30-Day Challenges for Families and Stars for Rewards

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more_time_moms_30_day_challengeThe 2014 Family Organizer features a cheery message board and new star stickers for family and individual challenges. Here’s why.

This year we became a huge fan of TEDTalks . We were particularly inspired by Matt Cutts, an American engineer who works for Google. In 2009, he felt he was ”stuck in a rut”, so he set himself on a series of 30-day challenges. Three years later, he has transformed his life in one-month intervals doing things such as following a vegan diet, learning to play the ukulele, sleeping eight hours a night, and doing something nice for his wife every day.  More than 4.5 million people have watched his seminar online. He inspired us to create our own 30-day challenges to transform different areas of our lives.

The odds for successful behaviour change are stacked in your favour when you undertake an organized challenge as part of a group. Our family is our most important group so we set ourselves on course for some 30-day challenges that we could apply. We developed a sense of camaraderie with heightened motivation and a resulting pride in our achievement. With every gold star as a cue, we become more invested in our challenge and rewarded each other with high fives and hugs.

Our first 30-day challenge was simple and so rewarding: Eat dinner at home with each other during the week. It lead to delicious home-cooked meals with different family members taking the lead depending on who was home first. Sometimes we had to eat early and sometimes we had to eat later. Dinner could be anywhere from 4:30 to 8:00, but we always managed to get together to eat home made food. The results were better than we could have imagined, we ate more healthily, spend more time talking together and saved money on purchasing food on the run. Everyone was just a little bit happier.

Since our first challenge, we have undertaken many challenges as a family with varying degrees of success, but always rewarding. Some of the family challenges include:

  • Clean up after ourselves.
  • Get school bags organized by the front door the night before.
  • No soft drinks for a month.
  • Get outside every day for some kind of exercise.
  • No fast food.

And individual challenges:

  • Me: 30-day fitness challenges, 30 day clean eating challenges.
  • Hubby: 30-day sugar-free challenge, 30-day caffeine-free challenge.
  • Kids: 30-day flossing, 30-day Speak only positively to your sibling (This one was really tough)
  • My niece had so many 30-day challenges going, she needed all the star stickers for herself. Lol.

Here are a few tips to get your family going on your own 30-day challenge.

  • Discuss ideas with everyone and pick something that the whole family can enroll into.
  • Write your family challenge on the monthly message board in the Family Organizer.
  • Encourage each other with praise and recognition. Be positive.
  • Chart your progress with the star stickers in the 2014 More Time Moms Family Organizer.
  • Choose a different coloured star for each challenge and/or for each family member.
  • Encourage the kids and each other to start an individual challenge.
  • If you do miss a day, don’t catastrophize it into a failure. A missed day doesn’t mean you need to go back to day one. Simply carry on.
  • Celebrate your success.  Stars are fun but a little celebration will give everyone a little chance to acknowledge their accomplishments and provide positive reinforcement to carry on or select another 30-day challenge to work on.

In Cutts’ words, ”What are you waiting for? I guarantee you that the next 30 days will pass, whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you’ve always wanted to try and give it a shot.”

For further support and inspiration, visit:

TED Talks: Matt Cutts; http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days.html

www.30daychallenges.net is a place for others to share their trials. It has 2500 members worldwide who track their progress on an online calendar, where others can write words of praise or encouragement.

Join our facebook page for tips and tricks from Moms and Dads to better organize their lives so they can spend more time with their families.


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  1. […] Monthly family challenges could be a fun way of doing this – this could include not eating meat for a month or reducing screen time (you could schedule a screen-free hour every evening). You may even be able to learn new skills together such as taking up a musical instrument together or learning a foreign language. You can even encourage older kids to save up small contributions to family vacations. […]

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