129 30-Day Challenge Ideas to Create a Better Life
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If you want to live a better life, you can start establishing good habits today.
One way of ensuring that those good habits permanently become part of your system is the 30-day challenge (30DC).
Today, we’re providing you with 129 30-day challenge ideas for improving your career, personal life, health, finances, relationships, and even the planet. You can pick and choose the ideas that appeal most to you.
But first, let’s start with a simple definition.
How Does the 30-Day Challenge Work?
Starting a new habit is hard.
Breaking a bad one is even harder.
Eliminating our negative habits is something we often try. Unfortunately, life usually gets in the way. We might be good for a few days, but something always stops us from forming a lifelong habit.
So why do we often fail?
The problem stems from that scary word – permanent.
Deep in our subconscious, it’s hard to tell yourself that you must do something forever. We also don’t like the idea of following an unpleasant activity for the rest of our lives. The problem with forever is it seems like…forever.
But with a 30-day challenge, you’re just experimenting with new behavior. It’s downloading a trial version of the software. You don’t actually “buy into” the habit change until the end of the test period. Only then will you decide to keep it or not.
Simply put: It’s hard to get past those first few weeks of a habit change. That’s the time when most people succumb to their impulses. Once you get past this critical period, it becomes easier to stick to a new routine.
In a way, a 30-day challenge tricks the mind into forming a new habit. It’s easy to do something unpleasant if you think it’s only for a month. And when the time expires, you’ll be close towards making a permanent change.
For instance, let’s say you’re a smoker. Most people can’t break this habit because it’s impossible to commit to never having another cigarette. Most people don’t have the willpower to go “cold turkey” like this.
A better solution is to concentrate on forming a new habit for a few weeks. Basically you’re taking it for a “test drive.” Instead of committing to a permanent change, you’ll try a habit for a while and see if it works.
30 days is not a guarantee that you’ll get the results you’re expecting from a lifestyle change. In fact, one study claims that it takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to stick.
However, 30 days is enough for you to find out if the strategy you’re using will work in the long term, or if you need to change your approach.
If the strategy does work, this amount of time also gets the ball rolling so that you have the will power to succeed in embedding the habit into your system.
Let’s explore some ideas for your personal 30-day challenge!
30-Day Challenge Ideas at Work
1. Wear something to work that makes you feel like your best self.
Choose clothes and accessories that make you feel invincible. Dressing well and having proper grooming can boost self-confidence.
Another upside to being well-dressed in the workplace is that you gain other people’s respect.
Resource: Need help pinpointing your personal style? Here are five strategies you can use to figure out what clothes work best for you.
2. Apply the Pomodoro Technique in your work.
The Pomodoro Technique helps increase your productivity and improves your ability to manage your time at work.
To apply the technique in your work, list down key tasks you need to get done. Then, set a timer for 25 minutes and start working on those tasks you’ve listed. Keep going even if there are distractions. After 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. Then do another 25 minutes of uninterrupted work. Repeat this four times before taking a longer break.
Resource: Here is an online Pomodoro timer you can use when implementing this productivity technique.
3. Keep a daily journal and write about the things that happened at work.
At the end of the day, take time to write about what happened in the workplace. This exercise helps you process the mixed emotions you might be feeling about your job or a particular experience.
Your journal can also serve as documentation for things that happened in the past, but that you might need for future reference (e.g., the date you got promoted or that time you had to deal with a difficult client). Writing in your work journal can also clear your mind so that you can focus on new tasks.
Resource: Here is a list of 20 of the best daily personal journals and notebooks.
4. Avoid checking emails first thing in the morning.
To keep your concentration and focus on the things you’re supposed to do, make it a point to avoid checking your email the moment you arrive at work. Instead, work on something important first.
After you’re done with it, you can check your inbox. This way, you remain unaware of the funny cat videos your cousin sent you, the two-day sale they’re having at your favorite store, or that report that your team needs to send out in a week’s time (important but not an emergency).
Resource: Consider this: A University of London study revealed that constantly checking email decreases your mental capacity up to three times more than smoking pot on the job would.
Doing this for the next 30 days is guaranteed to increase your productivity, and teaches you how to properly get things done.
5. Arrive 30 minutes early for work.
Arriving at work a few minutes earlier not only increases your productivity but also lessens stress during your commute. When you make it a habit of arriving for work early, employers and co-workers will see you as someone who’s reliable. You show that you’re willing to carry a fair share of the day’s workload.
However, being too early for work decreases its benefits. Ideally, coming in half an hour early gives you peace and quiet to get a few things done before the whole workplace gets busy.
Resource: To get to work early, you may need to get up a bit earlier. Here are 13 steps you can take to wake up early in the morning.
6. Improve skills that are relevant to your work by getting a professional certification.
A professional certification helps boost your career in several ways, some of which include getting hired, getting a promotion, getting higher pay, and receiving new responsibilities. You can get a certification by enrolling in a course either online or through a brick-and-mortar school near your area.
Some in-demand certifications today are for personal fitness trainers, foreign language teachers, IT specialists, and web developers.
Resource: Here are some online professional certification courses offered by Coursera.
7. Brainstorm a solution to a problem at work.
Brainstorming is a good way to develop creativity and critical-thinking skills. For the next 30 days, identify an issue or a challenge at work. It could be that this problem affects you personally, or it may be an issue that your team or department is currently working to solve.
Write your proposed solutions, and try to apply the solutions when you get the chance. Moreover, if you brainstormed for a solution to an issue faced by your group, share your ideas at your next meeting.
Resource: This video explains how you can enhance your problem-solving skills.
8. Pay your colleague a compliment.
This one is tricky because when you are giving a compliment to a co-worker, you don’t want to sound fake. Furthermore, you don’t want your colleague to think you’re acting superior, and that it’s your job to check on the quality of their work. Make sure that any compliment you make is sincere.
Resource: Here are some genuine and appropriate compliments you can give to your co-workers.
9. Always be mindful of your posture while sitting.
There are numerous advantages to holding the correct posture, especially when you’re sitting down for an extended period of time. A poor posture affects your digestion (making you prone to acid reflux), prevents you from breathing properly, and causes your aches and pains because of strained muscles.
