Are you are a fan of challenges?

Challenges have jumpstarted many amazing habits for me – ranging from morning smoothies to reading a book a week. Like anything, the hardest part is often to START. And that’s just one advantage a challenge can give you.

Today, I have a template for a simple challenge that can skyrocket your productivity, focus, and happiness – with just 8 days of focusing on what matters. Let’s get to it!

Day 1: Focus Outward

First, we’ll start with how to be a happier person. The secret to happiness is to serve others. In today’s society, we often forget this. So, for this day, give someone a compliment, pay for a coffee behind you, and tell your friends how much you appreciate them. Spend the day doing good and helping others and you’ll be shocked by how much happier you are at the end of the day.

Day 2: Plan

Next, what gets scheduled gets done. And the most impactful people on the planet DO NOT WASTE TIME. That doesn’t mean there isn’t time for rest and recovery. It simply means that everything is done with intention. So, plan out your next 7 days with detail. Balance your hours with deep work, self-care, learning, and friends and family. Then, make a commitment to continue planning your days going forward.

Day 3: Put Your Phone Away

The amount of time the average person spends messing around on their phone is staggering. We are talking 3-4 hours a day. If you live to be 80, that’s a little over 13 years of your life looking at dinner photos, sensationalized news, and political rants. Imagine the blessings you could use with this time instead!

So, today put your phone away and be present with the world around you as much as possible. Then, make a plan to turn your phone off at night and put it away during critical points of your day.

Day 4: Take In Beauty

Whether it’s natural beauty, art, or the mastery of one’s craft – this is an amazing way to stay inspired. And we do our best work when inspired. So, elevate your work and your personal life by taking in something beautiful today.

Day 5: Create a Morning Routine

If you get up and immediately start putting out fires, you are running your life in reactive mode. This not only leads to anxiety and depression, but is a MUCH less effective way to get important things done. Stop it in its tracks.

Starting today, get up 30 minutes earlier and use that time to reflect, meditate, workout, or plan. You’ll be astounded by the difference it makes. Going forward, put a morning ritual in place that gives you the gift of being proactive with your life.

*There are so many more things you can do to improve yourself. Check out these 30 day challenges for MANY more ideas that could change your life.

Day 6: Do Your Sucky Thing First

Almost everyone is busy these days. And very few people are productive. Today, when you start your work, get the “sucky” thing done first. Maybe it’s focused writing, that huge design project, or an important calculation. It’s the one thing that helps you make important strides in your career or life. By getting it out of the way first, you ensure that no matter how the rest of the day goes, you’re still making progress.

Day 7: Do Something That Scares You

Ah, it’s the skill of the heroes in our society. Constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is what makes you great. So, pick one thing that makes your heart race today, tell a family member you are going to do it, and then do it.

Then, bask in the feeling of real growth and living.

Day 8: Write What You Are Grateful For

Make a list of at least 10 items today that include the good in your life. Our negativity bias constantly crowds out our positive feelings, but it is possible to cultivate happiness with gratitude. After your list, commit to writing a few things every morning to consistently acknowledge your blessings.

In Conclusion

That’s it! If you commit to these 8 days, you’ll have grown more than most people do in years. Keep it up and you’ll hardly recognize yourself within a few months.