8 personal challenges to live more authentically | InspirationIndulgence.com

10 years ago, you would rarely see me doing anything else in my free time other than have my nose buried in a book.

I used to LOVE to read. I remember highly anticipating each of the Harry Potter books as they came out, anxiously awaiting the midnight arrival in line at Barnes & Noble and then throwing myself into the book until the wee hours of the morning light. Reading was a part of my culture and soul. My parents and grandparents have read books to me since I was a baby, and as I grew older, I could spend all day curled up with a good book.

My, how things have changed.

I’m not quite sure when I stopped reading, but I think it was some time around high school when I was knee deep in college prep classes. And reading for pleasure in college? Forget about it. Recently I’ve created the time to read for pleasure again like I used to so many years ago, and let me tell you- it feels like I found a long lost friend. Reading has alway been a vital part of my upbringing, and it feels great to nurture that part of my soul again.

I am currently reading Thrive by my girl Arianna Huffington, and I’m SO in love. I’m only on the second chapter, but I would highly recommend this book to anyone. She speaks about how our technology-obsessed culture has resulted in us being overworked, over tired, and counter-productive. I really resonate with this subject; I often feel the weight of the world on my shoulders because I have anxiety related to school, work, and life in general. Thrive is a gentle reminder to start caring for me, or terrible consequences of burnout and exhaustion will occur.

That being said, Thrive has really encouraged me to make some changes in my life. Today on the blog I’m sharing with you 8 tasks that I’m challenging myself to this summer so I can live a more intentional, self-nurturing lifestyle. I would love if, together, we could work on ourselves and create an encouraging, self-respecting community. Let’s doooo this!!

8 personal challenges to live more authentically | InspirationIndulgence.com

1.) Turn off Netflix; read a book

This summer, I’m challenging myself to read 5 books. Unfortunately, I’m also an avid Netflix fan and am still knee deep in Grey’s Anatomy, I struggle with turning the TV off sometimes, but I’m promising myself to open up my book more.

2.) Go for evening walks 

Sure, walks are great for exercise, but that’s not the point of why I would like to incorporate more walks into my daily routine this summer. This past week I’ve taken a walk nearly every day after dinner, and it’s been incredibly energizing. Normally, I would beat myself up if I went for a walk and didn’t run, but it was so nice to give myself this space to think and just BE. I’ve enjoyed smelling the lilacs on my street and getting some fresh air. I’m challenging myself to enjoy LIVING as a whole.

3.) Enroll in a course you have always wanted to take

This summer, I promised myself that I’m * finally * going to take an e- blogging course. Either that, or a beginner photography course at Camera Corner. Investing in something that doesn’t in fact help your career but invests in YOUR personal bank account is worth investing into. Your hobbies are totally worth it; it’s called self-care.

4.) Find a mentor

I really would like to re-connect with some old teachers and professors who took an interest in me. I believe that successful people keep us accountable and help us live more intentionally.

8 personal challenges to live more authentically | InspirationIndulgence.com

5.) Send thank you cards and personalized notes

I hope that writing personal notes and cards is never a lost cause. The other day I went to the dollar store and bought a set of thank you cards and sent them out to the recent brands I have worked with on my blog and Instagram. It felt good to send those bad boys in the mail! This summer I’d like to also create some time to hand-craft cards and letters to those I care about.

6.) Do something out of your comfort zone 

This summer I’m challenging myself to start group fitness classes . Normally, the old me would NEVER do a random fitness class without a friend, but I’m looking forward in meeting new people and doing this for myself.

7.) Talk to your friend more in real life vs. texting 

I’m really making an effort to see my friends more. Texting is great and very convenient, but I want to be sure that I convey that it’s important to me to spend quality time with my girls in person.

8.) Write more about your feelings 

This should be a no-brainer because I blog, but sometimes I am not always honest with myself when writing. I am challenging myself to be more personal in my posts, and to be more authentic with my cause and mission.

8 personal challenges to live more authentically | InspirationIndulgence.com

So tell me; what are you going to do to challenge yourself to live more intentionally this summer?

Photos by Kaylie Hetzel

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  • Lindsay Katherine

    I LOVE this post!! It’s so hard to find time to read for fun as an adult, but it’s challenging. I’ve also been getting back into reading and love your challenge to turn off Netflix and read. I hate when I just watch stupid filler shows that I don’t even care about when I could be reading…like, what am I doing?? I love sending and receiving personalized notes; my girlfriend just sent me a card and I’m sending her one of my postcards back today : ) Looking forward to hearing about what course you take this summer!

    • It is hard to find the time but I feel like I am getting better at it! What I’ve been doing lately is switching off. One night reading, the next night Netflix; and vise versa. Awesome that you send homemade cards; how thoughtful!

  • Love it!! Such great tips!

  • Great tips! Evening walks and reading books have been on my list, lately.

    • Awesome to hear! Let’s do this together (:

  • Aha yes! I love all of these tips! I really need to find a mentor, send more notes and turn off Netflix, like f’real.

