The 30-Day Challenge that Actually Works

This 30×30 challenge synchronizes training to spur big results.

Before you start any fitness program or commit to a new way of eating, you have to really look at how you’ve been living and why you have been living that way. You can’t just turn the dial to awesomeness and expect change to follow. We are pulled by a lot more than just our New Year’s Day desires.

Before you start any fitness program or commit to a new way of eating, you have to really look at how you’ve been living and why you have been living that way. You can’t just turn the dial to awesomeness and expect change to follow. We are pulled by a lot more than just our New Year’s Day desires.

Take Jimmy, for example. He grew up “normal.” He’d go to school and check off the boxes on his way to graduation. He did the homework, passed the tests, and left each subject behind, never to inconvenience his daily life again. Most of his free time was spent playing sports or playing video games with friends and his diet consisted of predominantly soda, Frosted Flakes, Pop-Tarts, Cheetos, Funyuns, candy, pizza, and fast food.

This is the standard model of childhood. It’s the life our friends lived while we grew up and the life we saw on TV in everything from “Boy Meets World” to “Home Improvement.” If you’re a little older, it’s not much different. “Stranger Things,” “Billy Madison,” and “Ferris Bueller” show us just how little changed from the ’70’s and ’80’s babies to the ’90’s babies.

More recently, we’ve added the incessant pull of the iPhone to our children’s lives, but the story is the same. It is normal to eat nothing but processed, empty calories while hurrying through distant, isolated school curriculums so that you can get back to seeking pleasures and entertainments. This is normal.

So, at 30, Jimmy is wholly unsatisfied. Work is a chore and life is becoming bland and colorless. The video games, Netflix binges, and beers with friends are losing their luster. It isn’t that he doesn’t like his life or his friends, or even that he is depressed.

He’s just looking for something. He wants to do more, be more, and feel better. Having gained the weight everyone does in this standard model lifestyle, the next step seems obvious. He needs to start working out and eating better.

Don’t get me wrong. Eating well and exercising can change your life. They are the most common and obvious portal into self-development. But the way we typically approach them is far too narrow and this accounts for why the majority of people who start changing their lifestyle quit and fall back into their old patterns within a month.

Jimmy gets the gym membership and starts tracking his eating points. At first, he is excited for this novel challenge and the person he feels he can become. The boot camp class is hard but empowering and he’s excited to buy all that healthy stuff at the grocery store.

Conversations are filled with the standard affirmations: “Yeah, when you take care of your body, you just feel better all day.” But then it grows to be a chore. It’s tough getting up early enough to make it to the gym and after work he is very good at talking himself out of exercise and into pizza instead. Eventually, the self-improvement experiment ceases as he resumes normal patterns.

Why Lifestyle Changes Fail

There are many problems I could point to in this standard model approach to lifestyle change, but I’ll start with the most glaring. Jimmy tried to start behaving radically differently, despite not being any different or seeing the world with a different lens.

He did far too much and, yet, far too little. He tried to jump from level one to level five of training the body, all the while neglecting the other parts of himself that required training: the mind and the emotion.

Our world tends to categorize each concept and isolate it in its own little box. We do this in training as we put strength equipment in one area of the gym and cardio equipment in another. We think of ourselves as training the aerobic system or the anaerobic system, yet regardless of the activity we choose, both systems are always working together as a dependent unit.

Likewise, the body is not trained in isolation. We are more than bodies. At all times our mental and emotional systems are being utilized as well. And while training can help develop the mind and emotions, it usually can’t do the job alone.

We need to train the emotions so that we are able to understand what really drives our actions and we need to train the mind so that we understand the principles of our needs, our fulfillment, and how to get lasting success in our physical and emotional goals. You are body, mind, and emotion. Every pursuit calls on all three of these systems, yet we tend to only train the body.

Jimmy’s angst and sense of wanting was not purely a consequence of his poor physical health. There were far deeper roots that caused him to want to improve, but he only focused on the body. His failure wasn’t just a matter of demanding too much, it was a matter of demanding that he work his body at a higher level without raising his mental and emotional level in congruence.

A Better Way to Train

Rather than doing an hour of workouts three days per week and expecting to have the willpower to control all of his eating, Jimmy would have done better to invest a small daily effort in training his mind, body, and emotion.

He needed training that plays the long game. By training the mind, body, and emotion for only ten-minutes each day, Jimmy would build the foundation for far greater development in the long run and he’d create habits that allowed him to sustain that training.

For a long time I’ve advocated the three core habits. I co-authored an ebook to guide you through them and have written articles on what implementation might look like. But still, there is often something lost in the translation.

I knew that to really help people I needed to do more. So, Justin Lind and I got together and spent the last 6-months building the ultimate daily program for training the mind, body, and emotion in just 30 minutes each day. We call it the 30×30 Challenge.

This program is the ideal way for anyone to start their day. Maybe you are great with exercise, but you’d like to start moving a little in the morning to supplement your workouts and you want to begin training the mind and emotion.

Whether you are advanced or new to training, the 30×30 Challenge will supercharge your days and give you a new lens for creating a great life. I envision it as the ultimate morning program, but for people like Jimmy who are looking for lifestyle change, it fits conveniently in any 30 minute block within your day.

The IHD 30×30 Challenge requires no equipment other than your body and your internet connection. There is no gym and no prior expertise required. Each day for 30 days you’ll get a 30 minute self-development extravaganza featuring a daily mobility and exercise block, a daily lesson, and then a transition to our favorite emotional training practices, specifically gratitude and meditation.

Every feature of the program builds progressively so that the training of mind, body, and emotion support one another, gradually bringing you toward significant change. All you have to do is follow along as either Justin or myself take you through your daily development.

The 30×30 Challenge releases on September 15th 2019, but this is only a soft release. Justin and I will be offering four weekly webinar support sessions for the early sign-ups. You can learn more and reserve your spot on the list by heading to the 30×30 Challenge page.

I encourage you to challenge your friends to do it with you. We are social animals who will be far more consistent with our efforts when we enlist social support. You’ll love having someone to share your insights and thoughts after each day’s training.

The idea is simple. In just 30 minutes per day, you can create transformative change and initiate a sequence of positive momentum in your life. Accept the challenge and commit to a program that trains the whole you.