A few days ago, in a post, I promised ideas on ways to challenge yourself in the upcoming month. Remember – our whole life is filled up with little increments 60 seconds at a time, 1440 minutes a day, 52 weeks, 4 seasons…
So, here they are – 31 options for your consideration.
Are you up for a challenge?
Choose one idea.
There’s a chance your little action, over 31 days, might make a bigger impact than you imagine. A good habit, growth or development, or even a renewal of heart, mind, and soul can come from simple, small, positive actions over time.
Do one for 31 days.
Just try one…
As you read through these ideas, stop and consider what it would or could look like in your life. Don’t let a negative “But…” creep in. Rather, imagine what it would feel like if you did do it!
Here you go:
1. Go to bed early 31 days in a row.
Ah, sleep. It’s a beautiful thing.
2. Drink 6 glasses of water every day.
Many times headaches and fatigue can be linked to dehydration. What if in this month you felt energized and clear-headed and all it took was drinking more water?
3. Use only cash for 31 days.
(No credit or cards.) Would you be more aware of your spending? Could that have a positive impact on your overall money situation?
4. Take a break from social media for the month.
What could you do with all the hours you spend on social media? Would you be able to pray more, move more, visit others, read a good book, or… Fasting doesn’t just mean food.
5. Read every day for 15 minutes.
Talking about reading – what topic are you curious about? When was the last time you went to the library? Find a good book and finish it in 15-minute increments. This is a book Rob and I have read that we enjoyed.
6. Write down 3 things you’re thankful for each day.
This one is huge. Many, many people have talked about the power of gratitude. I’ve been researching thankfulness for the last two years, reading books on the topic and making my own lists. Do this practice for 31 days and you’ll see an immense shift in your head and heart. Here’s a journal to print out for your 31 days. If you want a more intense experience, make each item (93+) unique. (It’s not as difficult as you might think.)
7. Eat only at home for 31 days (no take-out).
So, maybe you can’t be “at home” to actually eat, but you can make your food at home and bring it with you! The idea is to not eat food prepared by a restaurant. You decide whether that means all from scratch foods, or if frozen/prepared meals bought at the grocery store are included. The idea is to not to give your money to a restaurant/take-out and explore the beauty of re-discovering your home – the peace, the loveliness of your own kitchen.
8. Do a stretch and weight routine once a day.
If you sit at a computer for any time at all, then stretching is important! What if you stretched every day – deliberately – to become more flexible, to raise your physical abilities, and become stronger? In what way would that change your life? Weights don’t need to be fancy – use water bottles or cans. Stretching can be done in a chair. (Use YouTube to find videos to follow.) This is about doing more than you regularly do – without stressing yourself or costing money. Remember – it’s about small incremental change…
9. Complete a jigsaw puzzle – a little bit every day over 31 days.
Relaxation that you can see develop. It’s simple. Easy. Tangible. Set up a table, find your puzzle, and begin. Do a little bit each day. Rejoice over the finished end product. I’ve talked with people who like to do a jigsaw puzzle on holidays – why not build a bit of holiday into each day?
10. Initiate a random act of kindness each day for someone.
Here’s a list of 51 ideas – and another list with 75 ideas – or another list with 100 ideas. I’m sure you can find 31 ideas from these lists. <wink>. How would it change your life by being kind all month long?
11. Take a photo every day – document your life.
Your life has worth. You’ve been put here on this earth, at this time, for a reason. Use your smart-phone as a way to document your life. If you need ideas, then use this list, or this one. But you could just take a photo of the same tree, each day, as the leaves turn…
12. Go to bed each day with a clean and empty sink.
That’s the first step in an organized space according to the FlyLady – or – do her 31 baby steps! Many years ago, when our kids were small, I found The FlyLady. Her baby steps made a huge difference in our life as a young, busy family.
