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New Year / New You in Toowoomba

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by Rachel Timmins (subscribe)
I am a chief writer for Weekend Notes, a copywriter, published poet and Editor of poetry magazine ‘Fruit Salad’ (on hold). I also write children's fiction and inspirational pieces.
Published January 26th 2017
Ten challenges for 2017
How to improve your quality of life this year? Ten tips on making a real change in your abilities and wellbeing.

Mirror Rainbow Self Esteem Challenge
See your inner rainbow of gorgeous colours in the mirror.


1. Are You Good Enough?

What does the world tell us about ourselves? That we are not - attractive, intelligent, hardworking, talented, liked, qualified - enough? There's nothing wrong with making improvements to these things, but how about improving our self-esteem with the truth of the matter that we are acceptable as we are? I challenge you to find the rainbow of colours you have within yourself and remind yourself of those beautiful things using positive affirmations while looking in the mirror.

Card Trick Memory Challenge
Strengthen your memory-power with playing cards.


2. Memory Challenge

Impress your friends with your amazing ability to memorise a whole deck of cards. Build up the number of cards you can remember consecutively using this trick. Begin by imagining a scenario for a set of three cards at a time. For example, the Queen of Diamonds could represent Queen Elizabeth, the Ace of Spades could represent death and the Ace of Hearts could represent Prince Philip. Then create a picture situation in your mind based on those images. Use humour to keep up your enthusiasm. Each card can represent something that means something to you, to prompt you to remember the cards that go with them. The idea is to create a mental image, rather than memorising the actual cards. Additional memory tricks.

3. Courage Test

Facing your fears isn't fun, or is it? Psychology tells us that there are two ways to face your fears, either gradually or by flooding yourself with the feared experience. Make a list of your fears and plan ways to face just one of them. Ask a trusted friend to accompany you as you bravely rid yourself of the fear burden. Start small and of course, don't do anything silly in the process.

Toowoomba range Crossing Escarpment Highway
Escarpment riding trails can be found near the Toowoomba Range crossing.


4. Horse Trails

Trot out your riding gear and prepare for a workout on horseback. The Toowoomba Regional Council is working on networking the existing riding trails. The main trails are: Toowoomba / Escarpment Parks - Regional Trails Hub; Westbrook & Surrounds; Highfields & Surrounds; Crows Nest & Surrounds; Yarraman & Surrounds; and the Primary Equestrian Activity Zone. If you're visiting, try riders' holiday accommodation with Scenic Lodge Equestrian, Hampton, just a short drive from Toowoomba, phone 07 4697 9173. Wilderness adventure trail rides for experienced riders only, everything you could need is provided. Build up to the Toowoomba escarpment trails and you'll be trotting with the dressage circle in no time.

5. Book Challenge

Hate sports but love to read? Increase the number of books you can read in three weeks. If you haven't read some of the classics, start adding them to your book list. Try War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Delve into the motivations of the characters and take notes on each book, creating a summary. Compare the books to the kind of person you are and discover hidden secrets about your personality.

6. Political Analyses

What is all the fuss about with the fake media? A challenge to discover the truth and begin your very own objective analysis. Watch Paul Begley's fun 'Are you Serious?' style of presentation; compare CNN to the popular Drudge Report and others. Discover if the truth is out there somewhere.

Bible Rose Faith Believe Challenge
Read it; go on, I dare you.

7 Believe

Assuming you believe in a Creator - would you still trust God if you lost everything? Does God still love you in the tough times? Sit down and make notes of your mental image of God. Meditate on who he is and what he's like and on what you base those images. Think it over and reflect on how you feel about it.

8. Distance from Home

Do you love going for walks with the kids after sunset? In the cool of the evening, challenge the family to walk further and further, or take different routes. That will build up everyone's appetite for dinner and provide a good night's sleep. Maybe you could even reward yourselves with a little ice cream for dessert.

9. Author Author

Write your own short story or begin that novel you've always wanted to write. If you have no ideas, try using a visual prompt, perhaps your child. What are they thinking about? What is life like for them? Or use an inanimate object as your prompt. If it could tell a story, what might that be? Try asking your friends to critique the story when you're done.

10. Break Time

Rest. Possibly the most challenging thing of all is to make yourself sit still and reflect. Why do we all feel that it is wrong to recharge our batteries? How many people do you know that are always saying they are 'busy'? It is sometimes worn like a badge of honour, yet it isn't healthy to be constantly working. This summer after work while it's still light, take yourself to the park or back yard and flop down on the grass and just gaze up into the sky. Allow yourself ten minutes space without planning anything. Remember to only think positively.
Tree Sky Rest Challenge
Gaze into the azure expanse through peaceful foliage.
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Why? Love yourself and others, love God and improve your quality of life.
When: Any time.
Where: Toowoomba
Cost: Mostly free.
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