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30-Day Challenges May Be More Effective Than New Year's Resolutions

If you've already given up your 2016 resolution, here's a better alternative.

A little over a month ago, countless people began pursuing their New Year's resolution to lose weight and/or lead a healthier lifestyle. However, nearly 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail, according to U.S. News & World Report.

That said, it seems reasonable for people to forgo the resolution-making altogether and seek alternatives, such as 30-day exercise challenges, which have become increasingly popular, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The goal of these challenges is to make a commitment to something for a month, with hopes of it turning in to a consistent habit post-challenge. Or for some, it's not about continuing on with the exact same protocol of the challenge, but rather some aspect of it. For example, keeping up with some sort of a gym routine after a 30-day fitness challenge (not repeating the same workouts, which would not be effective for months on end!), or simply eating cleaner after something extreme like the Whole30 challenge.

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Over 200 smartphone apps have “30 day challenge” in the title and internet searches for “30 day challenge” have spiked 140% since 2013, says the Wall Street Journal report. So, what is it about 30-day challenges that's so appealing? Here are three reasons, according to the WSJ article:

1. The idea of a fresh start is appealing
People are 14% more likely to visit a gym at the beginning of the month, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Management Science.

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2. That's how long it takes to make it a habit
It takes people an average of four visits a week for nearly six weeks to become regulars at a gym, according to research conducted by the Journal of Behavior Medicine.

3. It streamlines the goal-setting process
 Working out the same time every day and pursuing a plan that is enjoyable and simpl can help you stay on track.

Ready to try a 30-day challenge yourself? Check out our 30-day Dare to Do More fitness plan from Dolvett Quince. It's got 30 days worth of muscle-building, fat-shredding workouts, plus video demos for some and eating tips. 

Want to trim down in less than 30 days? Try the updated-for-2016 21-Day Shred.

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