Adulting can be hard, but achieving wellness as an adult doesn’t have to be. Every day, you can do something that nurtures wellness. Every day, you can do one small thing to diffuse health and happiness into your life. And while you can’t eliminate the stresses and responsibilities of adulthood, greater wellness fosters joy and lightness in their midst.
Remember, too, wellness is about the whole person — your emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, social and intellectual health included.
That’s why you won’t see any low-fat recipes, sleep strategies, or exercise tips in this 30-day wellness challenge. Instead, you’ll find simple daily activities designed to remind you that:
- You’re human.
- It’s okay to be a work-in-progress.
- You’re still a kid at heart.
- Wellness is a journey, not a destination.
- It’s never too late to start something new.
With that in mind, customize this 30-day wellness challenge to fit your own unique preferences and perspective. You don’t have to go in order, and you can adjust activities to better suit your schedule and lifestyle.
Read about each activity and then download your free copy of the 30-day Wellness Challenge. Let’s begin!
Day 1: Detail Your Car
Let’s start the 30-day wellness challenge by first cleaning out the car clutter (Now that you have GPS on your phone, do you still need those maps?). If there are items you always keep in the car, consolidate them into a bag or tote so they’re organized and out of the way. Then, take it through an automatic car wash. Or better yet, get outside on a sunny day and do it yourself. Invite your grandkids to join you and make splashy, soapy bubble memories. Vacuum and clean the interior, or hire a professional to detail it.
If you spend a lot of time in your car — or even if you don’t — keeping this space clean and neat has the potential to kick-start great adventures or ease your frazzled mind when traveling here, there and everywhere.
Day 2: Write a Letter
Is there anything sweeter than opening the mailbox to find a handwritten card or letter? You don’t need fancy stationery, just a piece of paper, a pen and a quiet space to think about things you don’t get to say in a text or email.
Day 3: Make Lunches Ahead of Time
Good nutrition might come easy first thing in the morning, but that midday slump hits hard and fast if you don’t have a plan for lunch. Take away the afternoon guesswork by preparing jarred salads or pre-made sandwiches a week ahead or the night before.
Day 4: Meditate
You don’t need to enter a dark room with lit candles to meditate. Sit outside in the sun for five minutes and think about something that’s been bothering you for a while. Turn it over in your mind, unscramble the tangles and then let it go.
Read our article on the benefits of meditation and how-to tips from experts.
Day 5: Forgive Someone
This one might take all month, and that someone might be yourself, but be intentional about releasing a grudge or healing a past hurt. Do this even if the other person can’t or won’t reciprocate.
Day 6: Write a Personal/Family Mission Statement
If you want to do this as a family, gather everyone together, leveraging video technology if needed. Keep it short and simple, but be creative. Think about the legacy of your family or the legacy you as an individual hope to leave behind.
Day 7: Take Care of Your Feet
They take you everywhere! Get a pedicure or schedule a reflexology session. Do a foot soak at home. Buy new shoes that are both comfortable and supportive. Find out why caring for your feet is important in our article on foot care.
Day 8: Do Some Bird-watching
At home or away from it, take a few minutes to stop and watch the birds. It’s a relaxing, easy way to slow your breathing, pace your racing thoughts and notice the small but glorious things around you.
Day 9: Read a Favorite Children’s Book
Not much of a reader, or don’t have time to read a novel? That’s okay. What was the best book you ever read as a child? Find that book — online, by download or at your local library — and take the afternoon to read it in one sitting.
Day 10: Make a Friend in a Different Age Group
Social connectedness is a huge part of wellness. Diversifying your friendships may teach you something a peer can’t — and its benefits last a lifetime.
Day 11: Say Yes
Think of something you really wanted to do but felt you couldn’t do — an online course that caught your eye, dancing lessons, a restaurant your partner wanted to try, an impromptu trip a friend invited you — and say yes.
Day 12: Say No
There is tremendous power in just saying no — whether it’s an easy one or a hard one. No, I don’t want to go to my neighborhood association meeting tomorrow night. No, we can’t watch the grandkids — we already have plans. Get comfortable saying the small ones first, then work up to saying no to things that drain or disappoint you.
Day 13: Organize Your Finances
Open your file drawer and purge the clutter, or streamline your digital finance apps. Either way, take a day to make sure all your money ducks are in a row.
