Want to try to form a new habit or improve yourself in 30 days? This roundup of 30 Day Challenge ideas can help you take better care of your health, better manage your finances, stay on top of your house work, and more!
Is it just me, or has tackling a 30 day challenge become the new self-improvement trend of the last decade?
You can find a 30 day challenge for pretty much anything these days… whether you want to declutter your home, focus on self-care, save more money, drink more water, or you simply want to be a bit more creative. And you can even find a ton of 30 day challenge ideas for kids, too!
If you want to try one of these challenges to tackle your goals or form a new healthy routine, then read on for:
- What is a 30 Day Challenge?
- Does a 30 Day Challenge really work?
- What NOT to do when you start a challenge
- How to do a 30 Day Challenge for ANY goal
- 30 Day Challenge Ideas for Home Management, Finances, Health, Kids, and more!
- FREE Printable 30 Day Challenge Worksheets
But, what is a 30 Day Challenge?
A 30 day challenge is a way to meet a goal or form a new habit by completing certain tasks each day for 30 days. This sort of self-improvement challenge often involves some kind of tracking system that you use to record your progress each day during the month.
And the great thing about a 30 day challenge is that there is no “gray” area. You either accomplish your micro-goal for the day, or you don’t. You get to put a check mark or color a square green on your tracker, or you don’t. You drink 64 ounces of water that day, or you don’t.
It’s simple, which is what makes it effective.
Does a 30 Day Challenge Really Work?
Well, that depends on you.
A 30 day challenge, especially one that includes a free printable checklist to keep you on track, is a great way to hold yourself accountable for those goals that you set for yourself. Why? Because it’s ONLY 30 days!
Even the most dreaded tasks can probably be accomplished if there’s an end in sight… something to look forward to. You wouldn’t set out on a hiking trip without a final destination, or you would just keep walking and eventually you would get burned out and incredibly frustrated.
Just like with a diet… a cheat day is a great motivator because it’s something to look forward to. I can eat healthy and skip sugar and carbs all week with no problem, because I know that come Friday night I’m going to indulge in a piece of cake as big as my face. *I’m not a nutritionist (clearly), but that giant dessert motivates me to stick to my diet during the week.
Similarly, thirty days is a great length of time to commit to a goal, because it doesn’t seem impossible. You can count down the days by crossing them off your calendar, and celebrate on day 31… the light at the end of the tunnel.
Two Sure-Fire Ways to FAIL at Your 30 Day Challenge
Be too ambitious and over-commit yourself
Over-commit yourself and you can say “goodbye” to your 30 day goals streak.
Yes, a challenge should be just that… challenging. But it shouldn’t be impossible! Setting unrealistic goals for yourself will only make you feel worse when you don’t live up to your own standards.
Stick to just two or three month long challenges at one time, rather than trying to conquer ALL the things during the same month. And if you’re going to challenge yourself to three different 30 day goals simultaneously, then try to mix up their degrees of difficulty.
For instance, you can challenge yourself to drink 8 glasses of water a day and to clean out one drawer in your house each day, because both of those goals don’t require a ton of extra time or labor on your part.
But doing a 30 day deep cleaning challenge, a 30 day decluttering challenge, and a 30 day fitness challenge all in the same month will probably just cause you to feel lousy, especially if you add a full-time job or a crazy toddler in the mix too. And you probably won’t make it past day 2 before you’re shredding your printable challenge checklists.
Skip the planning
The success of your 30 day challenge will depend on a number of factors, including how realistic your goals are and how prepared you are for the month.
For instance, you’d be crazy to start a 30 Day Money Saving Challenge on December 1st if you have kids, because you’ll have to buy Christmas presents, stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, etc. and your printable tracking sheet would probably end up in the trash on day 3.
As another example, if you want to cut out all processed foods for a month, but your produce and meat bins are completely empty, but you’ve got a pantry full of chips and boxed macaroni, then you’re probably setting yourself up for failure by not being prepared.
It’s important to think about what supplies, if any, are needed for your challenge and what your schedule looks like for the month, so that you’re prepared to meet your goals. Set yourself up for success, not failure.
How to Do a 30 Day Challenge for Any Goal
Think of a 30 day challenge as a tool to help you meet your goals, or even a way to help you form a new habit.
If you want to drink more water, a 30 Day Hydration Challenge can help. Want to tackle your home clutter? Divide your home into 30 small areas (pantry, clothing drawers, nightstand, etc) and track your progress each day.
