Last updated on February 18th, 2022
Spice up everyday tasks like meal prepping, saving money, and cleaning with these 30-day challenge ideas.
The printable trackers in this post were made available courtesy of Mint, a free budgeting app that helps you track your spending and meet your financial goals.
Why You Should Try 30-Day Challenges
Moms are experts at making anything seem fun, but it can be difficult to reinspire your own routine when you get stuck in a rut. Take a trick out of your own playbook by turning the mundane parts of your day into a game. Each challenge is meant to help you reach your goals, but feel free to get your kids in on the fun and games too!
30-Day Challenge Intentions Tracker
At the start of the month, write down your 30-Day Challenge Intentions with this printable tracker. This resource can be used with any of our 30 day challenges to help you meet your goals and develop new habits.
1. Meal Prep One Meal Every Week
When our days are long and busy, it’s easy to get into bad habits when it comes to meals. You might be tempted to order takeout a few times a week for the family or even skip your own meals just because it’s too inconvenient to stop and eat!
If you know these are habits you default to when stressed or busy, help yourself out by doing a monthly meal planning challenge!
Every week for one month, pick one day to meal prep breakfast, lunch, or dinner for the next seven days. For example, on Sunday nights, meal prep a few of your favorite dinners to last you the week.
Pick recipes that reheat well or ones that can be easily thrown together in ten minutes or less. You’ll save time in your daily routine and be able to maintain a healthy diet for you and your family. Meal planning is also essential if one of your goals is weight loss.
Try to mix it up when it comes to meal prepping. One Sunday, you can prep an entire week’s worth of lunches and the next can be dinners. Or if you find yourself skipping breakfast a lot, make sure you have a nutritious meal to start your day all month long but give yourself a variety of options. Check out these meal prep ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner below.
Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas:
- Overnight oats
- Banana chocolate chip muffins with walnuts
- Pre-cut fruit and homemade granola
Lunch Meal Prep Ideas:
- A hearty lentil soup
- Protein-packed salads
- Pre-cut veggie, hummus, and falafel wraps
Dinner Meal Prep Ideas:
- Pasta bake
- Veggie burgers with sweet potato oven fries
- A macro bowl featuring your favorite grain, veggies, and protein
2. 30-Day Clean Up Challenge
While a clean house is always the goal, when you have a family it may not be your everyday reality. Start a 30-day clean-up challenge to clean or put things away right after use. For example, no dirty dishes are allowed to pile up in the sink. Challenge yourself to hand wash immediately or load everything into the dishwasher once it’s been used.
If you’ve already got the dishes down in your regular routine, try tackling something you’ve been putting off. Make a list of these cleaning tasks such as deep cleaning rugs or carpets, washing the windows, or clearing out the garage and resolve to tackle them a little each day. By the end of the month, you’ll have accomplished a lot without getting overwhelmed.
Get your kids in on the challenge and have them put away toys, school supplies, and snacks right away too. Give them lots of encouragement and gentle reminders to help them reach their clean-up goals. Make cleaning fun by playing music and making it a dance party.
3. Make Your Bed Every Morning
Start your day off on the right foot for the month by making your bed every morning. Challenge yourself to make it the first thing you do every single day. You will take pride in starting off on a productive note and use that momentum to keep tackling things on your to-do list.
Making your bed also has lots of other benefits. Not only does it set you up for success, but it offers benefits for your wellbeing too. Research has found that people who make their bed experience mental advantages like improved focus, reduced stress, better relaxation, and calmness.
For more ideas on how to start your day right, check out 7 Habits for a Healthy Morning Routine.
4. Read for 30 Minutes a Day
Books are good for the mind and soul. Carve out thirty minutes to read every day if you’ve been neglecting your bookshelf. Taking the time to sit down and read helps you relax and clear your mind of stress. Not enough time in the day to read? Wake up thirty minutes earlier than usual to start your day with a good book.
Not interested in giving up thirty minutes of shut-eye to dive into a book? Turn this challenge into storytime before bed with your kids. Reading to your kids, no matter their age, is very influential on their development. Research shows that children’s cognitive and language development benefits when caregivers read aloud to them. These benefits even extend into the teen years.
Don’t feel like you need to buy a new book to do this challenge either. Reread old favorites or grab something new from the library. You may just learn something new this time around or find comfort in your favorite stories.
Spend time bonding with your family or sit down with a nice cup of tea and really immerse yourself in your book for the whole month.
5. Do a No-Spend Month
If your goal is to save money, trying a no-spend month is a great place to start. At the beginning of the month, outline your everyday expenses and make a rule that you can’t spend on anything outside of your budget. You’ll be forced to get creative with what you already have anytime you want something that is deemed “unnecessary.”
Take the money you saved each week and put it into your savings account. You can watch the number grow by the end of the month and know that your diligent habits are what helped your money grow. Whether you’re saving for your kids’ college funds, a new house, or to pay down debt, you can feel good about taking steps toward your savings goals.
Use this challenge as a way to teach your kids about money management. Teach them about what’s necessary to spend on like food, shelter, and utilities, and how you can live without indulging in every want and desire.
