Have you ever done a 30-day challenge? You can do a lot in 30 days! You can change an attitude, develop a new habit, kick an old habit, start down the path to get healthier, and so much more! I personally enjoy doing 30-day challenges because I figure I can do almost anything for 30 days even if it’s difficult.
When I wanted to give up sugary drinks, I set a goal to give them up for 30 days. I figured I was up to the challenge because the end was in sight from the beginning! (Just being honest!) Once I gave them up for 30 days, I knew it was something I wanted to continue and that I was capable of doing it. (Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I do occasionally have a Sprite or add some caramel syrup to my coffee, but it happens once every couple of months now, and it used to be something I did every day!)
- No matter the time of year, when you make up your mind to make a change, it’s the right time to get started!
- It just seems so much more doable to set a goal for 30 days than for a longer period of time. And, to be honest, if 30 days seems like too long, try a week or two. Then try 30 days.
- It allows you to “try out” a new habit or commitment so you’ll know whether it’s something you want to continue forever or whether it’s something you’d rather let go of for the time being.
- It can give you a sense of accomplishment and capability to set a short-term goal and reach it.
- It can be fun to challenge yourself! And it can be even more fun if you and a friend complete the challenge together.
- You might want to choose one challenge for 30 days and then do a different challenge until you’ve completed multiple challenges! I would like to caution you, though, not to try to complete two or three challenges all at once. If you try to do too much, you’ll end up feeling discouraged and overwhelmed instead of victorious. This should be something that’s doable!
- Most challenges are more fun with a friend! If you have someone who’s willing to do a challenge with you, take advantage of that! You can encourage each other and hold each other accountable. I know I’m much more likely to stick to my goal when I know someone is going to ask me each day if I stuck with it!
- Don’t be too hard on yourself! Yes, you need to do your best to stick with your goal. If you slip up, though, you need to remind yourself that, as Scarlett O’Hara would say, “Tomorrow is another day.” Instead of kicking yourself for messing up, just resolve to start over again tomorrow!
There are several 30-day challenge trackers available on our sister site, Only Passionate Curiosity.
There are lots of challenge ideas listed below. You may want to choose from the ones on this list or even come up with your own! (If you come up with your own, be sure to tell us about it in the comments so we can add it to our list in case others want to do it.)
My goal is to complete 30 days of:
- no spending – Try not to spend any extra money! Of course you have to pay your regular bills and buy groceries, but this challenge means you don’t spend money eating out, buying clothes or gifts, entertainment, etc.
- decluttering – This could mean getting rid of something you don’t need each day, decluttering one space a day, decluttering a larger space over 30 days, etc. This article with 6 Realistic Tips for Tackling Clutter will help you make a plan and get started.
- deep cleaning – This could mean deep cleaning a drawer, closet, or room each day or deep cleaning for a set amount of time each day, etc.
- photo fun – This could mean lots of things! You might choose to take a photo each day, post a photo on social media, text a photo of your children to a grandparent, etc.
- pay it forward – Do something nice for somebody! This might be posting an encouraging comment on social media, texting or calling someone to encourage her/him, paying for fast food or coffee for the person who’s behind you in line, helping someone in your home do a job that is that person’s responsibility, going grocery shopping for an elderly person, cooking a meal for someone who’s sick, mailing a card or letter to someone, etc. You might enjoy reading this article about 10 Reasons to Do Random Acts of Kindness. And you’ll get lots of inspiration and ideas from 50 Random Acts of Kindness and 50 More Random Acts of Kindness That Can Be Done from Home.You may also enjoy 25 Random Acts of Kindness for Your Husband and 30 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids.
- self-care – This could include exercising each day (even if that means simply going for a walk), cutting out junk food, getting in bed on time each night, taking care of your mental health by relaxing or reading a book for a few minutes each day, etc.
- social media limit – Set a limit on the amount of time you’ll spend on social media each day and stick to the limit! Do something fun or productive with the time you would have spent on social media.
