Try this 21-Day Healthy Tasks Challenge!
The rules are very simple: Read the task for the day you’re on and complete it before the day is over. Some tasks will be more detailed than others, so feel free to look ahead and plan accordingly. Here’s the twist: You can’t skip a task. You must complete each one! If you skip one or don’t complete it fully, you have to start back at day one.
Only you will know whether or not you completed a task for the day. No one is keeping track of you. This challenge is 100% based on the honor system. That said, we highly recommend grabbing an accountability partner to do this challenge with. Having someone to answer to is a fantastic way to ensure adherence!
Day 1 – Drink eight (8 oz.) glasses of water
We’re going to start off simple. Today, your task is to simply drink 64 ounces of water. Most of us live in a constant state of dehydration, but staying hydrated has so many health benefits!
Day 2 – Go for a morning walk
Today’s healthy task challenge is to go for at least a 10-minute morning walk. I know you’re busy, but a little movement in the morning is a great way to begin your day! Chances are good that you usually spend at least 10 minutes on social media in the morning anyway. Swap it out for a little outdoor exercise! An early morning walk will get your blood flowing, enhance energy and focus, and even help you burn a few extra calories.
Day 3 – Spend 10 minutes reading a book or article that will help you reach one of your goals
Remember that goal I wanted you to think about during your walk yesterday? Well today, your task is to either read a book or an article that can help you reach that goal! It doesn’t have to be fitness-related, either. It can be about finances, mental health, ‘“how-to”, or anything that will help you reach your goal or grow in some way.
Day 4 – Write down everything you eat today
Today’s task is to write down everything that you eat. Eat as you normally would, and don’t change anything. As you write down what you eat (from the cream in your coffee to the condiments on your sandwich), I want you to take the time to track calories and macronutrients, too.
Macronutrients are protein, carbs, and fats. If the food you eat doesn’t have a nutritional label, you can look up the calories (and macronutrients) online!
The goal here is to determine what your daily caloric intake looks like on a normal basis. This is a great way to figure out if you’re consuming too much, the right amount, or perhaps too little to reach your specific health goal. Weight loss and weight gain are directly related to the number of calories you consume each day, but the macronutrient balance plays a role as well.
After your day of tracking, head on over to our article on How to Calculate Macros and follow the steps to determine what your intake should really be. Compare it to today’s intake to see where you need to make adjustments in order to reach your goals!
Day 5 – Eat a healthy, high-protein breakfast
Today’s healthy task challenge is to make a nutritious, protein-rich breakfast. The meal should offer a minimum of 10 grams of protein per serving, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as two scrambled eggs with a slice of whole-grain toast or vanilla Greek yogurt with blueberries and banana. Of course, you can make a more complex recipe if you’d like. Here are some of our favorite high-protein breakfast ideas:
- How to Make a Southwestern Protein Breakfast Burrito
- Chocolate Chip Workout Pancakes
- Clean Eating Refrigerator Oatmeal
- Bacon & Egg Breakfast Muffins
- Banana Split Workout Protein Smoothie
Day 6 – Try a new workout
If you don’t currently have a fitness routine, you can do any kind of workout. If you usually go for a walk or a run, try a weight-training workout. Perhaps you normally lift weights, so give HIIT a shot! Already lift weights and do cardio? Try yoga. We have something for everyone, just browse through our fitness category to find a workout you’d like to try!
Day 7 – Try a new recipe
Today, I want you to make a new recipe that you’ve never tried before. It should be something healthy, but it can be as simple as a snack or as intricate as a fancy dinner. Go take a look at our extensive database of healthy recipes to find something that sounds yummy! You can also use the search function on our site if you’re craving something specific.
Day 8 – Avoid packaged food
I want you to avoid packaged food as much as humanly possible today. This includes things like cereal, granola bars, chips, crackers, candy, cookies, and more. Base your meals around whole foods like eggs, chicken, meat, fish, plant-based proteins, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. It’s just one day. You can do it!
Day 9 – Do a yoga routine
Spend a little time getting flexible and releasing the tension that has built up in those muscles of yours. You can choose any yoga routine you’d like, but we recommend trying our Chill Out and De-Stress with this Yoga Routine for Beginners.
Day 10 – Take 5,000 steps
We’re almost halfway through our 21-day healthy tasks challenge, so it’s time to increase the difficulty a bit! Today, I want you to take at least 5,000 steps. For the average stride, this equates to about 2.2 miles. If you live an active life, this will be no problem! However, it will be more of a challenge for those of us who are more sedentary, so you’ll need to plan ahead. Go for a morning walk, do a few laps at lunchtime, and walk again after dinner.
If you have a pedometer, use it! If you don’t, most smartphones these days can track your steps in a built-in health app. You’ll just need to have your phone on your person all day to track accurately.
Day 11 – Enjoy all of your meals electronics-free
Today’s healthy task challenge requires you to put away your cell phone, turn off the TV, close your laptop, and put away any other electronic distractions while you eat each meal. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert.
The goal here is to focus on your food. Mindful eating requires you to eat slowly and without distraction. Giving 100% of your attention to your food is an excellent way to connect your stomach to your brain. Most overeating occurs when you’re not paying attention. Focusing on each meal will allow you to gain control of your eating habits by putting you more in tune with your hunger cues and feelings of fullness. Practicing this habit regularly is one of the best ways to stop overeating, which is wonderful for weight loss/maintenance. Not to mention you’ll taste and enjoy your food more!
