Do you want to change your life? Are interested in a 30-day self-improvement challenge? Are you sick of complicated methods and not having a clear vision? If yes, you’re in a right place. Today, I’d like to share how to plan and execute a 30-day self-improvement plan that’s just a proper fit for you.
Here’s how my plan stands out: Instead of giving you 100 different tips to choose from, I’ll teach you how to create an amazing plan ENTIRELY BASED ON YOUR NEEDS. There are many great tips online, but here’s the thing. The author probably doesn’t know you personally, so he or she cannot determine what’s best for you.
Secondly, I’m not only going to share with you how to make an amazing plan. I’m going to share universal principles of success and creating habits. Just to make sure you can avoid some rookie mistakes I’ve done during my 4 years of self-improvement.
Sounds good? Take a nice position and read on. Preferably, make the plan as soon as possible after reading this post. Come back to double-check something if you need to! Alright, let’s get this show on the road.
Understanding the nature of success
Whatever you want to achieve, there’s some universal principles that help you to succeed. Whether it’s getting in a good shape, building a business, or becoming more attractive. Although celebrity gossips tell you otherwise, success doesn’t happen overnight. The news shows you the millionaires and athletes living their amazing life, but they don’t show you the work they had to put in.
Success is built with small, constant habits that add up to huge results over time. Depending on your field, it may take weeks, months, or even years. Based on my experience, you can have results with self-improvement surprisingly quickly. That’s why a 30-day self-improvement challenge can be handy.
Imagine this: you want to become the smartest person in your circle. Start by reading 20 pages every day. 20 pages isn’t too much, right? It probably takes maybe 30 minutes or so. However, if you’re willing to stick to this routine for 6 months, you’ve read more than 3500 pages, which is about 10 books! That’s more than most people read in their lifetime!
Being patient and sticking to good habits is the key. In the beginning, it may seem like you’re not making progress. In reality, you are. By leveraging the power of consistency, you can achieve great things without burning yourself out.
This principle is the key to this plan.
Determine your goals, pain points, and habits for your 30-day self-improvement challenge
The first thing you have to do is to determine your goals. Before you can achieve something, you must determine what you want. Consider all areas of your life. Happiness, social life, dating, career, fitness, health… What do you want? Don’t be afraid to dream big. You deserve the best life possible and your full potential.
Secondly, determine your pain points. What do you dislike in your life? What could be better? We all have flaws because we’re humans. The good news is, we can work on them and learn from our mistakes.
Finally, you must figure out what habits and routines take you a step closer and vice versa. Executing a good habit takes you one step closer to your dreams. A bad one takes you backward. As we learned in the previous paragraph, success comes from executing good habits constantly.
This is how you need to determine the actions that take you towards your goals. For example:
- If you want to be in shape, going to the gym means taking a step.
- If you want to become focused and get rid of overthinking, meditation is the key.
- If you want to be happier, gratitude is the way to go.
Get creative. Determine a bunch of goals you want to achieve with different areas of your life, and habits that take you closer to them, step by step.
You can also determine negative habits that hurt your success:
- If you want to stop procrastinating, limit your cellphone usage.
- If you want to have more energy, stop scrolling TikTok until 2AM.
At this point, you should have a list of goals and habits that will eventually get you there. You should also have determined the bad habits that hurt your progress.
Do some self-reflecting. What does your normal day look like? What you could do differently? What habits should you remove? What you should implement?
The key is to focus on habits that will eventually get you there. When you execute them constantly, the results will take care of themselves.
Here are some good habits I recommend implementing that will help you with pretty much anything:
- Exercise and eat clean (Gym 4-5 times per week, healthy food most of the time)
- Meditate for 5-20 minutes
- Practice gratitude (Come up with 3 things you’re grateful for every morning)
- Read for 30 minutes daily. (There are lots of great books and blogs to educate yourself)
- Do something to advance your studies/career (Write and hand in your essay)
- Go out to practice social skills (Go to an event or meet up with your friends)
- Get enough sleep (7-9 hours)
- Limit your social media usage (Set a time limit for IG, TikTok, etc)
- Do self-reflecting and shape your beliefs about yourself in positive direction (Learn to love yourself and accept your flaws)
- Take care of your appearance (style, hygiene, hair, beard, etc)
Again, this may require some work to figure out what exactly you should be doing, but you’ll figure it out. A good thing to do is to search for information. Some things are obvious, like working out if you want to be in good shape. Some things are not, and you may have to test a little. That’s OK. One part of a good, 30-day self-improvement challenge is to change it if you need to. More about that later.
Make your 30-day self-improvement challenge reasonable
One mistake people do is they set unrealistic and unreasonable goals. Sure, with enough willpower you could live like a Navy SEAL for a while, but you should be able to stick to your new habits. If you’re a night owl, starting to get up at 5AM every morning may not work in long term.
See, it takes time to adapt to new habits. Just like results take time in everything. Instead of going all-in for a few days and burning yourself out, focus on small daily improvements.
When it comes to meditating, some people can’t focus for more than 5 minutes. That’s OK. Start with that and ramp it up eventually.
