30 Day Challenges (and competition in general) can create ways for working together and by working together we go farther together and do more when we are invested in others and with others.
In 2014, I took the challenge of National Novel Writing Month. It wasn’t my first attempt, but this year I invested in the local group and an online group to help me stay focused. By the end of November, I had written a novel and then some. I used the same process the next year to write over one MILLION words in a year.
It’s not easy to reach for the stars. It’s impossible to do it if you stay where you are. Challenges push you outside of your comfort place and joining others in those challenges gives you the momentum you need to fly.
“There is no challenge more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself.”
We are designed to work together because together we are stronger and better than anything we could be on our own. Challenges bring us together – in friendly competition and in support of each other.
In this article, we’re going to break down 30 day challenges, what they are, how to get started, and how they can bring us together. We will walk away with an understanding of the importance and power that come with investing in each other and investing together. These challenges give us a platform to go farther together and an opportunity to invest with focused determination.
The Challenge of Going It Alone
I raised three boys, homeschooling them while launching a full-time writing career, and I did it all from the back corner of 40 acres. In the beginning, I reached out to others to find my way through and to stay engaged with other grown-ups.
As the boys got older, we relied less on others. We had our routine and stuck to it. Besides, we were down to one car and my husband needed it to get to work. Not meeting with others left me dependent on myself to get it all done. I lost my connections with people and with it my motivation (and accountability) to do what I knew I needed to be doing.
I quit getting it done, even when I tried. I jumped into National Novel Writing Month for several years in a row but always fell short of the goal. It wasn’t until I connected with others that I won. I tried being healthier but found myself more invested in cheat days than healthy days. It wasn’t until I joined a group in a challenge that I saw major changes in my health and lifestyle.
I do better with others along for the ride.
I began looking online for ways to get connected and discovered Twitter Chats. #GoalChat challenged me to set goals each week (and to tell others about those goals). #DaretoBe dared me to be more and offered support to see it through. It was like having virtual coffee with friends once a week with the added ingredient of encouraging topic focuses. They dared me to get involved with 30 day challenges and those challenges pushed me to do even more.
Despite the limits in my world, there was a way to get connected and through those connections to reach new levels of possibilities.
I think that’s why I enjoy challenges – like National Novel Writing Month or BlogLikeCrazy or National Podcast Post Month. Challenges bring together like-minded people, at least like-minded in purpose for the moment. We provide encouragement, foster focus, and hold each other accountable to dare to be more than we could ever achieve on our own.
If you are struggling with your focus and determination, or if you aren’t sure which way to go, or maybe you just want to gather a gaggle of like-minded people to push you to your next step, a challenge could be the perfect thing for you and November is packed full.
Challenges are a great way:
- To develop engagement with your content.
- To promote your authority or voice on a topic
- To increase community on your website or with your brand.
The goal of hosting a challenge is to provide people with a daily task that will help them improve their lives, relationships, and businesses. It can be anything from doing 30 days of yoga to going without social media for a month.
Challenges are supposed to be fun and engaging, but they can also be really frustrating when you don’t know where to start. This is where the community comes in. The idea behind making challenges a community activity is that it will provide you with motivation from the start, and make it easier for you to push through when someone else is holding you accountable.
You can join an existing challenge or you can start your own challenge that aligns with your brand and your target customer’s needs.
What are 30 day challenges and why do they matter?
A 30-day challenge is a period of time in which you perform a challenging task for at least 30 consecutive days. The goal of this challenge is to improve your life by adopting healthy habits and breaking bad ones. These challenges are great for giving yourself some structure while also rewarding you with the sense that you’ve accomplished something in just one month!
The objective could be anything, but it often falls under physical, mental, or spiritual categories. These challenges are not only about setting goals and sticking to them; they’re about giving yourself the opportunity for growth and development that you might not otherwise have attempted.
A 30-day challenge can do more than just give you something to focus on during your free time; it can help you grow as a person by pushing your boundaries and making you work harder than ever before.
Challenges for Your Membership Site
Challenges bring your community together and provide an opportunity for you to promote your site. You can offer introductory challenges for new members and advanced challenges for your veteran members that include prizes from your products or brand-related gifts.
You can also create monthly challenges for your social community to encourage engagement and sharing. Select a winner from your most active participants. You could also provide a bundle of downloads for those that win a certain number of challenges in a year.
The ideas are limitless, but each one you implement with success will increase your engagement and expand your reach. Developing a challenge can even be the catalyst you need for launching your membership site.
How to create Your 30-day challenge
Understand your audience
Defining your goal comes from knowing your target audience on a deep level. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your audience will be down to engage with whatever challenge you’re personally interested in.
Sure, some loyal followers might engage with your challenge even if it’s not the best fit for them. But most won’t waste their time on something that isn’t solving a concrete need for them.
So rather than trying to “force” your audience to engage with a challenge that they’re not into, focus all of your effort on identifying what they’re struggling with and what they need to incorporate into their daily routine to solve.
