test driving healthy habits and nutrition

The Healthy Habit Test Drive: A 30-Day Wellness Challenge

The end of 2020 is coming up quick (thank goodness?!) and millions of people around the world are starting to think about their own New Year’s resolutions for self-improvement and personal growth in 2021. 

Unfortunately, research indicates that very few people, maybe even as few as 8%, are actually able to stick to their resolutions long-term. 

Yikes, that’s pretty rough right? Surely there is something that can be done to increase that success rate…

In today’s post I will give you the free 30-day Healthy Habit Test Drive Challenge which is designed to help you:

  • Try out healthy habits that you maybe haven’t tried before.
  • Decide if the habit is something that you are likely to stick to.
  • See if the habit is a good fit for your schedule and life.
  • Choose a resolution that you can stick to!

What Is The Purpose of A Healthy Habit Test Drive?

The purpose of the 30-Day Healthy Habit Test Drive challenge is to shake things up a little bit and give you the opportunity to take a new health habit for a test drive before you commit to it as your New Year’s resolution. 

You wouldn’t commit to buying a car before you test drove it right? So why would you make a resolution for something you’ve never tried? Or even worse, make the same resolution you made in the past that really didn’t work well for you?

Remember, everyone is different. One-size-fits-all resolutions set you up for failure. That’s why this 30 day challenge encourages you to do a little personal experimentation this month to figure out what works well for YOU.

By figuring out what works well for you and fits into your life and schedule, you are more likely to be able to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions long-term!

Not sure what New Years Resolutions to choose this year? Test drive them first with this free 30-day challenge!
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How The 30-Day Healthy Habit Test Drive Challenge Works

There are four basic wellness topics that this challenge will address: nutrition, physical activity, mindset, and stress reduction. 

These topics will rotate every day. For example every 4th day you would have a new nutrition habit to try out.

There may be some days that include habits you already do or seem a little bit too easy for you. That’s okay! On these days, simply substitute a new healthy habit that you have been wanting to try or have read about.

How To Complete The Challenge

You can complete this 30-day challenge one of two ways. First, you can simply do it in order from day 1 to day 30.

Or alternatively, you can do it like a blackout style game of bingo (remember bingo with grandma?). In this method, you would simply pick one habit to try per day in any order you like, and mark that day with an “X” when you’ve completed it. You’d carry on like that until all the 30 days were all completed.

The main benefit of this second method is that some of the habits may take a little more planning than others, so it may be better for your schedule to do them on a particular day.

The only thing to watch out for is to pace yourself, so that you don’t end up with all the hard ones at the end of the month!

What To Do When You Find A Habit That Might Be A Good Fit

If when going through the challenge you find that a particular habit wasn’t for you, that’s okay! Cross it off and move on. There are many paths to a healthier life.

When you find a habit that you do think might be a good fit, I would recommend trying it out for a little longer than just the one day. Maybe try it for a week (or more if you’re feeling ambitious!) to make sure that you still feel good about it.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the 30 days of healthy habits! Download your copy below!

DOWNLOAD your copy below!

Healthy Habit Test-Drive: The 30-Day Challenge

Day 1: Eat The Rainbow

Did you know that different colored fruits and vegetables have different nutrients and vitamins? By eating a variety of colors on your plate (eating the rainbow), you are more likely to get all the vital nutrients you need! So today, try to eat one or more meals with at least 3 different colors.

Day 2: Try A New Home Workout

It’s always a good idea to have a go to at home workout, whether you plan to get a gym membership or not. Sometimes you won’t have time to get to the gym or the gyms may be closed. If you already have a go to workout you like at home, you will be less likely to miss a workout when things don’t go as planned.

For today’s challenge, explore youtube or any other online sources for a new home workout and give it a try.

Day 3: Start A Gratitude Journal

As Aesop famously said, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” Gratitude helps us to be happy with what we do have rather than unhappy about what we don’t. 

So today, take the time to write down 3-5 things that you are grateful for – big or small. I like to do this in the morning to get my day started off on a positive note!

Day 4: Catch Up With A Loved One

Friends and loved ones can be the best cure for stress. For today’s challenge, either reach out to, or spend time with someone you care about but haven’t gotten to spend time with in awhile.

Day 5: Up Your Water Intake

Most people don’t drink enough water. Dehydration can lead to decreases in short-term physical and mental performance, but may also pose more serious long-term health effects. So today try to at least drink the minimum recommendation of:

  • 3.7 Liters for men or
  • 2.7 liters for women

If you already meet this requirement – try drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning to feel more alert!

Day 6: Stretch First Thing In the Morning

A good stretch in the morning can get your day off to a great start. It helps the blood get flowing a bit, and can help you shake off some of the stiffness of sleep so you’re ready for the day.

Or if you’re up for more of a challenge, try working out first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to perk you up, and start the day off with a win!

Day 7: Write Your To-Do List Before Bed

At night, take a few minutes to write down your to-do list for the next day. The benefit of doing it at night is that you will be less stressed about remembering everything you have to do so that you can sleep better.

