Over 50s Lifestyle Stepping Out of my comfort zone

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone in April

April 30, 2018
Stepping Outside my Comfort Zone

Stepping Outside my Comfort Zone

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone is a new monthly idea from my friend Leslie at Once Upon A Time, Happily Ever After.  Leslie described her new series as:

My vision for this series is to push myself out of my comfort zone so that I begin doing things that I have until now been scared or uncomfortable to try. Nothing illegal – ha – or too crazy!

and she has invited others to take this challenge with her.  You can read about what others did to step out of their comfort zone through the link up at the end of this post.

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone in April

What did I do to step out of my comfort zone in April? 

I’m sure many of my regular readers would be able to guess.  I took the Blogging from AtoZ Challenge. That means writing 26 posts from AtoZ, Monday to Saturday for the whole of April.  It also needed to be theme based.

I hadn’t planned on attempting the challenge this year because it can be quite overwhelming and time-consuming.  My BBB (BestBloggingBuddy), Leanne from Cresting the Hill and a NBF, New Blogging Friend, Jennifer from Tracking Down the Family & Next Phase Fitness in Life both ‘pestered’ me to do it that I gave in and joined up.  ‘It will be fine’, they said!  ‘You’ve done it before’, they said!

How is that stepping out of my comfort zone? 

I can hear you saying that ‘this doesn’t sound too scary!’  However, I believe that one concept of stepping out of our comfort zone is about doing something different to your normal routine.  Walking a different route on your daily walk, doing things differently which makes you think rather than doing them sub-consciously.

Writing posts daily from Monday to Saturday

I normally post 3 times a week, occasionally more.  However, posting each day except Sunday for a month was certainly challenging, especially as that was in addition to my weekly newsletter, maintaining and presenting the weekly Over 50 & Thriving Guest Series, adhoc posts such as Wellness Wednesday and also co-hosting the Midlife Share the Love Party. It wasn’t just writing them but also scheduling in the time to write the post, schedule and then linkup to the AtoZ site through the Blogging AtoZ Facebook Group.

Stretching my creative side

Coming up with the idea wasn’t too difficult as Thrive is my word for 2018.  However, thinking of words and subjects connecting with Thriving in Life for each letter of the alphabet was challenging.  I was also trying to avoid the obvious word choices such as ‘T is for Thriving’  and finding something different wasn’t always easy, especially with those pesky letters like X.

I also had some difficulty coming up with my ‘K’ because I didn’t want to use Kindness.  I eventually had a light bulb moment with ‘K’ is for Key- You hold the key to the thriving in life

Researching the topic, writing about it and also including a relevant quote stretched my capacity to work in a timeframe.

Keeping Quality while writing Quantity

I pride myself on having a high standard when it comes to writing.  I might not be a famous author but each post I write is one that I am proud of and rarely feel that is it just writing for the sake of posting something on my website.

The challenge was to keep the posts on theme, informative and at a standard I was happy with.

Commenting and answering comments

Part of the challenge is not just writing the post but also answering comments from readers who have taken the time to read and leave me their thoughts.  It also involves commenting on the bloggers who have taken the challenge.

This is important, because everyone has put in time and effort to take the challenge, so leaving a meaningful comment helps motivate them to keep going. It was encouraging to read other bloggers who write in my niche of midlife & beyond and connecting with them.

What did I learn from Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone with this Challenge?

  • I learned that I do have staying power by not giving up, even though I sometimes had trouble thinking of what to write.
  • I extended my creative thinking
  • I learned some time management
  • I connected with some new blogging friends and readers
  • I felt a great sense of achievement at having accomplished my goal

I stuck with it for the whole month and was thrilled that many of the comments left by readers, suggested that they loved my theme of AtoZ Guide to Thriving in life and were also complimentary of the quality of the posts.   It certainly helps to know that someone out there enjoys your work and thoughts so I always encourage my readers to leave me a comment when they visit.

I would love to share some comments left on my website with you.

You have inspired me to be more creative

Sue, I love the way you’ve combined lifelong learning with creativity.

You’ve chosen such wonderful words and thoughts throughout this whole challenge.

Another great post from an inspirational woman!

Taking a challenge needs support

Sometimes when you undertake a challenge, you need support and cheerleaders so thank you to the AtoZ Team and also thank you to everyone who spent some time to read a leave a comment at any time during the month.  I appreciate your visit and thoughts.

