The 2020 New Year’s (Resolution) Challenge

Every year it’s the same thing. We promise to be better, we promise that we will change. And every year, so many goals and promises perish on the new year’s battlefield. But, who says that this has to continue? Come on; we are entering a new decennium on a leap year. That should spark enough excitement to get you off the couch and if that doesn’t do it for you then at least lean in to hear what kind of challenge I have in store for you. Let’s adopt a new routine, wrapped in a fun challenge.

Resolutions

Before I get into the challenge, I want to say something about resolutions. Particularly, what makes the New Year’s resolution so appealing. Is it the promise of a new beginning? A fresh start and a new opportunity to try again? For my fellow gamers, it’s like finding an extra life. It gives you just a little more breathing room and best of all, another chance.

Coming up with resolutions can be so gratifying because it makes you all giddy with anticipation for what can be. Let’s be honest though, for most of us, New Year’s Resolutions are like the sparklers we light up on the day of. They burn bright and then shortly after fizzle out. So too do our resolutions feel like little sparks of enlightenment entering the new year with us, only to fizzle out after a couple of weeks. Setting these resolutions is really only half the work. Keeping them, now therein lies the true work. If you are hell bent on sticking to your resolutions read about what you can do to keep your resolutions.

Bring on the challenge!

If however, you thought never mind those resolutions, I can’t seem to keep them anyway, then listen up. Similarly, if you just enjoy a good challenge then that’s good enough for me as well. The 2020 Resolution Challenge is simple, choose a word that will represent this year for you. Then from that moment on, everything you do should be with this word in mind. Your challenge word. A whole year dedicated to tackling your challenge word.

What do you need?

  • A [challenge word] journal: Find/buy a notebook. It does not have to be new all that matter is that you have a place to write down your wins and improvement points. In case you are wondering why not losses? There are no losses here, as long as we are trying! And when we’re trying we speak of improvement points instead.
  • A fellow challenger/friend (optional): Simply because it can be nice to do things together. Plus, it can increase accountability.
  • A can-do attitude and the motivation to incorporate this word into your life for at least a year.

How do you play?

Great! Happy to hear your game for this challenge. Here is how you can be a part of the fun:

  1. First things first, choose your challenge word. It can be as broad or as specific as you want it to be. Some examples are: Self-love, kindness, appreciation, patience, etc.
  2. Get a [challenge word] journal to record your ‘Wins’ and ‘Improvement Points’.
  3. Try to record soon after a win or improvement point occurs. This way you won’t miss anything.
  4. Reflect on a weekly basis by checking your journal. You should aim to have at least two wins and 1 improvement point.
  5. Then on a monthly basis check your progress and celebrate your wins. Pick two improvement points that you wish to carry over to the next month and focus on turning them into wins.

My word is DISCIPLINE, what is yours?

In case you’re still scratching your head, let me give you an example of how I’ve gone about it. I choose to focus on ‘Discipline’ this year because I believe that even though it is a tough skill to master it is the foundation for many great habits in life. I believe that in the face of a lack of motivation, I should be able to fall back on discipline.

I claimed a nice unused journal that I had lying around, and made it my Discpline journal. On a weekly basis I take note of my wins and improvement points in here. A recent win has been my 30 minute a day language practice. An improvement point I’ve noted is my consistency with this blog (hehehe).

Recently, to mark the end of the first month, I celebrated my success with the daily language moments, amongst other wins. As for my main improvement point, I’m focusing on my blog and trying to be more consistent. So in order to ensure that I can turn it into a win this month I’ve created a plan for myself to help make it easier for me to meet my goal.

Good luck to all who decide to give this challenge a go. Remember, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain!

Takeaways

I challenge you to pick a word for 2020, a defining word that will set the tone for everything you do for the rest of this year. Each day you wake up and you proactively work towards making your challenge word as much a part of you as possible.

If all goes well and you successfully stick to this challenge, towards the end of the year this word is sure to be a part of you. That is the goal after all, to turn the routine of applying your challenge word into a habit.


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“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory “

— George S. Patton

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