Who are you and what defines you? Not questions that many of us ask ourselves very often, or often enough. Are we happy to plod through life and live the same day over or are we willing to push ourselves in various aspects of our lives? The importance of challenging yourself as a parent in your daily lives and the effect on your wellbeing is explored here.

Challenges can be made on a daily basis. It is an idea that’s in your head that you decide to target. Everybody is unique and what drives them differs from person to person. As a parent, it can be difficult to find time to fit in a challenge. Family, Work, household chores and other factors can take up time, but here are the main reasons to challenge yourself constantly.

Key factors Behind a Challenge

Motivation. We are all motivated by different goals. A sense of achievement to finishing a goal is what spurs me personally but others are spurred on by status, finances etc.

Accomplishment. A sense of achieving something. It can be a great feeling when you have challenged yourself and finished it.

Size of the challenge. A challenge can be anything. Need to get that mountain of ironing done or climb Everest both can be a challenge. A challenge is a target you have set yourself. Is it achievable and realistic though? If you have been inactive for a while it’s probably best to set smaller targets than to run a full marathon. Something like a couch to 5k would be a good starting point and then upscale the challenges accordingly.

Organisation. Setting a goal can help you to learn time management and fitting in tasks into your already busy lives.

Success. Again, success is a matter of opinion. One person’s milestone is different to another’s, everybody is unique. Who do you see as successful? An entrepreneur, a sports star, a family member or friend. Don’t compare yourself to others. Set your own targets and goals.

Making each day count. We all have a certain amount of time on this planet. Are we putting our energy into the right areas? Create that bit of desire and excitement in your life.

Reaching your potential. How far can you go? You are sat here reading this so I guess at some stage you are going to set yourself some challenges. Start now, start planning and putting it into action. What is stopping you from learning to juggle? Learn to cook? To learn basic French? To run your first 5K, to raise money for charity. The internet is many things but it is a great resource of information for doing anything. Let me know what your challenge is, I am genuinely interested and if I can help in any way, I will.

Inspiration. To yourself and others. Did you know that you are capable of doing a whole raft of inspirational challenges? Well, you are. Become the role model, people around you will want to take part as its infectious. Your friends, colleagues and family will want to be involved and they will be interested. Surround yourself with positive people who will push you and encourage to succeeding in your goals. The challenges will help you grow in confidence and empower you.

Stories to tell for a lifetime. Taking part in challenges will enable you to pass on information and photos of all your achievements. There are memories that will stay with you for life.

Friendship. Some challenges are done as part of a team and when you are in the situations that require digging it, you really see the qualities of the friends (new and old) around you. When you see your friends there’s a certain look that says we have achieved something great together.

Mental toughness. Pushing yourself. Not all challenges are going to be easy. A great life skill to have is mental toughness and this can apply to all aspects of life. We will all experience setbacks in our life, its how we deal with them that is important. Learning to overcome the setbacks and push through to finish the goal will make you a better person. Create a never give in attitude.

It teaches you life experiences and lessons. Carrying out challenges will teach you new skills and take you to new places. It takes you out of a comfort zone

It can make you happier. That sense of accomplishment coupled with the physical exercise challenges releases endorphins which make you feel happier.

Taking risks is exhilarating. Carrying out some challenges are more exhilarating than other but it gets the adrenalin pumping. I must warn you, it can get addictive.

Making Your Own Challenges. You can set any challenge you like. One’s that haven’t been attempted before. Small or large.

Areas where you may challenge yourself:

  • Career
  • Education
  • Life skills
  • Health
  • Sport
  • Hobby
  • Mentally
  • Family Life

My Challenges Right Now

Personally, I have a few challenges lined up in the coming months. Family wise I have a 17-year-old and a 4-week old daughter. I want to be the best father I can possibly be. The challenge here is to spend less time in work and make myself more available to my children. I’m also trying to get fitter. I enjoy raising money for charity through activity based events and have a half marathon and a couple of cycling events planned. I find that exercise helps me mentally and this benefits the rest of my family.

What challenges do you have planned for the next year or so, we’d love to hear from you.


Some videos which may be of interest in setting your challenges:

Learning/ trying new skills: https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days#t-246911


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