Prior to the start of each new month, John and I have a goal setting meeting.  We choose a restaurant, grab our goal sheets, and enjoy a productive conversation accompanied by a delicious meal.  It’s a great way to reward ourselves for the prior month’s accomplished goals, and also helps to keep the practice of goal setting exciting and fun!

At the top of our goal-setting worksheets (which can be downloaded from this blog post), there is a spot to fill-in that reads, “My main focus is:______________”.  During our monthly goal-setting meeting, we each select a specific area of our lives to focus on, discuss it together, and then write it down in that blank space.  

In January, I wanted my main focus to be “health”, so I spent the 30 days practicing specific habits that would help improve my health.  I was more scheduled about taking my supplements, I meditated every day and even achieved self-hypnosis (!!!), and I continued to focus on clean eating and my post-SIBO diet.  

In February, my main focus for the month was “getting into good habits!!” (complete with exclamation points, haha).  During the month of February, I continued my habit of daily meditation, but this month added on a daily sit-ups, push-ups, and squats habits and drinking over 64 ounces of water a day.  

This past month, for March, I had the main focus of “being more productive”.  The habits I instilled and practiced every day were: no multitasking, no TV, making a daily schedule, and continuing to get into good habits”.  Since I just finished up the challenge yesterday, I can say I successfully accomplished my goals and was much more productive this past month!

Because it seems easy attacking a challenge by making it a 30-day goal, it is much less overwhelming to establish good habits this way than just waking up one morning thinking “Oh gee, maybe I should stop watching so much TV…”

Each month, my habit forming has been so successful, that I’ve continued practicing them as the months progressed.  Now, every day I try to be more mindful of my health by taking my supplements on time, meditating, drinking 64 ounces of water, and eating clean.  I also do three sets of sit-ups, push-ups, squats, and buns exercises each day.  Thanks to this past month, I hope to continue my established habits of not multitasking, not watching TV, and making a daily schedule each morning to eliminate personal stress.  

This short TED talk does a really fantastic job of summarizing 30-Day Challenges.  We didn’t get the idea from this video, but it’s worth the quick watch to see how the concept works.  

One thing that I’ve personally noticed in this practice that Matt Cutts also mentions in his video, is that small, daily life improvements are much more sustainable than if they are huge and grandiose.  Start small this April, it is the first today, after all!  The perfect time to set a 30-day challenge for yourself!  Whether it be doing one set of push-ups a day, or setting the goal of reading a book, or even deciding you’d like to eat a salad before every meal this month, choose something and give it a shot.

As Matt said, “What are you waiting for, I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not.  So why not think about something you have always wanted to try, and give it a shot, for the next 30 days.”  

In my opinion, what do you have to lose?

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