10+ ways to challenge yourself physically, mentally and emotionally to help you live your best life!
Challenging yourself is one of the best ways to grow and become a better version of yourself. Who is it that you want to become?
When you take the time to reflect, you might find that challenging yourself to take the steps to become that person is essential.
Whether you want to become a better friend, a master gardener, or finally start up that business that’s always been in the back of your mind, challenge yourself to get started with the first step.
I wrote out some of the best ways to challenge yourself this year to help you become the best version of yourself.
How Do You Decide What to Do?
Think about who you want to be in the next year, 5 years… even in the next decade! If you truly want to become that person, then you need to start making decisions for yourself now to help you reach that goal.
Think about it this way, if you want to own your own business in the next year, what are you doing now to help you get that goal going? Start with these low cost business ideas.
Are you challenging yourself to learn the ins and outs of running your own business?
YouTube has countless free videos to help you gain the knowledge to be a business owning Rockstar!
Before you decide how to challenge yourself, take a few minutes and reflect on the type of person that you want to be in the future.
Run a 5K (or Half Marathon!)
One of the best ways to challenge yourself is to try to set a physical goal like running a race like a 5K or a half-marathon. Training for something like this can be an excellent addition to your daily routine and have some excellent effects on your health.
Most local centers hold a few races a year and can include some super fun themes like the ‘hot chocolate 5k’ or the ‘Rock and Roll Marathon’ where you run by concerts throughout the city!
Nervous about running that far? Try walking! You can even make money while you’re walking with Sweatcoin!
Find a Workout Class and Stick with It
One of my favorite ways to challenge myself is to find a new workout class and commit to it for a certain period of time (try to stick with a new class for 2-3 times a week for at least 6 weeks if you want to see results!).
Not only will you be able to learn new skills and challenge your body in new ways, but new classes will help you gain new skills that you never thought possible.
Want to try aerial Pilates or lifting serious weight? There are classes out there with trained professionals to help you challenge yourself and gain those skills.
If yoga is your thing, these free yoga videos will help get your started!
Wake Up Earlier
The early bird gets the worm- and the woman who wakes up earlier gets a LOT more done! Getting up early is one of the daily habits of successful people.
Even just setting our alarm 10-15 minutes earlier than the kids will help you get the day started off right so that you can be more productive and happier.
I like to wake up early, make my coffee and set my goals for the day. While I don’t do this every day, I can definitely tell a difference in my attitude on the days that I do wake up earlier.
Take an Online Class
Being a lifelong learner is one of the best ways to challenge yourself and keep your mind sharp for your entire life. Luckily, this past year has made taking new classes easier than ever.
From baking French pastries to becoming an excel expert to a beginners adult hip hop class, you can take a class online in just about anything.
Look back to those goals on who you want to be in the next year or so and find a class that gets you closer to that goal! Whether you want to become a dog groomer, become a world-class painter, or start a blog, there is an online class for you.
Read a Book
If you truly want to expand your mind- then open a book! It is the easiest way to find new ideas, expand your vocabulary, or learn something new.
I am all about self-help books, but I think it’s important to mention the importance of reading to your kids as well.
If you want something just for you, I cannot recommend anything written by Simon Sinek more. His first book Start With Why takes businesses and explains why or why not they found themselves successful and how you can apply that to your everyday life.
In the book, Sinek explains how starting with your why will lead to ultimately more success. Whether you are running a Fortune 500 company or catching up on laundry, when you start with your why, the chances of you becoming successful will increase tremendously.
Learn a New Language
Do you ever visit a restaurant and want to pronounce the food correctly? How about taking a trip or talking with your neighbor down the road from Italy? Learning a new language is the perfect way to expand your horizons and challenge yourself to learn a new language!
Luckily it is easier than ever to learn a new language. From free programs at your local library to a more personalized approach through a program like Rosetta Stone.
