30-Day Health and Wellness Challenge Ideas

health challenge ideas

Hey, I'm Emilie!

A certified life coach, meditation instructor, and spiritual entrepreneur. I’m here to help you create a vibrant life around your higher purpose and heart’s desires. 

30-Day Health Challenge Ideas to Start a Healthy Lifestyle

This article is about twelve 30-day challenge ideas to improve your health and wellness.

Monthly challenges are a fun and effective way to make positive changes in your lifestyle because they can help you to:

  • Build willpower, self-discipline, and self-control.
  • Develop good habits and break bad ones.
  • Build self-trust; each time you complete a challenge, you prove to yourself that you are the kind of person who follows through on your goals.

The benefits you gain from doing 30-day challenges go way beyond the direct impact that drinking a green smoothie or taking a cold shower daily can have on your wellbeing.

The benefits also lie in the self-discipline and self-confidence that you develop during the challenge and which stay with you after the thirty days are over.

Challenges also help to reshape your sense of identity or self-image.

Let’s say you do one health and wellness challenge per month. After a few months, you’ll have proven to yourself that you can make healthier choices and will begin to perceive yourself differently (i.e., as a healthy person).

Then, continuing to make healthy choices will be a more natural habit because you always act according to your beliefs, including your beliefs about yourself. That’s human nature.

I’ve been doing monthly challenges for a couple of years now. This year, I’ve decided to focus on health and wellness challenges.

The twelve challenges mentioned in this article are the ones I have chosen for myself. Some are related to nutrition, while others are related to exercise, sleep, and stress-reduction.

With that being said, let’s begin!

Mindful Morning Routine

1. Follow the Whole 30 Program

The first challenge is to do the Whole 30 Program.

This program is a pretty strict diet, but you won’t starve. You can eat as much as you want as long as it’s on the “allowed foods” list, which is a whole foods dietary list with just a few simple restrictions.

For example, refined or processed foods, grains, beans, dairy, alcohol, and added sugar are not allowed. If you have a sweet tooth, you can eat fruits and even dry fruits like dates. Also, 100% cacao is allowed, so you can have some homemade banana-chocolate ice cream if you wanted a treat.

It’s a wonderful challenge to train yourself to eat a healthy diet and to detox your body.

All the information about the program and the full list of what you can and can’t eat is on the Whole 30 website. 

wellness challenge

2. Take a Picture of Everything You Eat

The next 30-day challenge is an idea from the book The Four-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss.  

For thirty days, take a picture of everything you eat or drink (unless it’s water or herbal tea) BEFORE eating or drinking it.

The goal is to increase awareness of what you put in your mouth each day. By taking a picture of everything you’re about to eat, you will step out of ‘autopilot’ mode and become more conscious of your eating habits.

This challenge is great to kickstart a healthier lifestyle because change always begins with awareness. We can’t change something that we are not aware of.

If you wanted to make this challenge a little more difficult but even more helpful, add the following task as well: before eating something, notice if you’re hungry or not. If you’re not hungry, write down why you want to eat the food.

It’ll be extra annoying to do this but, again, extra helpful.

How many times do you eat something out of boredom or stress, and not because you’re actually hungry? Personally, I do this multiple times a day.

You’ll see that by writing down why you eat or want to eat something, especially when you’re not hungry, you’ll become more aware of the things in your life that bother you and make you want to eat at the times you may not necessarily need to.

And again, awareness is the first step to changing anything.

Challenges to do

3. Green Smoothie Challenge

I’ve heard many times that the best way to improve our nutrition is to add more nutritious foods to our diet because we then automatically eat less of the bad stuff, and that’s what this challenge will help you to do.

What’s great about a 30-day green smoothie challenge is that you can continue to eat whatever you want; the only rule is that you must have at least one green smoothie a day. Your smoothie must include a green of some sort, such as spinach, arugula, or kale– that’s why they are called “green smoothies.” Greens are very alkaline, which is good for the body. You can add any other veggie you like, as well as fruits and even nuts, but be sure to avoid adding sugar or any other unhealthy ingredients.

Of course, you’ll need a blender for this challenge and likely some recipes as well. You can find plenty of recipes on Instagram and Pinterest. 

green smoothie challenge

4. Meditation Challenge

Of course, we have to include a 30-day meditation challenge.

Meditation is one of the best stress and anxiety relief practices you can do. It trains you to dissociate from your thoughts and emotions. You still experience them, but you are not overwhelmed by them.

Like Bashar (who is channeled by Darryl Anka) says, “You become ‘the center of the storm – the eye of the storm,’” meaning that whatever happens around you, you’ll be able to remain calm and centered. Simply put, meditation helps build resilience to stress.

If you don’t currently meditate, you can commit to meditating perhaps ten minutes a day for thirty days.

I also have a free class for you about the easiest and most popular meditation technique. It’s a 10-minute class with a guided meditation.

If you already meditate, you could double your daily meditation practice for thirty days; that’s what I’ll be doing.

Mindful Morning Routine

5. Intermittent Fasting Challenge

According to many medical doctors, one of the best things we can do for our health is intermittent fasting, which is fasting for at least twelve to fifteen hours a day (or even more).

For example, you could eat only between 8am and 6pm and have nothing– no calories whatsoever– the remainder of the day. For some people, it’s easy to do. Many people choose to skip breakfast.

For me, intermittent is very challenging. I drink coffee in the morning and just can’t have it black. I also find it difficult to not eat anything after 6pm. However, if it were easy, then it wouldn’t be a challenge!

So, for thirty days, let’s commit to fasting for at least twelve hours a day, every day. Even longer is even better!

