The 30-Day Personal Wellness Challenge That Will Knock Your (Running) Socks Off
What are the Benefits of Taking A 30-Day Challenge?
The 30-Day Wellness Tracking Challenge is a guideline of tasks and activities that will help you improve your health and feel better in just 30 days. The challenge is designed to be easy to follow, even for people who have never tracked any metric wellness before. Whether you are a group of employees, friends, or just an individual looking for a way to feel better – the challenge offers everything you need to make meaningful changes to your daily routines in order to be more well.
How to Prepare for the Challenge
We all know that wellness is important. But it is not always easy to stay on top of it. This is where the Month-Long Wellness Challenge comes in. It will help you stay on top of your wellness goals and avoid losing motivation after a few days. Sometimes even the best intentions can be hard to follow through on, especially if they are not clearly defined. By breaking down goals into easy action items the decision fatigue of trying to stay health will go away. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:
1) Set your wellness goal. If you have not set a goal before, consider finding a goals framework. One of the more popular ones is “SMART” goals which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound. A goal like “be more healthy” is not specific. “Lose 20 pounds” is specific and measurable, but without a time bound it is hard to make a specific plan. Something like “Improve my watch measured V02 max in a month by walking or running 3-5 times a week for 30-45 minutes” is a much more defined goal. Similarly “Reduce my stress and cortisol levels this month by meditating and sleeping more regularly” can be monitored with things like wrist-worn sleep trackers and urine tests that measure cortisol levels. The reviews of various wellness trackers will help understand what can be measured about wellness and lead to improvement.
2) Create a plan that will help you achieve your goal. Once you have a goal made up, you can make a specific plan on how to achieve it. A simple calendar of activities for the month is an easy way to write this. With any plan, it is good to provide some room for modification as day to day changes may effect your ability to achieve it. Help achieve the plan with simple alerts and technology – many meditation apps can remind you at a regular time to stop and breath.
3) Find someone to hold you accountable and ask them to be the designated “Month-Long Coach”. A good friend or mentor will often help you achieve your goals, and giving them a title will help to make them feel even more invested that when you win it was with their guidance and help. Being accountable to someone will make it harder to simply ignore the phone alerts you setup to stay on track, as responding to a Coach’s text message will be a bigger deterrent than hitting ignore.
4) Define how you can measure your goals. This one is part of the earlier goal setting. Having a way to measure things will keep you honest. When you only have your memory to go by it’s easier to think that you achieved your goal of “sleeping more”, but if there is an objective sleep tracker that tells you if that is true it will reveal any bias and desires that you have. It’s not a bad thing to over-estimate how much you can do but remember that the measurement tool is void of any feelings. There is no reason to be scared of a scale, fitness band, or other measurement and although they may bring up anxiety or concern it is important to remember that these are associated with the measurement but are not really about the measurement device at all but rather what they reveal about ourselves.
How to Structure a 30 Day Challenge
The easiest way to complete a 30 day challenge, or any long term goal, is to ensure it is broken down into manageable day to day tasks. A successful result of a month long attempt will not only include activities that lead to short term 30 day success, but also those that build the foundation of long term helpful habits.
Week 1 – Challenge Yourself
Week one is all about setting up a true challenge, and getting outside of your comfort zone. That does not mean pain and suffering, but it does mean breaking down norms.
Sleep – Get started by staying rested. The goal should be to capture 8 dedicated hours of sleep each night, although accepting 8 hours of being in bed (without distractions of electronics, books, lights) is fine.
Water – The body’s elixir, water, is linked to a small mountain of medical benefits.
Activity – This is a running challenge, so the activity involves running. Don’t try going right to running an hour a day if you never have before. Ease into things and alter the challenge to fit your needs.
Mental – Taking time to be intentional is a key part of the challenge. For everything from a workplace wellness challenge to personal development, spending a few minutes intentionally being calm is critical.
Extra – Challenges should be toward an end goal, but having fun or growing are also important. Adding in a component of reading, or learning a skill, or hanging with friends can add the perfect element of enjoyment.
Week 2 – Dig Deep
The second week is all about breaking through the uncomfortable. Pretty much any challenge can be done for a few days, but powering through a full 30 days is about consistency. Make note of how you are feeling about approaching each of the daily tasks, which ones are easier and which ones do you dread. Change up the schedule if needed, but really focus on making progress for each goal.
Week 3 Find Your Purpose
This week, challenge yourself to complete a self-challenge that will help you grow as an individual.
Some ideas for this challenge are:
– Write down 3 things you’re grateful for every day
– Spend one hour on your favorite hobby every day
– Do something new each day
– Read one book or magazine article each day
Week 4 – Finish Strong
At this point the tasks should become more of habits. Each activity may be long, but you may have broken through the exhaustion of week three and are starting to feel like some of the activities are becoming second nature. Running will still be tough, but assuming you have avoided any injuries, it is likely that you will be able to zone out a bit at times. Especially on shorter runs, these can go quickly and at the end of them you may not even feel like you have done anything!
Day 29-30 – Extra Credit
The struggle with a 30 day challenge is that it will span across all your normal activities, throughout days weekends and various events, and it is easy to simply give up during one of them. The extra days at the end of four weeks is a good opportunity to focus on how easy it is to accomplish your goals so long as you take a long term view. Find out which items you plan to make a habit, and enjoy the final few days of the events that you plan to stop doing as often (hopefully not many)
Grab the below calendar to easily keep track of your 30 days of activities.