To counter these negative effects, here are some tips for maintaining good posture while sitting down:
Resource: Here is a step-by-step guide to being mindful of your posture.
10. Avoid using contractions in conversations.
Although contractions are useful in conversations, their frequent use often highlights the negative (e.g., can’t, don’t, won’t). So, instead of saying “I don’t want to go to the beach for the company outing,” say, “I’d prefer a mountain resort for the company outing venue.”
Resource: Check out this list of 37 habits that you can adopt to stop being negative.
11. Refrain from using your phone and other tech devices during work hours.
Go on a tech detox for the next 30 days by refraining from using your tech devices while you’re at work. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, only use it for that function. As an extra challenge, avoid using your phone and other gadgets while on your commute to and from work.
Resource: Here are 11 proven strategies that you can use to stay focused at work.
12. Get out of your desk during lunch break.
Take the time to recharge in the middle of the day by getting out of your desk during lunchtime. Pack a healthy lunch with you and go for a brief stroll. Having lunch out helps you let go of work-related stress and gives you an energy boost to tackle the rest of the day.
If you need some ideas for healthy lunches, check out this post featuring meals that you can prepare in an hour or less.
Resource: Consider this list of 8 things you can do during your lunch hour that are scientifically proven to maximize your productivity for the rest of the day.
13. Take a 30-day vacation from work.
Want to have a fresher perspective about things going on in the workplace? Give yourself time to recharge and regroup by taking a month-long vacation.
Taking 30 days off from work can boost your creativity and physical health. Use the time away to reconnect with your family.
Make sure to inform your employers several weeks ahead before completely switching into vacation mode.
Resource: Here are some things to keep in mind before stepping out of work for a month.
Challenges for Personal Development
14. Determine your priorities for the day.
To get the most out of every single day for the next 30 days, apply the Eisenhower Matrix to determine what’s important and urgent. This method is one of the best ways to completely overcome procrastination.
Resource: Here is a 7-minute habit you can adopt to help you prioritize your day. And if you need some inspiration, read some of these priority quotes.
15. Use a gratitude journal.
Change your outlook in life and achieve more happiness by writing what you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal.
If you need some writing prompts to jumpstart your journey to gratitude, check here.
Also, if you are still deciding on the type of gratitude journal to use, our 2020 review of the best gratitude journals can help you make the right choice.
Resource: This book explains how you can turn practicing gratitude into a daily habit.
16. Organize your digital files.
After organizing your files, you may discover several important ones that you’ve been hunting for weeks or even months. Also, you’ll free your computer from clutter, making it work more efficiently.
Resource: Here is a 10-minute digital declutter practice to help you get started with organizing your digital files.
Developing a mindfulness habit can begin with meditating once per day.
Among the benefits that you’ll reap when you meditate for a month include improved memory, reduced anxiety, reduced cravings for cigarettes and junk food, and a strengthened immune system.
Here are 71 mindfulness exercises that you can use to live in the present moment.
Resource: Check out this list of 15 meditation apps you can use to help guide you through this practice.
18. Do something that promotes self-care.
Self-care is the most important thing you can do for your physical and mental health. However, many of us skimp on or even completely skip it.
For the next four weeks, take the time to create a self-care routine. It’s not necessary to spend a lot to take care of yourself. In fact, some of the activities don’t require you to spend anything.
Resource: You can check out over 200 self-care ideas in this post, which you can try for this 30-day challenge.
19. Create a morning routine.
Here at DGH, we believe that a good morning routine is one of the foundations for success. So, why not develop an awesome morning routine as your 30DC?
There are several apps that help you start your morning routine. Find one that works well for you.
Resource: Here is a step-by-step guide to starting a good morning routine.
20. Learn two new words every day.
If you want to build a more powerful vocabulary, why not learn some words? Open the dictionary and randomly choose two words for each day.
Two new words per day times 30 days equals 60 new words at the end of the challenge!
Resource: These 7 apps will help grow your vocabulary in just a few minutes each day.
21. Try your hands at arts and crafts.
Not just kids can reap the positive benefits of doing arts and crafts. For adults, crafting can be a way to lower stress after a difficult day.
It also helps keep the mind sharp, encourages creativity, and raises self-confidence levels. More importantly, studies have shown that arts and crafts can lower the impact of serious illnesses on patients who use this as a creative outlet.
Perhaps it’s time to consider taking that knitting lesson.
Resource: Here are 21 hobbies that will also help you exercise your creative mind.
22. Practice calligraphy.
Learning calligraphy is one specific way to learn arts and crafts. Calligraphy strengthens your vision and improves mental health.
Also, it’s not just a charming skill—it’s actually quite useful. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll no longer have to pay for expensive invitation cards for the special occasions in your life. You can make them yourself!
Resource: This video will show you how to do the basic calligraphy strokes to get you started.
23. Spend 5 to 10 minutes daily learning a foreign language.
Challenge yourself to learn the foundations of a foreign language in 30 days. One convenient way to do this is through a language-learning app.
Through apps, you can easily immerse yourself for 10 minutes per day in learning a language’s vocabulary and grammar rules until you can hold basic conversations in that language.
Resource: Here are the 7 best language learning software and apps that are on the market right now.
24. Be a mindful listener.
In today’s mobile tech era, the most important gift you can give someone is your full, undivided attention. One way to accomplish this is by practicing mindful listening.
For the whole month, learn how to be a mindful listener. You’ll deepen the relationships you have with others, and get to know yourself better.
Resource: Here are some mindful listening techniques you can use to help you perfect this practice.
25. Discover different ways of being happy.
What makes you truly happy? Make a list of the things and activities that spark joy within you.
For this exercise, list down at least 30 items. Do your best to do or acquire at least one item on your list every day.
Resource: Here are 31 habits (backed by science) that are practiced by people who are happy.
26. Enroll in a 30-day online course.
Nurture a growth mindset by enrolling in a course that you’re truly interested in. These days, many highly respected universities offer massive open online courses. Some of them can be accessed through sites like Coursera and Udemy.
