Seek to make lifestyle changes that will last. Self-improvement and continuous growth should be something we strive for all year long and not just at the beginning of the year. With the new year, comes unique opportunities and challenges aimed at personal growth and improvement. Try one of the following five challenges to have your best year yet!

Further Your Education

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to invest in yourself and education is a great way to do that. Education is an extremely powerful tool which provides limitless opportunities. Work to get your GED or Bachelor’s degree. Or take a few continuing education classes and obtain a certification related to your field. Not only will you achieve one of your own personal goals but you will make yourself much more marketable in the workplace by learning new skills.

With the introduction of personal computers and mobile technology, education is now easier than ever to obtain. Not to mention that there are also many free and low cost options for those on a tight budget. Challenge yourself to take the next step in your educational goals; register for a class or research your options. Get started today!

Run A Marathon

Running a marathon is probably one of the hardest physical endeavors you could ever attempt. It takes strength, stamina, and perseverance. However, maintaining the dedication and discipline necessary to train for a marathon may be just as hard. Sometimes it can be just as difficult making it to race day as it is making it to the finish line. A marathoner is required to not only create an effective training plan for their race but they must also be concerned about things such as nutrition and injury prevention. If a marathon seems out of reach for you, try starting with a 5K or 10K race. Enter a few of those until you begin to feel comfortable as a runner. So get your running shoes on, get out, and start logging some miles!

Improve Your Health

So you may not be ready to run a marathon but who wouldn’t want to be healthier and feel better about themselves? Just about everyone in the world has at least one thing that they can change to improve their health. Some of them may be simple such as cutting back on sugar whereas others may require more of a commitment like giving up smoking. Taking steps to improve your health is probably the single best way to challenge yourself in the new year and for a great reason. Aside from the fantastic physical benefits that improving your health will provide such as lower blood pressure, weight loss, and better muscle tone; there are phenomenal mental benefits as well, including lower stress and increased self-confidence to name a few. Help meet your goals by joining a local gym. Whatever you decide, be sure to commit to the change. It just may be the best thing you have ever done for yourself.

Learn A New Skill

Learning a new skill is a wonderful way to challenge yourself. Practical skills such as sewing, carpentry, and cooking are great to add to your repertoire. Not only can these skills provide a potential source of income for you during difficult times but they can also improve your own quality of life.

Face A Fear

Fear can be a difficult emotion to process. It can cause us to feel panic and think irrationally. But learning to master those emotions is an extremely powerful feeling. What is it that scares you the most? Are you afraid of rollercoasters? Are you afraid of flying? Whatever it is, face it head on. You may not be able to meet this challenge immediately but steadily work towards it. For example, if your fear is of roller coasters you may not want to go and jump on a roller coaster immediately (unless you are feeling extra brave). Instead start by researching roller coasters and learning about them.

Tackling any of these challenges in the coming year will surely put you on the right path for personal growth. Don’t set a resolution, set the life you want and follow your passion!