As we wrap up 2016, many of us look into 2017 and consider what types of changes we’d like to make. I don’t want to talk about flimsy New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I want to present a weekly challenge. This is something that I’ve found real results with over the years. And here’s the fun part about this challenge, YOU decide what your weekly challenge will be.
If you’re anything like me, there are several areas that you’d like to see some changes in. I’ve created a list of ideas, but I would recommend that you only choose one, or two at the most. The more changes you attempt to make at once, the less likely you are to stick with any of them. If you want to take on more than one challenge, consider waiting two months before adding the next challenge.
Here’s how this works:
Instead of trying to alter every day, this weekly challenge is set up so that you only have to do it ONCE a week. This gives you more flexibility and hopefully, less burnout.
I recommend keeping a journal for your weekly challenge. This may sound weird, but I think you’ll come to appreciate it down the road. A journal will help you remember what you’ve done as well as helping you to see at a glance how far you’ve come this year. Sometimes we forget about the progress we’ve made but the journal will be like your sash full of badges or your sticker chart. Seeing what we’ve done helps to motivate us when we consider giving up.
Memorize Scripture: Pick 1 new verse every week of the year to memorize. Write down in your journal which verse you’re working on each week.
Read a Book: For those that desire to read more, turn off the tv and commit to reading 1 book every week. Jot down your books in your journal with the date or keep up with them on a specific shelf on Goodreads.
Take a Walk: This may sound silly, but if you’re like me and spend 90% of your time indoors, making an effort to step outside for some fresh air and a quick walk once a week may do wonders for your attitude, spiritual development, and creative mindset. You can jot down your location, time, and/or weather for your walk in your journal.
Read a Book of the Bible: If you struggle with daily Bible reading, consider taking on the challenge of finishing a whole book of the Bible each week. Make sure to write down the books you finish in your journal for accountability.
Visit the Gym: Maybe you haven’t made the habit of regular gym visits. But challenging yourself to visiting at least once a week will get you off to a good start. Write down the time you spent and what you did at the gym in your journal.
Craft: So many craft ideas and so little time!..at least that was the story before you challenged yourself to crafting something new for every week of the whole year. If your craft takes more than one week, it’s not a problem. Pick it up again the following week. The key is that you’re finally doing all the fun crafts that you’ve dreamed about. Don’t forget to jot down what you worked on each week in your journal.
Watch a movie: For some of us avid readers, we never get around to turning the tv on. I know people say that it’ll rot your brain out. But for me, I’ve found that a little downtime in front of the tube helps to renew my creative mind. And I happen to have a stack of favorite movies that I never make time for and a few tv shows on Netflix that I could indulge in. Keep track of your tube-time adventures with your journal.
Declutter or Deep Clean: Again, it can be difficult to get to everything on a daily basis. But adding 1 small job to your list once a week is much more doable. Unless you plan to kick your family out of the house for the year, you’re likely to forget what you’ve cleaned by June so make a quick note of it each week in your journal. Just flipping through your journal in July will leave you feeling accomplished.
Shoe Box: If you participate in the Christmas Shoe Boxes each year consider upping your game next year by purchasing goodies to fill one shoe box every week. You’ll have so many to turn in and bless so many more children at the end of the year. Since you’ll be collecting boxes, you may not need a journal entry on this one. 😉
Attend Church: If you’ve been lax in church attendance and hoping to change that, consider challenging yourself to attend at least one of the services every single week of 2017. You can write down the time of the service, date, and scripture preached in your journal. If you’re still looking for a church home and expect to visit more than one, don’t forget to document where you attended.
Visit/Lunch with a Friend: Busy schedules keep even the best of friends far apart. If you’d like to make more personal connections this year, consider challenging yourself to visit or meet a friend for lunch. Doesn’t have to be the same person. You could make a list of people you’d like to spend more time with and work down your list. It’ll be loads of fun. You can document who and where each week in your journal.
Color: With the coloring fad in full swing, you might have an abundance of coloring books on hand and yet little progress in any of them. If this is your story, consider challenging yourself to complee one new picture each week. You could date your pictures on the bottom or jot down what book and page number in a journal.
Visit the Elderly: Are you hoping to spread the cheer in 2017? Consider visiting someone in the nursing home or a local shut-in at least once a week. And don’t worry if you don’t know any. Just drop by the nursing home with a smile and see who you can meet or ask someone at the desk to point you to a person who doesn’t receive visitors. If snacks are appropriate for their diet, bring some when able. You can also check in with your church. They likely have a list of members who haven’t been able to get out or know someone who doesn’t. Being sick may keep you away at times so stock up on greeting cards for those weeks when you are forced to stay away. And don’t forget to document who you spent your time with each week in your journal.
Send a Note: Maybe you have a list of people you’d like to spend more time with but distance is an issue. Challenge yourself to send at least 1 email, card, or phone call to someone on your list each week. Make note of who and how in your journal.
Volunteer: Could your child’s teacher use a hand? How about another local organization? What about a single parent that could use a hand? Or parents that need a babysitter so they can get out? How about sending baked goods to your EMS, police department, ER, school office, child’s teacher, church office, pastor, or fire department? Do you know an elderly person who could use a hand with housework or yard work? If you’re hoping to offer more of yourself next year, challenge yourself to volunteer at least once a week. Make note of where and how long each week in your journal.
Try a New Recipe: Do you have a collection of cookbooks on hand? Or countless pins, links, and emails with recipes that you promised yourself you’d try and haven’t? Challenge yourself to trying at least 1 new recipe each week. Make note of the recipe, your thoughts on it, and where you found the recipe in your journal.
*I’ve actually done this one in the past and kept it up for well over a year. I feel like it’s time to start this one again so I’ll be working on this one in 2017 AND I’ll be blogging about it here! I’ve decided to title it, Fiction Diner. I’ll not only share the recipe that I chose but also my thoughts on it and one of my favorite quotes from a book I’ve read.
I’d love to hear from you! Where you inspired by any of the challenges listed here? Have something different you’d like to focus on?