Your kids will learn a lot from watching you practice good spending and saving habits. Make it interactive with the printable No-Spend Tracker below.
6. 30 Photos in 30 Days
Try out a challenge that will inspire you and allow you to exercise your creativity. Take one photo every day of something new that makes you feel good.
You can even assign a theme to each week like gratitude, things that made you laugh, or something that filled you with awe and wonder. After 30 days, you’ll have a wonderful treasure trove of memories to look back on.
Feel free to get your kids in on the challenge with disposable cameras! You can develop the film at the end of the month and be surprised by what you find. Let the photos inspire craft time too and use them in scrapbooks or collages.
7. Monthly Mindfulness Challenge
If your goal this year is simply personal growth, try spending a little time each day practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is vital for self care and can help improve your physical and mental health, as well as your overall well being.
Work on getting in touch with your thoughts and emotions in whatever way resonates the most with you. Try out one of these examples below:
- Try a 15-minute yoga flow
- Do a guided meditation
- Try using a gratitude journal
- Repeat positive affirmations or mantras
8. Get Outside Every Day
The day feels super long when you’re cooped up inside with kids for too many hours. Encourage your kids to get outside and be active every day.
You’ll be forced to head outside too so you can supervise them as they play. Have them play in the yard or rally everyone to take a family walk around the neighborhood.
Taking walks and being active outside are good for your body in many ways. Exercise and play are great ways to combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and doing so outside also gives you the benefits of fresh air.
Use this challenge to nurture a love for the outdoors and go for a special nature trip to the beach or mountains with your kids every week to refresh your surroundings.
9. Try a Digital Detox
With so much of our lives revolving around technology, a monthly digital detox can do wonders to help bring balance to your life. Take advantage of screen time settings on your phone to limit your usage for the month or set hard deadlines to power everything down after work or school.
This is one of those “lead by example” types of situations. Let’s be honest, we’ve all found ourselves sucked in by social media at times.
Show your kids that there are other ways to have fun and be entertained in life that don’t revolve around a tablet, computer, tv, or phone. Pair this 30-day challenge with another one like reading every day or getting outside more often. When your time is occupied, you won’t even miss your devices.
10. Challenge Your Family to Random Acts of Kindness
Challenge your family to do random acts of kindness all month long. Teach your kids about kindness by modeling it for them. Demonstrate by baking cookies for a neighbor or doing someone else’s chore as a surprise for them. Surprise your kids with thoughtful notes hidden in their rooms or sweet treats to make them smile.
Get them to do a kindness activity each week like writing letters to their friends or making a homemade gift for a family member. A month of extra kindness will show them that it’s cool to care and that kindness to others really matters.
11. Bedtime Challenge
One of the best ways to boost your mood and productivity is by making sure you are getting enough sleep. Getting enough sleep starts with getting to bed at the right time.
In this 30-day challenge, you’ll treat sleep as though it is the most important task of the day. Set a specific bedtime to make sure you’re getting to bed at the same time each night. Also, don’t let screen time keep you awake. When bedtime comes, turn the screens off for the night.
12. No Fast Food
Making a quick run through the drive-thru window is a bad habit we could all stand to break. These quick-serve restaurants save so much time that they can be hard to quit.
But thirty days isn’t all that long. Try eliminating fast food for one month and you might just be surprised at how easy it is (and how much money you’ll save!)
13. Walk 10,000 Steps a Day
If one of your goals this year is to lose weight or get healthy, this is a great way to do it. Weight loss challenges are great too but creating a new habit of walking 10,000 steps per day will help increase your calorie burn naturally, while boosting your physical health.
In order to get your steps in, you might do a lot of small things like choosing the stairs over the elevator or you could start taking daily walks. Either way, a measurable challenge like this is sure to help you be more cognizant of your activity level and take steps (literally) to improve it.
14. Eat a Veggie at Every Meal
Eating veggies is an excellent way to boost your immune system and your health in general. But if it’s not something you do that often, then this might be the challenge for you.
Even eating just a little bit of vegetables on a regular basis can make a big difference in your overall health.
15. Learn a New Language
One month may not be long enough to learn an entire language, but you can definitely get a running start by learning every day for thirty days. Apps like Duolingo are a great way to gamify the learning experience and make things more fun
Gamify your goals and reinvigorate your daily routine with these monthly challenges. These challenges are a fun way to develop better habits and get your kids involved no matter their age. For help with accountability, use these printables from Mint to get you started. Print one for you and one for your kids to fill out and then focus on having fun!
I hope that these 30-day challenge ideas have inspired you to take some concrete steps toward meeting your own goals this year.
Leave a comment below and let me know which challenge you’re most excited to try, and don’t forget to save this post to Facebook or Pinterest so you can find it later.
Sophie Agbonkhese is a writer, veteran homeschooling mother of four, and a recovering overachiever (who occasionally relapses). She is the founder of My Cup Runs Over, a site dedicated to helping busy women simplify and enrich their lives, homes, and homeschools. When she’s not writing or debugging websites, Sophie spends her time reading with her kids, gardening, listening to audiobooks, and striving fruitlessly to have a clean house for at least five minutes. She lives in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, Ben, and their children.