Would your family set individual 30-day challenges?

Lent begins today and some families will choose to give things up or add things, such as prayer or charity work, into their routines.

But it doesn’t have to be Lent or even related to religion for families to create their own 30-day challenges.

A mom friend was telling me that almost every month her family takes on individual challenges.

So for example, one month the mom challenged herself to do a 100 sit ups every day. Her sons have challenged themselves to eat vegetables every day or to make their beds every day or to ride their bikes every day. The dad gave up meat for a month and ended up staying vegetarian. Recently he’s trying to go 30 days without using a microwave. (I think that would actually be hard to do!)

I love the idea of the children choosing their own challenges and their own goals. I love that the family does it together, and that there’s always next month to try something new.  I like that they are living so thoughtfully.

Our family is setting individual goals for Lent and I hope after the Lenten season we will continue with new challenges and goals.

Do you like the idea of your family setting their own 30-day challenges? Do you think your kids would want to play along? What do you think they would try first?  What would you challenge yourself to do?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania on ajc.com

32 comments Add your comment

Me

February 22nd, 2012
7:22 am

No — We’ve never done this and don’t foresee it starting. I’m not sure I understand a “30-day” goal anyway. When, six years ago, I decided to stop smoking, I didn’t set this as a goal with a time limit. I set it as a goal and attained it. And, should such goals have been proposed, our kids would have the same incredulous look I’m currently displaying. In the paragraphs above, the kids you reference set a goal to make their beds and eat vegetables every day? Ours had no “goal” to do this but it was certainly done every day; although not really a challenge they set for themselves.
To each their own but I simply don’t like the idea that much.

motherjanegoose

February 22nd, 2012
8:09 am

I am all about goals and improving one’s life. I admire those who stick with this commitment in their life. I have known friends that have been very diligent. I am not sure 30 days is long enough as some give ups perhaps need to to be more lifestyle changes. Don’t some people give things up for Lent as a model of Jesus in the desert and that was 40 days? I could give up many things but not COFFEE! I have currently given up sweet tea, in an effort to lose some weight. Not too happy about it but this was before Lent. Kudos to anyone who can make a goal and stick with it.

Shmi Skywalker

February 22nd, 2012
8:17 am

My 30 day goal was to get off of this God-forsaken sandpit of a planet they call Tatooine but I’m afraid the Sand People will kidnap me. I really don’t feel like being Bantha poodoo today.

Voice of Reason

February 22nd, 2012
8:22 am

I plan on giving up making promises to myself that I know I can’t keep. Wish me luck.

Soccer MILF

February 22nd, 2012
8:55 am

My husband always commits to getting in shape each MArch by playing in some sort of basketball tourney called the NCAA. He and his buddies stay out to all hours of the night playing basketball coming home after I am asleep.

It really takes its toll on him by the end of march as he sufers morning headaches.

jarvis

February 22nd, 2012
9:05 am

Why did they give up the microwave?

jarvis

February 22nd, 2012
9:07 am

@Voioce of Reason, two years ago I made a New Year’s Resolution to quit paying my gym membership.

Raisin Toast Fanatic

February 22nd, 2012
9:08 am

What is a “Lent”? Sounds like a drag.

Bilbo Baggins

February 22nd, 2012
9:14 am

My family gave up second breakfast one year. My wife lost 30 pounds and became very thin. In the shire a woman who is thin is considered unappealing.

K's mom

February 22nd, 2012
9:57 am

From what I understand it takes 40 days for the brain to comprehend behavior change, so I think a 30 day goal is a great idea in attaining full behavior change.

I am not sure why kids would set making up their bed as a goal. That is just expected at my house if you are old enough to sleep in a big person bed. That would be like saying I am going to try for 30 days to go to school.

Fred

February 22nd, 2012
10:52 am

I think it’s a great idea for any who want to embrace it. I can’t say it’s for me. It’s funny you would write this today TWG. Yesterday my daughter announced she was giving up chocolate for Lent. “But we don’t ‘celebrate’ lent,” I told her.

Her friend does and for some reason my daughter wanted to do it. :et’s see if she follows through lol.

@MJG: I gave up tobacco after 35 years (been almost 4 months). I decided to try to give up coffee. It’s gotten so expensive plus I like mine very strong and with cream, real cream. Sugar I can take or leave. Since I’m 100 lb’s overweight and trying to lose it, I figured maybe I should ditch the coffee. When I ran out I didn’t buy any more. I have made it one day the last week without going to Quiktrip lol.

catlady

February 22nd, 2012
11:03 am

A goal should be something you don’t ordinarily expect to do. Don’t think bed making would qualify–that is required if you are tall enough and strong enough to move the sheets. It seems like to me it should serve some kind of worthy purpose, also, like reducing your use of electricity or doing a service for someone or even giving up gossip or self-congratulation.