    • Oh trust me- the struggle is SO real.

  • Bethany Magnie

    Great post Chels!! I think we could all take something from this list to work on. I need to read more and turn the tv off!!

    • Thanks Bethany! Hope these challenges help!

  • I absolutely love this, Chels! Evening walks and cooking wholesome meals are on my list for this summer. And I’ll definitely be checking out that book!

    • Ahhhh I forgot to write down cooking!!!

  • I LOVED Thrive – I think everyone should read it!

    • I am not finished but love it!!

  • These are such great ideas. I’ve been trying to read at night instead of watch TV, and it makes me feel so much better. Although, I have to watch certain shows too. As the weather gets warmer, I want my whole family to take walks every night. That way we can catch up, while getting fresh air.

    • You know, it really does make me feel better. I just feel more wholesome, like I’m educating myself.

  • Great ideas! I love reading more and watching tv less. I also believe in sending Thank You notes and Just Because notes. And when I find myself in a funk I write my feelings down. Just getting them out on paper is therapeutic. I can write them in my journal, close it and walk away and I feel so much better.

    • I love that you write…writing is something that will always be beneficial, for anyone (:

  • What an inspiring post with amazing tips! I’ve been seeing you post a lot about this book and I’ve been wanting to get it. I think I would really like it!

    Molly | http://www.stylemissmolly.com

    • You NEED to!!! Seriously, it’s so good. I know you’d love it.

  • Chrissa – Physical Kitchness

    Gosh I love this – especially the texting point. I find that I’m texting ALL the time instead of actually talking to friends and family. I need to keep all these in mind!

    • I know. It’s so hard when we lead such busy lives!!!

  • This is awesome! I definitely need to make more of an effort to see people in person.

    • It can be such a struggle in today’s day and age, believe me!

  • Greta Hollar

    Such a good post! Reading instead of watching TV is a big one for me!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

    • Ugh same! We can do this! :)

  • Daria Vinning

    These are awesome challenges to conquer. I wish you much success in your summer endeavors! Thanks for sharing…

    • Thanks for your support, Daria!

  • Oh my heavens I feel like I could have written this entire post myself. I used to be a huge reader too (I think I’ve read the Harry Potter series at least 8-10 times through!) and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I’ve lost that part of myself that loves to get lost in stories. I decided I need to hit up our local library and get back into that habit instead of just looking for a new tv show to watch. We’ve been making evening walks a priority too! Seriously love all of these, Chelsea! Such good reminders!

    • Thanks Lauren! Yes, I think I have read through the entire HP series a few times as well :) Reading just feels good for the soul!

  • This is PERFECT. And I couldn’t be more on the same page with you – I’m the same way! I want to read more this summer, for sure – and Thrive is on my list. She spoke at Wharton my junior year and I saw it – she’s DYNAMITE. And we all got books while there, so I feel like I HAVE to read it now, right??? I love her dedication to healthy wellbeing and truly sustainable lifestyles. Awesome post + awesome tips, Chels! Tweeting it out now. <3

    Coming Up Roses

    • SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!!!!!!!! Do you know how insanely jealous I am right now?!

  • Neely

    Reading and going for walks are in my monthly goals!

  • I love these ideas! I’d love to enroll is a course or reconnect with a mentor. Jess Lively runs a life with intention course that I’d love to take.

    • That’s so awesome ! I’ll have to check it out.

  • I absolutely love this! I have been trying to read more and get active more by taking walks or working out. These things just bring so much pleasure to me and I had forgotten about them.

    xoxo, Jenny

    • I know! We forget that the simplest things can make us the most happy.

  • Jessica Bradshaw

    Love these!! Great ideas on being more intentional. I do the walking thing with the husband almost every night. :)

    • Aw, it’s so sweet that the both of you do that together!! xo

  • Yaaas to this whole dang list! I have always loved books, and I’ve recently(ish) enrolled in a course to obtain a Diploma. Definitely a must-do if you’re in a rut; I feel like I have a whole new sense of purpose now. Something to work towards, ya know? :)

    Christie’s Take on Life. x

    • For sure, what an awesome goal! Best of luck, lady!

  • kandja sylla

    I will try to read that book “Thrive”. It seems very interesting since it made me realize some points you wanted to change. Its been a while also to see some handwritten cards–doing that really creates a personal touch. Keep on inspiring us hun! xx


    • I’m telling you- you would LOVE Thrive!

  • Turning Netflix off is one of the hardest things for me. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit! I love your idea of trading in Netflix for a book. I think I’m going to try to do that as well this summer!

    • Same here, girl! You’re totally not alone!!

  • Great tips! I was so happy reading and going” oh, I do that!”


    Tamara – LoveofMode.com

    • Yay!! Good for you, Tamara! xo

  • Zana Djakovic

    “And reading for pleasure in college? Forget about it.” – damn right girl.
    Btw, this post is very inspirational! I agree about everything – awesome tips! <3