- drinking only water – This one is self-explanatory! Drink only water for 30 days. (I actually allow myself to drink black coffee too since it’s zero calories.)
- no sugar – For me, this means no eating or drinking anything with sugar in it. I also avoid high carb foods and drinks since carbs are essentially sugar. (At least I avoid unhealthy carbs. I still eat fruits and veggies with natural sugars.)
- whole 30 eating – If you’re not familiar with whole 30 eating, it includes things such as: eating foods free of artificial sweeteners, soy, dairy, and processed additives (as well as processed foods) etc. Click here to read The Beginner’s Guide to the Whole30 Diet. If you’re looking for Whole30 cookbooks, you might like Cooking Whole30, The Whole30 Slow Cooker, or 30 Whole Foods Instant Pot Cookbook for Beginners.
- gratitude – Spend a few minutes each day being grateful. This might include simply stopping and thinking about things you’re grateful for, or it could include keeping a gratitude journal, spending time in prayer thanking God for your blessings, or some other way to express your gratitude. It’s up to you!
- Bible reading/study – If your goal is to read the Bible or do some kind of Bible study each day, starting with a 30-day challenge is a great way to develop the habit! I enjoy reading my Bible and listening to a podcast to go along with each day’s reading. Right now I’m reading and then listening to The Bible Recap podcast by Tara-Leigh Cobble.
- drawing – You might choose to work on a different drawing project each day, you may want to work on one project for several days before moving on to the next one, or you might want to work on one big project over the entire 30 days!
- reading – You might want to read for fun, information, instruction, or some other purpose! You could read a chapter a day, read for a certain amount of time, or read a book from a genre you don’t usually read. Or you might choose to read along with a book club or to read aloud to your children each day. I read aloud with my kids from birth until they were all teens and had jobs and crazy schedules which prevented us from being able to have a regular reading time, so don’t think reading aloud is only for young children! We have lots (and lots!) of articles with great book lists! Here are a few of them. Feel free to look around for more after you take a look at these! (1) Books That Feature Homeschool Children, (2) Books to Read This Summer (but of course you can read them any time!), (3) Big List of Sea Life Books, (4) Zoo Scavenger Hunt Printables and Book Lists, (5) Sunflower Unit Study with Book List and Notebook Pages, (6) A Comprehensive Book List for Kids Who Love Percy Jackson, (7) Books for Littles (Preschool and Lower Elementary Ages), (8) Books for Middles (Upper Elementary Ages), and (9) Books for Teens.
- fitness/exercise – I know many of us make commitments to exercise in January, and those commitments usually only last a few days or a couple of weeks. If you commit to a 30-day challenge, though, I think you’ll find that 30 days is enough time to get in the habit of exercising and start to see (and feel!) the benefits! Five years ago (when I was well into my 40s), I decided I wanted to feel better, so I joined a local gym (with group classes because that keeps me motivated and accountable). I committed to going for one month. It was super hard to make myself go at first, but I kept at it. Once I’d done it for 30 days, though, it was getting easier, and I was beginning to see and feel the improvements. That kept me motivated, and I’m still at it five years later! (I’m not kidding when I say, “If I can do it, you can do it!”) If you can’t afford a gym membership (or just don’t want to have to go to a gym), try a sit-up challenge, push-up challenge, yoga, walking, jogging, etc.
- sewing – This could be hand sewing, machine sewing, sewing clothing or dolls or blankets or something else. If you enjoy sewing or think you might enjoy it, now is the time! Work on a different project each day, one project for several days before completing it and moving to the next one, or work on a larger project over an entire month. The details (and even the outcome!) aren’t the important things. The important thing is that you spend some time each day learning or perfecting your skills and enjoying yourself.
- crochet – Similar to the sewing challenge, you might decide to work on several smaller projects or one larger project over the 30 days.
- board games – Play a board game each day with your kids! There are lots and lots of great board games to choose from. You may already have lots of good ones, or you may want to take this chance to learn about new-to-you games to play. You can also go to our list of great educational board games on Amazon.
