The New Year calls for big celebrations because it represents a chance to start anew. It is certainly a precious gift that you do not want to waste. The change of calendar year is also a gentle reminder that we all need to move forward in life. It is therefore great advice to start the year with enthusiasm and positivity! You want the year to see a better version of yourself. You want to grow and improve as much as you can!
To do this, you may have to let go of bad habits and replace them with new ones. It is probably the right time to start something that you have always wanted to do like lose weight, learn a new language or write a novel. Setting goals is a good way to ensure a fruitful year ahead. But do you have the will to stick to your goals until they are finally accomplished? One thing you can do to try to make goal setting easier is a 30-day challenge.
Will a 30-day challenge work?
This method is simple and self-explanatory. If you want to change or start something, you just resolve to do it continuously for 30 days. For example, if you want to be healthier you may commit to a goal of engaging in physical exercise such as biking or jogging for 30 days. If you want to acquire new knowledge, you allot time to learn that skill for 30 days.
People who advocate this strategy believe in the notion that when you do something repeatedly for 30f days the action becomes a habit. A book written by Maxwell Maltz, a cosmetic surgeon, suggests that it takes about 21 days to form a habit. Some claim it takes 28 days while a 2009 study says it takes 66 days. On the other hand, a book written by motivational speaker, Jack Canfield says that it takes 30 days to break a habit and replace it with new ones. The number of days required for habit formation may differ, but the main thing here is consistency. You cannot abandon or give up on your goals for 30 days. Therefore, the success of a 30-day challenge lies in you. Do you have the determination not to break your resolve until you are on your 30th day?
Reminders when taking a 30-day challenge:
Set attainable goals.
Do not set too many big goals at once because it may just increase your chances of failing. To minimize failure, make sure that you can confidently finish the challenge you give yourself. The beauty of a 30-day challenge is that it can break down huge tasks into easy, manageable ones. For example, limiting food intake can be difficult for some. To make it easier, you can choose to just cut back on sweets for the first 30 days. Then you can limit fatty foods the next month. This way, you are gradually but steadily treading the road to fitness.
Pick a schedule or set reminders.
The day can get so hectic that it becomes easy to dismiss a goal. To ensure you make time for it, go ahead and jot it on your schedule. If you have a book-writing challenge for example, you can pick the most convenient time of the day to work on your goals. You can conveniently set reminders on many calendar apps nowadays to make sure you will not forget about it. On the other hand, if you want to achieve your ideal weight, visual reminders of your goals will help you stick to it.
Aim for long-term.
If you were able to eat healthier for 30 days, it does not mean that you should go back to your old ways the next month. You can treat yourself to a hearty meal upon completing a challenge as a reward but you should be able to do it in moderation now. Reverting back to unhealthy eating means the challenge did not accomplish anything at all. The ultimate goal of the 30-day challenge is to instill good habits. You should be able to have the discipline and determination to maintain the good habit you’ve acquired.
You have 12 months in a year so how about setting twelve 30-day challenges for yourself? You can succeed in some or fail in others but you will never know unless you try. When you come to think of it, you have nothing to lose in a 30-day challenge because you are only aiming for the best version of yourself. As the cliche goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step.” So if you want to start something, dare to take that first step today!