August is almost here, and it’s time for the 30 Day Exercise Challenge! Choosing a different challenge each month is an excellent way to stay motivated, break bad habits, and instill good habits.
(May 2020 Update: My youngest daughter just turned six, and I’m finally getting around to healing my core from pregnancy and childbirth! I didn’t wait 6 years because I was lazy, quite the opposite. I spent 6 years doing the wrong things!)
Choosing a different 30 day challenge each month has the interesting side-effect of giving your months a bit of a theme-party flavor. (If theme parties aren’t your thing, I discuss other benefits of 30 day trials in my article 7 Simple Ways to Change Your Life.)
When choosing a 30 day challenge, identify what you need to work on most in your life at this very moment, and don’t be afraid to face it.
A successful challenge might change your behavior long-term, so keep this in mind when choosing a trial. Ideally, a 30 day challenge should offer you benefits that improve your life, so something like giving up sugar might be more useful than finding a rock each day that matches your cat.
For August, I’m going to choose exercise because I haven’t been doing enough of it since my little girl was born. I use all the standard excuses as to why I don’t exercise enough, such as “too busy” or “too tired” but I know they are just excuses for not taking excellent care of my body.
A 30 day challenge should be clear and measurable so I’m going to give myself a few simple exercise options.
I figure I get enough strength training by lifting and holding my infant daughter a few hundred times a day, but cardio and flexibility I need to work on. For my 30 days of exercising every day I can choose between 30 minutes of running or yoga, or I can walk for an hour. These choices will allow me to balance the impact of running with the stretching and restorative benefits of yoga (as opposed to a 30 day running challenge—my knees would never forgive me!)