No matter what you choose to do for the month, follow these steps to make your own challenge:
Step 1: Determine what you will focus on for the month.
The first step is to figure out WHAT you want to challenge yourself to do. Here are some ideas:
- Walk 10,000 steps each day.
- Write in your journal each day.
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
- Not spend any money on things that aren’t necessities for a month.
- Don’t eat out at restaurants for a month.
Step 2: Figure out how you will track your progress.
Next you need to determine how you will track your progress as you go through the month. There are a load of different methods you can use to track your 30 Day Challenge including:
Note it in your planner
If you use a self-care planner or a Happy Planner, then you can make a little note on each day that you successfully complete your challenge. If you like to decorate your planner, you can even use a small sticker on each day to indicate that you met your goals. The Happy Planner even has handy habit tracker sheets that you can add to your planner that are PERFECT for 30 Day Challenges:
Use a goal tracking app
If you prefer to use your phone instead of pen and paper, then an app to measure your 30 day challenge progress could be the right choice for you. Here are some awesome habit tracking apps to consider. My personal favorite is Habitshare because of how user-friendly it is. Plus, I like seeing the whole month at a glance with the green dots for days that I met my goals and the red dots for days that I didn’t.
Use Habit Trackers for your 30 Day Challenge
You can easily use a free printable habit tracker to keep track of your 30 day challenges, because most habit trackers are made to track monthly habits. That means, they often have 30 (or 31) spaces to record whether or not you met your challenge goals for each day of the month.
You can head here for my free printable habit trackers, and get over 80 ideas for different habits to track (that you could easily turn into a mini 30 day challenge)!
Use printable 30 Day Challenge Worksheets
A printable that’s designed specifically for 30 day challenges is another great way to track your progress through the month. You can just print it out and hang it on your fridge or your bathroom mirror as a constant reminder to reach your month long goals.
You can grab some awesome and free printable 30 Day Challenge worksheets at the end of this post! Use them to make your own month long challenge to get your finances in order, improve your health, or keep your home nice and tidy.
Step 3: Record your daily progress as you go.
After you’ve got a tracking system in place and you’re prepared with any necessary supplies, it’s time to start!
Simply pick a day to start your challenge and record your progress as you go. Cross days off your habit tracker or make notes in your planner when you meet your goal for the day. It may seem insignificant, but the simple act of recording your progress can help to keep you accountable for reaching your goal.
50 Awesome 30 Day Challenge Ideas
30 Day Challenge Ideas for Cleaning and Organizing
Let’s face it… cleaning stinks! And I don’t know about you, but I need all of the motivation I can get to really deep clean and declutter my home. But a 30 day home challenge can really work! Try one of these when it comes time for spring cleaning, or anytime that your home needs a refresh:
1) Deep clean one area of your home each day
Even if it’s not spring time, this 30 Day Spring Cleaning Challenge from DIY Projects is a great way to get your home in tip-top shape! While the challenge does NOT have a specific printable to go with it, it does include great detailed instructions for how to clean areas in your home that probably haven’t seen a sponge since last decade, like your tile grout and your ceiling fans. And you can just print out your own 30 Day Challenge printable to use!
This is a great cleaning challenge to try if you often forget about those out of sight, out of mind places that are collecting dust.
2) Fill one bag of clutter each day
If you tend to get overwhelmed when cleaning and decluttering your home, then this is the PERFECT month long challenge for you! All you need to do is fill just one bag each day with items from one designated area that need to be removed from your home. Go here to read more about the 30 Bags in 30 Days Challenge and grab the free printable!
3) Declutter one specific area in your home each day
This is another variation of a 30 Day Decluttering Challenge, but it’s in calendar form. Simply print the printable challenge worksheet, hang it on the fridge, and declutter each small area for that day.
The nice thing about this 30 Day Decluttering Challenge is the areas to work on each day are very small (like the spice cabinet or the laundry room cabinets), so you’re more likely to be able to complete the entire challenge.
4) Put one item in a donation box each day
Another great way to declutter and organize your home is by donating unused items to charity. As you go through your day, take note of things that are just taking up space in your home, like the giant play kitchen that your daughter has outgrown or the shoes in your closet that you haven’t worn in two years. Then, place one item each day in a box near your front door. At the end of the month, you’ll have a boxful of items to donate to charity AND your home will be less cluttered. Win win!
