,
  • Pick a challenge and follow it as best you can for 30 days,
  • And next month, do this all again! Continue to improve your life 30 days at a time!
So what are you waiting for? Start your own 30-day challenge today and see the difference it can make in your life!

Want some help using this information to improve your health and life?

About the Author

Michael Keogh is an Exercise Physiologist and Health Coach with 8 years experience in clinical and corporate settings. He is also the co-author of upcoming book “Thrive: How to 10X your Health, Wealth and Happiness”.

He uses exercise as medicine to treat chronic disease and ensure healthy ageing, whilst guiding his clients towards sustainable health behaviours that result in improved performance and greater satisfaction in work and life.

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