10 ways to challenge yourself in the new year

The last year or so has been challenging I know. However, it can be easy to stay in that comfort zone and not move. There is a lot more people working from home, we are hardly going out and it can all feel the same right now. Therefore, I think it is essential to challenge yourself this new year!

In order to kick start 2021 and to motivate me in some way I did set myself some goals if you want some inspiration, and I have also provided a post helping you goal set in the right way.

Staying in your comfort zone is nice I know, but it is much more beneficial for us to challenge ourselves and push ourselves outside of those comfort zones. By challenging yourself you will do things that you never thought you could do, discover new passions and inspirations and grow in ways you never thought you would.

Of course you could stay in that comfort zone and live perfectly happily and that is absolutely fine. But I am here today to show you why you should take that leap and challenge yourself this year! Trust me you will so happy you did it.

10 ways to challenge yourself in the new year!

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Wake up earlier in the morning!

The first way to challenge yourself is to wake up earlier. This one is going to be struggle for those working from home that may have given themselves a bit more time in the morning’s as you don’t have to commute anywhere.

However, now is the time to start waking yourselves up earlier again. But use that time wisely. Set an alarm for 6 am (or 6:30 am), go for a walk or just set looking at the window with a cup of tea/coffee, read a book.

This is actually a great way for you to slowly wake yourself up and begin your day in a positive way. Plus it will help with those productivity levels! It is amazing how something so small can have a huge impact on your day.

Learn a new skill

Maybe there was something you wanted to do in 2020 but never got round to it, or maybe there is something you recently discovered you want to do. Now is the time. Challenge yourself with learning a new skill, or something you have been waiting to do for a long time.

Learning a new skill is not only beneficial for us adults but it teaches us new skills, helps us manage mental health and might just be a nice distraction for you to do.

Learning new skills can be anything from a language, sport, crafting and so on. There is so much to learn and it is waiting for you.

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Switch up your routine

A routine helps us stay focused, productive and motivated. However, right now we are all feeling this “same routine, same thing”. Therefore, I recommend switching that routine up and changing things around. This is a great way to keep challenging yourself this year, especially as the majority of time is spent at home.

Although we cannot go out and do things just simply changing your routine around can have huge benefits. It will make us feel like it is something new, it is exciting and fresh to do things a different way. So get your paper out and write down a new routine and reap those rewards!

Build healthy habits

I don’t mean start a diet that you don’t care about or go out and run 20 miles. But there are simple ways to build healthy habits in all aspects of your life.

For example, wake up earlier (as mentioned above), switch your phone on silent every night an hour before bed time, don’t look at your phone in the morning, make time for a walk/exercise, implement self-care into your life once a week. All of these are simple but great ways at challenging yourself to build those healthy habits!

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Schedule a weekly debrief

This one can be implemented into your personal and work life. But schedule that weekly debrief with yourself to reflect on the week. It only has to be for 15-20 minutes but this gives you a great opportunity to look at your accomplishments of the week, what were the challenges and anything that needs to be improved.

This will keep you moving forward positively in both your personal and work life, and challenge yourself to deal with any problems and how to overcome them.

Set new goals if you achieve current ones

I have already expressed the importance of goals and provided tips on how to goal-set, but it is also important that if you accomplish a goal to bring in a new one. This will keep you having something to aim for/work towards and keep you motivated and productive in your work.

Again as I have mentioned it is important to set realistic goals, with a blend of long-term and short-term goals that will give you something to reach for in the future.

Volunteer for new tasks

If you are busy with work I don’t mean you need to go out and volunteer your time helping charities etc. I mean if you do want to do this then that is great too. What I mean is if you have time and you feel ok with the workload then volunteer for tasks that seem challenging or interesting for you.

This is a great way to challenge yourself this year but also learn new skills, sharpen skills you already have and engage with new people.

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Do something creative

Schedule a bit of time for you to just sit down and get those creative juices flowing. You might find that you fall back in love with an old hobby, or find something new for you to enjoy.

It can be as easy as just doodling, reading, writing, playing board games. Just get creative and make sure you schedule time for that, it feel’s nice to make time for things we enjoy that is away from work and everything going on.

Make yourself vulnerable

2021 is the year to challenge yourself in many ways and one of them is to make yourself vulnerable. It can be speaking at an event, having a meeting with someone, attending an event just anything to challenge yourself.

Do this at least once a month where you feel completely exposed or uncomfortable, and even if you want to back out at the last minute just DO IT. This is a great way to grow and build your confidence. I have definitely been implementing this into my life for the last couple of months and trust me it has only had benefits for me.