If you’re a TikTok addict, don’t cut it out immediately. Start by setting a daily limit of an hour. Changing your lifestyle permanently doesn’t happen overnight.
One thing where people make this mistake is nofap. They try to cut off masturbation instantly, only to end up relapsing on day 5 or something and hating themselves more than before.
Your ability to stick to your new habits will improve over time. You have to find the sweet stop of not pushing too hard and not being lazy. Slowly but surely you can implement these habits, leveraging the power of time.
Above all, your goals must be challenging, but realistic.
The importance of your environment
Your environment plays a huge role in your ability to execute good habits. It’s 10X easier to work when you have your phone on airplane mode. That’s when you don’t get distracted when your friends bombard you with messages or Instagram spams your notifications.
When it comes to bad habits, remove the triggers that make you want to do them. If you want to eat clean, it’s hard to resist temptation if you have potato chips in your room. If you want to stop watching porn, you shouldn’t spend time on Instagram where you see half-naked girls promoting their latest Onlyfans discount.
You can also use hard means to prevent these habits. You can install an internet blocker on your phone, for example. Another great thing is an accountability partner. Make deal with your friend. If you fail to execute something, you owe them 100$. Suddenly, you feel surprisingly motivated.
When it comes to your environment, you should make good habits easy and apparent, and bad habits invisible and painful.
I’d like to give a shoutout to James Clear and his book Atomic habits. In that book, James shares amazing tips to create good habits, and get rid of bad ones. Lots of tips in this article are based on his wisdom. That book is a gem and I highly urge you to check it out. It has all kinds of great tips that are impossible to squeeze into one article.
Execute your 30-day self-improvement challenge and adapt
When you’re done with creating your habit list, it’s time to execute. When you start this, you’ll get instant feedback about your plan. The thing is, you must be willing to adapt to new circumstances.
Sometimes you’ll notice that you’re pushing too hard, and feel like shit after 3 days. That’s when you need to be patient. You can’t have everything immediately. Maybe work out 4 times a week instead of 5. Maybe cut off one habit and add it back after others feel natural.
You may also find a better way to do something. Maybe a certain technique works better, or something is irrelevant. When you take action, you’ll face things you cannot expect right away. It’s a lot about testing and finding out what works. But as long as you don’t quit, results are inevitable.
A tracking system is a great way to measure your progress and learn what works. It can be as simple as making a scale about your goals and measuring them. If you want to be happier, practice gratitude and each day, measure your happiness from 0 to 5. You can come up with different things to measure to see how you’re succeeding.
For example, I used to suffer from anxiety, so I started to take care of that by reducing stress and practicing mindfulness. I measured my daily anxiety from 0 to 5. Over time, it reduced to 0 or 1 almost every day. That’s how I could see that I was making progress and mindfulness had been working.
The more you can track it the better, but don’t over-analyze. You will notice results when they kick in. Don’t try to come up with fancy sheets for every single mood swing you may have. It only distracts you from taking action.
Come up with something simple. A good idea is to have a sheet where you have a column for each day and rows for habits. You can also measure the most important and obvious things. Take a look at the picture below:
As you can see, this sheet contains a tracking mechanism for each habit. It also has some useful metrics to figure out if the habits are working or not. This is just an example, so don’t worry if your results won’t be the same, but definitely use this for inspiration!
The holy grail of your 30-day self-improvement challenge
Let me give you some motivation for your challenge. This is what I call the “holy grail” of self-improvement. It’s also called a positive spiral. The thing is, when you advance in your journey, the different habits in different areas of life amplify each other.
For example, going to the gym and getting lean boosts your self-esteem and confidence. These boost your overall happiness and command respect. A beautiful thing about self-development is that working on a certain area doesn’t only improve that, but also other areas of life. When you gain success in those areas, it’ll bleed into more areas, and so on.
This is why I recommend implementing habits that serve multiple areas of life. Not only fitness, dating, or another single category.
Another beautiful thing is called a self-amplifying feedback loop. Take a look at the picture above.
This is especially true with your mindset, confidence, and inner game. When you let positive thoughts about yourself sink in, they become beliefs. Your beliefs will result in positive actions, which bring positive results. When you have these results, such as having respect and attraction from the opposite sex, your thoughts and beliefs become even stronger!
It’s amazing to see when the world reacts to the new you. The positive results are the drug that keeps you addicted, leaving you wanting more. In a good way. These results can take some time, but when they come, it’s just amazing.
6 Iron rules of a good plan
Let me share with you 6 rules that I’ve found very useful in my life. These rules help you to stay motivated and on a right track. Apply them properly, and your journey will be much more satisfying.
1) Don’t pursue perfection
No human is perfect. This is why it’s important to realize that you shouldn’t try to be perfect either. During your journey, you will make some mistakes. Sometimes you need to screw up multiple times before a certain lesson sinks in. Sometimes you’re too tired to execute all the habits. Sometimes you forget to read or meditate.