Day 12 – Eat protein at every meal
Protein is absolutely essential for appetite control, fat loss, and maintaining lean body mass (muscle). For the average person, the current recommendation is to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
So, let’s say you’re a 150-pound person. There are 2.2 pounds in a kilogram, so you’d divide 150 by 2.2 and you get 68 kilos. Next, multiply 68 kilos by 0.8 and you get 54.4. At the very least, you should be consuming 54 to 55 grams of protein each day.
Divide that number by how many meals you eat and that’s how many grams you should aim for at each meal. If you eat four meals in a day, for example, you should make sure each meal offers 13 to 14 grams of protein. Note: It’s much easier to hit your protein goals if you eat a little at every meal, hence the purpose of today’s task!
Once you determine how much protein you need in a day, plan your meals around it. Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple meals like eggs and toast, protein shakes, and chicken or fish with veggies are perfectly acceptable. You don’t need to make several complex recipes in one day. However, if you’d like to, we have plenty of options.
Day 13 – Take time to clean or organize a space in your house
A neat and orderly environment can enhance focus and productivity. Take some time today (at least 20 minutes) and clean up or organize a space or room in your house that you’ve been putting off. This can be as simple as:
- Finally getting around to folding the clothes that have piled up in the laundry room.
- Decluttering and wiping down the kitchen counter or bathroom counter (or both).
- Straightening up your at-home workspace.
- Cleaning out the entryway closet or “junk drawer” where life tends to land.
- Cleaning out the inside of your car
When everything is neat and tidy, you’ll feel better. The purpose of this task is to help you understand that taking a few minutes each day to straighten up your environment can have a huge positive impact on your mood!
Day 14 – Do something for YOU today
All the tasks previous to this have technically been for you, but this one is REALLY for you. Your assignment today is to practice self-care! Think bubble bath, manicure/pedicure, or maybe just 10 minutes of peace and quiet!
Day 15 – Drink one full gallon of water
On day one we had you drink eight (8-ounce) glasses of water, which is the minimum amount you should be drinking each day. Today’s task is to step it up and drink a whole gallon. That’s sixteen (8-ounce) glasses. It may seem like a lot, but if you drink strategically throughout the day, you can do it with no problem! Drink a glass right after you wake up, before and after each meal or snack, and before, during, and after your workout!
Again, the benefits of hydration are numerous. You’ll be more focused, energized, satiated, and you may even notice your skin looks and feels healthier. Drink up!
Day 16 – Perform a strength workout
Your task today is to do a strength workout. If you have access to a gym, great! But if you only have a few random weights or nothing at all, you can still do a bodyweight strength workout. We have an abundance of workouts for in the gym or at home, but here are a few favorites:
- Fast & Easy Full Body Dumbbell Workout
- Best Body Weight Glute Exercises for a Better Butt
- 7 Killer Body Weight Exercises for an Amazing Summer Body
- 20-Minute Core Strength Workout
- 15-Minute Circuit Workout to Tone and Shape Your Whole Body
Day 17 – Get 15 minutes of vitamin D (sunshine)
All you need to do today is simply spend 10 to 30 minutes in the sunshine soaking up that vitamin D. The benefits of sufficient vitamin D include strong bones, better mood, a boost in immune health, and more! Check out these tips on how to do it safely before you go outside.
Is it cloudy? That’s okay! You can still get vitamin D on a cloudy day. You may just need to spend a little bit more time outdoors. If it’s raining or snowing where you are, swap today’s task with tomorrow!
And speaking of tomorrow’s task… you may need to swing by the grocery store or farmer’s market today to get prepared…
Day 18 – Eat 3+ servings of fruits and vegetables today
Today’s healthy task challenge is to eat three servings of fruit AND vegetables, so six total servings. You can incorporate them into meals or enjoy them on their own as a simple snack or dessert.
Day 19 – Get 10,000 steps in a day
Put those running shoes on early, because today you’ve got some moving to do! Your assignment today is to get 10,000+ steps before you go to sleep. The purpose of this task is to simply get you to be more active. Studies have shown that people who consistently get 10,000+ steps in a day are generally healthier.
Day 20 – Do TWO workouts today
Day 20 is the perfect day for two-a-day! Your task today is to complete not one but two different workouts! Each workout needs to be at least 15 minutes long. You can walk in the morning and do a strength workout in the evening, yoga in the morning and run in the afternoon, or any other combo you prefer.
The purpose of this task is to increase your activity levels throughout the day, which in turn will boost your focus and mood. Consistent movement is the best way to keep energy and metabolism high. The more you move, the more calories you burn!
Here are some great 15-minute workouts:
- 15-Minute Fat-Blaster You Can Do Anywhere
- 15-Minute Total Body Trim Down
- Take Pride in Your Upper Body with this 15-Minute Arms Blast Workout
Day 21 – Meal prep a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner for tomorrow
Our final task is perhaps one of the most beneficial to living a healthy lifestyle. Learning how to meal prep efficiently is a great way to consistently have healthy, ready-to-eat meals on hand. Your task today is to prepare a meal for tomorrow so you can grab it and go!
We hope that this task will show you how wonderful it is to have healthy meals ready as soon as you need them. Meal prepping is an invaluable tool for reaching your fitness goals. Here are 14 of the Best Recipes for Meal-Prepping.
Think about your goals and where you want to be in the next month, three months, six months, or a year. You don’t have to do all of these tasks every day going forward, but the more of them you continue with on a daily basis, the healthier your lifestyle will become!