challenges sign being held up

Ideas for New Year challenges

I’m not one for new year’s resolutions (I’ve had ‘stop biting my fingernails’ since I was about 5 year old, and still trying), but sometimes it’s good to set yourself New Year challenges.

New year challenge ideas

What’s included under new year challenges?

Challenges can be for self improvement – to learn something new, put yourself outside of your comfort zone, or just achieve something you’ve been meaning to for years.

New year challenges can be short term – a one hit try.  Or a longer term challenge that builds over time. Maybe even steps to get you to your dream goal.

You shouldn’t beat yourself up about not achieving your challenge. After all, a challenge is just that. It should be something that’s stretching you. Not every challenge can be achieved, so remember that you’ll still learn something from it.

It can be an individual challenge or one for family or friends. You could even set up a team challenge against others, or just all take something on within the family.

You could set one challenge a month, or just one you want to achieve during the year. Or something that’s a year long challenge.

A new year challenge should be something you set yourself. Not doing something because other people say you should, or because you feel pressured. You’ll only achieve if you’re in the right mindset to do it.

Also, who says they need to start in January. You can start a challenge any time you want. But it’s a great idea to use some spare time you might have over the Christmas season to think about the year ahead and what you want to set yourself.

So what kind of new year challenges could you set yourself?

New year challenge ideas

Sports and fitness:

  • Race for Life – or another charity/sponsored run
  • Race at your pace challenges (I love these, although you do have to pay for the medals yourself, but it’s nice to feel you’ve formally achieved something).
  • Couch to 5k
  • Set yourself daily step challenge
  • Learn to swim 
  • Learn to ride a bike
  • Take up a new sport
  • Learn a different dance each month – go to lessons or learn online
  • Do different exercise classes each month
  • Learn water sports
  • Do a fitness challenge each month – squats, skipping, push ups or other (you can tie these in with online charity challenges)
  • Learn to roller skate
challenges sign being held up

Hobbies and culture

  • Do a different craft each month
  • Learn to paint
  • Take up a musical instrument and reach first grade level.
  • Visit a different National Trust, English Heritage, or other organisations venue each month
  • Visit as many castles in the country as possible
  • Try a reading challenge – there’s lots online. Try Goodreads to choose a number of books, or look up reading lists to choose your own list. (here’s my profile)
  • Choose a number of films you’ll watch (or tv series) – I Check Movies will help you keep track.
  • Take up a photography challenge – try a 365 challenge, or look to Instagram for a whole range of monthly themed challenges

Thrift and sustainability

  • Declutter a room every couple of months
  • See how much money you can made as a side line – try selling unwanted items, doing surveys, mystery shopping etc.
  • Commit to only buy second hand for the year – Vinted or Preloved are great options for clothes, charity shops on the high street, or try swapping with friends.
  • Choose a number of items you’ll change to more sustainable versions by the end of the year.
  • Use refill shops where possible – instead of buying new full packs each time, take along a container, or bottles and reuse them by refilling basics like washing powder, pasta, rice and more.


  • Cook a new dish every week to add to your repertoire
  • Try a new fruit or vegetable each month (or week, if you can find enough).

What other challenges have you done or are thinking about?

Love it? Then share it

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions either, but sometimes I write a bucket list of things I want to do in the year ahead! I think it was 2019 that my sister and I decided not to buy any new clothes, and I have mainly stuck with that since then.

    1. I definitely need to do the walking and decluttering too. Although I’m starting line dancing next week so hopefully that will tick off some exercise and getting out of the house too. Good luck with your challenges.