Day 8: Turn Off Screens 1 Hour Before Bed

You’ve probably heard by now that screens like televisions, computers, phones, and e-readers put off blue light. This blue light can interfere with our body’s normal sleep rhythms – which is a big stressor to our body. 

To make sure you get a good night’s sleep, turn off your screens at least an hour before bed tonight. Instead maybe try a bath, a book, or a conversation with a loved one.

Day 9: Try A New Healthy Recipe

Many people have a false belief that eating healthy can not be enjoyable, but that just isn’t true! While you may not like some foods, it’s quite unlikely that you will hate everything that is healthy. So today, browse some new healthy recipes on Google, Pinterest, or a healthy cookbook, and try it out!

Day 10: Go For A Walk

Don’t underestimate walking as a form of exercise! Why not try a walk on your lunch break or after dinner? Grab the pup or a loved one and go for a stroll around the neighborhood.

Day 11: Do A Brain Dump In The Morning

Have you ever done a brain dump? It can be a useful strategy to get stressful things off your mind and out of the way so that you can have a clear head to start your day.

Try doing a brain dump by writing down everything you’re worried or stressed about either at home after waking up, or before starting work for the day. It feels really nice to get things off your chest!

Day 12: Try A Simple Breathing Exercise

Focusing on your breath can help you quiet a racing mind, and relax. Try this exercise tonight when you are laying in bed.

Lay on your back and place one palm on your stomach, and one on your chest. Now breathe deeply, in and out, while trying to expand your belly, rather than your chest. Try this for 3-5 minutes at first,and if you like it, work up from there!

Day 13: Add One Extra Fruit & Vegetable 

The majority of people don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in their diets. As a result they are missing out on important nutrients, vitamins, fiber etc. 

Today, make an effort to add one extra serving of fruits and vegetables. Bonus points if it’s something you don’t regularly eat!

Day 14: Move Every Hour

Did you know that sitting for prolonged periods of time is a risk factor for chronic disease that is completely separate from not getting enough exercise? That means even if you meet physical activity recommendations but you sit for say 8 hours a day at a desk – you’re still at an increased risk.

So today, challenge yourself to get up once an hour, even if only for 2-3 minutes. Walk around, do a few squats, just stand up and stretch.

Do you have trouble sticking to your new year's resolutions? Test drive new healthy habits first with this free 30-day wellness challenge.
Pin this to come back later!

Day 15: Become Aware Of Negative Thoughts

Negative Thoughts can really hold us back from achieving the things we want in life. The first step in getting rid of our negative thoughts, is to realize when and why they come up.

For today’s challenge, whenever you have a negative thought, write it down along with what was happening and who you were with at the time that you had the thought. At the end of the day, look at all your negative thoughts and try to find any patterns.

Day 16: Do A Social Media Detox

I don’t think I have to convince anyone that constantly being tied to our phones can be stressful. So for today’s challenge – unplug!

You can put your phone away for a few hours, or the whole day if you’re feeling really brave! 

Day 17: Stock Up On Healthy Snacks

It’s easy to make poor snacking decisions when you are hungry and the house is full of junk. It is much easier to make healthy snack choices when healthy foods are readily available. 

So for today’s challenge, make a list of healthy snacks you enjoy, and then stock up on them at the store.

Day 18: Do An Exercise Every Time You ____

This can be a fun way to get more movement into your day without feeling like it’s too overwhelming. Just pick something you do regularly, and do a certain number of reps of an exercise every time you do that activity.

For example, 5 bodyweight squats everytime you go to the bathroom. 10 jumping jacks every time you send a text etc. Be creative!

Day 19: Make A Happiness List

For today’s challenge, make a list of the things that truly make you happy. Consider both little things (like good coffee), and big things (like helping others etc.). 

List as many things as you can. This activity can bring awareness to things we love but may take for granted, it can also be helpful to look back on when we are feeling low. Check out my happiness list if you need a little inspiration! [LINK]

Day 20: Spend Time In Nature

Research has shown that nature has all kinds of positive benefits like stress reduction, improving focus, creativity, kindness, and happiness.

So for today’s challenge, get a little fresh air! Spend some time in a garden, go for a hike, or visit your local park.

Day 21: Plan Out The Week’s Meals

This one takes some advanced thought but can be a huge help for healthy eating. You don’t necessarily have to cook all of the food in advance (unless you’d like to!), But even just picking the recipes, making the grocery list, and having the ingredients in the house can prevent you from ordering a pizza or stopping for fast food instead of cooking.

Day 22: Walk 10,000 steps

You can use a Fitbit, other activity tracker or even a cellphone app to measure your progress on this requirement! 

If you’re a long way from 10,000 that’s okay, just try to add about 1,000 steps to what you’re currently doing.

Day 23: Make A List Of Your Strengths

What are your personal strengths? What are you good at? What do others compliment you on? What about yourself are you proud of? Make a list of all these things.

When you’re feeling discouraged, or lacking confidence in yourself, look back at this list, and remember your strengths.

Day 24: Try A Simple Relaxation Exercise

If you find yourself feeling tense throughout the day, or when you’re laying in bed trying to sleep at night, try the following exercise.

