A Glow Up Challenge is a new term for a set of actions that help you make a positive transformation. But while others focus on outward appearances, our well-rounded approach to the 30 Day Glow Up Challenge focuses on all aspects of health and wellness.
Because here we believe that a healthy, happy, impactful life starts from within. And that beauty runs more than skin deep.
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*Don’t miss the free printable calendar at the end of the article!
How To Have a Glow Up Naturally
When you do a 30 day glow up challenge, you are embarking on a journey to create new healthy habits. These habits give you benefits beyond the easy challenge. They include:
- Looking and feeling better now
- Enjoying long-term health benefits (feeling good for many years to come)
- Improving your growth mindset
- Setting personal goals
Ultimately, this challenge helps you feel better and find great habits to continue beyond the 30 day challenge.
30 Day Glow Up Challenge Plan
1. Drink Enough Water
You have heard it before. Drink more water. Because your body is made up of 50% to 70% of water, it needs it to survive. And if you want to feel better, you need to increase what you are drinking now.
So, how much should you be drinking? While there is not one specific answer, according to mayoclinic.org, women should be drinking about 11.5 cups of fluids a day. This can be adjusted based on your level of activity, the weather, and your overall health.
You will know you are drinking enough water if you 1) rarely feel thirsty 2) your urine is colorless or light yellow.
Some benefits of drinking more water include:
- more energy and less fatigue
- better looking skin
- healthier kidney and bowel function
Fill a water bottle first thing and keep it with you all day. There are many great water bottles out there that can help you keep track of what you are drinking throughout the day.
2. Practice Daily Gratitude
Gratitude is the appreciation for what we have and the goodness found in our lives.
Positive psychology research links gratitude with greater happiness. Practicing gratitude increases our emotional and mental wellness and helps us deal with adversity. (Harvard Health Publishing)
- Write something down you are thankful for each day.
- Look around. What are three things you see that invoke beauty?
- Cultivate gratitude in your family. Share daily at a family meal what you are grateful for.
3. Complete a Strength Training Workout
Women start losing muscle mass by the age of 30 and 80% of Americans diagnosed with osteoporosis are women.
Strength training is one of the ways we know to increase bone density. It also has many additional health benefits.
- It increases metabolism, builds lean muscle, and helps burn body fat.
- It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It aids in injury prevention and helps us in everyday movement.
- It enhances mood and reduces stress.
So while cardio is still good for our cardiovascular system, incorporating strength training into your workout routine 2-3 times a week will have added benefits as you age.
Tip: Check out the group fitness classes at your local gym. This is a great environment for beginners.
4. Improve Daily Skin Care
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It protects the body by keeping out toxins and infections. Keep your skin in the best condition possible as you age with daily skin care.
- Wash your face before bed to clean off makeup, dead skin cells, and anything else on the surface of your skin from the day.
- Apply a facial sunscreen every morning to prevent sun damage.
- Moisturize your face and body to keep your skin hydrated.
- See a dermatologist once a year to screen for skin cancer. Early detection is key. Schedule this appointment today!
Remember that diet, exercise, sleep and water intake can positively influence the skin for an added glow!
5. Increase Time Spent Outdoors
Being outside in nature promotes calm within you. In fact, a recent study found that people who spend two hours outside every week were more likely to report good health and psychological well-being. (Yale)
This comes out to a little more than 17 minutes per day spread across the week.
How can you incorporate this into your daily life?
- Take a brisk walk with your family after dinner.
- Walk with your kids to school and back each day.
- Walk to the local park and enjoy time together there.
Moving in nature can lower blood pressure and stress, enhance the immune system, and increase mood. Plus, it helps you get Vitamin D which is important for your body.
6. Read A Book
I had a friend once tell me that her goal is to always be in the middle of a good book. What an awesome goal! Besides being enjoyable, reading has stress-reducing benefits, supports memory health, and aids in sleep.
Be proactive about picking books so that you always have something ready to read. In fact, today is a great day to stock up on your selection.
7. Eat Whole Foods
Whole foods are unprocessed foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds. They improve health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. If it doesn’t exist naturally in nature, it’s not a whole food.
Build your plate around whole foods for a healthier diet, more balanced blood sugar, and a healthier gut. All of these things will make you feel better and improve your overall wellness!
8. Social Media Detox
Although there are positives to social media, it also negatively impacts your mental health and productivity.
Try a social media detox for a day. Simply don’t get on any social media. Yep, you heard that right. Maybe even delete your most tempting apps from your phone for a day.
Chances are good that you’ll want to make this a regular part of your routine.
This would be a good time to carry that book around with you that you are reading!
9. Daily Affirmations
Affirmations are simple, positive statements we repeat to ourselves daily.
