Getting Started in 2016: The Plan

Northern lights


2016 is all about challenges.

Last year I ended up signing up for: a year-long reading challenge, a whole-life health challenge, and a writing challenge. In thinking about the different challenges and the impact each had on me, I started to think about what else I want to do, how I want to feel, who I want to be, and what I want to learn.

I don’t want another year to go by where I do things only if they happen to come up, I want to seek them out with thought and intent. So I created a plan.

The Plan

2016 is my year of challenges. There will be 12 challenges I will set up or sign up for throughout the year, a different one each month.

The challenges for the next few months are almost finalized so I can research/ cue them up while I outline the rest of the year. Naturally I lean towards challenges that interest me (take a photo a day and write a few sentences about each) versus ones that scare me (stand-up comedy).

Then there are the challenges I don’t really want to do (yoga/stretching/meditation) but know I need to. I will be mixing them up as much as possible to push myself. The goal is to pick up new skills, new abilities, and to learn a few things along the way. Time is also a factor as the year progresses, so that is something I will need to figure out how to balance as well.


To make this more official, I create guidelines I will be following to determine what qualifies as a “challenge”:

  1. Align with one (or more) of my three words
  2. Better/improve myself or the lives of others
  3. Pushes me out of my routine and/or comfort zone,
  4. Help me create new habits
  5. Something that I wouldn’t normally do
  6. Learn something new

I reserve the right to add or change the guidelines as I start the challenges and progress through the year. It’s my thing, I make the rules so therefore I can change them.

My caveat is that I would prefer it be a year about challenges I give myself. I feel like I’m tempting fate by continuing to refer to 2016 as a year of challenges. I don’t need the world to give me any, I manage to find them well enough on my own. YOU HEAR THAT WORLD? You can keep your El Ninos, etc. I don’t want any extra credit, I only want the challenges I’m planning.

If only it worked that way.

Challenge ideas:

  • Healthy eating (no alcohol, sugar, processed foods, etc.)
  • Reading challenge
  • Yoga/stretching
  • Daily workouts
  • Daily meditation
  • Daily writing
  • NaNoWriMo
  • Improve/Stand-up
  • Volunteering
  • Networking/meeting new people
  • Tidying Up
  • Toastmasters
  • Photo/day
  • 30 days of editing book
  • Bed by 10pm
  • Waking up early

Have any ideas? I’m taking suggestions, please leave them in the comments, or share them with me!

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Helen Keller, The Open Door


Photo credit: Greg Rakozy

2 thoughts on “Getting Started in 2016: The Plan

  1. I like the bed by 10pm, but 11 might be more realistic for you. I also really like the volunteering. I feel like that is something I need to do as well and introduce to the girls.

    1. True, true. It’s like you know me! Volunteering is one I really would like to do but it will take research and time, something I don’t have a lot of for the next few months. It’s high on my list though.

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