Every month in 2018, I’m going to take on a different challenge.
One month I might give up coffee, another I might meditate for 20 minutes every day, another I might make myself get up before 5am every morning.
I posted about this idea on Facebook recently and received many great suggestions for different things I could try. The best are listed below (plus a few more I thought of).
Feel free to give a few of them a try yourself, and let me know how you get on.
- Get up every morning before 5am/6am/7am
- Watch the sunrise/sunset every day for a month
- Go to bed every night before 9pm/10pm/11pm
- Meditate for 5/10/15/20 minutes per day
- 5 minutes of breathing exercises every day
- Intermittent fasting every day (e.g. only eat between 12pm and 6pm)
- At least 10 minutes of exercise every day
- Go for a run every day
- At least 10 minutes of stretching/yoga every day
- Eat vegetarian every day
- Eat vegan every day (no animal products)
- Say hello to a stranger every day
- Compliment a stranger every day
- No email until after 12pm each day
- No internet after 6pm every day
- Write 1000 words every day
- Create a small drawing/painting every day
- Send someone a thank you card/message every day
- Publish a blog post every day
- Publish a video every day
- Plan out your day every morning
- Keep a journal every day
- Drink a big glass of water first thing every morning
- Spend at least 10 minutes playing a musical instrument every day
- Spend at least 10 minutes learning a foreign language every day
- Write down three things you’re grateful for every day
- Eat breakfast/lunch/dinner with no distractions every day
- Write a poem/haiku every day
- Complete a crossword puzzle every day
- Spend at least 30 minutes reading for pleasure every day
- Take a cold shower every day
- Write down 10 business ideas every day
- Make 5 sales calls every day
- Put on some funky music and dance for a few minutes every day
- No coffee/caffeine
- No bread
- No gluten
- No sugar
- No fast food
- No soda
- Cook all your own meals
- No chocolate
- No alcohol
- No Netflix
- No YouTube
- No television
- No Facebook/Twitter/social media
- No complaining
- No news
- Free write for 5 minutes every day
- Take and share a photo every day
- No pornography
I will decide which challenge I’m taking on each month just a few days in advance, following this wise advice from a friend on Facebook:
For January, my challenge will be to plan out my day every morning, something I picked up from an excellent book called Deep Work.
What’s The Point Of All This?
Inevitably, whenever I announce something along these lines, I hear from a few critics and naysayers, like these two folks who posted on my Facebook page:
In case you’re also wondering what the point of challenging yourself is… well, it’s to learn and grow.
I’ve taken on many challenges over the years, tried many different experiments, tested lots of different habits. Some have worked out well. Others not so much.
I keep what makes my life better and ditch what doesn’t.
For example, I decided to quit drinking alcohol for an entire year back in 2011. That turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. Not that alcohol is inherently bad or anything; but on balance my life is certainly better without it. I now haven’t had a drink in seven years.
Maybe you’ll try doing or quitting something every day for a month and find it doesn’t improve your life. No big deal. Go back to how things were, but with better knowledge of yourself and what’s best for you.
As Socrates once said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
Challenges such as those listed above are a great way to examine your life, and discover new and better ways to keep it a life worth living.
- Do any of the challenges on the above list resonate with you?
- Anything else you’d like to try for a month?
Let me know in the comments below.
January 31 Update
Above is a quick video update from Bansko in Bulgaria.
I ended up doing two challenges in January:
- Planning out my day every morning
- No coffee
The first went well. I missed only two days (both due to travel), and overall the daily planning really helped me set realistic expectations for how much I could get done each day, and helped me prioritize my most important work and stay focused throughout the day.
I took on the no coffee challenge at the last minute to support my girlfriend, as that was the challenge she decided on for the month.
In February, my challenge will be to keep a journal of all the complaints I make, and to try turn each complaint into something positive.
Want To Join Me?
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