New Year? Create Some Challenges To Ease You Out of Your Comfort Zone

So it’s almost time to say goodbye to the crazy year that has been 2020, however, although things may not quite be completely back to normal yet, it doesn’t do any harm to have some ideas up your sleeve for a great 2021. Yes, I’m talking some New Year’s resolutions, but don’t worry, not the ones that we hear time and time again (the ‘exercise more’, ‘eat less junk food’, ‘be more organised’), I’m talking ones that you can actually get excited about doing and perhaps find yourself having stuck to for the entire year.

1. Break a record – This is certainly one you can have a lot of fun with. Did you know there are records out there for the most amount of toothpicks held in a beard (3,500) and the most tricks performed by a pig in one minute (13)? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is an abundance of weird and wonderful world records to check out, so why not have some fun and have a go at breaking one, or even start your own. The crazier the better, so feel free to let your imagination run wild on this one.

2. Learn sign language – So, it’s not totally unique to be learning a new language but what is a bit different is learning sign language. Most people could probably give you a few words or phrases from at least one other language, if not only due to school lessons, however, much fewer people would be able to give you words in sign language. So, if you’re looking to stand out a little from the crowd, perhaps dedicating the year to learning this interesting and important communication could be just the ticket, and maybe even try to enlist a friend to join you for some conversation practise.

3. Visit one new destination a month – We know lockdown has screwed up everyone’s plans but this one is doable within your area so no, you don’t need to break the bank to do this. For example, one month, the new destination could be a five-minute walk from your home. This resolution is simply about exploring new surroundings and perhaps finding hidden gems you never knew existed. Often, when we think about visiting new places, our minds jump to flights and cultures unknown but if you imagine yourself as a foreigner in your own country, there’s bound to be plenty of fresh landscapes to uncover. And post-lockdown it doesn’t necessarily have to be a new destination, what about just a new museum you’ve yet to visit or a new café for breakfast … the possibilities are endless.

4. Invent your own cocktail/mocktail – Granted we are not all trained bartenders, however, that shouldn’t stop us from getting creative when it comes to our drinking choices. Raid the cabinets and fridge for inspiration and get those flavours mixing. Also, a great way to use up some of the leftovers you have lying around. This can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, but the key is to find that unique flavour, oh, and of course an equally unique name so get those creative juices flowing. Make 2021 the year of your brilliant new concoction and, who knows, it may even catch on.

5. Give yourself a compliment every day – Okay, so there may be some eye rolling at this one but let me explain. This doesn’t have to be as cheesy as it sounds, it can simply just be a pat on the back for something you did well. In this social media age where comparison is the enemy, we can fill our heads with so many negative things, so just retraining our brains to tell ourselves something positive each day could really make all the difference. Why not give it a go? Appreciate that bit of advice you gave to a friend, that dinner you made, the joke you said that had someone cracking up … it may be small, but it all adds up.

6. Learn a new skill each month – There are few things more satisfying than mastering a new skill. Whether it’s something you’ve always wanted to learn or something you’ve just come across, there’s no time like the present to start something new. We all know mastering a skill takes time but with dedication and perseverance, it can certainly be done, and research shows that even just dedicating 15-30 minutes a day can make all the difference. If that’s not enough motivation for you then just imagine possibly having 12 new skills up your sleeve by the time next year hits, now that would be impressive.

7. Say yes to more things – We can all relate to that feeling of having to think up an excuse to not do something, simply because we just can’t be bothered, but, like the book/movie Yes Man, what if we just said yes to things. How about making 2021 the year of yes, the year of getting out of your comfort zone and getting involved in anything and everything. Think of all the new experiences you would have. Maybe have a look at local notice boards, sign up for courses or go to that party where you only know one person. And if you’re absolutely exhausted and can’t take it any longer, then don’t worry, 2022 can be the year of just saying no.

8. Watch a funny YouTube clip every day to keep spirits up – YouTube can be a godsend when you need a little pick me up. With everything from nostalgic music videos to cute animals doing even cuter things, it’s the place to turn for a quick mood enhancement. So, before you head out for the day, why not indulge in a bit of laughter, courtesy of a quick little video on your phone. Is there any better way to start off your day than getting a hit of comedy? (okay, maybe a hit of coffee too). Now that sounds like the ultimate combination to set you on the right path for the day.

9. Appreciate the little things – After the experience of a lockdown, this one may come a lot more naturally to us now. However, as things start to become normal again, it’s harder to not let life get in the way, that’s why we often need a bit of a reminder to actually stop and appreciate the smaller things in life. I’m not saying to stop and stare at trees in appreciation every day (of course, you can do that if you wish), it’s more about just taking a little bit of time out of your busy schedule to realise all the things you have and enjoy those little moments.

10. Stop making New Year’s resolutions that you don’t keep. And lastly, the most important one on the list because if you can’t stick to this one, then you can’t reap the rewards of the others. It’s way too easy to spout off a whole list of things we want to accomplish in the coming year, but it’s a whole other ballgame actually choosing to stick with them. So, why not give yourself a reasonable amount of resolutions and stick this one in the top slot, therefore, you’ll know that if you accomplish this one, you’ve accomplished the rest. Simple, right?

by Rachel Salveta

Happy Holidays!!