Why 30-Day Challenges Work for Me

Phew! I feel like that’s all I have to say lately. Life has been chaotic, running from one thing to the next. I started a new job in December, and I’m still trying to figure out a good routine. I especially need to find more writing time, because I miss hanging out here. I have a new series in the works, but until then, I’m going to share about my 30-day food challenges.

Last year I did a no sugar month in March.

Last year I did a no sugar month in March.

One of the things I’ve done over the past few years is take one month, every once in a while, to cut something from my plate. I’ve done several no sugar months, a couple no wheat months, and then the major Paleo eating month.

I don’t know if these eating plans are perfect for everyone, but they work well for me. There are several reasons why.

  • There is a clear time frame. I have a start date and end date. I’m not giving something up forever, just for a time. And really, in the grand scheme of life, it’s a short time.
  • I generally follow “ish” rules. With the Paleo month, I was totally strict and followed the rules. It can be done. But, my other times have included pre-planned cheat days, some pre-planned exceptions, and even some non-planned eating of forbidden foods. The “rules” are realistic so I can follow them without worrying about perfection. Sometimes your best plans just don’t work out, and having “ish” rules keeps you from throwing in the towel if life gets crazy.
  • I never choose to do a 30-day challenge in a month I know will be too hard, such as around Thanksgiving, Christmas or a vacation. Yes, it’s OK to have a few cheat days, but when there is a large amount of temptation to cheat, it’s probably best to pick another month. It kind of defeats the purpose if you end up breaking the rules more than following them.
  • It really becomes an experiment. What can I do to replace my daily treat? How can I eat at my favorite restaurant? The 30 days is enough to stretch you out of your comfort zone to establish some new habits. You realize your daily soda isn’t really a necessity. It is possible to eat a small salad every day instead of a side of potato chips. Each time I do a challenge, I find that it’s not as hard as the time before because some good habits have been added into my life.

We’re all about making small changes in our lives that are things you can stick with. You might start with giving up sugar for one day, just to see how it goes. Maybe you could start with one week. Let us know what you are trying out in your life in the comments below so other Journey Groupies can learn from you, too!

 

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CoriCori is a wife, mom of three, part-time secretary and random writer who is learning how to take small steps towards big goals. She tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, but a journey to learn how to run (something she always hated) has taught her a lot about gradual, slow change. She has a degree in journalism and enjoys doing research and writing.

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2 thoughts on “Why 30-Day Challenges Work for Me

  1. Margaret

    so in an unspoken challenge from Jessica, I am not weighing myself until the end of February. I weighed in January 30th. I think the result is that I am more conscientious of working out consistently as well as what I am eating. I will have to consider the no sugar for a month….

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    1. Cori D. Post author

      That is a great challenge, Margaret! The scale is a tricky thing. And, I started with a no sugar day and I think a no sugar week before jumping into a whole month. You can actually learn a lot just giving it up for one day. Depending on how much sugar you consume, you might want to start with a smaller time frame. Keep up the good work!!

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