I love a good challenge. The feeling of accomplishing something is euphoric. Seeing other people’s reactions is also a big boost. Admittedly, I have a bit of a competitive streak. I also hate being told something can’t be done.
That said, I think there’s even more to challenges that just feeling good. They’re great for building habits and digesting information. They can improve your health, both physically and mentally. And once you’ve completed a challenge, the next one isn’t as daunting.
One of my earlier self-imposed challenges was when I decided to watch 365 films in 365 days. It doesn’t sound too hard at first, but try to maintain a life, job, and marriage at the same time. I watched films from different genres, countries, and years in what ended up taking 27.2 days or 653.9 hours.
It started out as a bit of fun, but I think it was much more than that. I have a much greater appreciation of story structure, genre expectations, and character development. There were good films, bad films, and everything in between. It was total story immersion.
I also completed a 100-day challenge where I created a new cartoon character from scratch. As a result, I have a custom made colouring book for my sons. On top of that, I have completed NaNoWriMo three times and managed to write more than four hundred thousand words in 2017.
All of these have helped me to develop habits that have aided me in my writing career. Some have furthered my understanding of the business, others have helped to instil work ethics and good habits. I do not get writer’s block. I don’t believe in it.
My current challenges, because I’ve decided to do two at once (on top of writing and publishing), are my One Piece A Day and Stair Master. Sorry, I like to give my challenges names.
One Piece A Day is my attempt to get through all 800 plus episodes of the anime series One Piece by watching at least one episode a day. I’m leaving commentary on every episode on Twitter if you want to follow along.
Stair Master is a result of working behind a desk for too many years. I’ve started climbing the stairs in my office building, working my way up to one hundred flights a day. I know right. For context, the Empire State Building in New York has eighty-six flights of stairs. I’m currently doing just over seventy flights a day.
Challenge yourself to something. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. If you want to, let me know what you’re doing. I’ll be happy to cheer you along.