Day 14. Declutter One Drawer
Last year we sponsored a 30-day declutter challenge. Check out the daily activities here and choose one area — a drawer, a closet, a shelf — to downsize.
Day 15: Play Board Games
Engage your brain and foster social connections by hosting a game night with friends and family. Or, challenge a spouse to an old classic from our list of favorite childhood board games.
You’re halfway there. Keep going; you’ve got this!
Day 16: Exercise Like a Kid Again
Fitness isn’t limited to a gym or a yoga studio. Grab a jump rope, hula hoop, or hacky sack. Organize a game of kickball, stickball, or handball. Whatever you loved spending your younger days doing, relive it now!
Day 17: Do a Daily Brain Teaser
Crosswords, riddles, Sudoku puzzles, mazes — Reintroduce yourself to the brain teasers you enjoyed as a kid. Or try something new: we’ve compiled a huge list of brain teasers here.
Day 18: Incorporate Music
Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Sirius — however you listen, lighten your mood or brighten a dreary day with tunes. Music is so accessible these days, and you can take it with you anywhere, even on your next drive. Change the emotional atmosphere by bringing in music.
Day 19: Watch Something in a Different Language
Subtitles are a beautiful thing! Find a show or movie in a language you love and enjoy the sound of something other than your native tongue.
Day 20: Take An Impromptu Road Trip
Put your toes in the sand, breathe the fresh mountain air, see a bustling city at night, or just walk along the lake at your local park. You don’t have to go far as long as you get out and change up your scenery.
Get planning tips or ideas here in The Ultimate Road Trip Planning Guide.
Day 21: Expand Your Spiritual Horizons
Go to a Catholic mass, visit a Buddhist temple or join a friend at an interfaith service. Attend a concert at a nondenominational church. Stretch yourself to get out of a spiritual comfort zone and explore what’s out there — even if you’re not religious.
Day 22: Make a Donation to a Favorite Charity or Cause
Invest in something you’re passionate about or a current event/cause that’s grabbing your attention. It can be a one-time thing, or you can set up a small, recurring donation. You could even spend some time volunteering with the organization.
Want more? Try our new 30-day Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness
Day 23: Have an International Meal Night
Pick a destination and cook or order in food from that country or region. Play music local to that area. Dress up or decorate like you’re in that part of the world.
Day 24: Research Your Family History
You don’t always have to use Ancestry.com to learn more about your family. Ask relatives for stories about family members and compare heirloom family recipes with cousins or siblings. Create a basic family tree. Do something to connect with your heritage.
Day 25: Be a Tourist in Your Hometown
Go antique shopping. Have a picnic lunch at a local park. See a matinee movie. Find a nearby drive-in theater, or just browse at some downtown shops and restaurants.
Day 26: Discuss the Divine with a Group of Close Friends
Don’t have a debate, but rather some open-ended friendly conversation about spiritual things, thoughts on life and faith, and traditions you’ve cultivated or critiqued over the years. Keep it to a small group and a limited amount of time. Respect all opinions shared, even if you disagree.
Day 27: Turn Off Your Phone for the Whole Day
Could you do it? We did it for years before the cell phone came into our lives. Pick a day to unplug and disconnect. If you’re really concerned about being unreachable, give your closest loved ones an alternative way of getting in touch for the day.
Day 28: Take a Nap
Never underestimate the rejuvenating, restorative feeling of a good power nap or a spontaneous snooze on the couch on a lazy afternoon.
Day 29: Schedule an Overdue Appointment
Hair, nails, doctor, accountant — if there’s something you’ve been dragging your feet about putting on the calendar, face up to it. Then, pick up the phone or send an email to schedule that “something just for you” appointment.
Day 30: Do Something with Your Hands
Calligraphy, crafting, throwing clay, cross-stitch, carpentry — whatever your hands found joy in before, find it again. Or find a new hobby that keeps your brain and body busy in a creative way. Ideas here!
30-Day Wellness Challenge
Get a free copy for yourself and share with friends and family.
Congratulations! You did it!
Whether you do something every day or every other week, you’re making wellness a priority and taking care of your whole self. Repeat these activities on a regular basis and come up with new ones. Challenge a friend or relative to go through the 30-day wellness challenge activities with you. And remember: small starts equal big gains.
