13 Ways to Challenge Yourself Every Day in 2021

Rachel Sharpe

Challenge yourself to do something different every day. You can push yourself to reach a better path by taking risks others are too afraid to take. Life is all about exploration, experimentation, and becoming who you are meant to be. You have complete control over the direction of your life, no matter what obstacles come your way. In this article, we’ll share what it means to challenge yourself, why you should challenge yourself, and 13 ways to challenge yourself every day in 2021. 

Free meditation appDeclutter The Mind is an app that will teach you how to meditate, help you form the habit of a regular practice, and expand your mind to the teachings of mindfulness.

What does it mean to challenge ourselves?

To challenge ourselves means to grow in new ways. People tend to stick to things they’re good at and find easy, without taking things to the next level. You never know what you’re capable of unless you push yourself to a greater height. Doing something you usually wouldn’t do can allow you to find new interests and hobbies that you enjoy. 

Why should you challenge yourself?

1. Reach your potential

Challenging yourself allows you to reach your potential. No one wants to be average. We all want to believe we’re the best at something or that our lives matter. However, you can’t become the best unless you experiment, challenge yourself, and push yourself to do something new, faster, or harder. Exploring experimentation allows you to find new growth opportunities. Ultimately, we want to live a life where we’ve accomplished something. And when you challenge yourself, you can say, “I’ve become the master of my craft,” and that’s when you’ve reached your potential. 

2. Live life to the fullest

Living life to the fullest allows you to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of your life. Life isn’t all about work. It’s about family, friends, passion, and exploring new opportunities. When you challenge yourself, it means that you’re actually living life. You’re not hiding away from danger or failure. You’re putting yourself out there and taking risks. When you push yourself, you can see what you’re made of and see things about yourself you didn’t know. People who challenge themselves see life from a new perspective. You have this wonderful opportunity to be the person you want to be. So why not just take advantage of it?

3. Strengthen your mind and body

Challenging yourself allows you to strengthen your mind and body. When you go bungee jumping, your brain stops you from making that move right before you jump. A survival instinct that kicks in and says, “this is dangerous; don’t do it.” But then, you have to ignore the screaming brain and do it. And you feel exhilaration. You learn that you’re more powerful than your mind and body. There are so many opportunities in life we don’t take because our brain stops us. And learning how to challenge yourself helps teach you how to ignore it and shut it off. 

challenge yourself

How to challenge yourself every day in 2022

1. Practice meditation

Following a guided meditation on an app like Declutter The Mind is a surefire way to challenge your thoughts. Meditation helps calm the mind by becoming more aware of the thoughts surfacing in your head. If you’d like to challenge yourself further, you can use an unguided meditation timer and take on your thoughts independently. By starting with a guide, you can increase your challenges over time. We began with meditation first because once you’ve been able to take on the mind, every other challenge you face will become more manageable. You can also watch meditation videos on YouTube, like this one-hour meditation below:

2. Read books nightly

With busy days, it can be hard to fit in some reading. Typically, reading in bed can help you fall asleep faster, mainly if you use a backlit e-reader or read a physical book with the light on. With books, you’ll find something on absolutely every topic. So to challenge yourself with reading, read books on topics you know nothing about. Then, read books at higher levels, such as those authored by a Ph.D. You’ll learn so much about topics that interest you but didn’t know much about. Keep in mind that if you have no interest in the topic, you shouldn’t force yourself to read about it. The goal isn’t to make yourself miserable; it’s to encourage you to learn new stuff. There are millions of topics you haven’t explored, but would enjoy learning about, so stick with those first. 

3. Take an online course

Never stop learning after you finish school. To keep your mind sharp, you’ll need to challenge yourself by furthering your education with online or in-person courses. You can learn new languages, how to style your hair, cook meals like a Michelin-star chef, and so much more. The course you take doesn’t need to be educational, such as a history lesson or learning how to start a business. Think about everyday things you do that can polish yourself up a bit. For example, if you’re currently dating, you might take a fashion or makeup course to learn how to present yourself in a positive light. Or, if you’re regularly maintaining your garden, but it’s filled with dead flowers and plants, a gardening course may be helpful. The more you can apply what you learn, the more likely it’ll stick in your mind. 

challenge yourself

4. Start a profitable hobby

One of the ways you can challenge yourself is by starting a hobby that allows you to boost your income. Working a 9 to 5 leaves us feeling like we’re just getting by. However, by investing in a profitable hobby, we can earn more money to do what we love while getting paid. Any hobby can be profitable today, though that wasn’t true historically. Whether you love playing video games, making viral videos, giving people advice, traveling, or decorating, there are limitless hobbies that you can do. Market those skills publicly, and you’ll be able to find an audience who will pay you for it? Is it easy? No, it can take a few years to build it up to the point that you can quit your job. But if you never start, you’ll never get that chance. 

5. Declutter your home 

Decluttering your home is a great way to challenge yourself. Can you survive with less stuff? Will you be able to learn how to sell your stuff online? You can challenge yourself in so many ways simply by reducing the number of possessions in your home. Often, we fill our homes with so much stuff that we rarely use. Challenge yourself to let go of possessions and maybe learn some online sales skills in the process. 

push yourself to let go

6. Go to bed earlier

You’ll often hear recommendations to wake up earlier in the morning. However, you need eight hours of sleep to have a fully-functioning brain. So, rather than challenging yourself to wake up earlier, challenge yourself to go to bed earlier. If you sleep earlier, you’ll likely wake up earlier and well-rested. Often, we stay up late to feel like we have downtime during the workweek. Then, we end up feeling exhausted the next day. Getting ready to wind down at 9 p.m. is a good way to fall asleep earlier. You can read a book for an hour in bed to allow your body to rest. Falling asleep by 11 p.m. makes it easier for you to wake up on time for work the next day while still feeling rested. 