13. Compliment someone in your family (your spouse!) every day.
Very often we can find ourselves in a negative spiral – only seeing the mistakes, the failures, the overlooked, etc. By demanding of yourself to find one good thing, and saying it aloud to that person you love, can change an atmosphere completely! 31 days to a better relationship can begin with one compliment every day. Try it and see! (This can even be done long-distance.) Think character qualities you admire, accomplishments, happy memories…
14. Knit or crochet every day for 31 days.
Make something! And if you don’t know how to crochet/knit, then use YouTube to learn. At the very least you’ll have a gift for Christmas to give someone!
15. Send 31 cards of encouragement to friends – one a day!
Snail mail! This one will take an investment. But it’s small. Less than a Starbucks a day… How will you feel at the end of the month after telling 31 people how much you value them? Invest in relationships. Isn’t it time?
16. Give away 31 items you no longer use – one per day.
Less IS more. Really. We lived in 282 square feet for 5 years. I can say confidently, that you don’t need all the stuff you think you do. Purge. Feel free!
17. Make your bed each day for 31 days.
Come on. It’s one small action. You could…
18. No complaining for 31 days.
None. About anything. Could you? I think you can.
19. Have a conversation with a stranger every day for 31 days.
There are times in our life where we become stale – isolated – small-minded, even. Each day when you’re out and about, ask a stranger a question. (Start with the weather – ask if they’re enjoying the sun, rain, temperature, etc.) Here’s a list of 48 questions you could ask. Expand your world!
20. Listen to a TED talk each day.
They’re only 20 minutes. Learn something new in science, technology, education, entertainment, nature, society, and so many more categories!
21. Put your change/coins in a jar for 31 days.
Only use the bills and see how much you’ve saved up in one month.
22. Learn a new word in another language every day.
DUOlingo is great and it’s free! With whom would you like to connect – what language do they speak? What’s your country of origin – learn (or improve) that language.
23. Memorize 31 Bible verses.
I put together a PDF of a list to download and print with 31+ short Scripture Verses to memorize. Sometimes we need better messages to tell ourself… memorizing Scripture shifts focus and gives something to tell yourself that’s positive and affirming. Try it.
24. Pray with a specific focus each day for your spouse.
Here’s a list for women to pray for their husbands – here’s a list for husbands to pray for wives. Prayer is a positive, action-oriented way to add value into your marriage. And if you’re not married (but waiting for the right one) you could still pray over your future spouse. If you’re a widow or widower, do you have a son or daughter who is married (or wants to be)? Pray these over their future spouses. This is powerful.
25. Eat at the dining table at home at least once a day.
No social media, television or even a book. The only conversation you can have is with another human being – in person! Or enjoy the quiet. <wink> Light a candle – you can make even a simple sandwich into a romantic meal.
26. Use the next 31 days to focus on people – not your phone.
Be fully present. Pledge you’ll put away your phone when with others. Specifically, only use your phone as a source of interaction/amusement when alone.
27. Answer this question over 31 days (so, 31 answers):
“What character qualities in people, and/or which actions do you notice daily and admire? (You’re putting Philippians 4:8 into action!)
28. Bring your own lunch to work every day.
This will cause you to think about what you’re eating, and may very well cost less than a restaurant/take-out lunch. Extra points if you have something to share with co-workers!
29. Write out a Scripture verse each day.
Here’s one for October by Sue at Woman of Noble Character. It’s 31 days focusing on what Scripture has to say about worry and anxiety. Writing is a powerful way to focus your attention.
30. Explore a new place on the planet every day.
Use EarthRoulette if you need inspiration! Even if you can’t travel physically, you can in your imagination. Let yourself dream…
31. Smile at everyone you meet all month long!
You may be the only friendly face someone meets that day. It could make all the difference in their life. Sure, you might not want to give the wrong impression, so a closed-mouthed small smile counts with strangers – a pleasant expression may be less creepy than a full-out smile. <wink>
There’s great satisfaction from completing something!
Many people have seen positive benefits from using 30-day challenges to boost change in their lives; reading through their stories can be uplifting.
How could your story lift up others?
Think about it
– let’s make the most of the 2,678,400 seconds in October!