Last week I suggested some tips that might be helpful if you are planning to set yourself personal or professional goals for 2019.

One of the ‘tricks’ that I use to help with achieving my goals is to set myself 30 day challenges. I was originally inspired by Jason Zook’s challenge (click the link to read his article). He talks about profound changes he has made in his life in just 30 days.

Research suggests that it can take anything from 21 to 66 days to successfully create a new habit, but the most relevant length of time for each of us is likely to correlate more to our personality and ability to assimilate new challenges and ideas. For me (and Jason) 30 days is an ideal length of time and each time I start a new challenge, it becomes easier to develop those habits. That’s not to say that obstacles don’t sometimes get in the way, but another 30 day plan usually helps me get back on track.

The thing about the 30 day challenge approach to goal setting and creating new habits, is that most of us can keep something up for 30 days, if we want it badly enough. In 2017 I climbed Kilimanjaro, as a consequence of starting a challenge to walk more over a 30 day period. In honesty, a couple of bottles of Prosecco and a discussion about a challenge for a big birthday had something to do with that decision, but the walking challenge at the start of 2017, definitely filled me with the confidence to go through with the trek.

So is it worth trying to reach goals, form new habits and take on challenges?

These are my reasons why I think it is:-

  1. Instead of letting the days, weeks and months fly by, in a blur, why not create something memorable. If your new daily routine warrants it – take photos and keep a journal of what you have achieved.
  2. Your confidence will increase, my decision to climb Kilimanjaro after walking every day for 30 days might be considered more reckless than confidence boosting, but having successfully walked every day for 30 days, I knew there was a good chance I would stick to a training schedule.
  3. Those small changes you make over a month can definitely lead to something much more powerful and that’s not just about my climb up the tallest mountain in Africa at the age of 60! Keeping up with small, sustainable habit changes can lead you anywhere.

These are some of the reasons that I have set about my hardest challenge this month, a 30 day detox that involves giving up coffee, alcohol, dairy and just about everything else I love to eat and drink! This definitely feels harder than climbing a mountain, but because I know it is only for 30 days (and I have got through the coffee withdrawal headaches) I am confident I will succeed, although I am not sure what my mood will be like by the end of January! Hopefully next week’s blog will share how much easier things are getting.

Finally if you want some ideas for challenges here are 100 30 day challenge ideas to inspire you

Gill Donnell MBE is the Founder and Owner of Successful Women Ltd, you can find out more about the #swibtribe and events taking place across the South West of England here –

Views expressed by the writer are not necessarily the views of the Springboard Consultancy Ltd

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