You can’t achieve change without stepping outside of your comfort zone, but change isn’t easy.
There’s nothing that will make you pull out your hair more than realizing your unfulfilled potential. For many of us, there’s often a big difference between where we are right now and where we’d like to be in our lives.
Don’t worry; you’re not alone.
Taking the step on your own to better yourself is difficult. Personal challenges are a great way to make this interesting and fun! Whether you choose a five-day challenge or stick it out for 30 days, here are a few ideas you can use to improve your journey:
1. A Tech-Free Challenge:
I love my phone, and that’s the problem. Whether we’re alone or among friends, it’s almost second nature to grab your phone and start scrolling. Starting a tech-free challenge is a great way to step away from your phone and enjoy your own company.
Walking around without your phone is impossible. Have you ever left your phone on the kitchen counter? It feels like you’ve lost a fifth limb.
Before checking your social media or emails, enjoy a quick walk without your phone. This is a great way to ground yourself and enjoy the sounds of nature without music blasting in your ears. Go a step further and make your bedroom a “no phone zone”. This is another great way to enjoy a restful sleep and a refreshing morning. Make sure to charge your phone in another room to avoid scrolling before bed.
When scrolling through Instagram, five minutes become 55-minutes. Without intention, social media can be destructive time-sucking activity.
We’re all guilty of mindlessly scrolling through our newsfeed, and feeling horrible about what we don’t have. If so, then this is a great challenge to help combat the social media “blues”. Instead of reaching for your phone, why not grab a book? If you find yourself scrolling, stop. Head out for some fresh air and Mother Nature.
Unfollow anyone that makes you feel less than yourself. Make a conscious decision to only connect with like-minded people who inspire you. Get into the habit of avoiding social media before bed and just after waking up; this is a great way to help boost your mood!
2. A Self-Care Challenge:
I love the idea of having a self-care challenge. We’re so busy running around trying to achieve our next goal that it can be difficult to sit down and spend some time with ourselves. This challenge is great for doing just that:
A Guilt-Free Day:
Self-care doesn’t always look the way we think it does. It’s more than skincare routines and a cheat meal. It can be as simple as giving yourself a break from your harshest critic – yourself. How many of us beat ourselves up because we haven’t finished our to-do list, or we’ve woken up later than we wanted to? Silence your inner critic and permit yourself to relax and not finish everything on your to-do list.
It’s okay. Take a breath and try again tomorrow.
If you’ve had a terrible day and feel like watching Netflix or having a long-ass bath instead of writing that blog post – do it! There’s nothing more important than taking care of your mental health. Just try not to use it as a crutch all the time.
Putting pen to paper is a great way to release anxiety and process your thoughts, especially when you’re having a rough day. There are so many ways to use your journal; from getting organized, venting, gratitude or setting goals, having a journal and spending time writing is a wonderful way to let go.
3. A Money Challenge:
Who doesn’t enjoy having more money? Starting a money-saving challenge is a great way to spend less money and save more, especially since saving is a lot less fun than buying that new pair of shoes.
Stick To A Budget:
Creating a budget is simple, but sticking to one is a lot trickier. A great way to stay on track with your budget is to identify your weakness. This can be eating out or buying a coffee each day; all this can add up to overspending. Once you’ve identified where you’re spending too much, try and do something about it.
For example; if your weakness is eating out, why not try meal planning or making food at home that resembles your favourite takeout meal. Be mindful with your spending and remember why you started this budget challenge in the first place. Perhaps you’re looking to pay off debt or save more. Before making a small or big purchase, give yourself time to think about how that will affect your budget and money goals.
Creating a savings challenge is a great way to save and have fun too! Here are a few ideas you can put in place to complete your savings challenge. Let’s see if you can stick to this for 30 days:
- Every time you don’t eat out or save money on something, put that extra money away. For example, if you were expecting to pay $10 on a meal, but end up paying $5, but that extra $$$ away for a rainy day.
- If you’re waiting to see how much you’ll have left after expenses, groceries and eating out, you’ll be asking yourself where all your money went. Instead, after calculating your budget, make sure you immediately pay your savings into an account.
- If you can, set up another bank account for your savings. Seeing how much money you have in your savings account might leave you wanting to spend it. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Here are a few more savings challenge ideas
4. A Personal Goals Challenge:
This challenge is a great way to set time aside time and work on your goals. If you’re a big procrastinator, then you’ll love/hate this challenge. Whether you choose to work on smaller goals or go straight for the big one, it’s a great challenge to start at any time.
Learn Something New:
Taking time out to learn something new is a great way to improve yourself and achieve your goals. For example; one of my goals is to study and work in France, so I’ve taken the time to study a little French each day. You don’t have to spend hours on this, 10 or 20-minutes a day is enough. You could also try doing something that sparks creativity, like learning the ukulele or a painting class.
Create An Action Plan:
Creating an action plan is a great way to break down your goals, especially if they’re big. The point of this exercise is to take a goal, such as paying off your debt and break this down into smaller action steps. However, make sure you’re goals are realistic.
Here’s a quick example:
- Sit down and make a list of debts, from least to most
- Create a budget and find extra money to pay off debt
- Make a list of where I can save money each month
This is a simple example, but you can apply this to any goal that you have. Here’s a great goal planning worksheet you can try.
5. A Gratitude/Happiness Challenge:
There’s no happiness without gratitude. It might sound cheesy, but acknowledging what you’re grateful for is a great way to bring joy into your life. Go beyond the list and do things that make you happy; perhaps that’s a short walk on the beach or journalling, anything that sets your heart ablaze.
Spend Time In Nature:
Taking a walk in nature or finding a scenic spot to enjoy the view is wonderful. There’s something so beautiful and calm about sitting alone and soaking in the beauty around you. Go a step further and bring your gratitude journal along with you. Without thinking about it too much, spend a few minutes listing things you’re grateful for.
Do Something That Scares You:
Nothing too drastic like jumping off a cliff … It may not immediately sound like something that will bring your happiness, but it will. We often don’t do the things that bring us passion because we’re uncomfortable or terrified. Step outside of your comfort zone and start that new pottery class or go for that ridiculously big goal – who knows where it may lead you?
6. A Morning Routine Challenge:
If you’re not a morning person, then waking up early can be tough. Starting your day with intention and not feeling rushed is a magical feeling. Waking up at 6 am and heading out for a jog is not for everyone, so try to spend 15 -20 minutes doing something that will start your day off the right way.
What’s your idea of being mindful? Whether this it’s journaling or meditating for 10 minutes, do something that feels right to you. Here are a few more ideas:
- Meditate for a few minutes before starting your day. Meditation apps such as Headspace and Insight Timer are both great for guided meditations to help you feel more grounded.
- Open your journal and write for 20 minutes about the first thoughts you had when you woke up, this can be your goals for the day or a few things you’re grateful for.
- Spend a few minutes during your commute listening to something that inspires you, podcasts or audiobooks are always great picks when looking for motivation.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try and spend a few extra minutes each morning making yourself a delicious breakfast; opt for healthy options such as banana pancakes or a filling smoothie. Breakfast is a wonderful time to sit back and reflect on the day to come – what are your priorities? What are you hoping to achieve? I love drinking a cup of tea while enjoying a few pages of the latest book I’m reading. Taking it easy in the mornings is a great way to start the day off right and avoid feeling rushed.