Meeting summer challenges

Meeting summer challenges

So how is summer going? Are you still doing lots of fun things or are your days starting to drag a bit? How about spicing up the season with some challenges?

I recently read "The Big Book of 30-Day Challenges" by Rosanna Casper. The book has a variety of endeavors to take on in 30 days. Because taking on specific challenges has spurred me to action in the past, I liked the idea of going for some new ones.

Are you ready to try something new? Get the kids to join in the challenge with you or pick one of their own. Talk about how it’s going for each of you and encourage each other to keep going.

When our kids were younger, we took on the challenge to bike a particular path in both directions by the end of the summer, a distance of about 22 miles. We went a bit further each time we rode and rode regularly. Before school started, we had made the distance and celebrated with ice cream.

To make exercise and running a regular part of my life, I started with a challenge to run a mile every day. I enjoyed it so much that I eventually kept the streak going for 18 months.

So what sorts of things would you like to add to your life that could use the boost of a 30-day challenge?

Do you have the vague idea that you would like your kids to read more? Check out summer reading programs at the library. They often have fun activities and prizes to encourage kids to spend more time with books. If your library has finished its program for the year or doesn’t have one, create your own. Help kids pick out age-appropriate books and give prizes. Cash doesn’t hurt either. For a time I paid my kids a penny for each page they read.

Would you like your kids to improve their writing skills? Have a word count challenge. Make something visual so everyone can see how members of the family are doing toward writing a given number of words in a month.

Casper’s book suggested a challenge that built up to climbing an equivalent number of stairs as those in the tallest building in the world. That might be more than younger kids could handle, so pick something for your family that’s a stretch but also possible with some training.

Maybe learning a language or an instrument falls more into your interest or that of your kids. Give it a boost by spending a given amount of time learning and practicing every day for 30 days.

Could you get more done if you got up earlier? Or maybe the early hour would give you the quiet you need to complete a special project. Commit to getting up at a given time every day for a month, weekends too. I find if I’m able to be consistent, it’s easier to wake up this way.

Need to make a dietary change? Try it out for 30 days. Sometimes challenging yourself for a given time makes it easier. It also may be less intimidating if you tell yourself you can quit at the end of the time period. Of course, you may find that having gone that long, you feel better and want to keep going.

If the family doesn’t want to join you in your challenge or take on one of their own, do one anyway. You’ll likely inspire others. If not, you’ve done something for yourself.

Can’t imagine taking on anything extra right now? Come up with a list of challenges you would like to try. Then pick a month to give it a go. You don’t have to do something every month if you don’t want to, but picking a few could make some changes a reality in your life and that of your kids.