There’s always room for improvement in life – whether it’s clearly seen or not. But improvement isn’t possible without stepping outside of our comfort zones. No pain, no gain, right? And although it may not seem it at the time, expanding our horizons and challenging ourselves is healthy and refreshing. It can help us become more productive. It can help us become more resilient. It can help us to push the envelope.
So here are several ways, big and small, that you can challenge yourself in the New Year. Pick one and then pick another one. Let these only be a starting point for you to get into the habit of embracing the unfamiliar.
In no particular order:
“Eat the frog.” Write down one task to complete for the day to be a success and tackle it first.
Reach out to an old companion, colleague or distant family member that you haven’t spoken to in awhile.
Give away or donate items you don’t need (preferably to those who do need them). Repeat until you have an uncluttered home.
Skip the elevator – take the stairs.
Do something you enjoy alone.
Read something each week that is completely unrelated to your career (or “personal development”).
Get uncomfortable at least once each day. Speak up during a conference call at work, talk to the person next to you on the plane, etc.
Watch the sun rise.
Learn a new language.
Attend a networking event.
Take a different route even if it’s not the quickest.
Ask for help.
Don’t ask for help.
Manage “screen time.” Engage in activities without the distracting glow of an electronic device- it will be rejuvenating.
Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Book that trip. You know the one.
Do something kind for a stranger.
Make a new friend on your own – or several!
Be comfortable saying no. It may sound easy, but being able to turn down invitations and requests is harder than you think.
Instead of ordering takeout, get creative in the kitchen.
Skip the drive – walk.
Learn a new word each day. Pick a random page in the dictionary or invest in a desk calendar (these).
Call instead of text.
Try out a new way to get exercise (pilates, zumba, kickboxing, etc.).
Quit the job that’s making you miserable.
Floss every day.
How do you challenge yourself? What would you add to this list?