Ask for help

Lastly a challenge in itself is asking for help. It is ok if you are struggling or you are lacking self-motivation. There are trainers, coachers or even therapy that you can look to for that extra support. Or even just turning to those around us already in our lives. We are only human and I truly believe that in order to be successful we have to work with and listen to others.

Therefore, if you need that extra support use 2021 as the year to challenge yourself and ask for that support.

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There we have it my 10 ways for you to challenge yourself this year! Challenging yourself is never going to be easy, but if you are willing to try and give anything a go then you are already growing and doing better.

Good luck and let me know how you are challenging yourself this year? Or if you are going to do any of these challenges I have mentioned?

Thanks for reading,

Gemma Jayne x

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Author: gemmaajaynee

24 year old just wanting to write with her spare time.

38 thoughts

  1. These are some great suggestions to help challenge yourself this year. I have already been waking up early and starting good habits so I think I am doing well so far. With everything happening I am just taking it a day at a time. Thank you for sharing these Gemma.

  2. These are some really great ideas for the year ahead. I think we are all going through such difficult times that we need to make time to focus on ourselves

    Such a valuable post x

    1. I definitely couldn’t agree more! It is something to keep us all focused but also if it’s just getting by and not challenging yourself that is great too xx

  3. I’d love to be challenging myself and stepping out of my comfort zone right now but I can’t cos we can’t freaking go anywhere haha! Learning a new skill that you love can really help you get out of your own head during a difficult time x

    1. I definitely would love to be doing that too! However, I think there is stuff we can still do outside of our comfort zones from home too even as simple as running virtual events or being a speaker etc 😊 yeah definitely, I love learning new things as well xxx

  4. Oof. That waking up early one is the one that ALWAYS gets me haha! It’s just so challenging for me – but I think a lot of it is due to my chronic illness. It just makes mornings a bit of a nightmare. However, I still want to work on it – and so many of these other suggestions as well. Great article!

    1. I think it helps to take small steps so if for example you normally wake up at 11 but want to wake up at 6 then don’t dive straight into getting up at 6. I would say begin waking up at 10:30 for a week, then 10 then 9:30 etc. This way you are slowly building it up for you and your body 😊 thank you for reading lovely xx

    1. Thank you so much! I definitely recommend the waking up earlier because it just starts the day off well, and makes you feel like you are doing so much more πŸ™‚ xx

  5. I love all of these ideas, especially the setting a weekly debrief. That sounds like a great way to go over what you accomplished and that in turn would get you excited for what you have coming up next. Waking up earlier is a major challenge for me but I’m trying to get better at it.

    1. Thank you so much! I think a lot of people have said the waking up earlier is the challenge, but honestly it might not work for everyone so listen to your body and needs. I definitely recommend the weekly debrief it is such a great way to see what is working and what is not! xx

  6. These are great tips — I think it’s very important for us to do stuff that is out of our comfort zone for sure. And also I agree that doing something creative is great for de-stressing!

  7. Great ideas as it really is important that we challenge ourselves regularly since that is where happiness and growth comes from. Mine to work on for this year based on your tips, would definitely be making myself more vulnerable in person.

    1. Thank you so much! I couldn’t agree more, it does help us to grow and learn skills as well. That is great, and something I think we could all do a bit more πŸ™‚ xx

  8. Great suggestions! I love the idea of scheduling a weekly debrief with yourself. I never thought about it that way, such a good idea. I also love that you included asking for help. I know for me, asking for help can sometimes be the hardest thing to do. Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!

    1. Thank you so much! Yes definitely, and having that weekly debrief really helps in that you can see what is working and what is not, but also you can look at all the big and small things that you have accomplished! Also I agree with you it can be hard to ask for help, and I know I never used to like it because I wanted to do everything myself. But I am more than happy to ask now and it only makes us better xx

  9. Love this post, really good suggestions! I’ve never thought of scheduling a debrief but that sounds great so maybe I will. I should really start waking up early again but it’s so hard in winter. xx

    Caroline | https://envirolineblog.com/

    1. Thank you so much! Yeah I agree it is harder in the winter and it being darker, but if you start now then by the time it gets to spring etc then you already have made that a habit! 😊 and having a debrief really does help me a lot! Xx

  10. Thank you so much, that means a lot 😁 yes I think it is such a great idea to really look at how your week went, what could you change or do differently if something is not working etc. Also it’s a great way to actually look at all the positives when we move past them sometimes 😊 xx

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