I would also like to share some new blogging friends that I have made during the Challenge.  They also participated and I was inspired with the creative ideas they each had for their AtoZ theme.  These are all women who write about Midlife and beyond and their adventures, so I would encourage you to pop over to their websites to discover more about them.

Jennifer – Next Phase Fitness in Life
Karen – Profound Journey
Shirley – Rise and Soar
Weekends in Maine
Heather – Facing Cancer with Grace
Toni – Toni Pike, Author
Trisha Faye – Trisha Faye

A huge thank you to the A to Z Team for the support and encouragement shown throughout the Challenge.

Founder: Arlee – Tossing it Out


Alex – Alex J. Cavanaugh, Jeremy –Hollywood Nuts, Heather M. Gardner – The Waiting is the Hardest Part, Zalka – The Multicolored Diary, John – The Sound of One Hand Typing and J Lenni Dorner Blog of J. Lenni Dorner.

Will I take the AtoZ Challenge in 2019?  You will have to wait and see…..however, if you have a theme you would like me to consider, I would love your ideas!


What is one thing you could try to step out of your comfort zone in May?  Join the conversation as I love hearing about your ideas and what you think.


Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone


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  • Reply Miriam April 30, 2018 at 18:58

    Wonderful post Sue and you should absolutely be proud of yourself stepping out of your comfort zone, and for not just completing the challenge but coming up with great words and relevant captivating content. As a relative newcomer to your blog I’ve loved and resonated with every post I’ve read. (Now to go back to the many I missed). Great job Sue. Happy blogging into the future. ?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 30, 2018 at 19:06

      Thank you Miriam for your encouraging and supportive words. I’m so happy we have connected and look forward to chatting more. Yes it was pretty heavy going but I do love a challenge. I felt that it really stretched me to be creative with my words and also write something meaningful. Your comment is very much appreciated. 🙂

      • Reply Miriam April 30, 2018 at 19:17

        I’m glad we’ve commented too Sue and I’m sure we’ll chat more in the future. Well done again on stretching that creativity. x ?

  • Reply Ally Bean April 30, 2018 at 21:40

    I did the A To Z Challenge one year and came to similar conclusions to yours. Now I’m kind of an A To Z Challenge Enthusiast who roots for other people to make it through. My point here is that for me to get involved in any online event, and then make a point of supporting other people who do it, is a way to step outside my blogging comfort zone. I’m an introvert who has blogged forever, but rarely joined in… until these last few years.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 1, 2018 at 01:56

      Oh it is the perfect way to get involved isn’t it Ally. However, I did find trying to visit and comment on everyone the real challenge. Thanks for stopping by to visit and now we all breathe a sigh and calmly enter May!

  • Reply Weekends in Maine April 30, 2018 at 21:53

    Thanks for the shout out and congrats for making it through the A to Z Challenge in such a fabulous fashion. My favorite part of the challenge is virtually visiting and meeting other bloggers along the way. It makes blogging feel less isolating. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to what you write next. Karen at Weekends In Maine

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 1, 2018 at 01:53

      My pleasure and congratulations to you. We made it through the challenge! I enjoyed visiting your blog and agree the favorite part of the challenge is connecting with new bloggers plus my regular blogging friends. Enjoy your week, Karen and I look forward to your next post, which won’t have to start with any particular letter of the alphabet LOL:)

  • Reply cassidl May 1, 2018 at 00:01

    what a fun challenge and such a great way to explore uncharted territory

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:58

      Yes it was challenging but I did have fun trying to think outside the box. Thanks for visiting and have a great day! x

  • Reply Karen Hume May 1, 2018 at 04:15

    You did a great job on the challenge, Sue. And I think it definitely qualifies as stepping outside your comfort zone, even though you’ve done it before. Simply keeping all of those balls in the air and a smile on your face is a pretty big leap out of a comfort zone 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:53

      Hi Karen, yes I felt that because I had stretched my thinking to look for different topics rather than the obvious ones, it certainly took me out of my comfort zone. It has been great to connect and will be following your blog which is a great outcome from AtoZ – the new connections we make.

