I asked a few people who participated in a 30 day challenge recently to provide some feedback on their experience. Interesting what we can learn from our personal goals, and what a hold they can have on us.
Sharon – I really enjoyed taking on this 30 day challenge! Working out daily made my body and soul more energetic and positive. It was also really fun and rewarding to accomplish this challenge with like minded friends…the no drinking for 30 days, however wasn’t the greatest because there were days when I would have enjoyed a glass of wine or two. I realized I wasn’t trying to break a habit of drinking as it wasn’t consuming my life so as I embark the coming month of December, I have given myself another 30 day challenge in making good habits:
- Spend 30 minutes min each day with some kind of self development and learning ie. Reading business book, daily paper, studying for recruiter courses!
- Drink 6 glasses of water per day
Laura – I could drink coffee all day, but water? – I don’t drink nearly enough. Water is so important to good health so for my 30 day challenge I decided to drink 1.5 litres of water a day. Most days I drank at least 1.5 litres a day, if not more, but I have to admit that some days I got pulled back into old habits and drank less than 1.5 litres. My 30 days of water drinking were mostly successful (even including the small missteps) as even on the days when I didn’t quite meet my goals I was still drinking more water than I would have was I not consciously engaging in the challenge. I will definitely challenge myself again!
Matt – I accepted the 30 day challenge on a whim. I’ve never done one before so thought “why not.” I accepted my challenge in theory – I liked the idea. And an idea is what it remained. I lasted 3 days before it was out of mind for the rest of the period. It reminded me of the ‘best practices’ of goal setting that I didn’t use – I didn’t write it down and give myself a deadline; I didn’t ask for help or someone to check in with me to see how my progress was going; I didn’t keep a physical reminder near my desk to cue me to do something. This challenge reminded me that an idea will stay an idea until I turn it into a goal. Lessons learned for my next 30 day challenge!
Alana - My 30 Day Challenge was an interesting exploration of habit-making activity. In an effort to make it stick, I made a cup of green tea each morning and brought a pre-sorted bottle of vitamins with me to work. I was really good and didn’t miss a day for 2.5 weeks until I ran out of green tea and one of my vitamins. I missed a couple days of green tea, then a couple vitamins on various days. The interesting part was how I wasn’t as motivated to continue my activity after a slip up. I learned that if I try any diet, exercise or new habit, I need to be routine on not only administering the activity, but also making sure I am ready with supplies. Starting on Dec 1, I started a new routine to try – making my lunch every weekday so I don’t buy lunch. Both Sundays I have gone out to purchase the necessary groceries then chopped and cooked enough for the whole week. That way, it is easy each morning to just pack the food into a Tupperware and bring it with me. Also, in case I accidently run low on supplies, I have a backup of a few soups in my cupboard so I stay on track. Hopefully I can use my 30 day challenge experience as a learning point instead of a failure.
Jessica – I reached for my business book every night – except for the occasional night when I didn’t read at all because my eyes were just so tired from the day, that I had to go straight to bed.
I did manage to plough through my book way more than I normally would have. Glad I did the challenge. I will continue with my reading – see, the habit already worked!
Now I want to pick up another good habit. Maybe I’ll drink green tea every day, just like Alana did. That would be a good place to start.
What I think we all learned from this challenge, is to keep yourself accountable to attain your goals, and if you miss a couple of days, pick up where you left off, and eventually, the habit could start to stick again.