Six Tips for Succeeding (or Consciously Failing) in Your 30 Day Challenges

In my previous blog posts, I gave you readers 100+ ideas for 30 day challenges and another post 30+ ideas 30-day challenges regarding death, crisis and emergencies. I promised also to make a blog post about general tips in succeeding in your challenge months. This blog post is that article I promised you.

1. Choose A Goal That Has Deep Meaning for You (Even If It Would Seem Ridiculous to Others)

I’ve had my best successes doing challenges that have had deep meaning for me even if the challenges might have seemed weird or ridiculous to others. I know many people would never want to take cold showers or who would see bodybuilding as something stupid or superficial. Still for me these challenges carried deep meaning of health and even artistic beauty at the times I were undertaking them.

Also not everybody would want to work on their blog almost daily and many could think writing publicly about deeply vulnerably issues is not wise, but for me writing this blog has carried deep personal meaning. Managing this blog has aligned with my values of vulnerability, openness and contribution.

Don’t take challenges just to prove something to others. Think about what challenges that have meaning to you.

2. Never Mind the 30 Days or Completing the Challenges

This never mind completing the challenges might come across as an odd point – like wouldn’t you better be just committing yourself to completing the challenges no matter what? Well, for some challenges and for some people maybe yes. Maybe to a person who has challenges with committing to anything or finishing anything (me in the past) it certainly can be a good habit to form to learn to stick with and finish things.

But also from my personal experience I would say it’s also better to quit a challenge guilt-free if you realize you undertook the challenge for wrong reasons or if it doesn’t feel like a right thing to do. Also, as a side note I must say that many 30 day challenges have taken me well over 40 days (or even more) finish. And that’s okay.I

I feel it’s far more healthier to reward myself and be proud of those every single steps that I did complete in a challenge month even if the challenge took a longer time to complete than what I originally intended. It’s far healthier to do this than to just quit the challenge and beating myself down for being a loser. So, if you find yourself lagging behind in your 30 day challenges or not completing one, don’t push yourself. Be proud of every little step you have taken with those days you did do the challenge.

You can also take this multipotentialite-approach of quitting a challenge once you’ve got out of it the thing you came for. Like a bee who has gone to pollute a flower, once the bee’s job is done it flies away from the flower to the next flower. Why would linger uselessly in the one flower forever?

3. Tweak the Challenges To Fit You

I spent years of my life trying out different lifestyle challenges and tips presented by different gurus and influencers. In these times you see lots of sleazy marketing, where the guy who had his life changed by a single method promises the exact same method will also change the lives of every other person following the program. But in reality, there are not always one-size-fits-for-all solutions.

If you want to have the motivation necessary to complete several one-month challenges, you want to make completing challenges a fun and inspiring thing for you. You don’t want to cause a burnout. If you don’t feel like do the format of doing a challenge a day for 30 days straight is model that works for you, create a model that fits you. Do a challenge every other day or once a week or do a challenge for everyday for a year, I don’t what it your thing. Try and find out.

Use different challenges you see people trying out as inspirations you can learn and take something from and use that inspiration to customize the challenge so it feels uniquely you.

Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

4. Start small

Before I took my one cold shower a day -challenge, I prepared for it by doing cool showers or showering only only one limb with cold water in the start. Before I starting taking multivitamin daily, I got used to drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning. Before I started preparing and carrying my food with me in a cooler box, I’d get used to carrying a water bottle with me everywhere.

Before I started going to the gym many times a week, I did workouts at home for two months. Before I launched this blog I wrote small personal notes on my computer for ages. Before I wrote those small personal notes, I read a lot of books and blogs and talked to my friends about writing a blog someday. Before I went to study to Barcelona, I encountered different cultures through working and volunteering in different kinds of cultures and environments than what I was used to.

No matter how big your dream is, you can always take the first small step. And if that small step feels too terrifying divide that into ten or hundred smaller steps until taking that smallest of steps becomes possible to you.

5. Have a System for Follow-Up/Accountability

I and many others have successfully completed 30 day challenges alone and this is a fine way of doing challenges  Doing challenges alone and not telling others might be a good way to go especially if the challenges are really personal and you don’t want to talk about them before having something to show for your efforts.

From my own experience I also know that completing lots of challenges alone can be a lonely experience. Completing and undertaking different lifestyle challenges changes you as a person – you become more confident, creative, resilient, whatever. It’s a lonely place to see if you can’t share these changes with other people and it can also be really tiresome when you feel you’re like the only one pushing yourself really hard.

That’s why I truly enjoy having weekly challenge group meetings. Doing challenges together with other people is a great way and tool for building relationships with others. Hosting challenge groups has been a great way for me to attract inspiring people into my life – many times the people participating in these meetings have brought some friends with them – people I would have maybe never met otherwise.

Talking about different challenges I’m facing or talking about these challenge groups is also a great ice-breaker when meeting with new people and looking for what to talk about with them. If you want to start host your own groups, you can always send me an email to let me help you (free of charge): olli.lukkari@gmail.com

There are of course other systems for follow-up than challenge groups such as:

  • individual challenge partners (you can keep in touch with live meetings/online)
  • online groups and social media (facebook, online message forums, instagram – announce your challenge to the world and let people follow how you progress daily)
  • promise to pay someone if you don’t complete a challenge or promise publicly to donate money to a cause that’s against you values if you don’t complete the challenge
  • use phone alarms to remind of your (daily) challenges, mark to calendar when you’ve completed the challenge for the day
  • using rewards to motivate you (read below)
Image by vicart26 on Pixabay

6. Reward Yourself

When I was planning to go for my 30 days of abs challenge, I wrote to myself that when I’d be finished with the challenge, I’d allow myself to buy a movie I wanted to see. So everytime I was thinking about giving up I just thought about this movie and how much I wanted to see it and got great motivation from that. I already know that when I reach my goal of doing 30 continuous pull-ups/chin-ups, I can reward myself by buying another movie.

A good way to go on with this is to first to make a list about different things you want to do or reward yourself with. Then to the side of list write the challenges that by completing you can reward yourself with those things. My list for example looks currently as something like this:

If you want to use both reward and punishment methods you could come with possible punishments in addition to rewards as well. So for example your goal could be to meditate for two minutes a day for the next week – fourteen minutes in total. If you hit under 10 minutes you could have to pay the punishment and if you you hit the 14 minutes you’re allowed for a reward. You could also mix up the rewards system by having different goals to reach for – gold, silver and bronze medal goals. For example:

 

Final Words

The most important point after all this is to remember to have fun. The challenges should be something that add to your life and to your character, not something that makes you burnout and punish yourself. I hope you’ve enjoyed your article and keep coming with own creative ideas to tweak your challenges. Try out different things and see what works for you, don’t just blindly follow my advice!

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