Define your goal
The most important thing to keep in mind before planning a challenge is whether or not your participants will want to successfully complete it (and how much effort they’re willing to put in).
If someone feels that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, they’re going to be hesitant to join your challenge, or they might just join but stop halfway through.
What would you and your followers like to accomplish within the next 30 days? Once you’re clear on that, start thinking about the steps required to get there. Some challenges simply rely on effort, sheer willpower, or positive thinking, like no alcohol for 30 days. But other challenges require you to perform a specific task, like National Novel Writing Month.
Create a list of potential challenges and what they would involve
Looking at what your competitors have done is a good approach to coming up with innovative ideas. You could do this by following the major players in your niche on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to monitor what they’re up to.
You could also look to other challenges in unrelated industries and figure out a way to adapt them for your audience. The idea for Digital Detox challenges, for example, was certainly inspired by any number of health detoxes.
Next, you need to divide your challenge idea into 30 days and decide what small, easy task your audience should be doing throughout the month. You should also keep in mind that challenges should not require too much equipment to perform. One way to think about it is: If you were stuck in a room with no one around for 30 days, could you still do it?
Name your challenge
It’s critical to build a strong brand for your 30-day challenge since people aren’t going to remember or even refer others to a generic one like “The Improvement Challenge”. A good challenge name is specific enough that anyone could guess what it’s about.
- Photo-A-Day for 30 Days
- 30 Day Story Post Challenge
- 30 Day Song Challenge
- 30 Days of Happiness
- 30 Days of Dance
Spread the word on social media
30-day challenges are a product of the social media era, meaning that they’re a pretty recent phenomenon. Sure, these challenges existed before the digital revolution via other mediums like magazines and television commercials.
But there was no way for businesses to know how many people were actually engaging in these challenges. All they could do was promote a challenge and hope that it strikes a chord with their audience.
But with social media tools today, we can use hashtags, create discussions threads, do live streams, create videos, write blog posts, and more to further promote these 30-day challenges.
Do keep in mind that social media is ephemeral, so don’t expect your first piece of content to break open the floodgates and get everybody to jump on board your 30-day challenge’s bandwagon. Instead, make sure your promotional posts are regular and educational.
For every piece of content, you should:
- Conduct research on the subject before writing about it; use reliable sources when possible. This is especially important when you’re hosting health-related challenges.
- Include pictures where appropriate so readers can see real-world examples of what they’re reading about.
- Use bullet points when writing steps or instructions so that people can follow along more easily.
- Proofread everything, even if it’s just a sentence or two.
- Create a strong call-to-action (CTA) at the end of each post that encourages readers to take action or subscribe for future posts, e.g., “Don’t forget to comment below!” or ” Leave a comment below if this post was useful to you.
- Update your site at least once a month to keep up the momentum. – Keep things moving forward with consistency!
- Add your personality to the content. For all of this to work, your content should also be genuine. People know when a business is being inauthentic on social media, and that is often evidenced by low engagement even when the business account has a decent following.
Just trust the process, and your content will reach the most interested parties eventually.
Online forums and messaging groups, which can be found on platforms like Reddit and Discord, are some of the most underrated channels you can leverage to spread your 30-day challenge.
Create your own community space where you can:
- Post updates from challenge participants
- Answer questions from your audience about the challenge
- Motivate participants to see the challenge through to the end
But despite all the modern technology at our disposal, two of the most powerful tools for attracting people to join your 30-day challenge aren’t technological at all. They simply require you to understand human nature.
These tools are:
? Urgency: This is when a task requires quick action before you’re no longer able to do anything about it. 30-day challenges inherently create urgency through their time frames. Once you’ve announced your challenge, be sure to emphasize that your challenge won’t be available forever and that potential participants have to jump in now.
? FOMO: FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out, which is a psychological phenomenon where humans want to join an activity that a group of their peers is engaged in, just in case it’s a life-changing experience. What you need to keep in mind here is that the hardest part of your 30-day challenge is getting the first few participants. After a decent group is committed, it will become a snowball effect because people won’t want to miss out.
Last but not least, one other promotional tactic for getting more participants to join your challenge is to offer them an incentive. You can give away something high-end like jewelry or discounted product bundles to capture people’s attention and build momentum quickly.
Your incentive doesn’t always have to cost you money, either. You can also offer a content upgrade for your 30-day challenge, like a worksheet, calendar, encouragement – in the form of a download they get when they give you their email.
At the end of the day, these upgrades should provide some resources that will be helpful for completing the challenge.
This could include:
- A list of all the reasons why completing this 30-day challenge is important for your audience, like feeling good about yourself or setting up healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
- Three positive things that will happen if you complete this 30-day challenge.
- Outline the daily tasks and the amount of time they’ll have to devote to each task.
- A way to keep track of what you’ve accomplished in a journal or diary.
- A prompt to post about each accomplishment (or failure) on social media using a specific hashtag, so everyone can cheer you on!
30 day challenge setup checklist
Be sure to check all of these boxes when you’re setting up your 30-day challenge:
- Identify what your audience is struggling with. – binge-watching Netflix shows.
