This is a collaborative post.
It feels like we’re always moving forward when we’re younger. We’re hurtling through life, having experiences, meeting new people, and existing outside of our comfort zone. By the time we reach adulthood, many of us are happy to live in a settled, comfortable space for a while.
However, it’s important not to get too comfortable. Setting challenges for yourself doesn’t just help you to grow as an individual, but it can also have a tremendously positive impact on your life as well. If you’re looking to step up your life, then consider taking on one of the 6 ways to challenge yourself that we outline below. You never know what they might lead to.
6 Ways to Challenge Yourself (And Improve Your Life)
1. Set a Fitness or Health Goal
It’s normal to fall into a standard approach to your health and fitness. Maybe you try to eat some healthy meals, or you go for the occasional run or bike ride. Those things will keep you ticking over, but what if you were to push yourself to step up your health and fitness? You might find that you have high physical potential.
How exactly you step up will depend on your current starting point. It might mean joining a gym and beginning lifting weights, or you could sign yourself up for a marathon (or half marathon if you’re relatively new to running). You’ll enjoy the process of working towards your goal, and you’ll be developing your physical and mental well-being.
2. Give Up Bad Habits
We all have bad habits. They tend to just creep into our lives when we’re in early adulthood, to the point where we just assume they’re normal, and that they don’t have a negative impact on our lives. But in many cases, those bad habits have a more significant impact on our lives than we realise. Eating plenty of snack foods, drinking alcohol, or smoking cigarettes can all stop us from reaching our full potential, especially alcohol, which is the most normalised on the list.
Could you challenge yourself to go one month without your bad habits? By the time the month is up, you’ll likely find that you feel physically and mentally fantastic, arguably the best that you’ve ever felt.
3. Start a Creative Hobby
Everyone is creative, it’s just that some people have had their creativity nurtured, while others have had theirs left on the shelf. If you’re from a background that didn’t push you towards creativity, then it’s not too late to start. It doesn’t matter what it is, or, indeed, how good you are at it — you’ll likely find that you get a lot of satisfaction just through the course of learning and from creating something. You could consider writing, drawing, or taking up a pottery class. You’ll be outside of your comfort zone but in a really good way. Plus, what if you’re a genius?
4. Meet New People
We’re always meeting new people when we’re young. In adulthood? Not so much. In fact, it seems to be rare that we make a new connection. However, just because they’re less likely to happen naturally, that doesn’t mean that they can’t happen — you just have to put yourself in a position to allow them to happen! What this looks like will depend on your preferences and what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a romantic partner, then you may attend a speed dating event or download a dating app. If you’re looking for friends, then it could involve joining a sports team or signing up for a hiking trip.
Not that you necessarily need to attend an event to meet new people. You can make more informal connections just by speaking to people in your neighbourhood.
5. Learn a Skill
The happiest people are the ones who commit to a lifetime of learning. It’s great to stay curious about the world! This can take many forms, including learning about subjects and learning a new skill. The latter is the more difficult of the two. Could you learn a new skill, such as an instrument, a foreign language, or how to garden? It can take time to get the basics of anything new, but once you’ve got them, you’ll find that they can unlock a whole world of joy.
6. Say Yes
Finally, one of the best ways to challenge yourself is to consider saying yes more often. As we age, we tend to have an idea of what we like and don’t like, and say no to things that we don’t feel we enjoy. But what if you did enjoy it? Say yes more frequently, and you’ll have a broader experience of life.