The Benefits of Challenging Yourself

 

Angela-J-FordGuest writer Angela J Ford is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Lifestyle Coach who enjoys inspiring individuals to take action to achieve their ideal lifestyle. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where she enjoys sports and music when not reading and writing. You’re most likely to find her sipping a white chocolate mocha at a local coffee shop, trying out the latest and greatest in technology or working on her next book. Always happy to hear from other she looks forward to meeting from you! Stop by her site or any social media platform to leave her a note! You can read more of her work on her blog.

 

It’s too hard.

I just don’t have the time.

Do you ever find yourself thinking or saying those phrases?

I think we all have a lazy bone inside of us, the desire to stay where it’s comfortable and where things are easy to do.

While we want to learn and grow and stretch ourselves, sometimes it’s easier to just lay out in the sun and read a book. Or even spend a few more minutes playing that video game or watching that TV show than doing actual work.

And if you’ve never been tempted to pass up work for entertainment, bravo!

But that’s the thing about work and play and success. You’ve heard the phrase before: success comes before work only in the dictionary. And it’s true! In order to see success you need to be willing to challenge yourself a bit.

One of my first big challenges was the 30 Day Blog Challenge run by Natalie Sisson, the Suitcase Entrepreneur. Each morning she sent an email with our challenge for the day, and all participants had to respond with a 400-500 word blog.

For some of you writers out there, churning out 500 words every single day doesn’t seem like an issue. For others, it can be hard! For me, it was rough. I was a new blogger and kept my blog posts to a consistency of once a month. Trust me, if you go from blogging monthly to blogging daily, it’s a HUGE change.

Now the only part of the challenge wasn’t that it encouraged participants to write every single day. We had specific items to write about which included creating more freedom and adventure in life. I was able to focus on what creating a lifestyle I loved meant for me and putting together that initial outline in making it happen.

During the challenge there were many who dropped out because of the pressure to blog daily. They were busy with other business challenges, or life just got in the way. But it also goes to show, if you really want something to happen, you need to make it a priority. You have to make time for it.

The top four things I learned from taking the 30 Day Blog Challenge include the following:

If I set my mind to it, I can achieve it.

Writing daily seems like a lot. But after the first few days I got into the groove, and from there turned my monthly blogging updates into weekly blogging updates.

If you want to get somewhere, you need to envision it first.

I’d always thought about my ideal lifestyle, but I’d never painted a picture and wrote it down. I always saw myself traveling and writing, but those floating images turned into concrete details the more I began to write down my vision for my life. It helped to solidify what I actions I needed to take to get there. Instead of being a dream, it turned into a reality.

Build your Platform

I had a blog, hosted on WordPress, but the blogging challenge taught me the importance of not only having a self-hosted site, but also building an email list.

Honestly, I’d heard it before, make sure you have an email list, capture those subscribers. But it went in one ear and out the next. What did I need that for? People can go to my blog when they want to read something, right?

But what if I specifically wanted to tell them something? Or push blog posts to their inbox? Well, I needed an email list for that, and it’s funny, as soon as I started taking subscribers, the activity on my website increased.

Have you set goals for yourself?

Finally, the last thing I learned was to set goals for myself. What do I want to accomplish this week? When will I map out time? Just like we take time out of our day to eat and spend time with those we love, we need to set appointments with ourselves for our goals and put those on a schedule. Challenges are hard. They do take time. But they are worth it.

What are you doing to challenge yourself this week?