April 22, 2024


Embrace a 30-Day Challenge Every Month

By: Leah Nalepa

I was inspired by a friend to embark on a 30-day challenge. Simply put, it’s a monthly challenge of our choosing that breaks us out of our daily habits, routines, and comfort zone. If you’re looking to improve upon a skill, walk 10,000 steps, increase your savings, or something entirely different, building a daily, 30-day challenge is right for you. Below are a few ideas for each month of the year to get you started.

January: Health and Fitness 

Most people see January as a fresh start. Fresh start for routines, goals, and especially exercise. It’s the perfect time to prioritize health and fitness goals. Whether it’s committing to daily exercise, adopting a cleaner diet, or practicing mindfulness, a 30-day health and fitness challenge sets the tone for a vibrant and energized year ahead.

February: Journaling 

While journaling has become a popular pastime, it’s not for lack of purpose. Journaling, particularly gratitude journaling, allows us to get our thoughts down on paper, think of new ideas, and become incredibly grateful for what we have in front of us, realizing how blessed we truly are. Challenge yourself to keep a daily journal, where you jot down three things you’re grateful for and what you want to accomplish each day. 

March: Digital Detox 

In a world dominated by screens and notifications, March is the perfect opportunity to unplug and reconnect with the people around you. Challenge yourself to a 30-day digital detox, where you limit screen time, prioritize face-to-face interactions, and engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. What are things you miss because phone time has replaced them? For me, it’s coloring and drawing to relax from a long day and allow my creativity to flourish. 

April: Creative Expression 

April showers bring May flowers—and a lot of time indoors! With this seemingly boring time, challenge yourself to engage in a daily creative practice, whether it’s writing, painting, photography, reading a fictional book, or crafting. Like I said, I’ll enjoy some coloring this month. Cultivating creativity not only sparks joy and self-expression but also fosters innovation, problem-solving skills, and removes us from the daily monotony we often keep ourselves in. 

May: Mindfulness Meditation or Build A Prayer Life 

As spring blooms into full swing, May invites us to cultivate mindfulness, prayer, and presence. If you didn’t do this for your January fitness challenge, push yourself to a 30-day mindfulness meditation practice or build your daily prayer life, where you dedicate time each day to quiet reflection or Biblical reading. This quiet time will start or end your day well, connect you to God and your higher self, and enhance mental clarity and peace. 

June: Outdoor Adventure 

With longer days and warmer weather, June beckons us to embrace the great outdoors. Challenge yourself to spend time in nature each day, whether it’s hiking, biking, gardening, or simply enjoying a leisurely walk in the park. Many of my friends are pursuing the 1,000 hours outside challenge. While that’s too much for me to achieve in this season of life with a full-time job and family, that mindset helped me create a smaller version of that goal this year. Humans are meant to be outside, and connecting with nature is rejuvenating and enhances our sense of wonder and beauty. 

July: Random Acts of Kindness 

July is the month of summer warmth. This month, challenge yourself to perform a daily random act of kindness, whether it’s offering a compliment, helping a stranger, paying for another family’s food at a restaurant, or volunteering your time for a cause you’re passionate about. Acts of kindness not only brighten someone else’s day but also fill up our cup with a sense of connection and compassion for others. 

August: Learning Challenge 

Once August arrives, the year is more than half over. Now is a good time to refocus and recommit to your goals or cultivate new skills. Find time to learn something new every day, whether it’s a foreign language, musical instrument, cooking technique, or historical fact. Lifelong learning fuels curiosity, creativity, and personal growth.

September: Decluttering 

Why spring clean when you can fall clean? As it slowly gets chillier outside, use September to declutter before you’re stuck inside for the winter. Find one area of your home or aspect of your life to tackle little by little, letting go of physical and emotional clutter that no longer serves you. This could be your email inbox, wardrobe, or basement storage room. Your space is a physical manifestation of your mind so make room for clarity, focus, and abundance to flow into your life.

October: Intentional Eating 

With harvest season in full swing, October is the perfect time to cultivate positive eating habits. Rather than grabbing the quickest item to satisfy a craving, challenge yourself to make healthy, mindful food choices, including making your own meals throughout the month with nourishing food choices. Honor your body and well-being with the food you eat this month and focus on choosing seasonal foods that make delicious meals. 

November: Gratitude Challenge 

As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, November calls us to deepen our practice of gratitude. Challenge yourself to express gratitude in a meaningful way each day, whether it’s writing thank-you notes, expressing appreciation to loved ones, or writing out a gratitude journal. Be specific: if you are thankful for your health, write down something specific about your health that you’re grateful for. Being grateful cultivates a greater realization and sense of appreciation for life’s blessings and the desire to share them with others. 

December: Acts of Self-Care 

It’s easy to lose sight of ourselves and self-care in December with holidays and travel. As the year draws to a close, self-care and nourishing our well-being becomes that much more important. Prioritize self-care each day, whether it’s getting up early to have a peaceful morning and nutritious breakfast, taking a bubble bath, working out, enjoying a cup of hot tea, reading a good book, or indulging in a favorite hobby. Acts of self-care replenish our energy, restore balance, and empower us to enter the new year with vitality and joy.

Embracing a 30-day challenge each month is a difficult, but also a powerful way to infuse your life with purpose, growth, and joy. By committing to these challenges, you not only cultivate positive habits and skills but also deepen your connection to yourself, others, and the world around you.