what’s in a 30 day challenge?

What’s in a 30 day challenge? Some of y’all may have heard of Sober October – a challenge to not drink alcohol for the month of October. A lot of people also participate in Dry January (same concept, different month). I started thinking about these types of challenges, the motivation behind them, and why they work. Other wellness challenges that come to mind are Whole 30 and various 30-day fitness challenges like holding planks every day for a month. Let’s dig into the motivation behind these challenges and find out if they are effective.

  1. Psychological Pull – There’s a pull towards challenging ourselves. “Each time you cross off a successful day of your 30-day challenge, dopamine is released by our brain. And essentially, dopamine is the ‘reward’ hormone that makes you feel good and motivated after doing a certain activity.” Check out more on why we’re pulled towards these challenges here.
  2. Short-Term – There’s something a bit less scary about a short-term commitment. The end date of a 30-day challenge can provide some level of comfort. If your challenge doesn’t have an end date, it can be de-motivating. When there is no clear endpoint in sight, the likelihood of giving up is a LOT higher.
  3. Need for a Reset – At the end of a 30 Day Challenge, you most often have a very clear picture of how good the change is for you. Doing something new for 30 days is usually enough to see the changes on your body, blood, moods, emotional health, social life, financial statement or whichever life metric you want to improve.

What are some of your long-term goals and would a 30-day challenge benefit you? It doesn’t necessarily need to be 30 days…even a week challenge is a good starting point to challenge yourself on your health & wellness goals. As we posted previously, goals are most effective when they have a time-stamp, have specific end goals that can be measured and are related to an overall goal you are trying to achieve. 


Would love to hear from y’all if you’re participating in Sober October or another health challenge this month. Good luck and be well!