These 5-Day Challenge ideas will help you to begin making positive changes in your life. Even if you’ve accomplished some of your dreams to date, if you’re alive, you have the ability to dream and plan you life. It’s an amazing thing about being alive. The problem is that many of us are so busy trying to maintain our current lifestyle or are comfortable in it that we’ve forgotten how to get to the next level. This is how getting ‘stuck in a rut’ happens. Years may go by without your tuning into your life’s purpose.
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“One life. Just one. Why aren’t we running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?”
What Is Your Life’s Purpose?
This is a very broad question to ask yourself and we won’t be able to fully cover it here in this post, but it is an important one to think about as you decide which step to take next.
As we start out on our journey, there seem to be so many wonderful and exciting options from which to choose our life’s path, though as we grow and discern better, we find that usually one path may be more ours than another.
Think of it this way, there is a plan to life, which we have the freewill to accept or choose another way, and usually the answer of what to do and when is already written on our heart. There is so much noise and residue from poor decision making of the past that it can inhibit our ability to choose well.
Here are a few ways to think about your life’s purpose if you are just starting to wake up to this idea or if you are rather inexperienced in choosing well.
- What are you most interested in learning?
- What are you naturally pretty decent at, skillwise?
- What doors are open to you right now?
- What is a moral and upright path to take?
- Will your next step be towards love or fear?
- What are the greatest lacks in the world that you see?
- How can you console the heart of Jesus?*
If you think about these questions, over time you may begin to see an opportunity to move forward in life in a way that you feel led rather than you feel like you’re trying to drag a mule up the road. Life isn’t always easy but usually the path that is the right one will feel like it just works.
Dream Planning Rut – Personal Reflection
Speaking of trying to drag a mule up the road, that pretty much described me during a part of my life so I’m speaking from experience here. I know what it’s like to life out of fear, regret, shame, and it made my life harder and a lot less peaceful or joyful.
There were several factors for this, but I can explain one that really might help you right now.
So, as a child, youth, teenager and into my early twenties, I was a high achiever. I was conscientious and hit the milestones academically to be a “success.” I made good grades, I won scholarships, I saved money by working hard, and I pushed through college and then grad school in a career field that sounded exciting at the time.
I thrived in the structure and really excelled there.
When I finished my schooling, boy was I burnt out. Through a series of sicknesses one of which I never quite recovered my energy from, I landed on the job market in the worst time for new job-seekers: during a great recession. I eventually landed a job and began adulting, back at my parents home to boot.
Well, that really came full circle, didn’t it.
I began working and socializing and in my two dimensional life I felt restless and unhappy. I was also very tired a lot of the time.
Among the many reasons for that which I now see clear as day, was the fact that I had stopped making plans in my life and I started depending upon other people to make me happy. I felt more insecure and shallow than I ever had in my life and I wish to say that this was short-lived but I had a lot of adulting to do before I began to mature.
My point is, you need a framework for your life, something to strive towards, grow into, be a little ambitious about. It can be really hard to wade through the noise of what other people are telling you you should be doing or to begin to compare yourself with where you are at in life to where you wanted to be by now. But doing that will only aggravate your lack of peace.
What I began to learn was to make plans for myself, make goals for myself, and do this solely for me. I began to pray more delve into a spiritual side. By thinking of and making plans, I was activating a part of my brain that needed to be put to work – strategic thinking. (5 day challenge ideas will do the same).
It didn’t change my life all at once, this making plans for myself. And sometimes it wasn’t fun, but I got used to making plans and sticking with them and now I can see how God used that to build resilience and an inner peace that is mostly ok with my uniqueness.
To Those Stuck in a Rut
So, to those stuck in a rut, ask yourself: when was the last time you made plans for yourself? When was the last time you created a thought out plan for your future that felt rather exciting? If nothing feels remotely exciting, when was the last time you really sat and prayed into the discomfort of your current life?
A Note About Ruts
When I think about the ruts I’ve fallen into in my life, I see a tire that keeps hitting the same groove of mud next to the road and start to spin.
Sometimes, I think these are part of a divine comedy to prevent us from going to haphazardly ahead. A sort of “caution, caution!”
It’s also a sign that maybe you can’t pull yourself to move forward anymore where you’re at BECAUSE IT’S NOT YOUR PATH. A rut may simply be a signal that it could be time to go in a different direction.
The 5-Minute Journal
This 5-minute journal help hundreds of thousands of people form new habits, track important priorities and tasks, remember gratitude and many other daily trackables.
