Why 30-Day Challenges Aren’t Perfect

Cori2A few weeks ago, I wrote about why I like doing 30-day challenges to change up what I eat. It has generally been a good gig for me, and I’ve made some changes in my eating habits because of my 30-day challenges.

We’re all about being real here at The Journey, though, so here’s what I’ve noticed: I’m not good with moderation, so when I’m NOT doing a 30-day challenge of some sort,  my eating reverts to my old, bad habits. Maybe not as horrible as ever — and I’m probably being overly hard on myself and my perfectionist ways are coming through — but if I don’t have some sort of “rules” in place I apparently can’t keep up my new habits. “They” say it takes 21 or 28 days to make a habit, but I guess for me it only takes a couple more day to break them all. 😉

change is not a process for the impatientSo, like I said, I haven’t lost all willpower and good eating. Some healthy habits have stuck around. I think maybe even more than I realize, because they have been those small, gradual changes we like to talk about here at The Journey. But, I’m learning that I need some rules. I am one of those firstborns who like to follow rules. I just need to use it to my advantage.

I think this is why the fad diets or diets that having you mixing powders and potions work for a while, but in the end, we find it hard to maintain such radical changes. We’re humans, so we find ourselves having a hard time kicking old habits to the curb.

So, for one, remember that none of us are perfect. I ate perfectly Paleo for a month, and I’ve had sugar probably every day for the last month. (And, quite honestly, I notice so much more how much sugar makes me feel yucky. That’s another post for another time.) But, don’t give up just because you have a bad day or a bad month.

Secondly, I’ve learned a lot about myself through these processes of doing well and then doing not so well. I am learning what works for me and what doesn’t work for me. We all need to figure out what motivates us, what works for u,s and what we need to do when things get tough. I can’t figure that out for you, and you can’t figure that out for me.

For me, a 30-day challenge doesn’t “fix” all my issues. But, it does seem to work for those 30 days. And, because I’m not ready to have 30-day challenges every month, I have to accept my two steps forward, one step back little dance routine I have going on. It’s progress, not perfection, which is my goal anyway.

How about you? Are you learning some things that work and don’t work? Share in the comments how you are learning about you!

 

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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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