Social media is full of 30-day-long challenges. Some of them inspire us to take on a new habit such as doing squats for 30 days. Others encourage us to do restrictions such as not drinking alcohol or not eating sugar.
Matt Cutts in his TEDx speech talks about the advantages of 30-day-long challenges. He shares his experience about his 30-day challenges. He says that the time he passed with the challenges was much more memorable to him and even his self-confidence grew.
After trying out two 30-days challenges, I can only encourage you too to try a 30-day-long challenge. Two years ago in November I decided not to drink any alcohol. I just wanted to try it out. I drink occasionally, it was an interesting experience not to drink anything. I didn’t notice any effects on my body during this short period, but the reaction of the people including bartenders and friends were priceless.
100 Squats a Day
This August I decided to try out a sport challenge. I dance regularly, but during the summer period without any dance lessons I struggled to motivate myself to do some exercises. However I watched a really motivating video and I couldn’t resist, I had to try it. The challenge was to do 100 squats every day for 30 days. Yes, in total 3000 squats in a month. My main motivation was to do at least some kind of exercise every day and to get a better look.
And….I did it!!! I couldn’t be more satisfied. I learnt a couple of things during this challenge, which I would like to share with you.
Photo by Meghan Holmes on Unsplash
Firstly, not so much before starting this challenge I watched another TEDx video about getting new habits. Tali Sharot suggests to use:
- social incentives
- immediate rewards
- progress monitoring
whenever you want to motivate yourself or others to take on new habits. I implemented the immediate reward and the progress monitoring part with a simple Excel sheet. I inserted the goals, the dates and my results. Whenever I finished 100 squats, I drew a tick on the paper and wrote a cute message for myself such as great job or a smiley face. I also wrote a diary about this challenge to reflect on my feelings and thoughts. Here are some extractions from the diary:
Day 1: I wasn’t sure if I am able to do 100 squats in a day. So I decided to separate it to 50-50 squats. I succeeded!! I did 50-50 squats in the evening. After the 40th my leg started to hurt, but I continued despite the pain. I am satisfied with myself, but I am afraid about the muscle strain. I became so inspired to do some movements that I started to do some stretches for my shoulders as well.
Day 2: I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get up, but I could. I felt muscle strain, but I could move. I decided to make my performance more visible, so I printed out an excel sheet where I can see my progress and I draw smileys and write cute messages to myself if i finish my daily goals.
Day 4: I arrived home very late and I could hardly convince myself to do the squats as well. But I reminded myself to my goal that I must do 100 squats every day and I didn’t want to fail. I did only a small break between the 50 squats, the only reason for that was that I wanted to go to sleep as soon as possible. I’m getting used to the continous pain. It’s not so bad though.
Day 9: I still feel the pain, but I have started this challenge not so long time ago, so I think it’s ok. I haven’t measured myself, but I feel that it hurts less to do the 100 squats than earlier. It is also possible that I stretch more after the squats and that’s why I don’t feel the pain so much.
Day 10: I feel so ashamed, but I didn’t do the squats. I arrived home late and I was so tired that I feel immediately asleep.
Day 11: I feel awful and guilty about yesterday. So I did the 50-50 squats while I was preparing to go to work in the morning. I think I’ll do them in the morning. In the evening I did another 50+50 squats, so I am still on track.
Day 20: I am getting used to do 100 squats in the morning. I would like to continue it even after the challenge. I am thinking about what other movements can I do in the morning which I can perform easily. And I started to see the results. Ok, it may be only my mind telling me.
Day 29: These days went so fast. I don’t feel it difficult at all to do the 100 squats in the morning. I still continue to do a short break after 50 squats, but a couple of minutes are enough.
Day 30: That was it, I can’t believe it. The last round of squats were easy-beasy. I am very proud of myself that I finished it. I see the results, however I couldn’t measure it. The more important thing is that I am satisfied with myself and I see the result of my hard work.
Results and Learnings
I am not sure about the exact data, but I am sure about how I feel. Proud and satisfied. I have never had any issues with accepting my body, but it feels so much better to look in the mirror. I am also proud of myself for not giving up the challenge, even though it was an intensive period for me.
My Key Learnings
- my body is amazing, I can really reach anything I want. I just need to want it.
- Before starting a new habit, it’s better to decide when to do it.
- Giving myself rewards and compliments works for me very well
- Following up my progress and reflecting my feelings also works for me
- I have time to do sports and become stronger
- I can do miracles in 30 days
These are my learnings, I can’t tell you what benefits has it for you. You need to try a 30-day-long challenge to know it.
I decided to continue to do the squats whenever I don’t have so much time to do sports. It works so far. Every time I look in the mirror, I smile. I started to think on the next challenge. I haven’t decided yet what would it be. Any suggestions? If you have any experience with 30-day-challenges, just share them with me. If you are interested in more details about my experience or have just some questions, contact me.
*Photo of featured image on the top: Binyamin Mellish (Pexels)