What aspect of the wellness challenge do you feel most confident about? Which one would you like to improve? Let us know in the comments below.
Download our 30-day wellness challenge list, then print and post it in a high-traffic area of your home — save it to your phone for easy access and sharing.
Excellent information suggestions on how to stay healthy and vibrant n retirement….some suggestions I currently perform on a regular daily basis…..
Great to hear! Thanks for reading Extra Mile, Joyce.
I love the suggestion to read a favorite book from your childhood and I’m going to do that. I often play video games meant for children because they can be challenging but a lot of fun. I come away feeling happy, carefree, and good about myself.
I am a full time volunteer for the Fauquier Community Food Bank (5 days a week) and I am the president of the Board of Directors for the Food Bank. This to as a full time volunteer.
Tried it out for a few days before leaving a reply . It works , thanks
Wonderful to hear!
Lots of good ideas…i.e. cleaning the car, which I did yesterday for the first time this year. also meditation, for which I applied just say “NO”.
Looking forward to something after years of looking at. Nothing.
Depression is real. It is real.
Thank you for offering this. It comes at a most needed time. Truly.
This was a great way to change things up and get us out of our slump. Thanks for the great suggestions!
Thank you so much. I really needed this.
My husband passed in Jan. And our hometown here in onalaska went through a wide spred tornado in April after all this my motor in my vehicle burnt out.
I needed some kind of refreshing start.
I am looking forward.
Great suggestions…I’m going to do my best to take your challenge…See you in 30 days
I was not surprised but pleased to see that I have been active in all the points brought up in your wellness survey. A positive and introspective attitude has helped me through many tough life experiences, the latest one being ovarian cancer surgery and chemotherapy. I thank my children, grandchildren, two dogs and three cats for adding to my love of life.
hopefully I will be able to use these to balance my daily routine. As I am 88 I will give them a try.
As I am 88 years I will try and do most of these. This is something I really need.
Thank you for caring about we senior citizens,by offering.
these great ideas to help our wellness. We will do!!!
30 meaningful suggestions. Some I have already put into practice; some are already part of my lifestyle. Thanks for the new incites.
Most of these activities have become our way of life, but in the past year I undertook a journey to avoid spinal fusion (2 opinions) by finding a personal trainer with whom I train 1-1/2 hours a week to strengthen and tone. It’s been one of the most rewarding decisions of my life. At nearly 69 y/o I have created a healthier and better life for myself.
Will definitely give this my best shot!
Great project, thank you. I will try to involve my grand children❣️
Thanks for this a lot of good ideas can’t wait to start.
Willing to give it a try.
I do every thing you recommend every day i feel like a ten year old.look like a twenty five year old i feel great. smile
Thanks for this slot of hood ideas can’t wait to start.
Great ideas! Getting ready to move. Twill remind me to take a time out for relaxation and organization to cut down on the chaos of every day living.
Aging is normal, growing old is an option.
Aging is a normal process and there is no way to keep the body from aging just a bit with each tick of the clock.
Time moves on, the years pass, and we age. However, because we age, it does not mean that we have to give up on the miracle and wonders of life (giving up on the wonders and excitement of life would encourage “the growing old process”).
Life is a continual growing process and it is when we cease to be fully alive and continue to grow as a person, that we not only age, but we grow old.
Do you smile when you hear the silly laughter of small children? If not, you are growing old.
Does a beautiful sunset gently touch an inner part of your being? If not, you are growing old.
Do you recognize the breaking through of the soil by a seed as a true miracle? If not, you are growing old.
Aging is normal, growing old indicates a retreat from life and living.
Strive to be interested and interesting. Life is the greatest treasure that any one of us will ever have. Personal growth and being fully alive should be part of our daily mantra, regardless of our age.
Remember, if you are content to grow old, just act your age.
Need to try this! Thanks!
These are great tips and I have already done most of them! I plan on doing them on a regular basis. I personally feel better inside and out. Tip #5 is a tough one but the rest come naturally. In these uncertain times, more than ever we all need healthy escapes that are good for us!
I am excited to begin this new journey. Thanks for the challenge.
