I’ve been doing 30 day challenges for almost 6 years.
If someone somewhere on the internet said that doing xyz would lead to more success, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ve given it a whirl for 30 days or more.
While there isn’t any single challenge that “Changed everything”, five of the 30 day challenges I tried stood out from the rest and taught me invaluable lessons about life and success.
Here they are.
Challenge #1: No Porn or Masturbation
Lesson Learned: Hyper stimuli screw up your brain and change the way you see the world. Taking time to consciously reconnect with the real world will dramatically increase your happiness and relationship success.
I can already hear the screams of protest!
“What? You want me to give up porn AND quit spanking the monkey for 30 days? Have you lost your mind?”
And I get it…
Most people see porn as a harmless little vice that helps them unwind and take a load off after a long day at work.
I mean, c’mon, it’s not like your taking drugs or drinking right? So it can’t be that bad. It’s not like it harms your body.
And this is where most people get it wrong.
Porn, like so many things in our modern society is a hyper stimuli. This means that it’s SO stimulating that our evolutionary hard wiring doesn’t really know how to handle it.
Every time you scroll through your latest search or watch another video, your brain receives a MASSIVE hit of dopamine. The more that you watch (and the dirtier it gets) the more dopamine gets released.
After a while, your brain becomes so accustomed to receiving this hyper stimulus that it no longer responds to traditional stimuli such as the touch, smell, and sight of a REAL partner.
When I began to have difficulty maintaining erections with REAL partners, I knew something had to change.
Quitting porn for 30 days gave my entire brain a chance to reset.
Commonplace things became more interesting. Real women became infinitely more appealing and beautiful. My sex life improved and my erectile dysfunction dissipated and, after a few months of abstinence, I realized that porn wasn’t quite as harmless as I’d once thought.
If you’re currently consuming porn more than once a week (according to statistics, I can almost guarantee that you are), then I encourage you to cut it out for just 30 days.
See how you feel. If you don’t notice an improvement, come back and comment on this answer telling me that I’m completely full of sh*t.
But I can almost promise you that removing porn from your life will result in an immediate and noticeable impact on your sex life and general mental health.
Challenge #2: No Alcohol or Drugs
Lesson Learned: Most people rely on drugs and alcohol as a crutch for underdeveloped social skills and low self esteem. The occasional drink, smoke, or psychedelic experience is, in my opinion, nothing to be ashamed of. However, it’s important that you understand why you are using a substance.
When I was younger, I found it IMPOSSIBLE to talk to beautiful women or hold a conversation with a stranger unless I was under the influence of some substance.
After reading a bunch of forums where guys talked about how much their social lives improved from going sober, I decided to give it a try.
At first… It was hell.
I hated it and desperately wanted a drink (or four) every time I went out with friends.
However, slowly but surely, I started to notice a shift.
When I was forced to socialize sober, my confidence started to increase. I no longer needed vodka or bourbon to talk to the cute girls at the bar. I didn’t need to be three shots into the evening to hold a conversation with a stranger.
I was simply BETTER at communicating and talking with people.
I continued this challenge for the better part of 90 days and eventually decided to give up complete sobriety
Challenge #3: Waking Up at 5 a.m.
Lesson Learned: Success is highly personal. Just because something works for someone else doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
Everyone here on Quora has probably been told at some point in their life that, if you want to be truly successful, you should start waking up at 5 a.m. everyday.
After interviewing the author of The Miracle Morning on my podcast and walking away more inspired than I’d ever been in my life, I decided to give it a try.
And something completely unexpected happened.
I HATED it.
I spent 80% of my day begging for 10 p.m. to roll around so I could plop down in bed and finally get some sleep.
I was constantly tired and fatigued and my focus, productivity, and general happiness declined rapidly.
As soon as the 30 day challenge concluded, I immediately switched back to waking up around 8 a.m. and every aspect of my life improved because of it.
However, just because the challenge didn’t work for me didn’t mean that I didn’t learn from it.
Waking up early taught me an important lesson.
Success is personal.
Just because one guru or expert recommends a specific habit or tactic doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily right for you (this applies to my advice too!).
Success, above all else, requires self knowledge.
Some people thrive by waking up early and crushing the day.
I’m not one of those people.
And that’s completely ok.
Challenge #4: Meditate for 20 Minutes a Day
Lesson Learned: We spend way too much time living in the past and the future. By reconnecting with the present moment we can enjoy life more, perform at higher levels, and experience more happiness.
Most people spend about 90% of their time living in the past or the future.
They’re either wallowing in regrets and wishing they could take back something they said or did or they’re constantly thinking about the elusive “Someday” when things will finally get on track.
However, they aren’t spending ANY time living in the present moment and maximizing RIGHT NOW.
When I first started meditating, I was completely future focused.
When I wasn’t working, I was thinking about work the next day or how I was going to achieve my goals or how my life would be different when I hit six figures or seven figures.
I was so busy living in tomorrow that I forgot to enjoy today.
After my 30 day meditation challenge, this changed forever.
By taking only 20 minutes out of my day to connect to the present moment, I realized a powerful lesson.
The BEST way to create an unbelievable future is by maximizing the present moment.
When you are FULLY present in whatever you are doing, you will be more effective and more successful.
You’ll get into flow quicker and accomplish greater things than you ever could have living in the future.
Challenge #5: Take a Cold Shower Everyday
Lesson Learned: We all have to do things we don’t like. By forcing yourself to be uncomfortable every single day you’ll make crappy tasks more doable and become mentally stronger because of it.
Although the physical benefits of cold showers have been largely overblown, there’s one benefit that has not.
Cold showers suck.
How is this a benefit, you ask?
Because our lives are too darn easy. Everything is instant, climate controlled, and comfortable.
Hungry? Put a pizza in the oven for 15 minutes.
Cold? Crank up the thermostat.
Bored? Play video games or watch porn.
Our lives have become a never ending stream of ease and we’re paying the price for it.
If you want to increase your mental toughness, build real grit, and develop self discipline, there’s no better way I know of than committing to 30 days of ice cold gonad shriveling showers.
Seriously, get under the faucet, turn it all the way to cold, and then gasp for air and swear at yourself.
It will suck.
You will hate it.
And you’ll be better because of it.
Give these challenges a try and let me know your results in the comments below!