Start a Blog
Okay, I might be biased (since, you know, I run a blog) but I think that starting a blog is one of the best ways to challenge yourself! Pick a niche that you are passionate about and spread your knowledge to the world.
Even better? It can become an additional income stream for you. That’s right, if you take on the challenge of starting a blog, you can earn money to help you reach even more goals for the year.
Something as simple as selling items through Amazon with their affiliate marketing program can earn you big bucks.
Journaling is one of the oldest tricks in the book to help keep anxiety at bay and to help you stay focused on goals. In fact, experts claim that writing down your goal is one of the key factors in whether or not you will be successful.
When you are younger, it is often emphasized the importance of journaling and why that can be so helpful, but as we get older (and busier) then the idea of journaling can fall by the wayside. Don’t let that happen! If you want to challenge yourself and truly grow- then do it!
If you need more inspiration, check out the adorable selection of journals at your local bookstore or head over to Amazon and check out their super cute collection there.
Once you have your journal, block out 5-10 minutes each day and journal whatever you want! It could be about your day, your goals for the future, or just a grocery list. Try one of these 52 journal prompts.
What is important is that you simply start writing. Get into that habit and you will be surprised how quickly you will fall in love with the process.
Forgive that Person
One of the most powerful tools that we have to become the best version of ourselves is to forgive someone. Holding onto that anger/disappointment may feel like the best thing to do, but in the end, it is usually a big waste of energy.
Challenge yourself to forgive that person for any grudges that you may have, no matter how small it might feel. Whether you are upset at how they cheated on you, chopped down a tree on your property, or never returned your favorite pen in the sixth grade, forgiving is one of the best ways to challenge yourself.
Reach Out to Someone That You Look Up To
Whether you know them or not, reaching out to someone that you look up to can be one of the most powerful ways to challenge and encourage yourself. Through the power of social media, it has never been easier than now to reach out to that person that has empowered you to do more with your life.
A simple DM (direct message) can help establish a relationship that will help you reach your goals. Write down a list of 5 people that you look up to- people that are doing exactly what you want to do- and challenge yourself to reach out to them.
A great example is @ChrissyandChristina on Instagram. She looked up to Crissy Tiegen so much that she decided to cook her way through one of her cookbooks and document the journey through the social media platform. Crissy was so inspired that she began following and promoting the account. They have developed a relationship and she is becoming a star chef.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
Setting a budget– and sticking to it- can be one of the hardest ways to challenge yourself. Luckily, there are countless ways to learn the basics of setting a budget that you can be successful with.
My best suggestion is to look at how you spend each paycheck and begin with budgeting in that way. Once you understand where your money is going, then you can begin paycheck budgeting.
While it may seem difficult in the beginning to start a budget, it’s one of those habits that gets easier with time so that you are able to take control of your money. It’s one of the most rewarding ways to challenge yourself- I promise!
For beginners, the cash envelope system of budgeting is easy to follow and so helpful!
Get Out of Debt
One of the best ways to challenge yourself is to start taking steps to get out of debt. What does that look like, you ask? I like to recommend Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps Plan since it has helped millions of people get out of debt.
For me, this plan helped me take control of my money and showed me the importance of intentional spending. As you begin to follow the baby steps, you will quickly learn how each step helps you get out of debt through something Dave calls the ‘snowball effect’.
When you make the choice to get out of debt, it takes time but in the end it’s like you are giving yourself a huge raise! Instead of hundreds of dollars going toward paying off all of those credit cards, you are able to take that money and do whatever you want with it.
Trust me, challenge yourself to get out of debt- the feeling is amazingly liberating.
There are plenty of reasons to challenge yourself and, even better, there are so many ways to do it! No matter what your goals are for the next few years, take the time to make changes in your day to day to help you work toward those goals.
Maybe you want to be a master baker- take a class! Or perhaps it’s finally time that you started that blog- go for it!
Challenging yourself to do something new can be one of the best decisions that you go for this year.
So, tell me… how are you challenging yourself this year? Tell me in the comments below!