Start at your toes, and gently contract the muscles of your feet for 5 seconds. Now do us on relaxing these muscles. Repeat this exercise by flexing and then relaxing each muscle group one at a time, working from your toes up towards your head. 

Day 25: Practice Portion Control

One of the biggest problems people have when it comes to eating healthy is that they eat too much. We’ve gotten so used to huge portion sizes and cleaning our plate. 

Today’s challenge will help us start retraining our brains to eat more appropriate portions. But don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest buying a good scale and measuring everything you eat. Instead, you can use your hands to eyeball appropriate portion sizes!

Day 26: Take The Long Route

Today’s challenge is about moving more throughout your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to the mailbox or the corner store instead of driving. Get up and walk over to talk to your coworker in the office instead of sending an email if you can. Park a little further from wherever you are going to allow yourself to walk a little more.

Day 27: Align Your Thoughts & Actions With Your Goals

As you go throughout your day today, ask yourself – is this thought or behavior in line with my goals? For example, will eating this help me achieve my goal? Will staying up late help me achieve my goal? Is thinking this thought helping me reach my goals?

If the answer is yes, then go for it! If not, pass on it.

Day 28: Try Some Self Care

Try some good old fashioned self care today! Take a bubble path, read a book, make time for a hobby that you love, try a coloring book, do some crafting, or even take a nap! 

Day 29: Improve The Quality Of Your Food Choices

To eat healthier, you don’t have to be perfect all of the time, and you don’t have to completely cut out certain foods. Rather than thinking of foods as “good” or “bad”, instead try this simple method in which you eat more of certain foods and less of others. 

By not putting any foods strictly off limits, you will feel less deprived, form a healthier relationship with food, and be more likely to stick to your nutrition habits!

For today’s challenge, check out this amazing infographic, and try to improve the quality of your food choice just a little. 

Day 30: Try Some Yoga

Yes, you’ve made it to the last day of the challenge! Today, I would encourage you to try out a little yoga – either at the gym, or by finding a video you can follow along with on YouTube. 

There are many different types of yoga, so find one that suits your goals. For example search for “yoga for flexibility”, “yoga for strength” or “yoga for stress reduction”. 

Conclusion

So there we have it, 30 different healthy habits on the topics of nutrition, fitness, mindset, and stress reduction.

I have numbered them 1-30 for you, but please note that you don’t have to wait until the first of the month to start this challenge. You can start today if you would like! 

Don’t forget to grab your free copy of the Healthy Habit Test Drive 30-Day Challenge!

If you are planning on using this 30-Day Healthy Habit Test Drive to help you select New Year’s resolutions that are a better fit for you, make sure to start the challenge no later than December 1st so that you have time to get through it all before making your decision.

Best of luck with the challenge! If you decide to do it, I would love to hear about your progress! You can let me know how it’s going right here in the comments, or through any of my social media channels as well. Can’t wait to hear from you!

A hui hou (until next time),

~Clarissa

The healthy habit test drive: A 30-day wellness challenge
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Author: clarissa.cabbage

Clarissa is a teacher, a coach, and an avid adventurer! Armed with a master's degree in Exercise and Wellness, she is on a mission to teach people how to build healthier habits that support the adventurous lifestyle of their dreams. There is nothing Clarissa is more passionate about than helping people get active and live their lives to the fullest!

36 Replies to “The Healthy Habit Test Drive: A 30-Day Wellness Challenge

  1. Oh my goodness I love this idea! I’m definitely one f the 92% who totally fail each year, good intentions and all that, so this sounds like a great way of doing it. I might not wait for the new year – might set this up for December so I can do my test drive before committing! Great post!

    1. Yes that was exactly my intention Lindsey, to have people do this before new years, so that they could figure out what resolution they would like to make. I am glad you like it. Best of luck with the challenge!

  2. I love these ideas so much! I have printed off your challenge and will be taking part. I love a good challenge, especially one that is going to promote good habits x

  3. This sounds like such a great idea! Rotating it round on a wheel will keep it fun and interesting, rather than boring to the point people find it harder to stick to and therefore give up easily. I’m happy to say I’ll gladly 100% be participating in this for new years! I can’t wait x

  4. This challenge is a great idea! I never make any New Year’s resolutions, because I know they don’t work, and I believe you need to work on bad habits and lifestyle changes every day. But test driving new habits would be something I’d like to try! Thank you for sharing this. X

    1. That’s awesome Amie! With all the new lockdowns going into effect, I think it’s the perfect time to find an at home routine that works for you! Thanks for stopping by and giving this a read!

  5. Such a great post 🙂 I love that you’ve made it clear New Year goals don’t have to be started right at the New Year, and instead we should be focusing on our goals all year round. This is the perfect time to start thinking about next year, and I really enjoyed reading your thoughts

  6. I love this and I love how you broken everything down into sections to make completing a goal less overwhelming. I love the ideas as well! I def have to uo my water intake and I’m want to try the stretches every day. It certainly will help to calm and relax my body and mind.

    Thanks for sharing 🥰

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