The second half of my list of life changing challenges for 2017 (part one can be found here) offers a few suggestions that are slightly less adventurous or sporting, and more about you and your personal wellbeing. Combining one or more of these ideas with one of the more exercise driven challenges mentioned previously and you’ll be a super human by the end of the year!

Seventeen Life Changing Challenges for 2017 – Part Two

9. Meditate for ten minutes every day

How often do you take a few moments to yourself? I am told that by taking a few minutes to stop and concentrate on nothing other than being alive can work wonders. Whether you actually meditate, practice mindfulness, pray, or simply sit still and watch the world go by while drinking a cup of tea, promise yourself ten minutes of quietness every day this year and see what difference that makes to your soul. Ten minutes. That’s nothing, right?!

10. Save your £2 coins

Each time you receive a £2 coin in change between now and the end of 2017, put it in a tin or jar or money box and leave it there. At the end of the year open up your jar and use the money on a nice treat for yourself. I’ve been doing this for years now, pretty much ever since the £2 coin was introduced, and each year I enjoy the moment when I can open my money box and count my haul. Some years, like this year, it’s just enough for a lunch out. Other years it’s enough for an item I’ve been wanting for a while – my £2 savings have bought me a Cambridge Satchel Co bag and my The North Face down vest. It’s a super easy thing to do and you will definitely thank yourself at the end of the year.

11. Try a new (healthy) recipe every week

Brush convenience or super calorie filled food aside at least once a week by trying a new healthy recipe for dinner. That’s 52 new meal ideas over the whole year, and a great way to motivate you to eat better and discover some new recipes that may make it into your regular midweek supper schedule. There are so many blogs and recipe websites to gain inspiration from, spend some time now researching some ideas and then work your way through them.

If you’ve never tried it, start with courgetti

12. Read a book a week

I’m happy to admit that I’m not a reader, but if you enjoy nothing more than sitting down with a good book, this one is probably right up your street. Can you read a book a week in the coming year? Or maybe a book a month?

13. Go processed sugar free

We all know we should avoid processed sugar in sweets, chocolate, ready meals, shop bought cakes, fizzy and juice drinks, and everything else. Can you cut it out of your diet? It’s not an easy task, possibly one of the hardest on my list, but also probably one that will make the biggest difference to your body and mind. I’ve managed it for a month at a time in the past and know I feel better when I don’t have those things, but it takes every ounce of will power I have. If you make this your challenge, start with a short period and commit to that, see how you get on and go from there. How about processed-sugar-free January for starters?

Jelly and ice cream. Processed sugar heaven… sorry!

14. Drink 2l of water every day

Just like walking 10,000 steps a day is the original exercise challenge, drinking 2l of water a day is the original wellbeing challenge. It is very simply good for you! Drink your water hot or cold, just drink it. It’s good for your skin, immune system, digestive system, brain, mind, everything.

15. Keep a journal every day

I started a one line a day journal just over three years ago, and it’s very helpful to sit down at the end of the day and write a couple of sentences about my day and how I’m feeling. It’s also very interesting to read back those little sentiments later. There are various types of journal you can complete; some people like the happiness journal style where you write down three things each day you are thankful for. Others like to write an essay on their deepest thoughts and feelings of the moment.

16. Take a photo a day

Prefer pictures to words? Take a photo each day that says something about what you did, who you saw, or what you were feeling on that day. Share the photo on instagram or facebook, or just save it on your computer, but keep it so you can look back later.  This is actually how Splodz Blogz started, so I had somewhere to post my photo each day back in 2010, and at the end of the year I created a photo book with every image in so I had a record of my year in pictures. There’s a handy daily photo challenge coming from me for January to get you started; a theme a day. Hope you’ll come back tomorrow to find out what the themes are!

17. Have a digital detox once a month

How good are you at putting your phone away and not looking at emails, social media or anything else online? Can you manage a day a week? A weekend a month? We spend so much time looking at our screens and concentrating on random stuff that our brains now struggle to switch off and we often fail to enjoy things that are around us in the same way anymore. Put a digital detox day each month in your diary and organise to do something with friends or get outside and enjoy the countryside alone – without the internet. By all means use your phone to take a snap to help keep the memory, but no twitter, no reading blogs or watching YouTube videos, or anything like that. Let me know how you get on!

I’d genuinely love to hear from you if any of these ideas inspire you during the coming year. Let me know what your resolutions are, and we can encourage each other.

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