When you’ve chosen your course, make the commitment to finish it. You will be well on your way to learning new skills and knowledge!
27. Read something for 20 minutes each day.
Whether it’s several pages of a book you’re currently reading, a couple of magazine articles, a relevant blog post, or a summary of several books, make it a point to do some reading for at least 20 minutes every day.
Blinkist is an app that helps you get an overview of non-fiction titles within a short period of time.
Resource: Try out these 9 steps to implement to increase your reading speed.
28. Write a novel.
Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? This stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it happens the whole month of November.
Your commitment is to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. Signing up for NaNoWriMo provides you with support and encouragement from fellow writers so you can meet your goal and become a full-fledged novelist before the year ends.
Resource: Here are 10 steps you can take to help you publish a book and become an author.
29. Make your bed upon waking up.
If you want to start your day with more positivity and a greater sense of accomplishment, make your bed first thing in the morning.
You might also discover that it’s easier to start other good daily habits once you’ve started making your bed each morning.
Resource: If you need motivation to make your bed in the morning, watch this speech given by former Navy SEAL, Admiral William H. McRaven.
30. Engage in random acts of kindness.
Doing random acts of kindness actually helps you live longer, as science has proven. In addition, being kind boosts self-confidence and can reduce stress and anxiety.
As your next 30-day challenge, go out of your comfort zone and do something that helps or cheers someone up (either a person you know or a stranger). Do it without thinking of rewards, instead just focusing on bringing happiness into someone’s day.
Resource: Here are 115 examples of random acts of kindness that you can do.
31. Write a thank you note to someone each day.
If you want to invite more positivity in your life, try expressing your gratitude. One way of doing this is by writing thank you notes to people who have helped you or made a positive contribution in your life.
Your challenge is to write to one person per day. Be specific on what exactly you’re thanking the person for (e.g., Thank you for the constant encouragement you gave me when I was having a difficult time starting my business).
It is up to you whether you want to mail the notes or not.
Resource: Writing to friends and family is easy, but writing professional thank you cards can be more of a challenge. Here is a guide (with examples) to professionally thank someone.
32. Draw or doodle.
If you are creative, you will enjoy the challenge of drawing or doodling something for the next 30 days. Furthermore, this activity has several positive benefits for your health.
Doodling and drawing are great ways to stay in the present. Moreover, doodling helps you relieve stress and process difficult emotions, as well as improves your focus.
Finally, a daily doodle is a great way to improve your creativity and productivity.
Resource: Feel like you could brush up on your art skills? Here are some drawing tutorials to help you use your artistic abilities to release stress.
33. Watch one documentary per day.
Do you want to become smarter? Watching documentaries helps you achieve this goal.
Make it a personal challenge to watch one documentary a day. This helps expand your knowledge base by introducing you to other cultures, lifestyles, and schools of thought.
Resource: Here are 45 of the best documentaries that you can watch on YouTube for free.
34. Take time to enjoy the sunrise or sunset.
Deepen your appreciation for the beauty of nature by watching a sunrise or sunset for the next 30 days. As a bonus, watching the rising or setting of the sun has some health benefits.
Doing this as a 30DC can lower symptoms of anxiety, strengthen the immune system, and stabilize your mood.
Resource: Use this sunrise and sunset calculator to find out the best times to see the sun rise and set in your city.
35. Dedicate one hour each day for “me” time.
We often feel guilty about taking time off from our regular responsibilities to have some “me” time. However, numerous studies have shown that spending quality time with ourselves not only has a positive impact on our personal health, the benefits also trickle down to other aspects of our lives (e.g., family and career).
As a challenge for the next 30 days, carve out an hour every day, which you will devote exclusively to yourself. You can read a book (as part of another 30-day challenge), meditate, or simply do some self-care activities that nourish your soul.
Resource: Need some self-care ideas? Here are 274 of them to get you started.
36. Allow yourself to worry for a maximum of 30 minutes per day.
One effective way to reduce anxiety and rumination is to set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day for “worry time.” Although it sounds counterproductive, research shows that spending several minutes focusing on things that make you anxious can actually lessen the duration and frequency of worrying thoughts throughout the day.
Within that half-hour window, write down all the things that you are worried about. There are no big or small worries—everything worry is legitimate. Get all your distasteful feelings out on paper, then stop when you’ve run out time.
Do this for the next 30 days and see how your mood and outlook has improved.
Resource: Here are some additional ways to declutter your mind and stop worrying so much.
37. Learn how to bake.
Baking is a subcategory of the cooking life skill. And as a bonus, if you know how to bake, you can use your talent to express your love for others. You can also potentially turn baking into a way to make an income.
You do not need to enroll in a cooking school to learn how to bake. The Internet is a very good resource for baking lessons. You can learn all there is to know about baking bread, cakes, cookies, and other pastries as your personal challenge for the next 30 days.
Resource: This video walks you through baking the most perfect desserts.
38. Use kind words with yourself.
We are often guilty of negative self-talk. So, for the next 30 days, make it a habit to only speak kind words to yourself.
Resource: This list of 87 self-love affirmations will leave out any room for negativity in your life.
39. Spend at least 15 minutes a day listening to your favorite music.
If you are looking for a way to improve your mood, listen to your favorite music every day. Try it for a month and see how your outlook improves.
Listening to music you like can also boost your productivity, stop your cravings for junk food, and strengthen your ability to retain information. So, assemble your playlist and play it in your car, at work, at home, and while you’re working out.
Resource: If you want to hear some inspirational and motivational songs, here are 52 of them that can help you get in a good mood quickly.
40. Go outdoors.
Did you know that doctors are now prescribing time in nature to cure what ails their patients? Health complaints such as chronic pain, poor eyesight, and mood disorders can all be lessened or completely cured when one spends time outdoors.
Moreover, people who interact with nature every day feel more at peace and able to tackle challenges in their lives.
How about going to a nearby park during your lunch break each day this month?
Resource: Here are the best walking shoes for women and the best walking shoes for men that you can wear on your nature walks. And here’s a list of outdoor hobbies that you may like.