Affirmations guide us to create the reality we want and focus on the positive aspects of our life. When used consistently, they can reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and lead to a more optimistic mindset. Plus, they motivate us to become healthier in mind and body.
Write down one or two affirmations and repeat them a couple times daily. Be consistent and believe what you are affirming.
- I am building new habits each day that make me stronger and feel more alive.
- I am more than capable to face this day.
- I love myself just the way I am and I will continue to grow and learn.
Daily stretching increases the range of motion in your joints, alleviates muscle tension, and improves blood circulation and posture. It also improves your mental health by reducing stress and releasing tension. (Forbes)
Our joints can lose their range of motion as we age, so adding flexibility exercises into our daily routine will prevent injuries and help us maintain our level of movement.
It’s important to make sure your muscles are warm before starting a stretching routine and that you never stretch past the point of comfort.
Use this video for a great post-workout full body stretch.
11. Connect With a Friend or Loved One
Maintaining a strong network of family and friends helps enhance our mental and emotional well-being.
Use this day of your 30 day glow up challenge to reach out to someone you love. If possible, schedule to meet up for a meal, coffee, or even a walk to connect with one another.
12. Get Enough Sleep
Most of us know the importance of sleep to our overall wellness, but few of us actually get enough of it.
Busy schedules, work, kids, and stress get in the way of getting the sleep we need to recover and live life to the fullest.
Restful nights lead to:
- Better weight management
- Lower risk of disease
- Higher functioning immune systems
- Better focus and clearer thinking
- Fewer signs of premature aging (canyonranch.com)
- Set a nightly bedtime and daily wake up time. Keep it as consistent as possible to regulate your body’s internal clock. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
- Get off electronic devices at least 30 minutes prior to bed. In fact, leave your phone charging out of reach!
- Consider purchasing a satin pillowcase to help keep your skin smooth and your hair healthier. Try this one out!
13. Try a Daily Smoothie
Best-selling author and nutritionist Kelly LeVeque encourages you to start your day with a blood sugar stabilizing Fab 4 smoothie. Each smoothie contains a fat, a fiber, a protein, and greens to keep you feel full and manage your blood sugar.
Her book offers many varieties of this smoothie. Here is one of my favorites:
Whatever your favorite smoothie is, start your day with this hydrating and nutrient-rich meal.
14. Work on Posture
Good posture includes:
- chin parallel to the floor
- shoulders rolled back and down
- neutral spine
- abdominal muscles braced
- hips even
- body weight evenly distributed on both feet (Harvard health source)
Core and flexibility exercises can improve posture. The benefits of improved posture include reduced low back pain, fewer headaches, and improved digestion and lung capacity. A bonus is that you will look taller and slimmer!
15. Say No
Is there something pressing on your to-do list or calendar that you just aren’t that into? Say no! It will benefit your health if you protect your schedule and your time. And you don’t need to feel bad about it.
No one can do everything and still do it well.
Repeat after me: It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to say no!
16. Change An Expression
Is there an expression or word that you commonly use that you would like to delete from your vocabulary? Maybe it’s a filler word or phrase like “um” or “you know”. Or maybe it’s a swear word or phrase that seems to fly off your tongue easily.
Today is the day to start consciously eliminating the word. Find harmless replacement words for swear words. Be okay with silence instead of using fillers when you speak.
17. Improve Your Oral Hygiene
Dental health plays a big part in overall health. It can even decrease your chance of heart disease. Take extra steps to care for your teeth today.
- Brush your teeth three times a day for two minutes.
- Use an electric toothbrush.
- Floss before bedtime. Consider using a water pick as a great option for easier flossing.
- Use a tongue scraper to get rid of bacteria and improve your breath.
- Consider drinking coffee or tea with a straw to protect the enamel and keep your teeth whiter.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Try a whitening kit for whiter teeth.
- Schedule your next dentist appointment.
18. Reach For a Healthy Snack
Today’s challenge is to reach for a healthy snack. Instead of going for that processed pack of sugar or carbs, try a fruit with some nut butter, some veggies, or a handful of almonds.
*Eating apples and crunchy vegetables can help your teeth avoid cavities too.
19. Journal (30 Day Glow Up Challenge)
Journaling improves your health and overall well-being. It can inspire confidence and personal growth.
You do not have to spend a lot of time writing to get something positive out of journaling. In fact, my favorite journal right now is this One Line A Day journal.
It is perfect for starting a journal habit, but does not require a lot of time. I typically write about one thing I want to remember from that day, one thing I am grateful for, or one thing I am hopeful for. It’s a quick personal habit I have been able to stick with for almost two years.
If you are wanting to start journaling, read How to Start a Journal here >>
20. Pray or Meditate
Today’s challenge involves finding a quiet spot to sit and pray or mediate 2-3 times. I suggest doing this first thing in the morning, midday, and then again before going to sleep at night. Aim for 1-3 minutes of quiet prayer or meditation when you first start.