7. Aim for 10,000 steps a day

Walking less than 4,200 steps a day is considered sedentary. It’s the number of steps people often take if they work from home and don’t exercise. However, active people take at least 7,000 steps a day. To challenge yourself, try taking 10,000 steps every day. Doing it occasionally can be an easy feat, particularly on weekends. However, if you’re able to walk 10,000 steps a day, you’ll have to move around all day long, such as before work, during your lunch break, and after work. Putting the focus on your physical activity benefits you in so many ways. All it takes is that first step. 

walk 10,000 steps

8. Climb 30 floors a day

The average person climbs four to five flights of stairs a day, which is not a lot. Challenge yourself to climb at least 30 floors a day. You don’t need to do that all at once. However, in your home, condo, or apartment building, choose to use the stairs regularly. You can challenge yourself by forcing yourself to climb stairs to use the bathroom instead of using the bathroom on the same floor. That will help you increase the number of flights you do a day. You can also run up and down stairs during lunch breaks to get some intensive movement going. If 30 seems like an easy feat for you, challenge yourself to climb 100 or 200– but remember that’s per day.

9. Improve your marriage

It’s so easy to neglect your marriage or file for divorce when things get stale. As long as you’re not in an abusive relationship, working on your marriage is something worthwhile. People can get into unhealthy routines. The next time you interact with your partner, ask them what their needs are. And if they say something like, “I need some help cleaning this place.” You can immediately get up and start cleaning the home. Or if you’ve noticed you two haven’t had any romanticism in your relationship for a while, surprise them with a gift, such as flowers, a vacation, even a candlelit dinner at home. 

challenge yourself to love

10. Get out of debt 

Managing your finances is an important way to challenge yourself. Being stuck living paycheck to paycheck not only adds financial strain but emotional stress as well. Paying off credit cards, mortgages, and student loans can allow you to live financially free or even retire earlier to live life on your own terms. To get out of debt, often you’ll need to work more than one job. Having a full-time job and a part-time job can allow you to add more money to pay down debts while still covering your main expenses. You can also spend less money on nice-to-haves if you tend to overshop. Creating a budget will also help you manage your finances better. 

11. Ask for feedback

No one likes hearing negative comments or feedback about themselves. However, it’s hard to grow when you don’t realize what it is that’s holding you back. So, challenge yourself to ask for feedback from friends, family, coworkers, and even your mortal enemies. By learning everything you can about your weaknesses, you can push yourself forward in a better direction. You can learn so much from loved ones about your mistakes and bad habits. You can develop good habits that make you a kinder, stronger, and better person with the feedback you get. 

ask for feedback

12. Do a task in a different style

People are creatures of habit who tend to choose the same meal at the same restaurant. People tend to avoid going outside their comfort zone. However, to challenge yourself, you need to pick it up a notch. If you do something in the same style, try to break that habit by doing it differently. For example, if you were a writer, you might write in a different style or invent a new format for your content or write in a different category. Take a look at someone like Taylor Swift, who constantly changed her sound from country to pop to indie. These changes allow her to grow while still doing what she loves. Consider a challenge like that for yourself. 

13. Meet new people

It can be easy to meet new people in school, particularly in universities and colleges with so many people. However, in adulthood, after school is over, the number of people we meet reduces to our workplace. Challenge yourself to meet someone new every week. You might strike up a conversation at a grocery store, talk to a stranger during a walk, join a club, or volunteer for an organization. The opportunities to meet people are endless. Allow yourself to meet people to learn new perspectives, strengthen your social networks, and develop social skills. There are so many benefits from having an extensive social network that you engage with regularly. So challenge yourself to meet new people

meet new people

Conclusion

The number of ways you can challenge yourself is infinite. You can use this list as a starting point or even create your own list of ways to push yourself to become better. The goal is to bring yourself up to a new version update. Our phones are updated with the latest technology and features all the time; you should also be constantly growing with new habits, attitudes, and personality traits. So, what’s the upgraded version of yourself going to look like?

More great articles

Anxiety Exercises: 15 Things You Can Do to Lower Anxiety

When you feel anxious about a situation or face a trigger unexpectedly, how do you react? Do you feel yourself…

Read Story

100+ Maya Angelou Quotes That’ll Make You a Better Person

Maya Angelou quotes can help you gain insight into the marvelous woman she was. Her kindness, honesty, and mature insight…

Read Story

125+ Positive Quotes To Turn Your Bad Day Around

Positive quotes can help turn that frown upside down. Whether you’re looking for an instant pick-me-up or a quote about…

Read Story

Enjoyed what you've read?

Get meditation, mindfulness, and self-improvement content in your inbox.

    Only great content, we don’t share your email with third parties.

    Arrow-up
    Live Mindfully

    Subscribe and get FREE meditation, mindfulness, and self-improvement content in your inbox, twice a week.