41. Become a volunteer.
Volunteering helps people in need, but the benefits are not only for those you’re helping. Volunteering also benefits you.
When you volunteer, you connect in a meaningful way with other people. You also make friends. Further, volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and raises your happiness levels and sense of well-being.
Finding the right place to volunteer is important to reap the benefits of volunteering. Research several organizations or ask around in your community for opportunities to volunteer.
Resource: This website will help you find a volunteer opportunity near you.
42. Write a quote for the day.
You can change your life for the better by reading inspirational quotes on a daily basis. Motivational and inspiring words help bring about the success and happiness you want.
When you’ve chosen a quote for the day, read it several times or write it in your journal. Reflect on the meaning of the quote and how its message can be applied to your life. Then use the quote as a guide throughout the day.
Resource: Wondering where you can get some quotes that inspire and motivate? Check out our collections of quotes on happiness, quotes on never giving up, money quotes.
43. Spend a few minutes doing some coloring.
There are several advantages to adult coloring books. Foremost, coloring is therapeutic. It relaxes you and reminds you of the joy of childhood.
Moreover, it can serve as a form of meditation, bringing you to a mindful state that helps you focus on the present moment.
Resource: Here are 39 of the best adult coloring books on the market to help you use your creativity to release stress.
44. Watch a TED Talk video.
Get a dose of daily inspiration by watching TED Talks that spark your interest. Watch one video per day, and see how it changes your outlook.
Resource: This link will show you where you can find a lot of valuable TED talks.
45. Take photographs of things that bring you joy.
When you take pictures of the things that spark joy, you deepen your appreciation for life. Make this a daily ritual for the next 30 days, then see how your outlook has changed.
As an extra challenge, at the end of the 30 days, print out the photos you’ve taken and frame them. Hang them on your wall as reminders of how wonderful life is.
Resource: Here is a beginner’s guide to taking professional photos.
46. Visit the local library.
One way to wean yourself off social media for the next 30 days is to leave your phone at home and visit the local library.
Aside from being the most affordable way to access books, libraries provide opportunities for socializing through reading clubs. You can also sign up for lessons or workshops and seminars.
47. Practice a party trick.
Break the ice at the next social gathering with a magic trick you’ve practiced and perfected as a 30-day challenge.
In addition to inspiring and impressing your friends, knowing how to perform a party trick can also strengthen your memory and improve your problem-solving abilities.
Resource: Here are 6 tips for beginner magicians.
48. Be more generous and charitable.
If you want to improve your overall quality of life, be more generous for the next 30 days. Generosity is proven to make us happier.
Generous and charitable people are healthier, and they tend to live longer than their non-generous, stingy counterparts.
Resource: Here is a guide of 21 simple things you can do to be more generous.
49. Tend to a plant.
If you’re looking for a unique 30-day challenge idea, try raising a plant for a month. If you’re not a green thumb, the way to succeed in this challenge is by choosing low-maintenance indoor plants such as a sansevieria or a clorophytum (ask for them from your local nursery or botanical garden).
In addition to helping improve the quality of indoor air, plants also help people heal, become mindful, and be happier.
Resource: Here is the ultimate guide to caring for indoor plants.
50. Record your dreams in a dream journal.
Keeping a dream journal is one way to keep a record of your dreams, just in case a brilliant idea comes to you during your sleep. More importantly, a dream journal is one of the best ways to help you understand yourself, allowing you to achieve self-awareness.
Resource: Here are some tips for keeping a dream journal.
51. Write letters to yourself.
Imagine the joy of reading letters you wrote to yourself a month ago. This exercise cultivates your sense of gratitude for the life you have and is a wonderful souvenir of your journey to self-discovery.
So, what do you write about? You can give your future self advice about something, tell yourself about the three most influential people in your life and why, and write about things you look forward to.
Resource: This website allows you to write letters to your future self and then it will automatically send them back to you at the time you designate.
52. Give yourself compliments.
Positive self-talk helps bring your attention to the good things in your life, according to psychologist Joy Harden Bradford. So, for the entire month, be aware of your thoughts, especially when you’re under pressure.
Catch the negative thoughts you have about yourself and replace them with affirmations or encouraging words.
Resource: This list of 1,132 positive affirmations will help inspire positive self-talk through simple mantras.
And really read what they send you!
Newsletters are great. They provide information about topics that interest you and keep you updated on the latest in your field.
Resource: Here are 7 of the best investment newsletters that can be very helpful if you’re trying to build a habit of saving money.
54. Stop swearing.
Swearing is widely considered a bad personal habit. It is offensive for many people, and it can hold you back from being the best version of you.
Profanity is meant to be shocking, however, common courtesy tells us that we should aim to make others relatively comfortable when having an ordinary conversation. Use the 30-day challenge to stop this habit once and for all.
Resource: You might want to check out this post for tips on how to quit using curse words.
55. Learn to play or hone your skill on a musical instrument.
Research shows that playing a musical instrument can strengthen your memory. This is just one of the reasons why you should make this a 30DC.
Other benefits of learning how to play instruments such as the guitar, piano, or saxophone include increased self-confidence, a developed sense of discipline, and reduced feelings of stress.
Resource: Check out this video on how you can learn to play an instrument.
56. Read 20 pages a day.
Reading 20 pages per day times 30 days is 600 pages—almost three average-length books! You can set aside a few minutes or an hour each day to read these 20 pages.
Resource: Here is a guide to reading more and remembering the information.
57. Write one poem daily.
You can strengthen your writing skills by writing a poem a day. Through this practice, you can gain a richer vocabulary and get practice working on imagery.
Also, you can reap several personal benefits from writing poems for 30 days. It’s a form of therapy, allowing you some emotional expression. You develop empathy for others, as well as a new and deeper perspective of life and the world at large.
Resource: There are a lot of different types of poetry, so there isn’t really a right or wrong way to get started writing it. However, here are 8 fundamentals for adding meaning to your poetry.
