Year of Adventure: 10 Ways to Challenge Yourself in 2016

This year, we challenge you to break out of those comfortable routines we all fall victim to. To help, we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to challenge yourself in 2016.

As a new year begins knocking at our door, some of us reach for the notepad—analog or digital—and begin the half-hearted attempt of scrawling or typing down what we’d like to do or not do in the coming year. This list is often rather ambitious, so much so that it’s usually a distant memory come February 1st. Well, this year at Cotopaxi we’re looking to change that for the better, making our resolutions fun, exciting, and attainable.

Part of this new game plan includes challenging ourselves to break out of those comfortable routines we all fall victim to. This doesn’t have to mean going big all the time, it just means breaking out and pushing ourselves to see what we’re made of. It could be as simple as unplugging from our devices for a few hours more each week or as big as finally booking that epic trip we’ve been dreaming about. To kick things off, we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to challenge ourselves this year. Perhaps a few of these will help you round out your 2016 Year of Adventure list.

10 Ways to Challenge Yourself in 2016. Photo by Greg Rakozy.

Do something every day that scares you.

Engage in conversation with a stranger. Get your hands dirty. Do a handstand. You get the idea. Just be a little spontaneous, and see what happens. We can all learn a lot about ourselves when we get out of our routines, even if it seems scary at first.

Watch the sun rise.

It could be from the door or your tent, the foothills above your home, or on the stoop while eating breakfast, but make an effort once in awhile to greet the day before it greets you. Conversely, seek out an amazing spot to watch the sun set.

Sign up for that race/run/ride/swim/class/adventure event that’s been on your radar.

Give yourself plenty of time, and register for that exciting event. Maybe it’s a yoga/Pilates/fitness class. Maybe you’re going to finally learn a new language. It could even be a type of race you’ve heard about from friends. Be bold and take a leap. We’ll do the same. If you’re looking to maximize adventure, sign up for a Cotopaxi Questival near you.
10 Ways to Challenge Yourself in 2016. Photo by Greg Rakozy.

Create microadventures during lunch.

Once a week, pack some food and get out. Take a walk near your workplace. Go for a spin on the bike or take a run. Slash a few turns. Meet up with a friend and swap stories. Make lunch more than inhaling some grub while catching up on social media.

Manage “screen time.”

Set aside some time to read a book made with paper pages, play an instrument, write a letter to an old friend, cook with the kids, or engage in a tactile hobby without the distracting glow of an electronic device. Restoring a sense of balance is a challenge we could all benefit from this year.

10 Ways to Challenge Yourself in 2016. Photo by Tim Kressin.

Book that trip.

You know that trip you’ve been pseudo-planning in your head for the past few months, or even years? Now’s the time. Chances are darn good you won’t regret it.

Create a budget, and stick to it.

This is entirely up to your individual financial situation, but push yourself to be considerate about your spending this year. This will help you hit your budget goals and, dare we say, give you a little extra for that trip you’ve just planned.

10 Ways to Challenge Yourself in 2016. Photo by Trevor Woods.

Savor the moment.

A visit with Grandma, hikes with the family, and maybe even watching a classic movie with your partner. Just make an effort to live more in the present, without dwelling on what’s to come or what has already happened. Doing so will make your “in the now” time that much better.

Be comfortable saying no.

It sounds easy, but being able to say no to others’ invitations and requests from time to time is harder than you think. Being pulled in multiple directions all the time wears us down, so being able to politely decline on occasion can actually be a challenge that aids ourselves mentally and physically.

10 Ways to Challenge Yourself in 2016. Photo by Kyle Meck.

Take stock in yourself.

Finally, what good is challenging yourself this coming year if your engine isn’t in tune? Make achievable goals this year that revolve around your wellbeing, which includes a diet and exercise plan that isn’t overly complicated or intimidating. This could be as easy as ensuring more greens are added to your weekly diet. Just being mindful of yourself and how you feel is the biggest step in challenging yourself to go above and beyond in 2016.

Learn how to make 2016 a Year of Adventure.