Thank you for this list. I own a farm, I garden, raise chickens, keep horses and knit every day. I’m an avid cook, I’m canning my garden now, and I am a voracious reader. I already do all of these things! My greatest challenge will be to say NO to the myriad of distractions, put my feet up, and relax with a good cup of coffee for half an hour every day. Otherwise, I’m good. I’m going to forward this on to my friends my age, who are couch potatoes and do next to nothing. I would include “Make a Gratitude List” and “Stop negative self-talk”.
Thank you very much!
Thanks for the great suggestions.
Great tips, easy to do.
I do these all the time
Thanks for 30 day challenge, this is why I’ve been with Hartford for some 30 odd years. They are a caring company.
Some of these activities shouldn’t be done during this pandemic and sheltering at home. Good way to spread the virus!
We would encourage all readers to consult CDC recommendations before embarking on any activities outside of their home.
Hope to to most of these but some will have to wait to a better time to do.
I got a lot of hints from the survey. Some I will have to work on. Thank!
30 day challenge list. I have been doing on regular basis for the past 50 years of my life. Keeps me going, makes me feel good.
Good ideas – especially the spiritual ones!
I just found out I have a high level of one of my liver enzymes and need to eat less fat. So please do send that low fat food list and meal suggestions!
This looks VERY interesting. I will attempt to do all of them in order. thank you
Thank you for this reminder and validation. With this pandemic, I am muddling my way thru 2 Trust estates with 2 difficult personalities, I needed the reminder to let the pain go. I retired several months ago and as a result, the car is desperately in need of a spa day! My sense of humor is returning, I have turned the music back on … There is life!
Great list – really well put together. Even though I keep myself busy, your suggestions keep me from forming a rut! Gotta go, time to knit my latest creative project!
Great list of ideas to keep your thoughts positive. Thanks. Jean
Thank You for a brilliant idea to shake off the lethagy of self isollation.. Nice to get the juices flowing again.
I was happy to see that I had done 17 of these activities during the pandemic quarantine. Since I am newly widowed and retired it makes me think I am heading in the right direction.
I’m certainly going to take the challenge. Great ideas. I’ll follow up with my progress.
Thank you, I feel like I have been doing all these things you mentioned above to help me cope with being in my 70’s. It has helped me tremendously and I do most of them just about each and every day for 2 1/2 years now. It not only helps to pass away time but makes me feel very good about myself. I do lots of quilting projects, sewing projects around the house projects, watch and listen to the birds sing, etc. Now I am trying to just past time by reading, listening to music, bird and butterfly watching as I have recently dislocated my right shoulder so crafts and exercising have gone out the window for a few weeks. Again, thank you for this 30 day challenge.
I’m going to send it to friends and family.
It will be fun following the 30 day schedule. I work on wellness with my neighbor, however, in an unstructured way. This will give me some structure and an opportunity to track my progress. Thank you Hartford.
Great ideas for our mind and body. Thank you.
Having reached 90 in good mental and physical condition I write to thank you for this “menu” because I do more than half of it every day, not just day by day. I am a lifetime exerciser, am in daily talks with friends from decades younger to my age, begin every day listing annoying things I need to do and doing them, love cooking and experiment daily with new dishes, have a loving relationship with my children and grandchildren, donate to dozens of charities and am on the Board of several, my reading is learning new things, I am an obsessive declutter. I live alone, garden, take care of my home myself. I am not “religious” but am a dedicated humanist focused on compassion and understanding. I write this to say that I have long credited all of this with having reached 90 as a happy healthy old lady, have wanted to “spread the word” and love that you are advising people as they age to do what I think leads to a happy healthy old age.
My first thought was “you teach this stuff so why do it” My second thought was you teach this stuff but do you do it”. Printed out the log, going to see how I do.
Thank you! I feel like the movie, “Ground Hog Day” has taken over my life! Every day runs into the next. Now, this will give me the direction I need to get off dead center!
Thanks. Nice to have this to jog me out of my dream sleep during the pandemic. Like others, I began doing some of these things in the beginning then petered out over time, slumping into T.V. binging and boredom.
Your list has given me the incentive to pick up the cudgel again. Gotta go, I’ve got a car to clean!
Great article! Can’t wait to get started!
Wonderful! Let us know how it goes and if you have anything you’d add to the list.