58. Create a personal blog.
These days, many people look at blogging as a lucrative venture. However, when blogging started, it was simply done by people who needed outlets for their thoughts (like a glorified journal).
Here are some of the reasons why people put up blogs:
If you’re into writing, you might want to branch out online and start a personal blog. It’s up to you to whether or not to monetize it. You can put up your blog using any of a number of platforms available today, whether for free or with a minimal fee.
Resource: Here is a great guide for beginners on how to start a blog.
59. Stop complaining.
There are a number of reasons why it’s important to quit complaining. First, when you complain too much, you are actually training your brain to gravitate towards negativity. Second, being a constant complainer repels other people.
If you have a habit of complaining, use 30 days to challenge yourself to stop doing it. You can set up a reward system to motivate yourself to stop complaining.
Resource: One surefire way to stop complaining is to practice gratitude more often. Here are 50 ways you can practice gratitude.
60. Make a “30-item personal happiness list” and do one item per day.
Even though many of us have houses, loving spouses, and fulfilling jobs, we still have feelings of dissatisfaction and incompleteness.
The way to address this is to discover what truly makes you happy. Make a list of all those things. Your challenge is to do one item on your list every day for 30 days.
Resource: If you’re not sure where to start, here are 31 habits of happy people.
61. Smile 10 times or more every day.
Although many people view smiling as an involuntary act, you can actually make it a conscious part of your day. For the next 30 days, make it a point to smile at least 10 times daily.
Smiling has many proven benefits for our health and well-being. It strengthens the immune system, elevates moods, and it makes you look younger and more attractive.
Resource: Here are 20 ways you can train yourself to smile more often.
62. Learn five fun facts about a country.
You’ll have knowledge about 30 different countries by the end of the challenge!
Resource: This site has all kinds of information on different countries, from culture guides to how to succeed in business.
63. Practice writing with your non-dominant hand.
By using your non-dominant hand for activities that usually require the dominant one, you can strengthen your brain’s neural connections.
Other benefits of using your non-dominant hand are increased creativity, a boost in memory, and developing open-mindedness.
Resource: Here are 80 ways that you can learn to code for free online.
64. Learn to code.
Knowing how to write code is a useful skill. You don’t have to be a genius to learn how to code, and you can do this as your next 30-day challenge.
By learning how to code, you’ll gain a better understanding of how technology is shaping our world today. You can also profit from your newfound skills and create websites. Or, if you discover you have a real knack for coding, you can turn it to a full-time career.
Resource: This styling coach website will help you choose the perfect outfit for the occasion (or weather).
65. Prepare your outfit for the next day the night before.
We all want to enjoy serene mornings, when we can calmly prepare for the day ahead, eat a leisurely breakfast, and have time for a short meditation or workout.
However, there are always days when we wake up late and spend the short time we have scrambling to get ready for work or school.
Ease into your morning routine by preparing your outfit for the day the night before. Practice this for 30 days and you will have established a new good habit that helps make your morning preparations effortless.
Resource: This styling coach website will help you choose the perfect outfit for the occasion (or weather).
66. Document the whole month by taking a photo every day.
Develop a deeper appreciation for your life by getting your phone or camera out and taking pictures of key events in your daily routine for the entire month.
Researchers have discovered that people have a deeper sense of enjoyment of happy events in their lives when they take pictures of the experience. Try it for 30 days!
30-Day Challenges – Financial
67. Stop buying anything new for 30 days.
Ready to become wealthier? For the next 30 days, only buy the things you need (food and supplies).
Resource: Here are 9 tips to help you stop impulse buying.
68. Create and stick to a budget.
If you are looking for ways to save more money, why not spend 30 days learning how to stick to an actual budget for your expenditures?
For budgeting tips, check out this post on how to use the cash envelope system.
Resource: Here are 26 habits you can adopt that will help you budget and save money.
Want to be financially savvy? Reading something related to finance even for just five minutes a day helps you gain the knowledge you need.
Resource: These 7 financial newsletters will help you skyrocket your financial IQ.
70. Avoid buying gourmet coffee.
Gourmet coffee is one of the few luxuries we treat ourselves to in order to make it through a hectic day.
However, gourmet coffee is expensive. To save some money and meet the 30DC, for the whole month, make your coffee at home and bring a thermos to work instead.
Resource: Or, better yet, work to kick your coffee habit altogether.
71. Save at least $500 for one month.
Challenge yourself to save a certain amount of money every month. For now, your target is $500.
To reach your goal, you might want to stop buying lunches and coffee (idea #70). Using a money-saving app can also help you keep to your budget so you’ll reach your target amount faster. To know which app works best for your needs, check out this review of the best money-saving apps of 2022-23.
Resource: Here are some money-saving apps, websites, and tools that will help you reach this goal.
72. Pause your online shopping for 30 days.
With the convenience of online shopping, it’s easy for most of us to buy things that we don’t really need. So if you want to wean off of excessive consumerism, do a one-month online purchase pause.
Aside from saving money, a purchase pause helps you feel more grounded. It teaches you to focus on what you already have, promoting an attitude of gratitude.
Resource: Better yet, consider doing a spending freeze for the entire month.
73. Keep track of your daily expenditures.
Keeping track of your daily expenses is a good way of raising financial awareness. It is a positive step toward good financial management.
Use a small notebook to write down every expense you have throughout the day, down to the last penny. At the end of the month, review what you’ve written in the notebook. By then, you will be more aware of your spending habits, areas where you tend to overspend, and possible ways of saving money.
Resource: Here are the best expense tracker apps available.
74. Bring a packed lunch to work.
The average cost of lunch bought at the workplace is $11. But it usually costs just half that much when you prepare lunch at home and bring it to work. Plus, packed lunches are often healthier because you know exactly what’s in them.
Resource: Use these containers to bring your lunch to work.
75. Pay for your purchases only in cash.
We tend to overspend when we use our cards to make purchases. If you’re up for this challenge, pay only in cash for your purchases (except bills and mortgage) for the next 30 days.
Since your purchasing power is more limited when paying cash, you’ll discover that you become more mindful of the things that you buy.