  • Reply Karen Hume May 1, 2018 at 04:16

    Darn. I hit send before also thanking you so much for the shout out, and also for encouraging me to join in the Midlife Link Party. Your support and encouragement have been greatly appreciated.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:55

      It was my pleasure Karen and you are a welcome addition to the Midlife Link Party. It is great to connect with like-minded women and we learn so much from each other. Looking forward to continuing our new friendship x

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt May 1, 2018 at 05:09

    Hi Sue, although I couldn’t read each A-Z post, I congratulate you on making the time and commitment to writing almost daily. It’s a good goal for me one of these days!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:47

      Hi Terri and it is lovely to hear from you. It is just as challenging trying to read posts daily and comment, especially if you have a few favourite bloggers! Yes I’m sure you would add value to the Challenge and would certainly have plenty of topics for Leisure. xx

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee May 1, 2018 at 08:49

    I’m in the Wednesday club and that’s about trying new things. Someone else is picking May and their choice is not a new thing for me…but sometimes you have to go with the flow….

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:38

      Oh I love the idea of the Wednesday club, Lydia. It doesn’t matter if you do some things that aren’t new because you can rediscover. What a fabulous idea thanks for sharing it with me.

  • Reply Victoria May 1, 2018 at 10:24

    To do what you and Leanne did with the A to Z challenge would be a real out of my comfort zone. I am not sure I could think of 26 things to blog about. Good job.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:32

      I know what you mean Victoria. I found that once I used Thrive it wasn’t too bad, although I wanted to right about topics which weren’t the obvious ones, so that stretched my mind. It is amazing what some ideas people come up with and I have some great ideas for next year. Thanks for the support and have a beautiful day xx

  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 1, 2018 at 11:36

    HI, Sue – While the rest of us are relaxing at the Finish Line, you have already written and published your Reflection Post! Very impressive!!
    I loved your thriving series, and the thoughtful, inspiring posts that you published each day. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:41

      Hi Donna! The new link up I’ve joined Stepping out of my comfort zone, was perfect timing to write my ’roundup’ post for AtoZ. I actually feel a little lost now that the pressure of posting every day has been taken off. I must be a ‘glutton for punishment’! Have a great day! xx

  • Reply Natalie May 1, 2018 at 12:07

    Congratulations, Sue, for finishing your A to Z Challenge, and continuing with Leslie’s Stepping Out of Comfort Zone link up this month. I enjoy reading your posts, and a variety of new activities that different bloggers take on out of their comfort zone. Have a fabulous week!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:29

      Hi Natalie, yes I’m not sure what to do with myself now that the challenge has finished! I’m enjoying the new link up with Leslie and reading what others do to Step out of their comfort zone. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by xx

  • Reply Toni Pike May 1, 2018 at 22:12

    Congratulations, Sue. Your A to Z Challenge series was really remarkable – I read every article and they were all gems. I don’t know how you managed to do it when you already have such a busy schedule, and I loved the way you didn’t just come up with the obvious topics but came up with so many original ideas.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:25

      I really appreciate your support Toni and although I wasn’t sure about doing the Challenge, once I started I was surprised at how great it felt to stretch my mind and try to think of different topics as well as keeping the quality there. I think a book might have been born! xx

  • Reply Christie Hawkes May 1, 2018 at 22:16

    Good morning Sue! As always, I am impressed by your accomplishments and enthusiasm. I can’t imagine posting a blog a day right now–and as you said, not just any post, but carefully thought-out and well-written pieces. Nice job! As for what I did to step out of my comfort zone recently, I’ve given up my morning drive-up pull through. If I want a latte bad enough to park the car and walk in, I’ll get one. If not, I drive on by. That is literally giving up my comfort. 🙂 But it helps the environment and gives me a couple of extra steps. Thanks for cohosting #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. Have a lovely day!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 07:05

      Hi Christie thanks for your kind words of encouragement and support. It certainly was a Challenge but perhaps I have started my book without realising it. I’ve wanted to write one for quite some time and am thinking of expanding each post into a chapter – what do you think? I think any change to our routine is stepping out of our comfort zone so good for you with the latte drive-through. Thanks for co-hosting #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty, I need to get on to commenting on those posts now! It never ends LOL:)