- arts and/or crafts – There are so many arts and crafts projects to choose from! You might decide to introduce your children to new artists or techniques, or you may decide to create things to give away or use to decorate your home. You could even take this opportunity to add some fun arts and crafts projects to your homeschool or to simply do some projects with your children just for fun. We shared some fun craft projects using toilet paper tubes on Only Passionate Curiosity. Your kids can make a Pirate Toilet Paper Tube Craft, an Airplane Toilet Paper Tube Craft, a Crab Toilet Paper Tube Craft, and a Butterfly Toilet Paper Tube Craft. (If you do the pirate craft, you might also enjoy this Preschool Pirate Printable Pack or our Roll a Story Pirates activity.) Here on Hip Homeschool Moms, you’ll find an article about incorporating art with literature. You can use the ideas in our article and even borrow our ideas to create your own art projects to go with other books you’re reading with your kiddos! Teach Homeschool Art with Literature: Activities for Grandpa Green Book is a great place to start! Or you may want to create Scribble Art Monsters or try this Easy Art Class – The Color Wheel with children of all ages.
- words of affirmation – In a time when people are often quick to be unkind to others, you might want to make an effort to spend 30 days choosing to share words of affirmation. Whether you decide to affirm your spouse or children, friends or family members in person or on the phone or even by text message, or whether you choose to share words of affirmation on social media, the world needs more kindness right now! Be sure to encourage your children to practice words of affirmation with their siblings too! They could speak words of affirmation to each other or even leave notes for each other. This is a great way to encourage your children to get along well and be kind to each other!
- quality time – To me, quality time means me spending time doing whatever is meaningful to the person (or people) I’m spending time with. In other words, if your children love it when you play outside with them, quality time for them would be playing outside together. If your husband loves it when you sit down and watch a movie with him, quality time for him would be watching a movie together. So take a few minutes to think about what quality time means to the people you love and make a plan to do those things! I think, at the end of the 30 days, you’ll be glad you made that commitment!
- acts of service – I don’t know what your love language is, but mine is definitely acts of service! (I think this is true of many busy moms!) Acts of service will vary according to the recipient’s age, interests, and responsibilities. Take a few minutes to think about the person or people you want to bless, and come up with some acts of service you can do for them. Some suggestions for children who’d like to perform acts of service for siblings or parents might be helping another sibling read a book or clean his/her room, helping a parent cook dinner, helping a neighbor with yard work, etc. If you’d like to read a great book about love languages, I loved The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. There’s also a version for kids called The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively, and even a version for teens called The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively.
- skincare – I have to admit this is a 30-day challenge I need to take myself! My idea of skincare is washing my face every morning and every evening. Period. I don’t usually wear makeup, I’m not great about moisturizing my skin, and I don’t usually do anything special to take care of my skin. I do, however, go to the dermatologist regularly because I’ve had a couple of small skin cancers, and I want to be sure to keep an eye out for more. (I suggest you visit a dermatologist too if you haven’t gone in a while. It’s better to be safe than sorry.) For this challenge, decide what you want to do for your skin and do it!
- saving money – This is something most of us don’t do that all of us should be doing! If you’re not working on saving money for emergencies, that’s a great place to start. We have a fun printable on our sister site, Only Passionate Curiosity, to help your children get started saving money! We hope you enjoy the article, Encourage Your Kids to Save Money – Printable Savings Tracker, In the article, you’ll find the link to use to download the printable tracker from our store. To get it for free, put 0.00 in where you see the “pay what you can” option.
- new recipes – My family members are boring when it comes to food. They like to eat the same things over and over and over… So this is one of the 30-day challenges I’m going to do this year! I got a Ninja Foodie pressure cooker/slow cooker/air fryer for Christmas, so I’m trying out new recipes in it. I’m also making healthy changes to my own diet, so I’m working on incorporating more Whole30 foods/recipes. You might also want to take a look at the recipes on our sister site, Love These Recipes, for some kids-in-the-kitchen recipes and recipes for main courses, side dishes, desserts, holidays, and more. Love These Recipes is a fairly new site, but we’ve got some yummy recipes there, and we think you’ll enjoy them! And we’ll be adding recipes all along, so be sure to keep visiting to find more.
