In this article, I will cover three main things.
- First, I talk about what a personally set challenge is.
- Then I give three reasons why I think setting regular challenges for yourself is so powerful.
- And in the end, I provide some examples of challenges I have done and that I still want to do.
What is a personal challenge?
You can create challenges for yourself in all sorts of ways. Here I will specifically talk about a challenge that you can fit in your regular schedule. A personal challenge, or sometimes I call it an "Experiment," is something I define as follows:
- An act or habit that would benefit yourself if done over a longer timeframe (at least a week, preferably a month or more).
- It should be specific. Think of SMART goal setting when creating your challenge.
- It is easy to explain to others. Being able to explain your challenge is essential because it will enable you to talk about it. Which, in turn, keeps your eye on the ball. Also, as a bonus, you will be able to influence other people by talking about your experiment.
Why is setting challenges so powerful?
I think three main reasons make 'setting challenges' so compelling. Let's get into it.
It empowers yourself. Finishing a challenge is proof that you can stick with something. Persevering means that the things you always dreamt about doing are attainable in the long run. You only have to put in the work.
Mostly, shorter challenges are like tests for yourself to see what you're made of.
Doing something over and over again keeps things simple; it frees up your mind to think about other things while the important stuff is taken care of (your body, work, creative endeavors, etc.).
This simplicity is almost addictive in the sense that I feel I can get done way more in a day, just by having my mind freed up.
You are not alone in this world, fortunately. So being able to make a positive impact on the people around you that you love is great, of course. All the better when you can do it by just doing what's right for you anyway.
Specifically, keeping up a challenge will show your loved ones that anything is possible when they set their minds to it. Win-win all around!
Below I have a non-exhaustive list of challenges/experiments that I have done, am still doing or want to do.*
- No alcohol (did this for a year, works great for your body).
- No caffeine (this I find to be one of the hardest, haha, but it's nice not to be dependent on caffeine).
- Blogging and weightlifting every day - Currently doing this as a 10-week challenge until the 31st of December (2019).
- Write every day.
- Strength training every day.
- Only use fresh, non-processed ingredients when cooking.
- Eat breakfast/dinner with the family every day.
- Meditate every day.
- Run every day.
- Write in a journal every day.
- Gratefulness journalling every day.
- Do intermittent fasting (14 - 22 hours).
- No screens after 8 pm.
- No work after 6 pm.
- Sabbath-like habit (of at least not using digital media from Friday night till Saturday night).
- Not using ingredients with added sugar.
- Read every day.
*I have not made them very specific here for brevity's sake. But most go for 30+ days, every day.
What's your challenge?
With what would you like to challenge yourself? I'm genuinely very interested to hear what you'd like to try out and why. So please feel free to drop a comment, email, or tweet! 😊