Dot to Trot

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Want To Change Behavior? Try A 30-Day Challenge

Screenshot 2014-09-02 11.11.07

30-Day Challenges are a great way to create new habits, change how you do things and build confidence. And they are available online for free. Just make sure you pick one that’s realistic.

I love this article from Business Insider on the importance of 30-Day Challenges in changing behavior. I’ve become a big believer in these challenges. I’ve used them to:

  • Drink more water
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Build strength
  • Run a 5k
  • Improve my sleep habits

I always try to pick something that:

  1. Isn’t part of my wheelhouse;
  2. Provides opportunity for self-improvement;
  3. Realistic and measurable.

It’s important to pick a challenge where you not only want to make a change, but decided that you must change. Big difference.

Making a meaningful, lasting change means committing to it. While there are tons of 30-Day Challenges online, you need to be realistic. Trying to run a half-marathon in 30-days when you  are a couch potato is insane and guaranteed to fail before you reach your drive way. Not only that, but you can risk serious injury.

You need to pick a challenge where an actual good habit can take hold (or reduce a bad one).  If you want to get off your couch, try a 30-Day Walking Challenge.  Or if you already walk daily and want to run a 5K, then try a 30-Day Walk to Run Challenge.

Changing habits requires serious baby stepping. Baby steps allow you to rack up early wins, boosts confidence and keeps your motivation high throughout the challenge.

Also don’t sweat it if you can’t do everything perfectly. When I began a walk to run challenge, I was unable to do the 1 minute run/2 minute walk ratio. I didn’t give up. Instead I changed the run/walk ratio to a 20 second run/2 minute walk.

Baby steps!

Sure enough, I got stronger throughout the challenge and after 30 days I could run for 15 minutes without stopping.

My Upcoming Challenge
I’m working on transforming my low carb diet into a strict ketogenic lifestyle. So I’m working on creating a 30-Day Keto Challenge for me and my hubby in March. The goal for the challenge is changing my macros so nearly 80% of my calories come from healthy fats.

Why? Menopause! What little research there is indicates that the fewer carbs and proteins tends to help minimize the symptoms (hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings, insomnia).

It’s hard for me to eat more than 73% fat on a given day. But my health situation has changed and I’m looking to push that number up towards 80%. I’ve tried a strict keto diet before, but my heart wasn’t really into it. The result was not so great and I gave up a few days in.

What makes me think this time is different? Attitude. I must make this change for my health. A big difference.

I plan to post the challenge along with my 3o-day menu plan by the end of February.

Have you tried doing a 30-Day Challenge?

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