Sunday, 3 January 2016

Week One of "The Challenge"

I was inspired by two lists circulating on Facebook of ways to improve oneself over time. It coincides with a new year, and while I'm not huge on resolutions, it's as good a time as any. The best time to begin anything is always "right now".

Here are the two lists:

I have back-up copies of both in case the pages are removed for any reason.

Now, I'm a great believer in compromise. So I don't think you have to follow these 100% to meet the challenge. But there are also limits to what can be considered taking part. So each week I'm going to blog, hopefully on the preceding Sunday, giving my thoughts on the week's challenge, how it could be adapted, and any other ideas I have. If you find this helpful, here it is. If not, no worries.


Week One, Part One - Getting up earlier.

For many of you a 6am start would be late; people have to get up to get to work, or get kids on an early bus etc. For me 6am just sounds horrific. I'm an early riser in summer, but in winter? 6am is dark and uninviting. So what's the PURPOSE of this week's challenge? It's to give you more time. Maybe some "me time" before everyone else gets up, or less rush for whatever you do have to do. If this involves losing sleep, the idea (I assume) is to go to bed earlier. That's not possible for everyone, but it's one way. Of course, for many, just getting a better night's sleep is all that makes early starts easier. So perhaps that could be your goal. I tell you, I have zero intention of getting up at 6am, but I shall endeavour to get up a little earlier in the spirit of the challenge, to start my day earlier, and therefore fit more in. But I won't feel guilty if I hit the snooze button a couple of times, because I'm a bit of a hedonist. The spirit of the challenge is achievement, and I can do that in other ways.

Week One, Part Two - Writing a Letter

This is such an old fashioned thing to do, and something I haven't done in years. The person who would appreciate it the most is my mother-in-law, so she will be the recipient. Perhaps you have somebody more interesting to write to, in which case you can make it a real work of art. I see this challenge as having several purposes. A random act of kindness, a creative process, and just getting out of a routine. It's different. Do any of us have nice stationery anymore? Well, I'll decorate a sheet of printer paper. If you absolutely don't have anyone to write to, write to yourself. A promise perhaps, or an apology! Or start a diary. Or create a list of your own challenges. In some form, put pen to paper instead of finger to key. The spirit of this challenge is twofold. Creative writing, and a kindness. You can find something that achieves those.

Week One, Part Three - My Personal Challenge

The overall spirit of these challenges is to be a better person, and think outside the box. It's easy to get in a rut, and some people are down so deep they need throwing a rope. It's a combination of physical and mental tasks, because they compliment each other, and it's all positive stuff. Not only will you feel a sense of achievement, but everyone around you will benefit. Win-win. If one day or even one week doesn't work out, don't give up. Catch up. If something is just impossible, there's always an alternative. Just keep trying.

I am adding an extra challenge for myself each week. You can copy mine or think of your own, after all you know best what you need to change in your life. This week I need to sort my books out. It's a long overdue task. I have a lot of books so it will take a week. I shall take everything off the shelf, clean it, and put them back tidily. A few spiders will have to be re-homed.


  1. I know you have no use for FlyLady, but I love her methods and they have helped me. I just ignore the cloying sweet Southern Christian lady bits. That's what it means to be eclectic, right? Take your good where you find it and don't be afraid to pick a pearl out of a heap you would normally not go near. I never went all the way to a control journal, or got around to the deep cleaning. But the mantra that "you can do anything for fifteen minutes" has stayed with me, as has the need to declutter. Years ahead of this Marie who is suddenly all the rage.

  2. Also: why tf do YOU need to fit more in? You do more than twice the load of the average person.