One thing I wish I had done for 2014, which I will be doing for 2015, is get myself a couple of challenges. These are different from goals or resolutions (which I don’t really make) because they have concrete steps built into them. My challenge for 2013 was to graduate from college.
Decide on an area of your life where you want a challenge, first. Do you want a fitness challenge? A travel challenge? A career change challenge? Maybe you’re struggling to fit your hobbies in with your job and school and family. A hobby challenge (maybe photo a day?) will help you keep them in your life. Maybe you’ve moved to a new city and haven’t seen much of it yet. With a little searching you can easily find a list of the best sites to see, and make that into a challenge, or maybe there’s already a challenge for your city!
For 2015, I will be participating in the Pop Sugar 2015 Reading Challenge. (You can find the Pop Sugar post here, and I will be uploading a video about it too!) This amounts to 50 books (or 52 depending on how you interpret the trilogy point) to read during 2015, but it’s more limited than that. This challenge presents 50 specific types of books, including a graphic novel, a book by a female author, and a book more than 100 years old. For a different reading challenge you could choose the Rory Gilmore reading list, but that is 335 books long so you may want to choose one season or an arbitrary number of books from Rory’s list. If you’re not into being restricted in your reading, you could try a GoodReads 50 book challenge. You can actually personalize that to any number of books that works for you, so if 50 seems too high or too low, you can change it up. (This year I said 40, but I didn’t take it very seriously, and I didn’t reach it).
A fellow Creampuff on Tumblr, Juli, made this incredible 2015 TV & Movie Challenge, if that’s more your speed. Much like the 2015 Reading Challenge above, this has different categories, and requirements for completion. (Sidenote, don’t know what a creampuff is? You need to watch Carmilla).
If you’d prefer a fitness related challenge, you could try Couch to 5k. Or doing a certain number of 30 Day Shred cycles. If you’re into swimming set a concrete time goal and write out the steps.
Writing an entire novel is a great challenge, if it’s something you’re into. Nanowrimo and the Office of Letters and Light could get you started. Rachel Hawkins (author of one of my favorite series) and Victoria Schwab (author of the incredible Near Witch) have a system involving stickers and a calendar which you could adopt.
I recently adopted Rosianna Halse Rojas’ 100 Jobs Challenge from 2012 but have since given up because I got a job (actually, since I wrote the draft of this post, I got two! more info to come). I’ll probably pick that back up when my seasonal job ends, though. If you’re in need of a career change, or just a career in general, this would be a great one. For a career change, though, I’d recommend getting some clear steps in mind before you attack applications. For more about career searching, keep your eyes open for Job Interview Week next month. January is all about that Job Search for many of us.
I’d recommend picking a couple of challenges to keep yourself motivated. I’ll probably pick a fitness challenge as well, but I haven’t decided what yet. If you want something more long term, create a 25 By 25 style list of goals. I recently-ish revised mine to reflect my current priorities.
Maybe I just prefer challenges to resolutions because I’m competitive. I am both a Leo and a younger sister, after all.