The 100 New Things in 100 Days Challenge

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Challenges

Are you one who is constantly searching for new experiences? What about taking on challenges? If so, I bet you’d love the #100NewThingsin100Days Challenge.

I lead a Facebook group, The Aha! Community. It’s a community of like-minded people who are naturally driven toward personal development, exploration and achievement. So, when one member, Chrisa, shared that she had completed a #100NewThingsin100Days self-challenge, several community members were intrigued. I was among them. Chrisa shared a video that chronicled her experiences and the subsequent TED Talk she did to tell others about it. We were all fascinated. Aren’t you now curious? I know, right?!

During her 100-days, Chrisa made pottery, jumped out of an airplane, went ax throwing, held a ginormous snake, wore a red nose all day – in public – to bring attention to child poverty, and donned traditional Greek garb as she walked downtown. There were so many amazing feats recorded during her challenge. It was enough to make a group of us want to follow in her footsteps. From November 22, 2019, to March 1, 2020, we did just that. With Chrisa as our coach, we embarked on our #100NewThingsin100Days Challenge.

During the 100 days, we reported out each day the new thing we tried. Some days it was easy, and other days I found myself stretching to think what I could do next that I had never done before. That’s key. Have a plan. Chrisa helped us to realize that every day need not be some monumental experience. There is novelty in driving a different route to work or sitting in a different chair to watch television. It’s amazing how your vantage point changes what you notice.

I did my share of incremental new things. I took a free-wheel pottery class. That was harder than it looks. I did a drybrush massage. Wonderful. I gave myself a rose petal bath complete with a glass of wine, candles and my favorite music. Lovely. But I really wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to do uber novel things, and I did. I traveled to Iceland in hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. No luck. I waded in the Blue Lagoon. So worth it. I also traveled to Copenhagen because it’s billed as one of the happiest and coziest countries in the world. It is. Hygge. I started a 1000-piece puzzle on my own. I’m still working on it. I took a cold shower for the first time. Once is enough. I drank iced coffee – yes, for the very first time. It was aiight. I attended a Stoic-Buddhist MeetUp, tried a Sufi chant meditation, did a hip-hop dance lesson, completed a day-long workshop on perfectionism, watched a novela, and enjoyed a day at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City.

All those things I may not have done had I not participated in the #100NewThingsin100Days Challenge. Especially the cold shower. And that’s my point. What I learned about myself is that I am more creative and adventurous than I give myself credit for, and each day provides rich opportunities to do something new or different, to take an alternative perspective, or to approach something familiar in a novel way. It was liberating to be a novice. To see things with fresh eyes, to give myself some slack and not judge myself on competence alone but enjoy being curious. That is the value of a challenge like the #100NewThingsin100Days Challenge. My group members had equally insightful and exciting discoveries, and even though the challenge has ended, we find ourselves updating one another on still new experiences. Surely, when we are intentional about trying new things, we obviously recognize them. Now, we also recognize the novel in the familiar – and that’s living a more present and mindful life.

I’m sharing this experience with you in hopes that you might feel inspired to start your own challenge. I believe when we challenge ourselves to do things that are out of the ordinary or that push us out of our comfort zones, we test our limits. That spills over into other areas of our lives. Perhaps by participating in a challenge like the #100NewThingsin100Days, you will be more inclined to pursue a goal or dream you’ve always wanted to pursue. You won’t fear failure. You’ll cut yourself some slack and realize that curiosity and experimentation are central to your personal growth and development. You’ll find the novel in the familiar. And, you’ll have some fun.

Your adventure awaits! To learn more about The Aha! Community, click here.

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