All this is OK. What matters is that you get back on track as soon as possible. If you stay consistent, little mistakes are insignificant in the long run. So, don’t beat yourself up for not being a robot. Don’t start to hate yourself if you’re not perfect. You’re a human and humans make mistakes. What determines you is whether or not you learn from them and apply those lessons later.
2) Don’t bite too much
One thing I learned the hard way was that unrealistic achievements can be dangerous. Sure, raising a bar super high makes you work hard, but if you beat yourself up for not being a superman, you’re in trouble.
Social media and news show success stories about 18-year-old millionaires and supermodels living their best life. But they don’t show all the mistakes and effort they had to deal with. Some of them use unethical tactics by scamming people and lying about their achievements. Some of them may have had luck.
Of course, a success story about someone making 10 000$ in his first month pops up in your Instagram feed, because it sparks interest. If you determine your worth based on unrealistic expectations, you’re in trouble. This mistake cost me a lot, and to be honest, I’m still fixing those mistakes.
Motivational pages tell you to get up at 5AM every morning, neglect your mental health, and work 12 hours a day. Sure, it gets results faster, but at what cost? You should push hard, but too hard results in all kinds of BS. Burning out, anxiety, neglecting basic needs, the list is long.
Above all, have goals that are challenging but realistic. Don’t beat yourself if you’re not a superhuman.
3) Focus on progress, not so much on results
Another thing I’ve learned is that if you only focus on something you’ll be in the future, it hurts your happiness and well-being. The idea of being happy when you achieve something is stupid because we’ll only end up wanting more. It also makes you forget the things that are going great at this moment.
Instead of obsessing about the results, obsess about executing the habits. If you make sure you do the right things every day, you’ll get to your results eventually. Keep your goal in mind, but make sure you focus on today. What can you do today to get yourself closer?
This mindset helps you to focus on the present and make it matter. The results will take care of themselves as long as you take care of the progress.
4) Don’t compare
Comparing to others is a great mistake. I know, it’s natural but sometimes you need to forget it if you want to succeed. See, someone will always be better than you at something. People like to share their strengths and hide their weaknesses. If you compare, you distract yourself from things that matter.
Instead of comparing, focus on yourself and remember that consistent effort will get you to your goals. It doesn’t matter if someone is doing better than you. What matters is that you’re taking action. This is how you can both forget the worthless pressures and become insanely capable.
5) Things probably won’t go as planned but that’s OK
Let’s say you have an amazing plan figured out. You plan to implement XYZ into your life and do them there and there. You expect something to happen during a certain time period and gain results.
However, when the rubber hits the road, there will be things you couldn’t have planned. Some minor twists and setbacks can cause you to advance slower. Some unexpected phenomena require you to change your approach. And something doesn’t work as well as you planned.
This is all OK. When you start grinding something, you will make mistakes. It’s impossible to estimate everything correctly. On your road to success, there will be bumps and roadblocks you didn’t know about.
Don’t let this lower your mood. Although things won’t go exactly as planned, it’s irrelevant as you make progress. Earlier I told you the importance of self-reflecting and adapting to new circumstances. This is essential when it comes to dealing with these challenges.
The bad news is that things won’t go as planned. The good news is that it’s OK and your consistency will still bring results. They may come slower or even faster. Just jump into your journey and learn when you do.
6) Be patient
At the beginning of something, people are full of hope and excitement. The new idea of having results keeps them motivated and passionate. However, you’ll notice that you may not gain results as fast as you’ve planned or hoped.
This is where it’s essential to be patient. Realize that results take more or less time. You may feel like your efforts haven’t changed anything for a week, but they’re still vital. Those tiny, daily improvements make drastic changes possible.
Eventually, when you notice the results, it looks like they happened suddenly. In reality, all your previous efforts have reached the critical point of change. Just like a single drop of water on a full cup breaks the surface tension and makes it pour. It’s the final drop that makes it happen, but it wouldn’t be possible without the previous drops.
Stay patient. Every action takes you closer and closer. Every step plays an important role. The key is to create consistent, long-lasting habits that will eventually add up to huge results. This post is about a 30-day self-improvement challenge, but why stop there? Why not make it 90? 180? When those habits become natural, it’s easy to create a new lifestyle! The longer you continue, the more you achieve.
30-day self-improvement challenge – Putting it all together
There you have it. My guide to creating a 30-day self-improvement challenge to fit your needs perfectly. I know I gave you lots of information so let’s do a quick recap.
First, identify your goals and pain points. What do you want to achieve? What flaws do you want to fix? Then, figure out what habits you need to execute to get there. When you begin, remember to start with the right mindset.
Results will take time and effort. You need to be patient and put in consistent effort. Focus on becoming just a little bit better every day, and you’ll get there eventually. Go beyond 30 days if you have to!
Make sure to evaluate what’s happened so you can apply what you learn. Self-reflecting, tracking, and adapting to new circumstances is essential. Don’t be afraid of failure. Don’t settle for mediocre results but don’t burn yourself out.
Above all, start executing. That’s how you’ll learn how to play the game. Stay hungry. Stay ambitious. Your dreams are waiting for you.