You've seen them in infographics on Pinterest, reposted on Instagram, shared on Facebook, and in the trending hashtags on Twitter—the newest fitness craze is the 30-day challenge, and it's helping everyone from fitness buffs to newbies crush their goals.
There are 30-day challenges that help you tackle everything from yoga to push-ups, from HIIT to squats. In Just 30 days you can commit to running 30 miles or seriously sculpting your booty. Why does it work? Because by compressing bigger goals (like run five times a week, do yoga every day, etc.) into digestible, 30-day chunks, you're that much more likely to stick it out, get into a habit, and keep it going long-term.
Internet searches for "30-day challenge" have climbed 140 percent since 2013, according to Google, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. But you don't have to tell us they're popular; our January 30-Day Shape Slim Down challenge was shared more than 18,000 times! (And don't even get us started in how hot our current 30-Day Heart-Rate Boosting HIIT Challenge is. Yes, it includes sexy, shirtless male trainers and super intense bodyweight moves.)
The technique of doing something every day to form a habit—like in a 30-day challenge—can also be called streaking (no, not the kind without clothes). "Not only does streaking teach you how to fit a behavior into your schedule and lifestyle, but the more you do something, the more natural it feels," explains organizational psychologist Amy Bucher, Ph.D.
But while 30-day challenges are a great place to start, it takes about 66 days to form a habit, according to a study from The British Journal of General Practice. So try tackling two challenges in a row if you really want that "work out every day" resolution to stick. (Learn how to add a little positive thinking and self- affirmation, and you're guaranteed to crush your goals.)