“If you don’t challenge yourself, you will never find out what else you could become”

January is known for being a time when people decide to challenge themselves to make a positive change to kickstart the year, whether it be an alcohol-free month after the indulgences of the festive period, Veganuary to explore new recipes or getting back into sports and fitness. As January comes to a close, you may be considering whether or not to end your challenge, continue through into February, or to set yourself a whole new goal for the weeks ahead. If this is the case, then we are here to give you some ideas! 

Why set yourself a challenge?

Other than challenges being a fun way to try out something new, there are a number of other benefits and reasons why you should challenge yourself to reach new goals. 

Benefits for setting yourself goals and challenges:

  • They allow you to focus in a definitive direction 
  • Acts as a motivator towards something you personally wish to achieve
  • Provides a sense of purpose 
  • Overcoming obstacles during a challenge can develop your resilience
  • Completing challenges and reaching goals can help to build confidence and satisfaction
  • Makes personal development and continued improvement a priority and focus

Setting and achieving new goals and challenges can be addictive! Once you have got one in the bag and experienced the energising and empowering buzz of success, you can use this momentum to carry you into your next challenge. Slow and steady changes can build and build over time until you are living your best life. This is the key to making lasting habit change!

Types of challenges you can set yourself

Depending on your interests, personal circumstances and life goals, there are endless challenges for you to set yourself – but we are here to offer you a few ideas for what your next goal could be.

Take an alcohol-free challenge

Okay okay, if you are reading this blog post then you probably know what OYNB is all about already, so you won’t be surprised to see this challenge at the top of our list. But for good reason! If you haven’t already started your alcohol-free journey, then this is a great challenge to set yourself to start out. This is because all of the other changes you may wish to make become a lot easier when you can be fully present and have the mental clarity to focus on them. Removing alcohol as a barrier in having the time, energy and motivation it takes to challenge yourself to other goals means you are far more likely to stick to your plan. Plus, being alcohol-free often provides you with a fresh perspective on what is important to you in life, which can in turn help you to hone in on whatever challenge you’d like to focus on next.

Reduce your sugar intake

Now this is a tricky one, you will notice we haven’t said ‘cut out sugar completely’, first of all, because where would life be without a sprinkle of sugar?! But also because it is unrealistic to expect anyone to totally avoid sugar when it is in so many of the products we use on a daily basis. However, there are challenges you can set yourself to reduce your sugar intake (going alcohol-free will help with this too!) such as slowly reducing or cutting out any sugar you take in teas or coffees throughout the day, or swapping fizzy drinks for water. 

Set yourself a step challenge

step challengeWalking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do – its low impact, and has a whole variety of benefits for your health. While many of us won’t be able to get out and move quite as much as we might do ordinarily due to local restrictions, it is still important to try to prioritise movement. Setting yourself a goal for the number of steps you take each day can be a great way to do this. If you live in the countryside where you have access to open spaces, try to make the most of them! Alternatively, you can challenge yourself to walk up and down your stairs a certain number of times each day, or swap any lifts or escalators you take for using the steps. 

Challenge yourself to shop differently

The challenges you set yourself don’t have to be wholly health focused, instead you can challenge yourself to change the way you view and approach your spending and shopping habits in order to benefit small businesses or to reduce your carbon footprint. Fast fashion brands and other industries mass producing products are often marketed to us as the most appealing option as we can have next to instant gratification at a cheap price. However, this often doesn’t translate in quality, and can have a negative impact on the environment. Here are some ideas for ways in which you can challenge yourself to shop differently:

  • Quit fast fashion brands or mass production e-tailers
  • Avoid choosing overnight delivery options
  • Try to shop local or from small independent retailers

A vegetarian or vegan month

Similar to Dry January, Veganuary has become a popular challenge people undertake to start the year with some new plant based recipes – but of course, you are not limited to only partake in this trend in January! Not only can this challenge be beneficial to your health (lots of fresh veggies!) but it can also have a positive influence on the environment. Even if you decide that a full month without any animal products is too much in one go, set yourself a challenge to eat vegetarian or vegan Monday-Friday, or to swap out some of your commonly used products such as milk for one of the many alternatives on the market. You never know, you might find some new favourite products you can continue to use in the long run!

Make space for mindfulness

Challenging yourself to be mindful might sound like an oxymoron, but it is more so about creating time for you. To be calm. Still. To be aware of the world around you. What this means for each person may differ, for example you may prefer to challenge yourself to do 10-15 minutes of yoga each day, write an entry into a journal, or listen to a meditation podcast. Regardless of what you choose to attempt, completing a challenge such as this has the potential to make a big difference to your mental strength and resilience, keeping you grounded. 

So what is your next challenge going to be?

If none of these challenges have peaked your interest, or you have already undertaken them all (you warrior!!), then no worries. There are so many other ways in which you can challenge yourself – just take some time to consider how you could make a small, positive change to improve your life, or the lives of those around you. Good luck!


Take the challenge


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This