31 Day Challenge: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone (and why you should)

You’re familiar with the saying, ‘use it or lose it’. And you probably understand the importance of keeping your mind sharp as you age. If not, check out this 2013 study. Results showed adults who were productively engaged in learning a new skill showed improvements in memory.

The comfort zone has always been a hot topic for researchers because people learn more, stretch their creative muscles, and are more productive in that space. Stepping outside your comfort zone doesn’t mean sending yourself into a frenzied panic or facing your worst nightmares.

It’s developing the flexibility to respond to the new changes and challenges you’ll experience as you age. And it’s breaking habits, so you can live life to the fullest and achieve goals you thought were too late to reach!

So, to help you step outside your comfort zone, we’ve created a 31 Day Challenge so you can age with grace and vitality. We suggest starting the challenge on a Sunday and inviting a friend to complete the challenge with you.

31 Day Step Outside Your Comfort Zone Challenge

Day 1: Sign up for a local class and try something new. For example, you could take a golfing lesson or join a cooking class.
Day 2: Whether you’re using your phone or the car radio, listen to something different. Find a new station, podcast, or album in a genre that’s not usually your style.
Day 3: Go to the library. Ask the librarian what his/her favorite book is and read it!
Day 4: Take a 20-60 minute power nap for a boost in alertness and productivity today.
Day 5: Headed somewhere? Take a different route!
Day 6: Dress boldly today. Wear bright accessories, a colorful tie, or a quirky hat…anything that’ll make someone smile, laugh, or ask ‘where did you get that?’
Day 7: Say ‘yes’ to everything. You can figure out the details later.
Day 8: No-tech day! Lock up your phone, computer, and TV for 24-hours.
Day 9: Wake up early and meditate for at least 30 minutes.
Day 10: Reconnect with an old friend (online or in person).
Day 11: Try a new recipe. We love Allrecipes.com for finding new dishes.
Day 12: Reverse your morning routine. Are you a shower first, eat breakfast second person? Not today!
Day 13: Watch a foreign film. And yes, subtitles are allowed.
Day 14: Volunteer for a cause that’s close to your heart.
Day 15: Try a new cuisine — Indian, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Japanese, what haven’t you tried before?
Day 16: Share a secret with a friend. We won’t tell.
Day 17: Send a handwritten letter in the mail (bills/invoices don’t count).
Day 18: Invite a coworker you don’t know very well to have lunch with you.
Day 19: Ask for a discount on something you buy today. Coffee? New TV? What’s the worst they could say?
Day 20: Paint your nails an outrageous color or skip shaving and rock the 5 o’clock shadow.
Day 21: Dress in your finest clothes, go to a luxury car dealership, and drive the swankiest car on the lot.
Day 22: Grab your hunny or friend and have a picnic in the park.
Day 23: Write a love note to someone else…or yourself!
Day 24: Toss a coin to make decisions today — heads is ‘yes’ and tails is ‘no’.
Day 25: Seek out an opportunity to make someone’s day. Here are a few ideas.
Day 26: When someone asks how you are, respond with, ‘Outstanding! How are you?’
Day 27: See a movie by yourself. Maybe even get an extra large bucket of popcorn!
Day 28: Hire a photographer to update your family album.
Day 29: Act like a kid for a day — finger paint, go to the zoo, color, whatever your inner child would love to do!
Day 30: Send someone flowers…just because.
Day 31: Film yourself dancing. Bonus points if you post it online!

Did you take our 31 Day Step Outside Your Comfort Zone Challenge? Let us know on Facebook!