13 fun challenges to start the new year strong

13 new year challenges to bring joy, peace and strength in 2021, for our body and mind, our home and family 🙂

January has arrived. And with it the promise of new beginnings and fresh starts. The perfect time to take on a new challenge, re-energising parts of our lives that could do with some loving care and attention.

And so, to celebrate the new year, a quick rundown of some of my favourite new year challenges. Some officially kick off today (Jan 2nd) but most of them, you can start any time. Jump in right where you are, go at your own pace and take advantage of an extra burst of motivational energy 🙂

First up, taking care of our bodies.

Be Your Best

A month long fitness challenge. Free daily workouts in the comfort of our own home, with the lovely Lucy to cheer us on.

Breath : a 30 Day Yoga Journey

Yoga has so many benefits, strengthening our bodies, boosting our immune functions, relaxing our minds and releasing anxiety. Adriene’s 30 day challenges are a great way to start a daily yoga practice.


Another month long challenge. But with this one, not only do we get to feel healthier in ourselves, but living plant-based is the single biggest personal impact most of us can have on the health of our world.

And taking care of our minds.

An Annual Reading Challenge

This year will be my eighth annual reading challenge. We’re big fans of Goodreads here and use it most days. But if you’re not familiar with the reading challenge or Goodreads in general, you can find out more here and here.

A Read-Aloud Challenge

If you want to nurture warm family relationships while also raising kids who love to read, Sarah has so many wonderful resources. She also presents one of my favourite podcasts 🙂 January’s a regular challenge month but you can also pick up a daily habit tracker that’ll last all year.

Try a Gratitude Challenge

It’s not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.

David Steindl-Rast, as featured in this 5 day gratitude challenge. Or how about a 30 day gratitude challenge 🙂

Taking care of our homes.

The 2021 Quick Clean Home Reset Challenge

A 10 day challenge. 10 simple tasks to reset our homes for 2021. Some decluttering, cleaning and time management motivation to help free up space and bring more peace and calm to our homes from Becky, the Clean Mama.

The 2021 Home Organising Challenge

Or maybe you want to dive a bit deeper with cleaning and decluttering? Check out Toni’s 14 week challenge with comprehensive checklists to get our homes clean and organised.

And taking care of our families

Bring on the fun and games

We play a lot of games round here, especially at Christmas. And Cait’s Gameschooling challenges are fab for reminding us to keep playing all year round.

And while these are wonderful for home-edding families, home education isn’t a requirement 🙂 These challenges are perfect for all families who want more play and more joy in their everyday. Usually these challenges run for 30 days, but there’s also a bumper Gameschool 365 challenge if you want the fun to last all year.

And while we’re on the subject of bringing more joy into our lives, Sue Elvis from the blog, Stories of an Unschooling Family hosts regular unschooling challenges in her gorgeous community, check out this post to find out more 🙂

Adventure lists

You know we love lists here on taking a kinder path. Inspired by this video on planning our best year ever, adventure lists (referred to as experience lists in the vid) are a great addition to joy lists. Good intentions can get us so far. But making an adventure list – literally a list of adventures we want for the upcoming year – and then adding some of them straight into our calendars. This is going to give us a much better chance of following through on those intentions, and bringing more joy and adventure to our lives in 2021.

Meal planning

We’ve all got to eat right 🙂 And for me, making meal planning a regular habit is one of the best time management hacks ever. Not to mention the impact on our household budget. But, yet again I’ve fallen off the wagon, so I’ll be spending some time this week revisiting some of my favourite sources of inspiration.

If you’re interested, I’ll share them here soon. Let me know if meal planning is an area you’d like to improve in 2021. Or if you’ve got it all figured out, please make sure to share your secrets in the comments 🙂

So, which of these challenges do you fancy? I’d love to know if you’re following along with any of these, or any other challenges this new year.

Wishing you all the best year yet x

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