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Monthly Challenges – March 2022

Monthly challenges are a great way of holding yourself accountable when making positive shifts in your days.

I set myself monthly challenges to improve my quality of life, through making shifts in the things I do every day.

I share my challenges as an invitation for others to get inspired, to set their own challenges, or to join me with monthly challenge accountability.

You are just right and quite enough as you are, but should you wish to improve your habits or your quality of life, monthly challenges are a fabulous tool with which to do so.

If you decide you do want to make some improvements, whether big or small, the simplest way to shift is to get into action and make small, doable and repeated alterations. Things like drinking a glass of water, meditating for 5 minutes, doing 4 sun salutations, reading 10 pages every day; actionable things which you really can manage to accomplish.

Once you start, things can begin to flow.

Just Start

But you need to start taking action.

When you start making changes, you need a certain amount of discipline.

Over time, however, your repeated actions will become habits and will no longer require as much self-restraint or control. Once habitual, your new ways will become more automatic, and easier to incorporate into your life.

There are numerous books written about habits but James Clear who wrote Atomic Habits is one of the leading experts. He talks about tiny changes leading to remarkable results.

When we repeat a tiny change, we begin to build a habit. There is power in repetition. There is life-changing potential in developing good habits. We can make small changes, develop good habits, and improve the quality of our lives, fairly simply. As long as we start…

But we need to take action for any of this to begin and develop.

The trick to succes is to choose the right habit and bring just enough discipline to establish it.

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan (The One Thing)
monthly challenges - the trick to success is to choose the right habit...

The Domino Effect

Once we begin to make changes, we give the domino effect a chance to work.

The domino effect describes how making a change to one behaviour will activate a chain reaction and cause a shift in related behaviours too.

It comes into play when you make a small, intentional change. By repeating a small change, the domino effect will help other areas to shift as well. Be aware that it works both with positive behaviour change and with negative behaviour. For this example, the focus is on positive change. So when I:

  • drink a glass of water first thing in the day, I tend to be more mindful about what I eat throughout the rest of day.
  • commit to making a smoothie for breakfast instead of coffee and a rusk, I tend to take better care of myself throughout the day in all areas.
  • set myself simple daily challenges to change my behaviour every day over the course of a month, I find that I become more aware of and intentional about what I do during all my days

A speech given by navy seal William McRaven to grads demonstrates the power of taking small repeated action. This is an example of the domino effect. In it he mentions the simple yet mighty act of making your bed:

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.

Admiral McRaven

This resonates with me, owing to my belief in small, simple ways to create change. I find daily, weekly and monthly challenges work the same way. Every small positive step taken and checked off lends confidence to take the next step, and when the domino effect magnifies the changes, it can be very pleasing.

Life is a habit. Or rather a succession of habits

Samuel Becket (1906 – 1989)
monthly challenges - life is a succession of habits


Accountability motivates me to make the changes I desire. Some of us are able to motivate ourselves with a degree of ease and others benefit from some form of external accountability – as I do.

  • I started my regular meditation practice in an accountability group, and recently finished leading my own 28-day meditation challenge offering participants their own accountability.
  • Once I wrote an – as yet unpublished – novel by holding myself accountable to the NaNoWriMo crowd.
  • Accountability support groups have got me through numerous decluttering challenges too.

When building a new habit, we need motivation, discipline and perseverance at the start. Accountability can act as the motivational engine to help push us along.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

Jim Rohn
monthly challenges -  - motivation is what gets you started. habit is what keeps you going

Monthly Challenges – March 2022

This month I am moving house temporarily while we build, so life is likely to be a little topsy-turvy. I am keeping my challenges simple and few, and including only those things that I believe will keep me moving towards an even better life.

Self Monthly Challenges – Mind/ Spiritual/ Intellectual/ Emotional

  • meditate every day
  • read 10 pages every day

Health Monthly Challenges – Body/ Physical

4 sun salutations
10 squats
4 sun salutations
10 squats
4 sun salutations
10 squats
4 sun salutations
10 squats
4 sun salutations
10 squats
4 sun salutations
10 squats
4 sun salutations
10 squats
evening walk/swimevening walk/swimevening walk/swimevening walk/swimevening walk/swimevening walk/swimevening walk/swim
  • start every day with a glass of water
  • start every day with exercise:
    • 4 sunsalutations
    • 10 squats
  • Monday & Wednesday – biokinetics exercises for core strength and back support
  • Friday – pilates
  • No running this month due to injury

Wealth Monthly Challenges – Work/ Finances/ Career

  • manage day job unemotionally
  • write a blog every week
    • and turn this into an email
    • and into social media for the week
  • complete 2 courses

Social Monthly Challenges – Community/ Environment/ Family

  • stay present with my family
  • stay calm when moving down our house renovation to-do list and moving house

For More

If you enjoy:

  • images and others’ wisdom and think you might like to follow my experience as I learn and share – please follow me at my Simple Beautiful Life Instagram page. It’s about the things I believe in – simplicity and self-focus, and our stories.
  • reading – please browse my Simple Beautiful Life blog where I write about simplifying life and challenging ourselves to get better at living a good life.
  • simple systems – please grab my Scattered to Serene where I offer some simple ways to manage your days and improve your life.
  • reading weekly emails about living a lighter life with a focus on simplicity, yourself and stories – our own and others – sign up here.
  • accountability and would like some help with building your own habits – please let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading