The Best Yearly Challenges to Jumpstart Your New Year

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Yearly challenges will help keep your motivation high for undergoing positive growth each and every year. If you are new to the concept of a yearly challenge, they are a little bit different from a New Year’s Resolution in that New Year’s Resolutions typically revolve around starting or stopping a habit. Yearly challenges or even monthly challenges aim to help you develop skillsets over time to reach your challenge goal.

Basically, they involve much more infrastructure and support. So if your goal is to loose weight, you aren’t just going to give up cookies for the rest of the year and call it a day (which is pretty hard for most people); you’ll probably experience the most change and growth in learning about your body, talking with (functional/integrative medicine) doctors and coaches, reading books about the topic, and trying things you haven’t done before. In short, you will reach your comfort zone and step outside of it.

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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding on Your Yearly Challenge

You may already have an idea in mind for what your yearly challenge will be for the coming year. But, then again, maybe you haven’t give it much thought or get so busy with life that your never get around to actually starting because you haven’t formulated your strategy to carry it out.

So here are some questions to ask yourself about what would be a beneficial, inspiring and life changing challenge you could do over the course of a year:

  • What are some daily challenges you face?
  • What should you be doing every day for a year? That is, what do you know you want to do but can’t seem to get around to doing it?
  • What would be fun to do for 30 days?
  • Who else that you know faces these same challenges?
  • What haven’t you done to address your challenge area, if you have tried to address it before? If you think you’ve tried everything, have you consulted with experts in the field either through their books or through an actual consult?
  • How will you life be different if you don’t take action to reach this challenge area?

How do you Build Your Challenge Routine?

Heard of SMART Goals? If not, building goals to reach your yearly challenge is a smart way (pun intended) to do it.

SMART goals stand for:

  • Specific – A specific goal is well-defined. There is no ambiguity if you meet your goal or not.
  • Measurable – A goal is measurable when you can measure progress.
  • Achievable – The challenge goal is possible to achieve.
  • Realistic – The challenge goal is not only possible to achieve but makes sense given your life now or where you want to go next.
  • Timely – The goal is able to be measured over time, with benchmarks at every step of the way. There is a sense of urgency to meet your stated goals.

Say you want to become a better person in the new year – that would be a very vague statement and it would be hard to quantify progress and change. It would be better to say that you desire to be a person of integrity and do what you say you will do. Now you have a litmus for hitting your stated challenge. You can make note of what you say to others and if you follow through. You can read books about internal leadership and find a mentor to help you make changes and see where you aren’t living up to your desires.

Keep reading to learn about some of the best yearly challenge ideas you may want to think about trying.

A Yearly Challenge to Change Your Life – Ideas

Here are a few ideas that might give you just the inspiration you need to make up a challenge goal for the year that works for you:

Health Challenge Goals

  • Learn how to improve your chronic health symptoms
  • Read about what others with your symptoms have done
  • Consult with knowledgeable health care practitioners
  • Decide to do an elimination diet if certain foods trigger your issues
  • Meditate daily or learn how (could be a challenge in itself!)

Relationship Challenge Goals

  • Strengthen your relationship with your partner
  • Be a team player at work
  • Focus on strengthening your friendship with a specific person or build a new friendship
  • Learn how to be in relationship with a specific community you are a part of

Personal Character and Virtue Challenge Goals

  • Grow in integrity as a person
  • Learn how to develop others into leaders
  • Learn how to be humble or how to persevere in difficult situations

Skill-Based Challenge Goals

  • Learn a new language
  • Learn how to play a musical instrument
  • Learn how to garden and grow xyz
  • Start a web-based business

Business-based Challenge Goals

  • Become an expert in your industry and achieve a certain certification
  • Develop a website where you teach others what you are an expert in
  • Start a side-hustle and grow a business

Now, once you have your overall goal, start by making actionable statements that will help you measure if this is a SMART goal and how to make it into a SMART goal.

Another way to break down a Yearly Challenge is by creating 30 Day Monthly Challenges.

30 Day Monthly Spurts

To create a 30 Day Monthly Challenge that is a part of your Yearly Challenge, you can pick a focus area just for that month. It will differ depending upon what type of goal you have. Your goals may even change a little bit as start along. The important thing is to keep making goals and show progress for yourself.

Here is an example.

Perhaps your goal is to learn an art medium. (A lot of people could benefit from yearly art challenges, even those who think they don’t have a design sense because it can be a good outlet for creativity.) Maybe you also want to be able to display your work in a community design competition or even begin a freelance side-hustle?

Goal: Learn how to do graphic design.

Monthly Challenge Goal Ideas:

  • Spend 30 days researching the best design software so you become familiar with all of the programs out there.
  • Pick a design software program and spend 30 days making 30 different looking designs.
  • Spend 30 days meeting with those in the graphic arts community and learn about important skills, or join a designers professional development group and learn about the careers or backgrounds of the people you meet.
  • Volunteer freelance and spend 30 – 90 days working on various projects for non-profits or start-ups and learn from the feedback.
  • Do continuing education or certification programs in graphic design (depending upon the length of time the course took, that would be your measurable).

There are several ways to approach this. The important thing is to spend some time every day or week working towards your goal. Over the course of a year, you will have gained a measurable achievement that will change your life.

Do you want to start a yearly challenge but are afraid of forgetting about it over time or when you’re busy?

You may want to consider this 5-Minute Journal if you hate to journal or don’t have time. Hundreds of thousands of people have begun to change their life by using this handy and securely bound journal.

It’s a simple way to start different practices, including a yearly challenge as it includes a place to jot down your steps to reach your goals.


Pick a yearly challenge goal yet? Let us know in the comments section!

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