These practices invite peace into your life, express gratitude, and let go of worry. It can reduce anxiety and bring calm into your day.
Read this great article to learn how to mediate for beginners.
21. Create a Budget
If you are anything like me, you cringe when you hear the word “budget.” Or maybe, it totally excites you!
Wherever you are in your financial journey, take time during this challenge to figure out if a) your current budget is still applicable and successful OR b) it’s time to start a new budget to get the most out of your finances.
Either way, this article can help you figure out all of your expenses and find the right budget plan for you.
22. Call a Family Member
Is there a family member you have not talked to for awhile? I mean actually talked to on the phone, not via text or email?
Picking up the phone to talk to someone creates a stronger bond than sending a text. It helps you feel more connected when it come to building a relationship.
Take time today to give someone important to you a call to catch up and reconnect.
23. Take a Daily Probiotic
Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria and have been linked to many health benefits, including digestive health and increased immune function.
You can get probiotics from a variety of foods or supplements. More studies are showing that the balance of gut bacteria has been linked to a wide range of health benefits when taken in adequate amounts. (Healthline)
*Talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement to be aware of all effects.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. It provides mental and physical benefits through reduced stress and improvement of mood and emotions.
Pick a cause you care about and show up. Donate blood, help out at a local animal shelter, or participate in a food drive. Challenge yourself to give back and it will make a difference in your life and in the life of others.
25. Write a thank you note
Our daily lives are filled with texts, emails, instant messaging, and social media. We operate with quick and easy communication. Handwritten notes of gratitude have a long history and are still significant today.
I have a friend who writes simple, but lovely thank you notes often. It’s thoughtful and touching that she takes the time to do that.
*Buy blank notecards to always have on hand for quick and easy thank-you note writing.
26. Take a walk with a spouse or significant other
Get your steps in and connect with your significant other by taking a walk together today. You will have one-on-one time to talk and get away from work and other life stressors.
Making it a priority to be together is good for your personal health and the health of your relationship. The bonus is that a walk gives you a chance to have uninterrupted conversation!
27. Take a minute to breathe
I recently read a book called Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge. In this book he discusses what he calls the “one-minute pause”. While his book discusses connecting with a higher power during the pause, the one-minute pause idea can be used by anyone who is wanting to find a moment to breathe and find peace.
Set a timer on your phone three times during your day to remind you to pause and breathe for one minute.
Use Belly Breathing:
- Lie on your back.
- Place one hand on your upper chest and one hand below your rib cage
- Inhale slowly through your nose as your stomach raises your hand.
- Exhale through your mouth.
- Repeat several times.
*Note: When completing deep-breathing exercises, you should not feel light-headed.
28. Switch out a Caffeinated Beverage
Don’t panic! You don’t need to give up coffee. I am suggesting that you take a day to switch out one caffeinated beverage with a non-caffeinated beverage of choice.
Cutting down on caffeine can lead to less anxiety, better sleep, and whiter teeth to name just a few benefits.
*Skip sugary beverages as a replacement and choose decaf tea or sparkling water.
29. Pick a Form of Self-Care You Enjoy
Pick something to do today that you can incorporate daily or weekly to improve your personal wellness. Ideas include:
- taking a bath
- getting a massage or pedicure
- listen to a motivational podcast
- complete a random act of kindness
- take time for a hobby you enjoy
- make your favorite meal
30. Set a Personal Goal
You have made it to Day 30 of your Glow Up Challenge! Congrats! Now it’s time to reflect on the past 30 days. What habits did you enjoy? What habits would you like to keep doing?
Continue to Glow Up naturally by setting one or two personal goals for the future. Read these meaningful personal goals examples to learn how to set a SMART goal and successfully track it.
To Consider with the 30 Day Glow Up Challenge List…
Hopefully you feel like you have established new, small steps that will increase your overall wellness.
I would love to know what new habits you are forming after this 30 Day Glow Up Challenge. Drop me a comment!
Also, don’t forget to grab your free 30 Day Glow up Challenge Calendar pdf here!
Other 30 Day Challenges You May Enjoy
Sources For the 30 Day Glow Up Challenge
“Water: How Much Should You Drink Everyday?” (mayoclinic.org)
“Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier” (Harvard Health Publishing)
“Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health” (e360.yale.edu)
“Why You Should Do Stretches Everyday” (Forbes)
“10 Reasons Why Sleep Makes Us Happier and Healthier” (canyonranch.com)
“Why Good Posture Matters” (Harvard Health Publishing)
“8 Health Benefits of Probiotics” (Healthline)
Eldredge. John. Get Your Life Back. Nashville, Nelson Books, 2020.