5) Organize one small area of your home or office
Focus on one small area each day to clear out and organize. Here are a few ideas of things that probably need to be organized in your home:
- Junk drawer
- Medicine cabinet
- Family paperwork
- Your computer files
- Your cell phone photo library
- Clothing drawers
- Under the bed
- Nightstand drawers
- Under the bathroom sink
6) Clean out just one drawer per day
Bathroom drawers, kitchen drawers, nightstand drawers, desk drawers… you probably have well over 30 drawers in your home. And most are probably pretty messy because, well, out of sight out of mind. Each day during your 30 day challenge, tackle one single drawer. Empty it out, clean out any crumbs or dust, and organize everything as you put it back in the drawer.
30 Day Challenges for Better Health
7) Drink more water
Create your own 30 Day Hydration Challenge by setting a goal for how many ounces of water you want to drink each day. Whether it’s 64 ounces or an entire gallon, this is a great challenge to try to improve your health, and it doesn’t take that much extra effort on your part.
8) Get 8 hours of sleep
Turn off the TV at a set time each night, put down your phone, and commit to getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night. Or adjust the time frame to fit your own goals and schedule.
9) Commit to eating healthy
When you hear the term “30 Day Challenge” you probably think about losing weight, thanks to popular month long diets like Whole 30. And this 30 Day Healthy Weight Loss Habit Tracker from The Holy Mess can help you get on track with your diet challenge:
10) Do one self-care activity each day
If you’re not taking care of yourself, then you’ll have a harder time taking care of everyone else in your life. A 30 Day Self Care Challenge can help you set aside a small amount of time each day for yourself, and at the end of the month you’ll feel more relaxed and recharged. You can grab my 30 Day Self Care Challenge printable here, plus get some other self care ideas that are perfect for your busy lifestyle.
11) Practice daily gratitude
Practicing gratitude has been scientifically proven to have a whole host of health benefits, so it makes sense to try a gratitude challenge to help you develop an “attitude of gratitude”. The 30 Day Gratitude Builds Fortitude Challenge from Pink Fortitude is a great place to start!
12) Challenge yourself to do a specific exercise
There are a TON of exercising challenges that you can find on the internet. Then, set a goal to complete that one exercise everyday for a month. Here are some ideas:
- 30 day squats challenge
- 30 day crunches challenge
- 30 day plank challenge
- 20 minutes of cardio each day
- completing a streaming exercise video each day
13) Take a set number of steps each day
With phone apps and Fitbits that track your steps, a “X” number of steps per day challenge is super easy! You can challenge yourself to take 5,000 or 10,000 steps per day, and be sure to check off your tracking worksheet when you reach that number.
30 Day Challenge Ideas to Improve Your Finances
14) Cut out all unnecessary spending for 30 days
No-spend challenges have been gaining in popularity recently, and for good reason! A month long no-spend challenge is a GREAT way to cut out all your unnecessary spending for a month and save BIG money fast. You can go here to read about how to do a no-spend challenge, and grab some challenge worksheets to help you!
15) Try a 30 day money saving challenge
The 30 Day Money Saving Challenge over at The Stress Free Christmas is a great way to save money for the most expensive time of the year… Christmas! This financial challenge is similar to a no-spend challenge, because it focuses on cutting out very specific items from your monthly spending, like Starbucks or impulse grocery store purchases.
16) Save $1 the first day, $2 the second day, and so on
If cutting whole categories out of your spending isn’t for you, then you can focus on saving money without the sacrifice! This $1+ a Day Money Saving Challenge from Money for the Mamas uses a cute printable to help you save $1 the first day of the month, $2 the second day, $3 the third day, etc.
17) 30 days of no eating out
A great way to save money quickly is to cut out your restaurant expenses. You can challenge yourself to 30 days of eating all of your meals at home with the help of this huge list of dinner ideas and free printable meal planners!
18) Track ALL of your spending everyday for a month
Write down ALL of your expenses, monthly bills, and other spending (like that daily $5 at Starbucks). Then, at the end of the month add up all of the money that you spent and compare it to your total income for the month. When I started doing this, it completely changed my financial well-being, so you should definitely put this on your list of 30 day challenges to try!
And I have a TON of tips for how and where to track your finances here: How to Keep Track of Expenses and Income – 9 Tips You Need to Hear!
Then, after you’ve recorded all of your financial transactions for each day, you can mark it on your 30 day tracker!
