What Are Monthly Challenges?
Before we jump into this post. Lets first talk about monthly challenges – what are they? For me, my monthly challenges have been a way to push myself out of my comfort zone. Each month, I think about if I want to try a new skill, experience, or work towards establishing a new habit into my routine.
While I’m a firm believer that change usually happens gradually, I’m amazed at how much has changed for me the last time I completed this challenge. Each month, I took small steps to change my attitude, mindset, and learned so many new things along the way. These challenges were life-changing, and I’m looking forward to starting them up again.
How Do I Pick a Challenge for the Month?
These challenges can be as big or as small as you want them to be.
My first challenge was simple. In October 2018, my goal was to consume 8 glasses of water per day.
This challenge was simple, and the change was small but made a difference in my overall health, and I kept it keep it apart of my routine for over a year. Win, win!
Want to know what challenge I’m starting with this time around? Water. I’m starting by doing the same challenge again. At some point, along the way, I stopped paying attention to how much water I was drinking each day, and I accidentally dropped my habit. My goal for this morning is to once again be on my way to creating an automatic habit.
Are you interested in joining me on this #giveitamonthchallenge? If so, I’ve included a variety of ideas and options in my post below.
(Please note – I wrote this post months ago, and before posting it, I updated the ideas to be more in line with the current stay at home order most of the country and world is under. Once we’re through this, I’ll add some additional ideas back in. )
Ideas for Monthly Challenges
Improve Your Overall Health and Fitness Routine
- Consume x oz. of water
- Walk x amount of steps each day
- Incorporate 1 additional vegetable into two out of the three meals a day
- Intermittent fasting
- Try a workout from home program
- Walk an extra 15 minutes each day (no matter the weather)
- Try a new food routine (i.e. Whole 30, CleanEatz)
- Meal prep: plan out your meals and prep for the week ahead of time
- Stop snacking after dinner
- Track what you eat
- Cut back X amount of calories each day (without going crazy)
- Take the stairs
- Do one new exercise move each week
- Cook a new recipe each week
Improve Your Finances
- Cut back one item from your weekly routine: i.e. if you get coffee 5 days a week, narrow it down and only treat yourself one to two days out of the week or limit your drinks when you go out and try to go to happy hour instead of late at night
- Eat at home one-two more days out of the week and skip takeout
- Review your subscriptions and cut out one for a month
- Save More – set a goal and set aside X amount of dollars each week. (Create a separate banking account, cash in a safe)
- Track your spending
Get a New Job or Work Towards Career Advancement
- Take a new course to improve your skills (There are a ton of free classes online right now – I’d recommend searching and using this time at home to learn)
Manage Stress Better
- Take an extra 10 – 15 minute break each day
- Listen to an audiobook or relaxing music
- Meditate or take time to be quiet and reflect
- Play upbeat music
- Take a lunch break
Maintain a Clean Home
- Create and stick to a daily, weekly and monthly chore list
- Declutter by room – create a list of rooms you want to declutter and work on a room a week or a room for the month
- Set a goal to keep clutter out of “X” room
- Go through and donate your clothes by the end of the month
- Only write down 3 – 5 to-dos each day, in order of importance. Work through each task before you move onto the next.
- Stop multi-tasking – do only one thing at a time
- Read or listen to one to two audiobook to help gain additional knowledge and ideas of what might work for you
Set Aside Time For Yourself
- Ditch the Phone for 30 minutes to an hour: Don’t pick up your phone until one to two hours after you wake up OR put your phone away for the night an hour or two before you go to bed.
- There are also apps that you can download to help you reduce your screen time
Try Something New
- Learn a new skill or hobby
- Join an online club or class
- Switch up your routine at home
- Establish a daily routine
Improve Your Mental Health
- Start a journal (can also be a note on your phone or in an app)
- Give yourself more compliments – leave sticky notes around with positive affirmations
- Be kind to yourself. Each day, write down one thing you love about yourself. Research shows that practicing self-compassion slowed people’s heart rate and sweating
- Establish a gratitude practice
- Stay Motivated
- Not an avid reader? Set a goal to read one book a month. Here are some ideas if you need help selecting your next book to read:
- Ask friends for advice
- Have a list of books ready to try out. If after a few chapters, you’re not interested in the book, don’t be afraid to put it down and start a new book.
- Look at the New York Times best-seller list for the past few years.
- Read for 30 minutes before bed
- Don’t have time to read? Don’t be afraid to try out audiobooks.
Get More Sleep
- Set a reminder on your phone for bedtime
Drink Less Alcohol or Caffeine
- Are you not ready to quit cold turkey? Reduce by one cup or drink a day. If you want to reduce it, even more, reduce it again the next month and continue to do this until you hit your goal.
What challenge are you planning on starting this month? Let me know in the comments below or message me over on Instagram.