Failed a 30-day challenge? Now what?

I recently heard a talk encouraging people to take on a “30-day challenge”. This proposition was of course relevant to that audience, who were in general highly accomplished people, and therefore already had well established self-discipline. But for the majority of people, a 30-day challenge is a long slog, especially if you don’t have a structured framework or support team that you can rely on to stay motivated and on track. Just think of last week’s post – did you make it to day 30?

So what can you do, if the last time you attempted such a challenge – you almost made it through the first week, and then things started to go really wrong?


Go back to basics. Keep it simple. Really simple.

My suggestion (and I am not being facetious!) is the One-Day Challenge.

Yes, its not a typo. It says One, and I meant One.

One day? So where is the challenge in that?, you ask.

Did you rise to the challenge?, I ask.

If you did, congratulations. But I doubt you really did.

Did you commit 100%? Did you give it all you had? Honestly?

We are naturally resistant to change, and any time we introduce something new into the picture, the level of commitment we put in is tempered by caution. That is normal, but when we want to make a change, it’s not helpful. But if you can just commit to a one-day challenge, you have overcome the biggest resistance that you will ever encounter in the process: you got started!.

Next time you need to embark on a life-changing project, don’t set your sights on sustaining a massive effort (and all the grueling mental battles that go along with it) for 30 days. The anticipated exhaustion will keep you stuck at the starting blocks.

Start with one.

Make it count. It is only a day, and at the end of it you will know if you gave it all you had, or held back. If you held back on the 1 day challenge, you almost certainly would not have made it to day 30 anyway.

It is easier to do a 1-day challenge. By tonight it’s done. Dusted. Victory.

And then you already know you can do it again, easy. And again. Maybe 5, 7, 30 or 90 times.

If you are struggling with a goal, start by setting yourself a 1-day challenge.  I’d love to hear what it is you may be struggling with, so if you feel brave, email me your 1-day challenge or post it in the comments, and afterward let me know how you went…!