Resource: Here is a step-by-step guide to switching to a “cash only” budget.
76. Start a business on the side.
Do you have some experience in repairing small appliances? Are you good at crafts? Can you write killer articles? Choose something that you love to do, and make money out of it.
You can offer your services in your neighborhood or online.
Resource: Here are some really helpful podcasts to listen to for entrepreneurs.
77. Set up a money jar.
Put all your loose change in a jar at the end of every day for a month, then count how much you have at the end of the 30-day challenge.
Resource: Here are 7 tips for having a successful coin jar.
78. Learn about investments.
If you are serious about meeting your financial goals, you should learn the basics of investing. That way, when the time comes and you become interested in investing your hard-earned money, you can make the best decisions regarding the investments you’re making.
Enrolling in investment courses online is one way of acquiring the knowledge you need.
Resource: These 16 books will teach you everything you need to know about investing.
Challenges for Your Health and Well-Being
79. Get the right amount of sleep.
You can reap a whole host of benefits by getting the right amount of sleep. For the next 30 nights, make it a point to be in bed before midnight, and log at least seven hours of zzz’s.
Resource: Have trouble sleeping? Here are 41 tips you can use to improve your quality of sleep.
80. Quit consuming sugar.
Are you addicted to sugar? Many people are. Use this challenge to seriously cut back on your sugar consumption.
Sugar has been identified as one of the unhealthiest things we consume each day. Imagine how your health will improve if you eliminate sugar from your diet.
Resource: Here is the essential guide to quitting sugar once and for all.
Although social media use has some advantages, its negative effects still outweigh the positive ones. Wean yourself from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for one month, then see how your quality of life has improved.
82. Start doing yoga.
When you commit to giving up social media for a month, you need something to do to fill the void. How about trying yoga for a month?
The health benefits add up. You’ll wake up feeling better, plus you will be mentally alert, calmer, and more flexible.
Resource: Here are 21 of the best yoga books for beginners.
83. Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
Dentists recommend that we brush our teeth at least twice a day. However, some people are tempted to brush only once after a long day at work or a night of partying. To maintain good oral health, make it a habit for one whole month to brush your teeth twice a day.
Resource: These electric toothbrushes will help ensure your mouth gets clean every time you brush.
84. Take your daily supplements.
Your health is important, and it becomes even more so when there are others who depend on you. Eating the right kinds of food and exercising are good ways to stay healthy. Taking nutritional supplements is another way to do so. As a challenge, never miss a day of taking your daily supplements. Your body will thank you for it.
Resource: These superfood powder supplements are all nutritionally dense and rich in vitamins and minerals.
85. Walk or bike.
Instead of commuting or using a car, bike or walk to work, or when you’re running an errand close to your home. The exercise will benefit your health, you will save money you’d otherwise use for fuel or fare, and it’s good for the environment.
Resource: If you’re trying to lose weight, walking can definitely help you. This article shows you how you can lose weight walking 5 miles per day.
86. Eat breakfast.
There is a reason that breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, as it restores your glucose supply to give you energy and make you alert so you can tackle the day. It also gives your body the essential nutrients that you need for proper health.
For the next 30 days, make it a point to have breakfast shortly upon waking up to help complement a healthy lifestyle.
Resource: At a loss about what to prepare on a hectic morning? Here are some ideas for a healthy breakfast.
87. Eat one vegetarian meal per day.
Since we’re on the topic of health, eating fresh fruits and vegetables is an essential part of maintaining a healthy diet. Eating at least one vegetarian meal a day can boost your intake of these nutritious foods and greatly reduce your risk for developing chronic illnesses.
Resource: For ideas on what to prepare, here are 25 vegan sandwich ideas that are both healthy and filling.
88. Train your taste buds to enjoy different flavors (especially of vegetables).
Many of us are picky eaters to some degree. How about introducing yourself to a variety of unfamiliar dishes for one whole month? Take this challenge as a culinary and gustatory adventure. You can visit exotic restaurants, or cook the meals yourself.
Resource: Here is how you can retrain your palate to adjust your tastebuds to prefer healthier foods.
89. Increase your water intake.
Most of us need to drink more water than we consume each day. Challenge yourself to increase your water intake. After a few days of increasing your hydration levels, I guarantee that you’ll notice a huge difference in your energy, mood, and resistance to illnesses.
Resource: Get bored of drinking plain water? Here are 10 water flavoring enhancers to help you enjoy a bit more variety.
90. Lessen your screen time.
Many of us began the habit of watching television as kids because it was an effective distraction that allowed our parents to get things done around the house. Fast forward to adulthood, and this is still one of the most common things we do to pass the time.
Constant TV watching has been linked to many negative effects on our physical and mental health as well as our social life. To make a better use of your time, challenge yourself to a TV detox this month.
Resource: This “how to” post can help you stop watching so much tv.
91. No screen time an hour before bedtime.
Sleep healthier before midnight by following a no-screen-time rule an hour before bedtime. You can try this as a personal challenge, or make it a collective goal by getting the entire household (kids and spouse) involved for this 30DC.
Resource: Here are 99 things you can do instead of watching tv.
92. Log all the food you eat in a food journal.
Recording all the food you eat can bring positive changes to your life. Food logging not only helps you keep track of which types of food make you lose or gain weight, it can also identify food intolerances and factors that trigger you to eat in an unhealthy way.
Try making a one-month food log and see where this takes you on your journey to better health.
Resource: Here are 37 food journal and diary templates that can help you track your food intake.
93. Do some brain-flexing exercises.
As we grow older, our brains lose their plasticity and our memory begins to decline. You can slow down these effects by engaging your brain in some exercises every day.
Some ideas to try:
Resource: Here are 12 memory games for adults to help work out your brain and keep your memory sharp.
94. Get up 15 to 20 minutes earlier than usual.
Most successful people have one habit in common—they tend to wake up earlier than the rest of us.
As a challenge for yourself, make it a habit to get up at least 15 minutes earlier than usual. This will allow you some quiet time to be productive before you have to get going with your day.
Resource: Check out this post for some tips on how to wake up early and not feel tired.
