It is good to get out of your comfort zone. What that means is different for each person. One person’s challenge is just a normal day for a different person. When you challenge yourself it is invigorating and makes life interesting.

Last weekend I did the Phoenix Summit Challenge with my friend Warren and my wife. It was multiple hikes, with seven summits and a total of 25 miles of hiking. My wife and I hike a lot, but not that long of hikes. I had never hiked 25 miles in one day, so this was a real challenge. I assumed I could do it, but you don’t know until you try.

It always seems easy to start a challenge, but once you get into it the real meat of it, the challenge really begins. Our challenge included hiking and driving – we figured out fast getting warmed up on the hikes and then cooling down on the drives between the hikes was in and of itself a challenge. But we made our way through any thoughts of not finishing and powered on.

Whatever your challenge is, when it gets tough you need the mental fortitude to stick with it. When it’s a physical challenge, you need your body to hold up, along with your mind. That’s where training and working towards goals comes into play. Try to come up with a plan leading up to your challenge to give you the best shot of success. This could be practicing chess for months before playing your friend who is really good, or putting in the miles if you are running a marathon.

The best part is finishing. Whether you win or lose the chess match, following through is the real test. In our case, it was finishing the last hike with a beer at the top of South Mountain even though a Ranger appeared next to us out of nowhere. The Ranger stood by us and said he would let us finish the beers because it was the day of the PSC and we had finished the challenge of the summits (we did have to hike back down, but the last summit was the feel good point of the day!). It was a great moment we will remember.

What is a challenge you are willing to work towards and try to complete? There has to be one. There likely are more. Take one at a time, make a plan and you will give yourself the best opportunity to complete your challenge. You will feel great when you get out of your comfort zone and complete the challenge or goal!