If you don’t have time to journal or you hate to journal, this little book may help you notice the important things in life more quickly and enjoy the present moment more often.
Research Behind Goals and Personal Challenges
There have been many research studies over the years with a keen interest in understanding how goals are achieved, how habits over time are formed and how intrinsic factors are involved, such as self-control. This research can also apply as you think about your own 5 day challenge ideas.
- One 2020 study found that when a habit was performed routinely over the course of 90 days, the action was more likely to become a habit. The researchers suggested that they thought self-control would play a role in the ability to form a new habit, but the study found that self-control didn’t have a strong correlation to habit formation. (1)
- Another study from 2021 conducted research on a cohort of cancer survivors who had undergone treatment and now were left fatigued and tired and their subsequent ability to form new habits. The study found that with social support, the respondents were able to form new habits in order to move forward in life and deal with the chronic fatigue. Participants discovered new physical and emotional boundaries, planned and reorganized their activities and rest, and began letting go of prior habitual identity factors life before cancer and chronic fatigue). (2)
- A third study from 2016 with a small sample size of 10 people found that habits took longer to implement at first and over time became to implement. However, many habits are formed in a work-like context and weekends may disrupt habit formation in this context. (3)
These studies and many others though do not address the role of rewards and punishment in habit formation, the role of the peer group, and the role in natural abilities. One only need look at early developmental childhood psychology to see how children learn new habits.
The role of the vision you have for your life in your mind plays an important part in creating new habits and losing habits that no longer serve a purpose. Keep this in mind as you decide where to put your energy in the next 5 days.
5-Day Challenge Ideas
How do you do a 5 day challenge? Simple. Choose 1 specific and measurable thing to do every day for five days and just do it. Keep reading to find some 5 day challenge ideas.
How do you create a challenge? Simple pick a habit or activity that you would like to spend time doing and challenge yourself to do it everyday for 5 days. This might be to try and form a new habit or to try and get to do something you’ve been neglecting. Sometimes it might be to form a new or alternative habit or avoid doing something.
What are some good daily challenges? Below, I list out several ideas to get your creative juices flowing and help you think about your own 5 day challenge ideas.
What are some good monthly challenges? 30 Days to Better Habits: Start a Monthly Challenge
Some 5 day challenge ideas that have to do with health might include:
- Making an Endometriosis Smoothie every day
- Making a nutritious breakfast every day
- Drinking 6-9 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated
- Going for a walk at least 20 minutes a day (and plan around bad weather times)
- Reading a book about how to improve your health and finish it within 5 days
Some 5 day challenge ideas that have to do with strengthening relationship(s) might include:
- Doing something special or helpful for one new person everyday during 5 days
- Do something extra thoughtful for one person over the course of 5 days
- Call a different friend everyday to catch up and hear how they are
- Practice keeping your mouth shut if you are around someone who annoys you or practice saying uplifting things around this person
- Mail a care package to five people who might need a boost
Virtue Building Challenges
Some 5 day challenge ideas that have to do with virtue building might include:
- Practice saying ‘thank you’ upon waking each morning
- Try to pray for people who cut you off in traffic each day
- Practice praying for someone you don’t like and hear about in the news
- Whatever vice you seem to have practice the opposite each day for 5 days
Some 5 day challenge ideas that have to do with spiritual growth might include:
- Read your bible every day for 5 days
- Make 15-30 minutes work for prayer time each day for 5 days
- Practice meditation on scripture daily for 5 days
- Greet each person you meet’s guardian angel as you go to meet them
- Practice writing down your dreams each morning and write what you think they mean
Some 5 day challenge ideas that have to do with skills learning might include:
- Learn to make a new dish each night for dinner for 5 nights
- Batch cook one big meal that can be dinner for 5 nights in a row
- Practice writing or doing art each day for 5 days
- Plan out your day each day for 5 days and become more focused on your goals
- Build endurance with aerobic activity daily for 5 days
As you can see, picking something to do each day for 5 days can be a fun and rewarding experience to try out adding something into your life that is for the better, or replacing something negative with something positive. The broader task involves picking the right challenge for where you are in life and where you really want to go next. (Not where anyone tells you you should or out of fear, obligation or guild).
Make sure you really think of a few 5 day challenge ideas so you can keep going after the first challenge.
Let us know in the comments below what your favorite 5 day challenge ideas are!