95. Have a healthy smoothie for breakfast.
We’ve already established earlier that it’s essential to eat breakfast to stay healthy. How about starting the habit of having a healthy breakfast smoothie for the next 30 days?
Resource: To go one step further, try one of these 72 green smoothie recipes.
96. Eat fresh fruits every day.
Fruits can fill the nutritional gaps in your diet, especially in relation to under-consumed vitamins and minerals. When you eat fruits on a daily basis, you also lessen your risk of developing heart disease. Furthermore, fruits promote healthy digestion.
Resource: Here are some tips on how you can get more fresh fruit into your diet.
97. Take an afternoon nap.
Saying that naps are good for you is an understatement. After a nap, you’re usually more alert, enhancing your performance in the task at hand. It also helps prevent accidents and mistakes.
In our sleep-deprived culture, many people can benefit from the rejuvenating effects of a nap. So why not challenge yourself to take an afternoon siesta every day for a whole month?
Resource: Check out these napping dos and don’ts for adults.
98. Cook a new, healthy recipe every day.
Try out a new recipe every night that will excite your taste buds and keep you healthy. Not only will you benefit from this, but your family can, too!
Resource: If you need some ideas for dishes to try for the next 30 days, check out our suggestions of budget-friendly and healthy crockpot family dinners.
99. Aim to walk 10,000 steps per day.
Significantly improve your health (live longer, be at your ideal weight, improve your mental faculties) within 30 days by challenging yourself to walk 10,000 steps every day. Doing this will burn up to 3500 extra calories every week, which equals one pound of body fat. So, depending upon your diet and other activity levels, you could lose up to one pound per week by simply getting into this habit.
Resource: Use a reliable pedometer to get an accurate step count.
100. Stop eating fast food.
Most of us are drawn to fast food because of its convenience and addictive flavors. However, our health suffers from consuming too many fries, soft drinks, and double cheeseburgers.
Improve the nutritional value of your meals by avoiding fast food for a month. Replace these nutrient-poor meals with home-cooked, whole food.
Resource: Here is a guide that can help you stop eating fast food.
101. Stop a vice.
Whether it’s smoking, drinking alcohol, or watching porn, jumpstart your commitment to quitting a bad habit by making it a 30DC. You’ll most likely have a stronger determination to quit for good after completing the challenge.
Resource: Here are 27 steps to break your bad habit.
102. Practice thinking positive thoughts.
People who have the tendency to think positively have a better ability to cope with stress. They also tend to be more successful and happier in life.
To invite success and happiness in your life, try a daily dose of positivity. You might want to visit this post for 29 tips for positivity in life and work.
Resource: Check out this huge list of 1,132 positive affirmations you can recite daily to bring more positivity into your life.
103. Drink only water.
Drink only water for 30 days, and enjoy these likely benefits:
Resource: If you need a good water bottle to carry with you throughout the day, here are some of the best stainless steel options on the market.
104. Do daily oil pulling.
Oil pulling is an age-old practice where you swish natural oil in your mouth to get rid of bacteria. It is said to promote healthy teeth and gums.
Try oil pulling for 30 days for better oral health. You simply measure out a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil, then swish it around in your mouth for 10–15 minutes. Don’t swallow any of it. After the allotted time, you can spit it out in the trash. Never spit it out into the sink or toilet bowl.
If you’re looking for a fitness challenge, check out our step-by-step 30-day ab challenge.
Resource: Here is some research on this practice in addition to a step-by-step guide on how to do oil pulling for oral health.
105. Eliminate single-use plastic containers and opt for reusable ones instead.
Reusing containers reduces the amount of trash that goes to landfills. On your next shopping trip, bring a cloth bag or some BPA-free plastic containers for your purchases, in addition to swapping your plastic water bottles with the stainless steel water bottles previously mentioned.
Resource: Check out these smart, reusable notebooks that will help you save paper and help the economy use less waste.
106. Grow an herb and vegetable garden.
Backyard gardening makes you self-sufficient. It also helps eliminate food waste and reduces your environmental impact compared with produce from industrialized farms that use pesticides and fertilizers that leach into the soil. Plus, there’s no beating the sense of pride you get when eating fruits and vegetables you’ve planted yourself.
Resource: This video will provide you with ten tips you should know before growing a vegetable garden.
107. Minimize the amount of waste you dispose of every day.
In addition to using reusable containers, you can also lessen your volume of trash by learning to repair things rather than discarding them, learning composting, and canceling unnecessary subscriptions to get rid of junk mail.
Resource: Go to this website to stop unsolicited mail from coming to your house.
108. Buy local produce.
First, you’re assured that what you buy is fresh and in season. Second, you’re also guaranteed that what you’re consuming is free from harmful pesticides. Moreover, when you’re buying local, you’re connecting with the other members of your community. Lastly, your support of local businesses ensures that the money remains within the community rather than being funneled to a chain store.
Resource: You can find your local farmer’s market here.
109. Start composting.
Composting is one way of reducing the amount of garbage you throw out every week. If you have a garden, the nutrient-rich soil from the compost can be used as fertilizer, eliminating the need for toxic pesticides. You’ll be healthier and doing something good for the planet at the same time.
Resource: Here is a step-by-step guide to making compost.
110. Join a 30-day eco-challenge.
When you join this challenge, you commit to living sustainably for 30 days by using eco-friendly products and doing activities that minimize your carbon footprint, such as some of those mentioned above.
Resource: If you need some tips, here are 12 things you can do to live more sustainably.
111. Try meal plans.
Not only will planning your meals reduce food waste, it will also help you save money and eat healthier.
Resource: If you need tips on how to create a weekly meal plan, this post can guide you on the basics.
Challenges for the Home
112. Donate one item from your house each day.
Each day, choose an item from your house that you no longer need, but that may still be of use to someone else. Donate this item to the nearest Goodwill. Old toys can have new owners when you donate them to orphanages or hospitals.
Resource: Here are five charities that will actually come to your house to pick up items that you want to donate.