  • Reply Jennifer Jones May 1, 2018 at 22:22

    Loved reading your AtoZ wrap up post Sue. Well done and congratulations.i loved reading your posts each day. It’s easy just to put anything on the page just to get it done. But to produce quality every day for a month & still manage to do your regular posts is a huge huge achievement. Very inspiring!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:23

      Thanks so much Jen, I feel a bit of a let down now because the pressure is off! It has been so lovely really connecting with you in April and building a friendship. Have a great week! xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones May 1, 2018 at 22:47

    Thanks also for mentioning my blog Sue. I appreciate your support

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:22

      To me, Jen, blogging is all about supporting each other and it was my pleasure to mention your blog. I hope you get some new visitors. xx

  • Reply danimpark May 2, 2018 at 04:18

    Wow Sue! 26 blog posts in a month. I am very impressed. And to challenge yourself to think outside of the box for some of the letters as well. That is fantastic.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 06:18

      Hi Dani, thanks for stopping by and yes it certainly was a challenge. Although, once I had my theme and something for each letter it seemed to flow. I was also grateful for the positive feedback I received each day which helped me keep going. Thanks for visiting an have a great day! x

  • Reply trishafaye May 2, 2018 at 07:57

    I am so glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and participated in the A to Z challenge. Although I’ve followed you for awhile, I wasn’t a regular visitor on the site. Sometimes I’d hop in and read, often I’d keep scrolling, due to a time crunch of one sort or another.
    Because of the challenge we’ve had more interaction with each other and I truly have enjoyed your posts!
    Thanks for the shout out here, Sue! You’re certainly thriving and sizzling – you’re an inspiration to us!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 09:29

      HI Trisha Faye it is so hard to comment on everyone isn’t it. I now have quite a list of favourite bloggers and actually I’m glad that the challenge is over because most of us don’t blog every day so I will have time to read and appreciate my favourites. I’m so pleased we have connected and that you enjoyed the series. Not sure if you know but I co-host a Midlife Share the Love Party each Wednesday which I would love you to link up with. You may already link up but if not please join us and have a great day!

      • Reply trishafaye May 2, 2018 at 10:32

        Yes, I’ve got my link in there already! Thank you. Such wonderful blogs you have participating in the party!

        • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 10:34

          Oh perfect! Just wanted to make sure you were there xx

        • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 10:37

          yes I just commented before! Great to have you join us xx

  • Reply writeofthemiddle May 2, 2018 at 08:56

    You’ve done a fabulous job of the A-Z challenge and yes I do think your posts are always well thought out , researched and worded. Of course they are always on topics of interest to me too. I do think you should put all your A-Z posts on the theme of Thrive into a book/e-book! Well done to you – hope you get a bit more rest during May now! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 09:31

      Hi Min thanks for the lovely words of encouragement. I’m seriously considering a book and maybe a shorter ebook version as a freebie. Now we have Mindful in May to look forward to but at a slower pace 🙂

  • Reply agnesknowles May 2, 2018 at 08:59

    I don’t always love the Challenges, but I do appreciate them for the limits they’ve stretched over the years! and there is always that feeling of accomplishment when you’ve come out the other side! Congratulations on stepping outside The Zone!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 09:31

      Hello Agnes and lovely to meet you. I wasn’t going to do the challenge but so pleased I did. Have a great week and looking forward to getting to know you.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 10:01

      Hi Agnes, do you have a website? I can’t seem to find a link? x

  • Reply Jo May 2, 2018 at 11:15

    Well done Sue. I love the fact that you’ve learned from stepping outside your comfort zone and completing the challenge. You must have been extremely disciplined to fit it into your life, and I think next up please should be a post on all the time management skills you’ve learned through it. I don’t underestimate the extra work it was – it’s not just about writing a blog post, is it! Congrats again. xx Shared 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2018 at 11:16

      Thanks Jo and also for the post tip! Maybe I do need to write about time management 🙂 It was a challenge but once I had it set out in my mind I rather enjoyed writing about the different topics. Thanks for sharing and have a great week 🙂

  • Reply Jan Wild May 2, 2018 at 14:57

    I have no idea how you maintain the energy and enthusiasm to do all that you do. Having just moved from posting fortnightly to weekly I find that quite enough. Yes I do tend to write long form posts which in theory take more time but there is still all the other ‘hidden’ work that goes into a blog post. There is no way to minimise that. Given that ‘real life’ still goes on I think you are amazing. Congratulations on a great series of posts.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 3, 2018 at 06:55

