5 Easy Ways to Challenge Yourself This Month

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

September is by far one of my favourite months of the year. I see September as a new beginning, after all the craziness during the summer, days and nights spent on terraces, laughing and partying outside, getting the so much desired tan and all the vitamin D for your body needs.

If summer is the season that keeps our body awake, fall is the one keeping our soul and mind awake, at least for me. It is the moment when we start to reflect at different aspects of our living and try to evaluate what needs and can be improved. I usually do in September what I do in January also, reevaluating the goals I have set and see what I can do better.

One thing I have reflected at the beginning of this month were the challenges that I would like to set for the nearest future, challenges that might become a way of living for me. I usually am a lazy person, lazy with respect to changes, I tend to enjoy my comfort zone and do almost nothing to get out of there. Why bothering getting outside my comfort zone you may ask. Well, as lazy I am, as easy I am getting bored by the things I usually do, so, I need to force myself to find something to keep me focused and determined.

Seeing new places, reading books and articles, experimenting new dinner recipes, attending meet-ups I did not use to attend in the past, yes, these are all checked on my to-do’s list. All of these were such nice experiences, but let’s go a bit further, don’t we?

So, here are my thoughts with respect to September challenges list:

start journaling

“Journaling is not for me” you may think and so did I. When I first thought that it might help me having a journal, the second thing it came to my mind was “ok, ok, but what should I write in there? I have nothing worth to be added on a paper and to be read afterwards, doh”. Then I spent some time trying to find out what should I journal about, so that it can bring some value for me. Look, here is an example. I tend to be sometimes a bit too impulsive resulting in actions or words that are not well thought and I think the role of journaling is to increase our self-awareness and helping us processing our emotions.

Also, when you have some goals and you want to see their progress, writing down a few lines of what you managed to accomplish can help you keeping yourself on track. You might want to use a “what went well, what did not go so well, what can I improve” pattern.

Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

So, I would suggest you to buy the prettiest agenda, block notes or grab some papers and start expressing your emotions!

spending awareness

One of my baddest habits was to spend money buying clothes, shoes, bags, make-up, more clothes and more shoes. The rule I trusted in was not letting any month to pass without buying at least one pair of shoes or a new bag. It might sound funny, but it is the truth. Having 10+ bags in my closet was not a well-founded reason to stop me buying another one, just because the new one would be red and I didn’t have a red one in my collection.

I am not talking about cutting the budget, but starting being aware on what I truly need and trying to answer first to the following question “is this a need or a want?”. To help me monitor my spendings, I am now using an app which promises to help me “gain total control of my money” called YNAB. Main benefit so far is that I can clearly see on what I am spending money and how much and I can create predefined budgets for different categories of things. So far so good!

Photo by Rick Tap on Unsplash
privacy and security awareness

Well, this is a sensitive topic and I would highly recommend to all of you to think deeply about the privacy and security of your data. What I did recently was to start using a password manager (LastPass) securely storing my passwords in a single account.

start a photography course

Finally took the decision to follow one of my recent dreams and start exploring my creativity. This would be a real challenge for me as besides taking photos with my iPhone, I know almost nothing about composition, exposure, light, frames, lens or flash.

I know that there are things that you can learn by yourself, but as I said, sometimes I am a bit too lazy to be a self-taught so I prefer to attend a course, where some professionals would mentor us the right way.

read a book and then go to the theatre

At the beginning of the month, I looked over the local theatre schedule and I picked one — One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest which will be played in one of these days in local theatre. So, here is how I challenged myself: knowing that I have never, but never been alone to the theatre, or to see a movie, because I had some preconceptions that is weird to attend alone this kind of events, this would be the perfect moment to experience this. And this not being enough, I challenged myself to also read the book before the play. So, fingers crossed!

As a conclusion, I think no matter if it is September, Monday, it is spring or cloudy outside, it is good for us to step up and set new challenges. Read more books, increase your stretches and squats at your next workout, use the stairs not the elevator for one week, make little surprises to your friends without expecting something instead and the list can continue.

One last thing…

If you liked this article, give it a clap so other people will see it here on Medium.

Oh, and by the way, what inspired you this month?