Techmom

February 22nd, 2012
11:16 am

I think it might be fun for certain things. 30 days is enough to let you try something and decide if you like it- the vegetarian trial seems logical. Some of the examples are lame: vegetables each day? Maybe if it were try a NEW vegetable each day or a certain number of servings of vegetables (if you know you don’t eat enough).

I think sometimes these goals are needed to jump-start the commitment. I have one friend who is committing to reading 30 minutes each day. She loves to read but her life is pretty well consumed with a 3 year old and toddler and she says most days she just collapses in bed. But she misses reading and she feels like if she can make it a priority for the next 40 days, that she will figure out when it works and it will become a habit.

Denise

February 22nd, 2012
11:34 am

I am having an identity crisis right now. Don’t really like what is going on in my life and don’t really know what is supposed to be happening and what I am supposed to be doing. Besides giving up chocolate and anything with a drive through and the vending machine, I plan to “do” Purpose Driven Life. Talk about a challenge! I think Lent is supposed to be about really doing SOMETHING that is a challenge and will mean something during the 40 days (or however long you make your challenge for). I think the 30 day challenge all through the year is great and I might implement it for myself. I think it is a good way to make changes in your own life. I think some things may actually stick past the 30 days and that’s good.

Miss Priss!

February 22nd, 2012
11:36 am

I plan to smoke … more.

K's Mom

February 22nd, 2012
11:36 am

@catlady, so glad to hear that from someone else!

Kat

February 22nd, 2012
11:44 am

Make their bed is supposed to be a challenge of some sort? Really?

Does Lent mean adding something or subtracting something – is it the same thing? I thought it was supposed to be for deprivation. I would have to give up chocolate or something like that, but I don’t think God/Jesus would give a damn if I did that or not, so I choose not to.

Soccer MILF

February 22nd, 2012
11:54 am

I am giving up valium. It will be difficult but I think I can do it with some help from Uncle Stoli!

Denise

February 22nd, 2012
12:05 pm

@Kat – it can be either adding or subtracting. It doesn’t have to be about depravation, it’s about sacrifice or doing something better. For example, you can decide to do some or more community service or go to church more (if you’ve slacked off) or pray more…something like that.

FCM

February 22nd, 2012
12:07 pm

shoot at my house we have weeks where everyday is the challenge.

This school year the big challenge for them both has been to actually turn in the work they completed to get an “on time” verses a “late” grade

FCM

February 22nd, 2012
12:21 pm

@ Fred I tried to give up the coffee (for weight reasons) too. That lasted 2 days until EVERYONE was begging me to please drink a cup. I now drink my coffee, black with some ice in it. I too was big on the half and half or heavy whipping cream in coffee. 40 days on Friday since I made the changes. Some parts (like the coffee) will probably stick. Others (like no carbs) will be modified.

The Reverend Baby Doctor Bedpan

February 22nd, 2012
12:57 pm

Does lent really do any good?

Raisin Toast Fanatic

February 22nd, 2012
2:30 pm

Not real sure why anybody needs a “Lent” to just get off of their duff and do something.

We used to call that “motivation” and “self-improvement.”

Oh wait, some of us still do! And don’t need a special occasion for it. :)

motherjanegoose

February 22nd, 2012
3:26 pm

@ Fred…I drink my coffee black with Sweet N Low. I can take a splash of cream but do not particularly like it. I love STRONG coffee too. No flavors…just straight up. I cannot give up coffee as I get a bad head ache. We have Keurig and it is expensive but one of the few things we splurge on.
Kudos on giving up tobacco!
@ Denise…sorry you are not doing well…I could try to cheer you up over dinner…are you interested?

Soccer MILF

February 22nd, 2012
3:58 pm

My teenage son has given up oe hour showers. He also at the same time has started seeing a girl hot and heavy.

Mike Vick

February 22nd, 2012
3:58 pm

My kids given up dog fighting….and weed.

Denise

February 22nd, 2012
4:30 pm

@MJG – always up for a dinner with ya! Let me know when you’re available. Shoot me an email if you still have it.

Fred

February 22nd, 2012
4:31 pm

Soccer MILF

February 22nd, 2012
3:58 pm

My teenage son has given up oe hour showers. He also at the same time has started seeing a girl hot and heavy.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If she’s like you tell him to resume the long hot showers. You might also want to encourage a heavy penicillin regime……..

Socc

February 22nd, 2012
4:43 pm

Enter your comments here

Dyell

February 22nd, 2012
6:03 pm

Congrats to the dad! I am happy to see more people attempting to change the way we think about food and what we are consuming– Consumers have the right to know where their food comes from and how animals are treated before they reach their plates. This is a good, short video to watch about this topic: MeatVideo.com. Or visit ChooseVeg.com for information on adapting a more compassionate lifestyle.

Captain Clarence Oveur

February 22nd, 2012
7:23 pm

I’m hoping MJG gives up posting here for lent.

THE INTERNET

February 22nd, 2012
7:31 pm

I agree. MJG occupies too much band width.