For best results choose solo challenges

by-bannerAs you set and work towards your big goals, choosing solo endeavours will enhance and expedite your success. Regardless of the social impact your progress will have, your personal growth will be served best through individual challenges.  This means you rely on yourself, and the execution of your plan does not depend greatly on others.

When you work solo, you are 100% accountable for your results. You own 100% of your wins and losses and you can only look to yourself for improvement.  You will learn to deal with challenges your own way without having to accommodate the problem solving styles and preferences of others.  When it’s just you, you’ll figure out how you manage best when you’re out of your comfort zone and you will build tools for future obstacles. Both of these skill builders lend to big personal growth.  With every solo win, you’ll have an opportunity to reflect and acknowledges the components that you executed successfully and be ready to repeat them for future success.  You’ll also have the chance to dissect the not so petty parts and come up with a better plan for your future actions. When it’s all you, it’s all you!

Working solo fosters independence. No matter what it is that you ultimately want to do, being confident in your abilities and independent with your decisions and actions will be critical.  When you work alone you disconnect from the input and feedback of others building solidity in your ability to provide self-feedback and corrections. And you share with others only what you want to.  Everyone has an opinion on how to do it best (no matter what ‘it’ is, everyone has their ideas). Losing the chatter and learning to rely on your own feel and feedback, with the freedom to share and ask for input from select individuals on your own terms, is one of the greatest skills for continued growth.  When working for your own results, you’ll be working by yourself a lot which means you will repeatedly rely on your own feedback, increasing your self-efficacy to do things by and for yourself.  This solo time will also increase your acceptance of time away from the demands and expectations of others and will empower you to take more time for yourself. More time to challenge your goals and know that everyone else will be okay!

Working solo will increase your personal value.  Your confidence in the value of your time and expertise will rise, making you worth what you’re asking for in life, because your personal skill-set will grow and strengthen.  When the results are yours alone, any challenges require you to be the fix. This leads to a constant increase in personal skills as there are no position-designated players on your team – just you! As you work through your plan and move forward through your process, your level of execution will improve and you’ll require revision and evolution of your skills.  Sometimes, in order to move forward you’ll need to drop old skills, habits and patterns.  The skills you learn and develop through so many of your personal challenges will be transferable to many areas of life.  While the challenge-specific skills may seem insignificant in everyday, there are a number of studies showing that the mental skills developed through video games such as Tetris are unknowingly applied advantageously in everyday tasks. Haier et al; 2009 .

So, no matter what your chosen challenges, there are bound to be skills you develop through personal problem solving that are of more value to your overall success than the skills formed through playing Tetris.  But now you have an excuse to play video games to sharpen your skills. You’re welcome!

While you’re working your solo endeavours, your personal accountability is stressed and challenged.  Nobody knows if you’ve completed a task to the best of your ability, followed through on a commitment or fallen short, except you.  Managing your own expectations of success builds exceptional skills for any projects you take on in your lifetime.  Time management when nobody is clocking your minutes and dedication to reach goals you’ve set for yourself on-time will test and build personal accountability.  As you work to stay on track despite inevitable distractions and external demands your accountability to yourself will improve.  This is the hardest type of accountability to master and will reach beyond your personal challenges to serve you well in all realms of your life.

As you set your goals and challenges for the year ahead, you inevitably have cooperative challenges that need to be managed.  However, being sure to have some specific solo endeavours mapped out will yield great returns in your skill inventory and execution abilities making you a greater contributor to the cooperative experiements we call life!

Eirinn Boots

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