- science projects and experiments – When my kids were younger, they absolutely loved doing science projects and experiments! I loved doing them too! You could spend a few days each week researching to find things you want to do and collect supplies. Then, once you have what you need, spend another day or two doing the projects or experiments. Or you might want to do a small, simple activity each day. Some of the most popular science activities on our sites are this Edible Cell Project: Chocolate Chip Cookie Science and this Cool Rubber Egg Science Experiment. Our readers also love Study Science with Dr. Seuss: Bartholomew and the Oobleck and Use Your Garden as an Outdoor Classroom. (If it’s fall or winter, just plan to use these outdoor science activities once it’s spring or summer.) And we have more science activities, printables, and activities than I can even list on Only Passionate Curiosity! When you go to the science section of that site, you’ll find lots to choose from. You can also type “science” into the search bar of that site to find even more ideas.
- shelf-cooking/pantry cooking – This simply means using what you already have on your shelves and in your pantry instead of going to the grocery store. You might want to start by noting what you have in the freezer and on your shelves and then making plans for the meals you can make with those ingredients. For example, last year I bought a turkey on sale after Thanksgiving. I put it in my deep freezer and forgot about it. For this challenge, I could easily bake that turkey and use the meat to make baked turkey, turkey spaghetti, turkey sandwiches, etc. The main goal is to use what you already have instead of buying more food.
- nature walks – If you live in the South like I do, you can go on nature walks year-round! Even during winter, we regularly have days in the 50s and 60s (and sometimes even the 70s!). If you live farther north, you might want to take shorter walks or perhaps even do this 30-day challenge in the spring or summer when the temperatures are warmer. Nature walks can be a great time not only to observe nature but also to enjoy getting outside with your children and paying more attention to nature and your surroundings. If you have young children, you might enjoy going on an ABC Nature Walk. While you’re on your nature walk, you might want to start a nature journal. Our article, 10 Reasons to Keep a Nature Journal, will give you not only reasons to start one but also information about how and what to do. And if you’re looking for outdoor ideas for your kiddos, you’ll love this Big List of Things for Kids to Do Outside This Summer. If it’s winter when you’re reading this, you may still get some ideas for things to do with your kids to keep them active. Or if it’s summer (or if you live in the South where it’s warm most of the year like I do), you’ll be able to use these ideas right away!
- meatless meals – You may want to do a 30-day meatless meals challenge for the health benefits, to save money, or for some other reason. My husband is a meat lover, so this one might be hard for us! But I mentioned earlier that I feel like I can do just about anything for 30 days, so we may try this one at some point this year. There are lots of great meatless meal recipes available now. We may just use this time to find some new meatless favorites!
- productivity – Decide for yourself what would make you more productive and do it! Just be sure not to try to make too many changes all at once. Decide for 30 days to make one change. Do you need to get up earlier? Set a goal for what you need to accomplish each day or each week? Set a timer and work uninterrupted for 30 minutes or an hour? (You may need help with the kids to accomplish that one!) Make sure you get enough sleep so you have the energy to do what needs to be done? Eat healthier so you don’t feel sluggish and tired? Exercise so you have the energy you need? Or maybe even see a health-and-wellness doctor to get help figuring out the changes you need to make so you can think more clearly and be more productive?
- hairstyles – If you’re one of those folks who loves trying out new hairstyles, this is for you! Look up videos on YouTube, try out new hair-styling gadgets, or even go to the salon to try out a new cut or color! 30 days is enough time to try out lots of new looks!
- makeup – I know lots of ladies who love trying out new makeup! I’m a minimalist when it comes to makeup. (In other words, I’m pretty boring and don’t wear much makeup at all!) But I know some ladies who love using new makeup, experimenting with colors and looks, etc. If this is something you enjoy, take 30 days to look at books, read blogs, and watch YouTube videos to get new ideas!
