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I’ll be back tomorrow with another post about my trip to Ecuador… 

Last year I set 13 challenges for myself for the year, and I loved having these to push myself throughout the year. Why challenges? I want to give myself the freedom and room to take new paths for myself that may arise throughout the year. I like the freedom as well as determination that a challenge gives. So, because I loved it so much last year, I am setting 14 challenges for myself this upcoming year:

  1. I challenge myself to run 200 miles. Again, I shoot very low, knowing that I get injured easily. I would love nothing more than to have 500+ mile years, but I know this isn’t practical for myself.
  2. I challenge myself to walk 275 miles.  I enjoy walking, and used to walk much more than I do now. 275 might still be high, depending on how my fitness plays out throughout the year. I refuse to give up what I WANT to do just to meet a certain number.
  3. I challenge myself to bike 900 miles. This would solidly mean the highest biking mileage I’ve ever done in a year before, so we’ll see if I can make this happen. I would be solidly happy with 700+ miles for the year.
  4. I challenge myself to 75 hours of pilates. This is pretty much hardly over an hour a week, which I think is reasonable. I’ve never kept track of how many hours I’ve done pilates in a year before, so we’ll see how this one goes! I love pilates though and think that it’s incredibly beneficial for life. (I’m counting reformer, mat, and barre pilates here)
  5. I challenge myself to 250 minutes of planks. I chose 250 minutes of planks last year, and I felt like that number was pretty reasonable. Instead of trying to go up (because…why?) I decided to keep it at a number I was happy with for the year.
  6. I challenge myself to run 10 races for the year. Like 2013, these races can be in person or virtual, but I’d like at least 5 of them to be in person!
  7. I challenge myself to read at least 14 books. Just like the books I read in 2013, I want them to be a mix of fun, health, and educational.
  8. I challenge myself to go through all the clothes that I own. I almost feel like I’m cheating with this one since it was on my list from last year, but making it a challenge somehow made it more fun (and a little easier to part with clothes). I want to continue to make space in my closet for the clothes that I really wear.
  9. I challenge myself to continue to be present. I talked about the benefits of being present last January, and I felt like it was really healthy for me throughout the year. This one is a huge priority throughout the year for me.
  10. I challenge myself to continue to hunt for provisions and blessings (continuing to develop gratitude in my life). I will write down at least once a week what I am thankful for (I’ve officially started a specific gratitude journal for the year), and will continue to hunt throughout the week for the things I’ve been provided. I really feel like this makes a huge difference in mental health.
  11. I challenge myself to read the entire Bible this year. I’m pretty sure that I’ve read it all in bits and pieces, but I’ve never read the entire thing in a condensed amount of time. This one will be an average of maybe 15ish minutes every day, although obviously there will be somedays that I’ll have to play catch up for other days that I’ve missed. This one has already been interesting so far.
  12. I challenge myself to publish an article this year. 
  13. I challenge myself to put more time and energy into friendships and relationships. This is something that I have really done in the past 3 months, and I want to continue to make this a priority in my life. This involves both keeping up with a few close friends from my past, current friendships, and maybe making a few new friends as well!
  14. I challenge myself to be brave. Brave (or courage) is my word for the year, and while this probably deserves an entire post of it’s own, I thought I’d throw it out there anyways. I want to continue to push myself to be brave in any area of my life…

So, that’s it-my 14 challenges for the year. Obviously, like I mentioned on my final update for my 13 challenges, I am giving myself the freedom and space to take the year however it comes. I have no idea what the upcoming year holds, so I don’t want to make my goals to rigid. So- here’s to a great 2014 for my own personal growth, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all turns out!

Now it’s your turn to share! What’s a challenge for yourself for the upcoming year (or month or week- you can choose!)?

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