Over the course of 5 years our culture has become obsessed with 30 day challenges– 30 Day Squat Challenge, 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge, 30 Day No Spend Challenge– they’re everywhere! I’ve done a few here and there to keep me on target for certain goals. Generally, they’re a great thing! They can inspire people to do things that they never thought they’d be able to do because, yes, they can help kick start new habits as backed by science.
But lately these fun challenges are being used as a marketing ploy to get consumers to try a new product and hopefully stick with it for longer than the 30 days. The goal is to change your habits to include a certain product, whether that is a diet eBook or a veggie powder or a certain kind of knitting needle–anything! There are great communities out there creating powerful challenges to help people reach their goals, but for every one of those, there’s 4 corporate backed ones.
The 30 day challenge is HUGE in the health and fitness business and perhaps is the start of our whole obsession with it in the first place. They often come packaged with muscular models and lifestyle images to sway you to join up. They appear to be glamorous and special in ways that we “regular’ people aren’t. But it doesn’t stop at the fitness industry–there are crafting challenges, vitamin challenges, brand building challenges.
I’m proposing we stop doing the 30 day challenges that require us to buy loads of supplements or a deck of 52 workout playing cards and challenge ourselves to the stuff that will really change us and make use work at figuring out (the things that I am obsessed with) what we want in life and who we are meant to be. Instead of spending 30 days doing push-ups, spend 30 days affirming and accepting your body each day. Write it down, say it out loud and believe it.
Challenge yourself to tell a different person each day that you care about them.
Challenge yourself to 30 days of only saying ‘yes’ to the events and things that make you happy and saying ‘no’ to anything that does not move you.
Challenge yourself to be positive every day, no mater what gets thrown at you. (Can you imagine this?!)
Challenge yourself to take ten deep breaths every morning.
These are things that you don’t need to buy to do, but that will deeply move and change you if you dedicate yourself to them. Most of them are harder than push-ups everyday. Really! Instead of sore shoulders you’ll be walking around with a sore heart. But just like the physical work, you’ll be making yourself stronger in the long run.
This August I am going to challenge myself to write and live by a new mantra every week for 4 weeks straight. I am going to be the one telling me what I need to hear because really, if you don’t take care of yourself. Who will?
Now tell me… what’s your challenge!?