- wear what’s in your closet – Do you (like me) have lots of clothes in your closet, yet you wear the same things day after day? If so, make a plan to wear something out of your closet (without buying anything new!) every single day for a month with no repeats! If you find that you can’t wear most of what’s in there, get rid of it! (Yay! You’ll be completing two challenges at once!) Or, if you come across something you love that you’d forgotten about, you’ve just enlarged your rotation. You might even work on taking what you have, combining things in different ways, and creating some new looks with what you already have.
- foreign language – I’ve wanted to learn Spanish for a long time! My family and I go to Peru each summer on a mission trip, and we’ve grown to love the people there. I would love to be able to communicate with them in Spanish. I’ve started working on learning Spanish at one time or another over the years, but I need to make Spanish lessons part of what I do every day. Starting with a 30-day challenge is how I plan to get more serious about building up my Spanish vocabulary this year! Whatever language you want to learn, set a goal to work on it for 30 days. Hopefully, that will turn into 30 more days and 30 more days until you’ve gained enough skill to communicate in your new language!
- no TV – Some people watch a lot of television, and others hardly watch it at all. I’m not generally tempted to watch TV except in the late evening when my husband I sit down to watch an episode of something together before bedtime. It’s our way of relaxing and taking a break together at the end of the day. But if watching TV takes up too much of your time or is too much of a temptation (or if this is true for your children), you may want to commit to 30 days of no TV. Be sure to plan other things to do during that time, though, so you can trade something that’s not productive for something that is! You might pair your no-TV challenge with 30 days of reading, arts & crafts, cooking together, exercise, learning a foreign language, etc.
- family dinner – One thing my family always did when my sisters and I were growing up was sit down to eat dinner each evening as a family. I did the same with my husband and children until my children all got to be teenagers and were working or going to ballet classes in the evenings. I’m thankful we made this a habit, and I hope my children will do the same one day when they have children. If this isn’t something you do with your family, try to make family dinner a priority for 30 days! I think you’ll be glad you did.
- studying – If you have middle school or high school students who need to start making it a priority to study each day, set a goal to commit to 30 days of studying. This may not be the most exciting of all the challenges on this list, but I can promise it will be one of the most productive!
- new word a day – This could be a really fun challenge for your family! Get a word-a-day calendar or just look up a new word each day. Then use that word as many times as you can that day! And, if you want to add to the challenge, try to use as many of the previous words as you can each day too. My family and I used to do this, and it provided lots of entertaining discussions and new vocabulary!
- going to bed on time – If you’re a busy mom–especially a mom of babies or young children–this might be a hard one for you! Many of us spend time scrolling through our social media accounts in the evenings or doing other things that aren’t really important or productive, though, so it might be easier than we think to get in bed a little earlier if we cut out some of those things.
- learning a new skill – Years ago, a friend mentioned that she and her children each choose a new skill to work on over the summer each year. For example, one of her children chose to learn to juggle, so he practiced juggling every day all summer until he got good at it. One child wanted to learn to cook, so she cooked or baked something each day. My friend decided to work on learning a foreign language, so she studied each day to learn the new language. I thought this was a fantastic idea! You don’t have to wait until summer, though. Make a list of things you might want to learn and work on developing that new skill by working on it for 30 days no matter what time of year you begin!
Whether you’re looking for a fun way to challenge yourself and create some good habits or whether you’re working on cutting out old habits, I hope you’ll try a few of these 30-day challenges. I think you’ll find that you’ll enjoy the challenge and come out stronger, healthier, and more encouraged when you’re done. Just keep in mind that these challenges are for fun! If you mess up, who cares?! Let yourself have fun! Let yourself enjoy your successes, leave behind your mistakes, and (as they say in the movie Meet the Robsinsons), “Keep moving forward!”
P.S. – If you and your children haven’t seen that movie, you should!