- Define the goal of your challenge – stop binge-watching Netflix shows and be more productive.
- Create a list of potential challenges – 30 days without television or 30 days without social media.
- Outline the 30 steps of the challenge, one for each day of the month.
- Create a catchy name for your challenge – The 30-Day Social Media Detox
- Promote your challenge on social media and other online communities.
Here are some examples of fun 30-day challenges
30 Day Health & Fitness Challenge Ideas:
- Take a walk every day or have a step challenge. You could add 1,000 steps to your challenge each week and by the end of the challenge you will be up to at least 5,000 steps.
- Increase your vegetable intake – try one new vegetable each day.
- Decrease your sugar intake – replace your normal sugar treat with a healthy alternative.
- Start a fitness program – sign up for an online service and commit to one workout a day.
- Take a time out – set aside 15 minutes each day to be in a quiet environment. Sit still and practice breathing in for a count of ten and out for a count of 15. Do this for 30 days in a row.
30 Day Money Making Challenge Ideas:
- Begin a side hustle outside of your main profession – breakdown the steps in launching a business into 30 pieces so you can launch in 30 days.
- Reduce your monthly spending by $100 – cut one thing each day (it doesn’t have to be cummulative).
- Try pantry cooking – find creative ways to use the things you have in your pantry for all your meals. Only buy those grocery items that are perishable.
- Save $200 extra and add it to your emergency fund – find creative ways to reduce your costs or to increase your income by little bits and add those together.
- Pay with cash (most places still take it). Put all of your change in a container. This will give you the change as savings and also limit your spending because you can only spend what cash you have on hand.
30 Day Productivity Challenge Ideas:
- Declutter – Make a list of 30 places you know you need to clear. Some places may take more than one day so break down those places into daily secions.
- Create routine and stick to it – make a list of three things you will do every day (that needs to be done) and stick to it for 30 days.
- Split your day – try working for a set time (use a digital timer) and then exercising/stretching/doing a chore for the rest of the hour. Commit to four of these splits each day for 30 days.
30 Day Happiness Challenge Ideas:
- Do one small act of kindness every day
- List 5 things you’re grateful for.
- Take a photo of yourself every day or take a photo of something that makes you happy.
- Write one note or letter each day to someone in your address book.
- Give a gift a day. Give away items others appreciate or set aside small gifts to give to random people or to send to friends. Keep it interesting and make the gifts from a Secret Pal.
30 Days of Flavor Challenge Ideas:
- Try one new recipe a day – start with the items you currently have in your freezer and refrigerator. Look for new recipes to try.
- Be smooth – or at least make a smoothie each day. This could be a great time to try out one of the delivery services that will send you what you need to make interesting new mixes.
- Dine out with a friend. Make plans with a friend to eat at a new place. Mix up what friends or family you meet with and where you eat. It doesn’t always have to be a sit down restaurant – maybe you eat at the park and bring sack lunches. Keep a record of your favorite parts of the meals if you want a bonus challenge.
- Try something new. Try a new wine, a new tea, a new dish, or just a new fruit or vegetable every day. You may discover flavors that you never knew you needed.
30 Days of Creative Improvement Challenge Ideas:
- Draw a picture a day – make a list of 30 images to draw or 30 feelings/words to show through your drawings.
- Write a short story – have 30 images or writing posts to prompt a short story.
- Craft away – do one craft project every day. Keep them simple or quick so that you can get done in less than an hour.
- Write a poem or haiku – use the list of feelings or words and turn them into a poem or haiku instead of a drawing.
- Keep a journal – set a timer for five minutes and write in your journal every morning or every evening.
30 Days of Self Esteem
- Try a new hairstyle every day – use new hair accessories or try putting your hair up in different ways (braids, buns, messy buns).
- Dress up every day. Dress like you are going to meet with the President (of the country or of your company).
- Write down five truths you aim to achieve as “I am” statements. “I AM” healthy and fit. “I Am” a published author. “I am debt free.” Say your five truths in the mirror every day for thirty days.
Getting Started with 30 Day Challenges
A 30-day challenge is a fantastic method to challenge yourself while also being held accountable for these goals. Choose one of these challenges or make up a challenge of your own. The powerful combo of focus and accountability can push you to new heights you never would have believed yourself capable of achieving.
We are not designed to do it alone. We need a team to help us up when we stumble or to cheer us on as we make a leap. Investing in each other through 30 day challenges or other similar challenges is a perfect way to come together and make a difference.
Challenge: This week’s challenge is simple – join a challenge. Either set up your own challenge and invite others to join you or join one of the many challenges available. Be sure to let us know which challenge you’re in so we can cheer you on!
Are you ready to go farther together? We’re here to help.
Join us over at WPprosper for more support on facing down fear, finding your focus, and living your awesome life.
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Kathryn Lang believes it is simple, and as an award-winning author and natural-born hopesmith, she shares tips on how to find your why, pursue your purpose, and live a bold, intentional life – always with a dash of twisted encouragement.