113. Organize one area in your home per day.
Create a calm, clean, and safe environment by organizing one area of your home each day. For each day of your 30DC, choose a specific area that you will tidy up. Get rid of junk, put usable items in appropriate places, vacuum, and wipe down the windows and walls.
By the end of the challenge, you may have established a solid declutter habit.
Resource: Here is the ultimate decluttering supply list to help organize your home.
114. Apply feng shui techniques for positivity in your home.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that considers the balance of energy, or chi, through scientific calculations in a building in order to maximize effects that are beneficial to the building’s occupants. The goal of feng shui is to invite positive energy into your home that helps you feel balanced and energized.
Resource: Try arranging your home in accordance with feng shui tips to attract positivity and wealth.
115. Do a home makeover by detoxifying your home.
Pollutants, toxic chemicals, and bacteria often get trapped in our homes. Use the 30-day challenge to detoxify all areas of your home. Make it a habit to leave your shoes at the door when you come inside the house, use eco-friendly household cleaning products, and regularly open your windows to let fresh air in.
Resource: Here is the simplest way to fully detox your home.
Interaction and Relationship Challenges
116. Lessen your interaction with toxic individuals.
Toxic people can negatively affect your health and well-being. When you’re in the presence of a toxic personality, you are constantly on guard yet your personal boundaries are still often violated.
You feel drained because all they do is take.
To stop feeling like this, stop interacting with them. If you can’t avoid interaction, make sure to keep it to a minimum.
Resource: Here are 17 tips for dealing with toxic people.
117. Compliment a stranger.
Increase your personal happiness by complimenting a stranger. By the end of the challenge, you’d have interacted with 30 different people.
This activity requires you to get out of your comfort zone — an initially uncomfortable experience, but one that is good for your personal growth. Further, it invites positivity into your life.
Resource: Here is a list of 100 compliments you can give to other people to make them happy.
118. Enjoy a romantic activity with your partner or spouse.
Use the 30 days in this challenge to rekindle the love that you and your partner or spouse have for each other. Some ideas include stargazing, preparing a candlelit dinner, or just holding hands while on a stroll around your neighborhood after dinner.
Resource: Here are 43 romantic date night ideas for you and your partner.
119. Take a walk together with your family after dinner.
An evening stroll gives the whole family some exercise. It can also calm one’s mind for a better night’s sleep later on.
You can also use a walk after dinner to extend your bonding time with each other.
Resource: Here are 13 health benefits that you will get from walking every day.
120. Do a chore that your partner or spouse hates doing.
Sharing household chores strengthens relationships and prevents conflicts. Each day, show your partner or spouse how much you care by doing the chores they hate the most.
Resource: Use one of these printable family chore charts to keep track of what everyone in the house is doing.
121. Start a conversation with a stranger.
One way to boost your confidence is by starting a conversation with someone you don’t know. Being successful in this makes you feel relaxed and accomplished, and you can carry that feeling into your next business presentation.
Resource: Here are 9 ways to improve your communication skills.
122. Tell a family member you love them and how much they mean to you.
During this 30DC, never miss a chance to tell the people you love how much they mean to you. You’ll be strengthening your bond with them. Your words might be what they need to hear on a particularly trying day. Life is short, and you don’t want to regret not telling them how you feel when they are still with you.
Resource: Here are 71 quotes to use to let someone know that you care about them.
123. Buy a meal for someone less fortunate.
If you are thinking of doing charitable acts as your 30-day personal challenge, why not consider buying a meal for someone else? There are a lot of people in America who go to bed hungry. A restaurant in D.C. and the musical artist Bon Jovi are both doing what they can to help out. You too can extend that kindness and generosity to others.
Resource: You can also donate to this organization, Food For The Poor, to help ameliorate the hunger issue in our country.
124. Answer questions left by people in forums.
People go to forums and ask questions because they can’t find reliable answers somewhere else. If you are an expert at something and belong to an online community, spend a few minutes per day answering questions left by forum members. Your answer will be appreciated.
Resource: Want to become an expert on something? These resources can help!
125. Do something nice for your neighborhood every day.
There are many benefits of doing something good for others, so for the next month, commit to doing at least one good deed for your community each day.
You can share your expertise, and teach at the community center. Or you can spend an hour or so picking up trash from around the neighborhood. Another idea is to plant a community garden.
Resource: This link provides a lot of ideas for things you can do to help your community.
126. Eat dinner with your family.
There are science-backed reasons why it’s important to eat dinner together as a family. For one thing, when you eat together as a family, you tend to make healthier food choices.
More importantly, it gives younger members of the family a strong sense of belonging. This feeling of security will support them during the chaotic teenage years.
Resource: Check out these chicken recipes that are healthy and delicious. Consider making a quinoa salad on the side.
127. Give your partner or spouse genuine praise.
We often get so busy that we take our relationships for granted. One way to keep your relationship strong is to praise your partner.
Why not make it part of your 30-day challenge? Praising your partner or spouse on a daily basis creates a stronger, happier, and more unified relationship.
Resource: Here are 31 simple relationship goals you can use in addition to giving your partner genuine praise each day to enhance the quality of the partnership that you share with your significant other.
128. Get in touch with one former classmate or childhood friend per day.
It might require a little sleuthing on your part to track down some of the people from your past, but once you get old friends’ contact details, keep in touch with a phone call, a chat, or an email. Make sure that you contact one person per day if you’re doing this challenge.
Resource: Follow these steps to get back in touch with an old friend.
129. Read your kids a bedtime story every night.
When you read to your kids before bedtime, you help them develop good habits that last a lifetime. Bedtime stories boost your children’s imaginations and improve their vocabularies. But the biggest benefit to this 30-day challenge is that you’ll get to spend quality time with the little ones who matter to you the most.
Resource: Here is a list of the best children’s books of all time, categorized by age.
Final Thoughts on a 30-Day Challenge
There you have it—129 30-day challenge ideas you can use to make your life better.
Which ones are your favorites? Have you already tried doing a 30DC? We’d love to hear more about your experience.
Also, if you’d like to build a habit related to a skill, then be sure to check out our posts on the 101 skills you can learn.