6. Practice the Heart Coherence Technique Daily for 30 Days

Our health and wellness don’t just depend upon our nutrition and exercise, but also on stress management.

The next challenge is to do a 5-minute breathing technique called the Heart Coherence Technique every day for thirty days.

This breathing technique has been scientifically proven to calm negative emotions like anger and anxiety, balance the nervous system, and help build resilience to stress. It creates a state of inner harmony that promotes the good functioning of our organs, including our digestive system.

This technique is a great tool to have in your wellness toolbox, especially if you don’t meditate.

It’s very simple: you breathe in through your nose, counting to five, and breathe out through your mouth very softly as if you were blowing into a straw, also counting to five again. Repeat this pattern thirty times for a total duration of five minutes.

Ideally, you would do this breathing exercise three times per day: once just after you wake up in the morning, once before lunch, and once before dinner. This is because the calming effects last about 5 hours.

But if you decide to do it only once a day, the morning session is the most important because that’s when our bodies produce the most cortisol (aka the stress hormone).

It’s best if you don’t count while you breathe and instead focus on your breathing itself, so I’ve created a video of a ball moving up for five seconds and down for five seconds that you can use to do the exercise with minimal distraction. It’s right below.

7. Yoga Challenge

Yoga is great exercise, and for several reasons.

First, it’s one of the most grounding exercises and one of the best stress and anxiety relief practices we can do. Yoga demands that we focus on our breathing and posture, try to match our breathing to our movements, and be fully present in the moment. By being fully present, we are forced to put our worries aside, which gives our minds a break.

Second, the way we move our bodies during yoga squeezes our organs and glands, detoxifying the body. Lastly, yoga improves flexibility; and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to become a stiff lady!

There are different types of yoga as well. The most common type is Hatha yoga.

If you don’t like this particular form, you could also try Kundalini yoga which doesn’t require flexibility or even balance. Kundalini yoga focuses more on releasing energy blocks within the body.

monthly challenge ideas

8. Hypnotherapy Challenge

The other day, a friend told me that he listens to Michael Sealey’s guided hypnosis on YouTube to fall asleep at night. I don’t have trouble sleeping, but I decided to do a 30-day hypnosis challenge and listen to one guided hypnosis session per day to improve my digestion (yes, there’s a guided hypnosis for better digestion!).

I invite you to take a look at Michael Sealey’s YouTube channel; there are guided hypnosis sessions for different topics, and I find his voice to be quite agreeable.

wellness challenge ideas

9. Fitness Challenge

This could be an official challenge that you subscribe to online, or you could simply decide to exercise for at least fifteen or twenty minutes a day for thirty days. We all know that exercising is essential for our health. 

I’ll put the links to a couple of fitness challenges I’ve come across at the end of this article. 

fitness challenge

10. Ayurvedic Lifestyle Challenge

I came across Ayurveda a few years ago by listening to a podcast interview with Ayurvedic expert Sahara Rose Ketabi. Ayurveda comes from India and is the oldest holistic health system in the world.

According to Ayurveda, there are three main archetypes (called doshas):

  • Vata (air, creativity)
  • Pitta (fire, action)
  • Kapha (earth, nurturing energy)

Everyone has the three archetypes within them but in different proportions and with one dosha usually being predominant.

Each archetype has a specific set of characteristics that influence our mental and emotional states and physical health. Each archetype also has its individual strengths and weaknesses, and certain types of foods are more appropriate for each dosha.

For this challenge, you’ll first have to take a quiz to discover your dosha. Once you know your dosha, the challenge is to follow the recommendations (food and other practices) specific to your dosha for thirty days.

You’ll see that it’s actually less complicated than it sounds. For example, I’m very Vata, and one recommendation for Vata is to eat warm, cooked food rather than raw food.

Ayurveda has been one of the most useful things I’ve come across in the past few years. When I read about my predominant dosha (Vata), it described my entire life! However, I’ve never really applied the recommendations. This year, I will do it for at least thirty days, and I encourage you to do the same.

11. Mindful Eating Challenge

One of the simplest ways to practice mindfulness is mindful eating.

This means doing nothing else while you eat– no watching TV or YouTube videos or scrolling on Instagram– but focusing entirely on the food you’re eating. Eat slower and try to notice the smells, tastes, and textures of your food.

When we eat mindfully versus mindlessly, we tend to eat less. And most importantly, we digest better!

I always tend to watch YouTube videos or read blog posts while I’m eating, so eating mindfully will be a bit challenging for me, but I know it’s a good and healthy habit to develop.

30-day challenge ideas

12. No Sugar Challenge

Sugar, sugar, sugar. Refined sugar is said to be the 20th century poison.

I listen to a lot of podcasts, some of which are health related, and according to many doctors, excess sugar is one of the leading causes behind cancer and numerous other illnesses and is perhaps the one thing that contributes most to lowering our defenses. But why does it have to be so good?

I’m a big fan of sugar. If you are too, doing a 30-day sugar-free challenge will likely be very challenging. You can eat fresh fruits for this challenge, but no dried fruits or with added sugar, such as honey and maple syrup.

A good way to prepare for this challenge may be to watch a documentary like Sugar Blues, which explains the negative impact of sugar on our health. I definitely think it will help us to get motivated.

healthy living

More About 30-Day challenges

With the twelve challenges we’ve covered, you should have plenty of ideas to improve your health and wellness in the coming year.

Also, below are a few related articles that I think you may like:

8 Steps to Improve Yourself Using 30-Day Challenges

6 Reasons Why Challenges Are the Best Way to Improve Yourself and Your Life

Mindful Morning Routine

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