Two of my favorite blogs out there are Leo Babauta’s ZenHabits.net and Scott Dinsmore’s LiveYourLegend.net. Both are an incredible source of inspiration for me. And in the last weeks of the year, they especially inspire me to take the time to plan and set goals for the next year.
Inspired by them, I decided to challenge myself in 2015. Really, really challenge myself.
In 2015, I will set myself a new 30-day challenge every single month. That’s 12 30-day challenges. Some will be harder than others but all of them will be related to one of my five areas of focus this year: family, health, emotional mastery, financial empowerment and helping others through coaching.
So why do this?
Every year for the past 4 years I have set goals. Before that I had New Year’s Resolutions, and we all know how effective they are. My biggest challenge was that during the course of the year I’d get off track. I wouldn’t forget my goals but I would lose sight of what to do next. I knew what I wanted but I didn’t know what I needed to do to get there.
And that was killing me. I have found that one of my greatest motivators is a sense of growth, of progress. It doesn’t need to be earth-shattering or even major but when I do not feel I am getting closer to what I want, I tend to come to a complete halt. How’s that for a self-fulfilling prophecy?
For 2015 I’ve set goals again. But this time I am backing them up by clear, consistent, focused action.
To do this, I came up with the idea of having a challenge every month. I also came up with a few ground rules for what I think makes a good challenge.
So what makes a good challenge?
There are a few things that I think make a good challenge.
1. It has to be related to one of your areas of focus.
That’s obvious. If you want to make progress in any of your areas of focus you’ll need to..well..focus on it. A challenge that doesn’t kind of defeats the purpose.
2. It has to be doable.
While an impossible challenge makes for a good movie, it doesn’t do much for making a good experience. Knowing you cannot complete a challenge is demotivating at best and will cause you to quit at the first sign of trouble.
3. It has to be fun.
If it ain’t fun, I ain’t doing it. And if you are like me, neither will you.
4. It has to push you out of your comfort zone.
Ah, here’s the real big one. A good challenge pushes you out of your comfort zone and into your stretch zone. That’s where all your growth happens.
But at the same time it shouldn’t push you so far out that you end up in your stress zone. Have you ever tried to do anything important while being stressed out of your mind? Not going to happen.
So the challenge really has to have the right balance of comfort and discomfort.
So what are my challenges going to be?
I’m not telling. Partly because I haven’t decided exactly when to do which one. And partly because I’d like you to come back here to find out. I love visitors.
What about you?
There are hundreds if not thousands of approaches available. Which one fits your style best? Let me know in the comments!