What Could You Change in 30 Days?

calendarThe challenge of losing 140 lbs can be OVERWHELMING! I can remember the day I made this decision as if it were yesterday. I knew instinctively that the only way I was truly going to change all of the poor eating and non-healthy choices that I had been making, would be to chunk it down and make those changes bit by bit. If I were truly going to commit to this decision, I was going to be successful by creating true lasting changes in the smaller decisions that I made day-to-day.

This began a pattern of creating 30 day plans or challenges for myself. I discovered a great post at Steve Pavlina’s blog titled “30 Days to Success” which describes what he calls a 30 day trial. The concept is basically that 30 days is a reasonable time to commit to something that we want to change in our life. This could be the introduction of a healthy new habit or the demise of something that we feel is negative in our life.

What if you told yourself that you were committing to something, not forever…but for 30 days? If, at the end of 30 days, you never wanted to engage in the activity again, you wouldn’t have to, BUT if in fact a healthy habit is a result, how wonderful would that be?

If you are just starting out with your weight loss and have a huge list of things that you want to change, what is ONE things that you could commit to doing for the next 30 days? Could you commit to a 15 min. walk? Taking a daily vitamin? Drinking 8 glasses of water? Eating 3-5 servings of fruits/vegetables a day? What could your 30 day action plan be?

The very first 30 day challenge that I created for myself regarding my weight loss had to do with exercise. I KNEW that I HAD TO GET MOVING and I had been doing nothing prior to that point. I was ready to pour a lot into myself to lose this weight and I was determined to make exercise a big part of the plan.

I decided to walk for 60 minutes a day to create a habit of moving for myself. It was a lofty goal and guess what? I could not walk for 60 minutes or even 30 minutes at a time…my body just would not allow for it. My feet and legs would swell and it was just too painful. SO my 30 day challenge was to walk for 15 minutes 4 times a day for 30 days!

Did I complete it? You bet! How did I feel at the end of 30 days? I would say that it was the single best thing I did for myself at that time. I knew now that I COULD exercise. The weight started coming off and I was more likely to eat healthy throughout the day after working on the exercise piece.

Here are some examples of other 30 day challenges I have done in the past:

  • drink 8 glasses of water a day
  • no eating out
  • writing for 1 hr/day
  • no watching TV during the week (M-Th)
  • waking up at 5AM

You get the idea….

I swear by the 30 Day Challenge and I’d love to challenge you now to choose one thing that you will commit to doing for 30 days! Please add your comments so that I can cheer you on. :)



  1. Amy Irani says:

    WOW that’s amazing. I totally lack self discipline, thank god I don’t have to deal with this…I don’t know If I could.

  2. Paula says:

    Amy, don’t forget that you could apply this 30 day strategy to any area of your life…not just weight loss. I’m sure it would help build your self discipline. ;)

  3. What a great way to think about it… only for 30 days and if you don’t like it – change it! Great way to ‘break down’ large goals to managable ones! My October goal is to write down every morsel of food I put into my mouth onto the page… in my case the Weight Watchers online tracker. :)
    What is yours? :)

  4. Kim says:

    Hmm, great insight this morning. I know the reason I have failed before at weight loss is because I just was overwhelmed. I looked at it as a diet and I thought I had to be perfect all of the time. If I wasn’t perfect than I was a failure. One thing I have been struggling with the last 6 weeks since I decided to get this weight off once and for all is getting it all together. I tried to do the “perfect” thing for awhile. I am not worried about being all that perfect right now, I know this is a journey.

    I committ to 30 days of exercise. I know that exercise is imperative to my success and here on now I commit to 30 days straight of 30 min. or more of cardio a day!

  5. Paula says:

    Funny you should ask HealthyLoserGal…this just in! ;)
    Will you join me?

  6. Paula says:

    Oh yeah Kim!…my new virtual BFF and rockstar weight loss buddy!
    I see you are down for the challenge: http://tinyurl.com/cwl-join-me
    WooHoo girl!! And GREAT insight – thanks for sharing!

  7. Sheila Phillips says:

    For the next 30 days (the last 30 days before my 34th birthday) I will pledge to get in at least 20 minutes EVERY DAY of exercise. It may be a brisk walk, elliptical intervals, Zumba (my newest love) or a stationary bike. I set my goal at 20 minutes because I know I can find that much time in any day, but my Zumba classes are one hour long and I tend to spend 30 to 40 minutes on the elliptical if the time is available. Twenty minutes daily, every day, no excuses, I will do this, for me.

  8. Paula says:

    That’s awesome Sheila…thanks for posting and I can’t wait to hear your progress report! ;) P.S. I will email this to you also, but in case it’s useful for someone else – you can create your gravatar (pic for commenting)here:

    http://en.gravatar.com/ – it is connected to the email address that you choose to use.

  9. Kimberly McDaniel says:

    Ok I need to MOVE! So instead of trying to change what I easy, I want to change my sedimentary life. I like your goal of walking 15 min 4x’s per day…so that is what I willl commit to!

  10. Kimberly McDaniel says:

    I meant instead of changing what I eat, I will move!

  11. Paula says:

    Sounds like a great plan Kimberly – please keep me posted as I’d love to hear how you are doing. :)

  12. Amanda says:

    I really like your challenge of waking up at 5am. I have a bad habit of hitting the snooze button a lot of times every morning. I feel that when I master this challenge the other good habits will fellow. :)

  13. Paula says:

    Amanda, I think waking up early is the very best thing that can be done for productivity. (assuming one is getting enough sleep) I am working now to get back into this habit myself. Good luck and please do keep us posted. :)

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