30 Day Challenge Ideas to Improve Your Relationships
19) Do one nice thing for your husband each day for a month
Whether it’s bringing him lunch at work or buying his favorite pint of ice cream at the grocery store, do one thing each day to surprise your husband and show him how much he’s appreciated. If you need some ideas, visit this post: Nice Things to Do for Your Husband – A 30 Day Challenge
20) Send your spouse one sweet text each day
This is a super easy 30 day challenge, but it can make a big impact in your marriage by simply letting your husband know that you’re thinking about him. I’ve got 31 romantic, flirty, and funny things to text your husband here!
21) Call, text, or email a family member or friend each day
You can use your month long challenge to work on your other relationships also. Commit to calling or texting one family member or friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while, just to check in and say “hi”.
22) Give your kids or husband one compliment each day
Build up your kids and your husband by paying them one compliment each day. Even something as simple as “I’m so proud of you for getting an ‘A’ on your spelling test” is great positive reinforcement for your kids!
23) Eat dinner together as a family every day for 30 days
With kids’ schedules getting busier and busier, it’s difficult to find time to actually sit down and enjoy a meal together as a family. Make it a goal to eat dinner together every single night for a month and see how it improves your communication with your kids and your husband.
You can even go here for 100 Questions to Ask Kids, and grab the printable conversation cards. We use these at the dinner table and my kids LOVE having something fun and interesting to talk about!
30 Day Challenges for Kids to Do
Month long challenges aren’t just for adults… kids can do them, too! Whether you want challenge ideas to help kids remember to keep up with their chores, or just fun 30 day challenges that allow them to be creative, here are some awesome ideas to try:
24) Try a summer reading challenge
Okay, disclaimer… these month long reading challenge printables aren’t free, but they ARE super cute and a GREAT way to encourage your kids to read!
Even if you don’t use the printables, you should still check out this post for ideas on how to do a reading challenge with your kids!
25) Give your kids one special chore to complete each day
A chore chart is great because it teaches kids responsibility, but if your kids aren’t used to doing chores everyday already, then a 30 Day Chore Challenge can be a great way to ease them into it. Assign your kids just one special chore to do each day for a month, like cleaning the toothpaste out of their sink after they brush their teeth or clearing the table after dinner.
And if you’re lucky, by the end of the month, your kids will continue to do that chore out of habit… or at least they won’t fight you on it.
26) Challenge your kids to do one act of kindness every day for a month
Whether it’s holding the door open for a stranger or helping their siblings with their homework, kids can do one small random act of kindness each day for a 30 Days of Kindness Challenge. You can even use the free printable kindness charts here!
27) Do a screen time challenge
If your kids are addicted to the Playstation, their cell phones, or TV, then you can challenge them to limit their use of those electronic devices for a month. But don’t make it miserable for you, too! Maybe just limit screen time to 30 minutes or one hour per day, or only allow them to watch one show before bedtime.
28) Do a different STEM activity each day for 30 days
A printable STEM Challenge, like the one from Maple Planners, is a great way to sneak in a little learning over the summer. This super cute printable challenge is filled with easy building activities, craft ideas, and science experiments that will keep your kids entertained:
29) 30 Day Lego Building Challenge
If your kids LOVE Legos like mine, then you’ve probably heard “Mom, what should I build?” more than once. This 30 Day Lego Building Challenge from Mama Cheaps takes care of that with a new idea everyday of the month:
30) 30 Day Drawing Challenge
A drawing challenge is another great way to encourage your kids to be creative, without trying to rack your brain for ideas. Just get your kids some paper or a sketch pad, some colored pencils or crayons, and these printable drawing prompts for kids and you’ve got a fun challenge that will last all summer long!
Free Printable 30 Day Challenge Worksheets
Want an easy way to record your progress during your 30 Day Challenge? Use these free printable challenge trackers to help you!
Just click the link below to download, print them out, and check off or make notes on each day as you go. These 30 Day Challenge printables are designed to work for a wide range of challenges.
For instance, you can print the “Home” version and write in a different cleaning task to complete each day in the boxes. Or, use the “Money” version and record the specific dollar amount that you transferred to your savings account each day.
I hope you’ve been inspired to create your own month long challenge to meet your goals! Have you ever tried a 30 Day Challenge? If so, what did you challenge yourself to do? Leave me a comment down below. I would LOVE to hear from you!
And don’t forget to PIN this post for later: