New Years Resolutions are a tricky thing–most people make them
even if they are not written down, but a majority of the population
abandons their resolutions after the first week. How crazy is that?
People can only keep “self promises” for a week. I do this
especially…plan to eat healthy but then after a week I miss ice cream
and quickly recede back into bad habits.
I have thought about this and
trying to do a hard task for an entire year is mentally daunting. So why try and do a year challenge when you could do a
bunch of easy and fun weekly challenges? More than that, isn’t New Years
Resolutions about being the best version of yourself and having fun
doing it? That’s where my idea began. Things that I wanted to do, but
would be too hard to continue doing. Or things I wanted to try but never
had enough motivation.
So this year my New Years Resolution is not a
scary list of things I need to do all the time, but instead are
just weekly challenges. I encourage you to read over the weeks, save
them, and try to do as many as you can.
These challenges vary on
difficulty, but all promote self-discovery, kindness, fun, and the YOU
that you’ve always wanted to be.
1. Early Week
Wake up early all 7 days of that week. Try and watch the sunrise and just breathe. Enjoy your morning. Whether you are making breakfast for yourself or finishing work you didn’t do the night before. Remember, the hardest days are the second and third! Early Bird Gets the Worm!
2. Natural Beauty Week
“Natural Beauty” can mean a lot of things
do a lot of different people. It can mean: you go take a hike, go to the
zoo, watch sunsets or sunrises. It can also mean not wearing makeup or
trying to show your inner beauty and being your best self that week. I
encourage you to try and see what the words “natural beauty” mean to you
and perform this challenge.
3. Game Week
End each day by playing a game. Yes you can do this easily on your phone, but I challenge you to find a game you can play with other people. Play cards with your family or get Monopoly out with your friends and ruin your friendships(just kidding). Just play and have fun.
4. Favorite Color Week
Try each day to wear something of your favorite color…it can be your t-shirt, your jacket, a bracelet, your socks. Anything. Just wear the color that makes you happiest for 7 whole days.
5. Compliment Week
By now you should be up to/near Valentines Day…this is the perfect opportunity to share your love and joy with other people. The challenge is to give 5 compliments EACH DAY and mean them. Compliment that random lady on the street with the blue jacket you like, compliment that kids sweet shoes. Small random things like that can have huge impact on someones day. Share the love:)
6. Music Week
Your challenge this week is to listen to at least 30 minutes of music each day. I am personally going to attempt to listen to a different genre each day. Rock and Roll, Latin/Salsa, Popular Hits, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Classical, and end the week with whatever I like the best. I think its important to listen to music we like and to reach out and try new genres. So often I find that we tend to dig in with our “type” of music and refuse to branch out and try anything new. Well, here’s your chance to see what you like listening to.
7. Horoscope Week
Read your horoscope for each day. They are usually completely ridiculous and so vague that they are “scary accurate.” If you wanted, at the end of the week you could try a psychic reading…giving a fake one or going to a real one.
8. No News Week
This challenge is harder than it appears…you can’t read the news, watch it on TV or look at it on social media. All too often the news plays up all the horrible things in the world and then does silly lighthearted stories to make it up. Go without news for one whole week and see what happens.
9. Meditation Week
All you have to do is spend 10 minutes every day meditating and 10 minutes doing yoga. The most relaxing and easy 20 minutes ever. Trust me, doing this once a day for a whole week will make a huge difference.
10. Wonderful Week
When someone asks you how you are, instead of saying
“good”, “fine”, “okay”, or “tired”, you have to use a happy descriptive adjective
such as “Wonderful” or “Fabulous” or “Awesome”. I have learned the more you answer with a word such as “tired” the more actually tired you become. If you answer with a happy descriptive word like “Amazing”, you are more likely to feel amazing too. Try it!
11. Clean Week
Happy Spring Cleaning! This weeks challenge is to clean 7 different areas (like your car, a bookcase, your fridge, your room, your backpack/bag). Just 7 small areas. That’s it.
12. Fruits and Veggies Week
This is definitely a tougher challenge…you have to eat fruits and veggies at every meal. Unfortunately for me, that means no Nutella toast for breakfast. I want to try and live a healthier lifestyle and this is a good place to start. More healthy foods should make one’s whole body feel better.
13. Note Week
Write and leave nice notes on cars, in your favorite library book, on someones locker/desk, or even in a
bottle and throw it into the ocean. Just put some nice words into the
universe. With Easter here, its important to put some love in “Easter egg” like notes.
14. Dressy Week
This is a week I am looking forward to a lot because when I dress up, even when I’m not going out, I feel powerful and get a lot of work done. The goal is to dress up and look nice every day of this week…this boosts confidence and makes you feel like you can take on the world. Although it might cost a few extra minutes in the morning, it might help you feel more prepared for your week than sweatpants.
15. Donation Week
Go through your house and find 7 items to donate to good will(this can be anything–clothes, toys, cans of food). Just a simple one item a day donation could even lead you to find other things you want to donate!
16. Cold Shower Week
I love hot showers, so this will definitely be a difficult challenge for me. Cold showers are supposed to be better for your skin and hair though…just keep in mind flawless beautiful Pantene hair as you suffer through the cold showers.
17. Inspiration Week
Watch a TED talk each day or write a quote of the day somewhere or figure out who inspires you. With Finals nearing, it is important to get inspired and stay motivated. I find that TED talks are highly motivational and educational as well as something as simple as changing your phone background to an inspirational quote can really help get you through the day so you see it all the time.
18. Fitness Week
What better way to cut down on stress than a little exercise? This challenge was two parts to it. First Part: Work yourself up to 25 pushups throughout the week(5 the first day, 10 the next, and so on till the 7th day is 35) and working yourself up to 70 sit-ups(start with 10 the first day, 20 the second, and by the last day you should do 70 sit-ups). Second Part: 1 ADDITIONAL HOUR of exercise. (It can be walking or running on a treadmill, swimming, or anything else you want.) Best of luck and have fun!
19. Self-Affirmation Week
Self-image is very important…its a thing we always think about, but rarely do anything about. This week the challenge is to only think positive things about yourself. Every time you look in the mirror you should think “Wow, I am beautiful just being me” Write positive things on your hand or in your planner or on your fridge. Say things to yourself like “You got this” and “You rock. Keep up the great work” and “Its truly is amazing that you made it through the day. I am proud of you.” Mean every single one. Its very important.
20. Family Week
Treat your family by taking them out to dinner or ice cream. Do something that they want to do. Spend time with them and most importantly, tell them how much you care.
21. Chopstick Week
This is a fun silly challenge….you should try to eat everything with chopsticks. I MEAN EVERYTHING!!!
22. Color Week
Put some color in your life and everyone else’s. Get out your creative side and pull out your coloring supplies. Color on Sidewalks! Books! Your hair! Pop some color on everything, everywhere! The sky is the limit!
23. Late Week
So we already had early week, but now its the opposite: sleep in late and stay up late. Enjoy that extra snooze in the morning and use that time at night to recharge or do more fun things.
24. Ride Week
Take the car and go for drives. You don’t have to have a destination in mind…then on the weekend take a little trip or go to an amusement park for some Thrill Rides.
25. Water Week
The challenge for this week is to drink only water and a lot of it! Its easier said than done, but if you can learn to like the taste of water, you should be golden. The second part of this challenge is to try and go to the pool at least once. I am going to try to swim as much as I can.
26. Christmas in July Week
The Christmas Spirit is a contagious joy that spreads only in the holiday season. Why not start that during Santa’s off-season as well? Get a small gift for your friends or family, have some hot-chocolate and ham, sing Christmas carols and spread joy to everyone you talk to. Even put up a tree and some decor if it helps you get more in the mood. It gives you one more use for those decorations and that ugly holiday sweater you love. Plus, Santa hats in bathing suits make for a really cute picture.
27. Book Week
With Summer, comes Summer Reading and the challenge for this week is to read one book each day(for a total of 7). Now, you can spend time re-reading your favorites, reading classics you have always wanted to read but never got around to, or just reading a Dr. Seuss book to get the challenge done and a laugh while doing it. You can read a comic book, or a poetry book…Just Read!!!
28. Tourist Week
Go around your city or nearby city acting like a complete tourist and taking artsy pictures. Do all the dumb funny things you see tourists do and dress up in your best Hawaiian or “I <3 NY” shirt. This summer I got to do a “Tourist Day” with my friends in Ocean City, Maryland and we wore ridiculous bucket hats and other funny things. We spent money on over-fried food and had an absolute blast. If you’ve never done a “Tourist Day” I highly recommend it. Its one of the most fun things you will do all year.
29. Movie Week
Watch a movie from a different genre each night(action, comedy, romance, drama, musical, foreign) and then end with a drive in movie or one in the theaters. This is a great challenge to go out of your comfort zone to watch things you might not even like. You can starting knocking down the AFI list(100 Greatest Movies).
30. Park Week
Visit 7 parks in 7 days. Just go throw a Frisbee or walk around a trail then leave. It’s easy. Here’s your chance to go take pictures of that pretty tree at the park you pass everyday to work.
31. Adventure Week
This challenge is important to those who are easily talked out of doing crazy, fun things. So this weeks challenge is to do something fun, something fearless (Go Geocaching–a worldwide treasure hunt, go camping in your backyard, go explore a cave near you….here’s a fun one….go test drive a fancy car without intention to buy). Do something you wouldn’t do. Have an adventure–get away for the weekend–just something that will embody the adventures spirit.
32. Beach Week
For those who live near the beach, go to a different beach each day…and for those who don’t….make your own beach. Go to the pool with a bunch of toys or a local water park, lather up in sunscreen, and have an outdoor picnic. Be sure to take lots of photos!
33. Unplug Week
This may be the most difficult challenge yet. Can you do it? Are you brave enough to try? No Netflix, no phone, no computer. Leave your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and the only thing you can do on your phone is make emergency calls/work calls. No fun-browsing or social media. See what happens….can you break the addiction you didn’t know you had?(I think this will be very fun, but also really annoying) Try and spend your “browsing” time doing something else like reading, exercise etc…
34. Writer Week
The challenge for this week is to write a short story every day for the week(7). It can be a paragraph long or 10 pages. Or, if you’re not into short stories, try 7 poems. They can be about anything and there is no length minimum or maximum. So get those creative juices flowing and put that pencil to paper. Write away.
35. Try New Foods Week
Go to your local grocery store and pick out 7 different
foods you’ve always wanted to try but were too scared. Try one each
day. Who knows? You could have a new favorite(or least favorite) food! (I am going to try random fruits like dragon fruit because it has a cool name).
36. Pointless YouTube Challenge Week
Pick a random YouTube Challenge (ASL ice bucket, Blindfolded drawing, baby food challenge etc…) and just have fun doing something totally fun and pointless. I also TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU to take a video, post it online, and tag me, so I can see it:)(NOTE: the dare has nothing to do withe the 50 week New Years Challenge….I just like watching funny, pointless videos).
37. Selfie Week
This may seem like a strange challenge, but seeing how its Pumpkin Spice Latte Season, its the perfect time to act like a “stereotypical white girl” by taking selfies with no shame. Your challenge is to take 10 selfies a day without shame. You are not allowed to delete them or edit them in any way. You have to take all 10, no matter how bad you may think you look at the time. I promise you look beautiful/handsome.
38. Black and White Week
This is a fun, creative challenge….for this week black and white are your colors. You can only wear B&W. Additional things you can do to embrace this challenge is watch a black and white movie (Citizen Kane is great) and only take photos in black and white.
39. Sing in the Shower Week
Need a way to get over the mid-semester blues? How about singing at the top of your lungs in the shower. Bring your phone, put on your favorite playlist and jam with no shame. I love singing in the shower(in fact I am pretty sure I reenact entire musicals in the shower). Just sing in the shower and just live in that moment.
40. Chef Week
Cook or bake something everyday whether it be cookies or steak. Just spend some time in the kitchen and try and make Gordon Ramsey proud.
41. Thankful Week
Contact one person each day(total 7 people) and
tell them how thankful you are for them. It can be your parent(Thanks Parents), your
best friends(love you guys), or even your second grade teacher who inspired you (Thank
you Miss. Glass).
42. Creatives Week
This week you should do one super creative thing each day (paint something, draw/doodle something, tie dye, oragami, sew) The world is your oyster!
43. TREAT YO SELF WEEK
If You have ever watched Parks and Recreation, you know exactly what this means. If not, it means that after a year of working hard and taking care of business you deserve a week where you can relax and “Treat Yo Self”. You can buy that thing you’ve been eyeing, get your nails done, purchase that giant cookie cake and eat it all by yourself. Treating yourself goes deeper than this too…its making sure you’re mental health is accounted for and that you are happy. Taking some time to say no to other people and Yes to yourself can be a huge help to anxiety, stress, and having good mental health. TREAT YO SELF
44. Stop and Stare Week
Spend time looking around at the nature near you. No
phone no camera. Just spend some time to sit and enjoy. Stop, Stare, Listen, Think. It can last for 5 minutes or an hour…you only have to do this once as long as you think the rest of the week about How lucky you are to be alive right now and how truly beautiful earth is to just exist.
45. Smile Week
This week’s challenge involves brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing at least once a
day, and trying to smile as often as you can. Smile at random people. Smile at
babies and dogs. At your family. Show off those pearly whites everywhere you go:)
46. Letter Week
Choose 7 friends to write 7 completely hand-written letters to. Not only are letters really fun to receive, but its a great excuse to mail your friends presents as we enter the holiday season.
47. Laugh Week
The challenge for this week is very easy….look up a corny joke each day and go around telling it. Tell it to your pastor, your teacher, your friend’s mom, your coworkers. Just spread some laughs and some holiday cheer.
48. Alphabet Week
This is a photography challenge…a giant scavenger hunt. You have 7 days to take photos of things as you go through the alphabet. (for instance, for A you might take a picture of an apple, B, a balloon, C, a cat….you continue down the alphabet until you have all 26 letter. Additional rules are if you see a letter in a sign, it counts). The main rule of the Alphabet Tour is that you MUST go in order of the alphabet(start with A, end with Z). This is a great opportunity to hang out with friends or family and drive around your city to places you haven’t been for a fun game.
49. Catch-Up Week
This one is a necessity…its too easy to go throughout your day, your life, scrolling through friends posts, and not actually talking to them. Not checking in. Call, text, email, message 7 old friends you haven’t talked to in a while and see how they are. Get together for coffee and catch-up on all the things you’ve missed since the last time you talked. See what happens!
Plan for next year. New year new you. You can be whoever you
want, do whatever you want, as long as you put your mind to it. If You liked these 50 One-Week Challenges…do it again or make your own. Make it harder…make them two week challenges. Remember, things like this start with just the first day.
Silly and fun, deep and meaningful, helpful and encouraging, these challenges can replace your “New Years Goal/Resolutions” all while advocating self-discovery, fun, kindness, and above all, being the YOU you’ve always wanted to be.