      Sometimes I wonder if I’m just crazy Jan because it really did take up so much time. I felt I was living a breathing AtoZ. I have a very understanding husband that is for use. Your posts are always so well thought out and researched which takes a lot of time. For me the challenge was to keep the posts at a certain standard rather than just a quick post and run. Thanks for your comment and have a beautiful day xx

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 2, 2018 at 15:44

    As I’ve said before Sue, I thoroughly enjoyed your month and can imagine things may seem a tad quiet for a while. Your reflection post shows us how you stepped out of your comfort zone and thrived!! Great work ? I’ve shared too #mlstl

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 3, 2018 at 06:56

      Thanks for sharing Deb and yes I’ve already felt the loss of not posting daily. My May looks a bit sad but I think I’ve deserved some time out anyway! xx

  • Reply Leanne May 2, 2018 at 16:20

    Well I’m really glad I inspired (pestered) you into joining the Challenge – it looks like you got to tick off two Challenges in one month by doing this! I know you’ll be as glad as I am that it’s over – I wonder if we’ll get sucked in again next year? I tell myself I won’t, but I’m sure February will roll around and I’ll start getting the urge to put myself to the test again. In the meantime it’s nice to kick back and reduce all that writing and commenting to a more manageable level again xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 3, 2018 at 06:57

      I know what you mean Leanne, I actually had to give myself a slap because I was starting to think of next year!!! We must be masochists! xx

  • Reply thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany May 2, 2018 at 19:32

    This month I really need to step out into a few new locations by myself. I have grown comfortable going to the grocery store and the pharmacy. But, I need to continue pushing my language skills and try to do a few more things on my own (without my husband’s help). It’s really hard to do this, my German skills are nicht so gut!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 3, 2018 at 06:58

      Oh I’m sure you have plenty of ways to step out of your comfort zone living in another country. Just that would be a daily ‘out of my comfort zone’ experience. Have a great day!

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 2, 2018 at 23:11

    Sue, visiting from MLSTL, but you know I’d visit anyway! And you’re the second person who’s encouraging the “step out of your comfort zone” monthly link. Might have to think about it some more… it fits with my SOAR, and I like how your phrased some elements — doing “normal” things differently or stretching your creativity. Again, congrats on finishing A to Z. I was one of those people who read quite a few folks daily… and that in itself was a challenge. I cannot imagine also having to respond to comments on top of also posting an idea a day. Remind me of this statement when you-all try and get me to do it next year. 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 3, 2018 at 07:03

      Hi Pat! The commenting on others and replying to comments received really added the pressure. Would love to have you join the new Stepping Outside your comfort zone link up. It is monthly so let me know if you want more details. xx

  • Reply Bren May 3, 2018 at 00:44

    What a fabulous challenge! So proud of you, Sue! I wish I could discipline myself to write daily for a challenge like this but unfortunately, I’d fail on Day 1. 🙂 I admire all those who participated. Truly a great feat!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 3, 2018 at 07:03

      Thanks so much Bren and I’m sure you wouldn’t fail on the first day. However, it did take up a lot of time, sometimes I thought I was physically connected to my laptop!

  • Reply Michele @liferedesign101 May 3, 2018 at 03:26

    Good for you for sticking with this challenge. I sometimes feel challenged to write one decent post a week! I do have other things I am working on so blogging is just a small part of my week. You did a great job of coming up with something interesting and inspiring each day!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 3, 2018 at 07:06

      Thanks so much Michele it was a great way to challenge myself and try to keep the quality in the content. I would love to hear more about what you are doing! Have a great day! xx

  • Reply mommyhon333 May 3, 2018 at 11:13

    Hey, Sue!
    What an accomplishment to have written 26 QUALITY posts in almost as many days. I am so proud of you. I think if I ever try to tackle this in the future, I need to start writing my posts in January! Or earlier. Doing this challenge would certainly be well out of my comfort zone. Sounds like it was wonderful exercise in inspiring creativity. One year, I started with a 31 days challenge and planned to review 31 children’s books. Was almost to the end when my mom fell very ill and I had to stop. Maybe I will try again this year.

    Thank you for sharing what you learned and inspiring all of us to grow!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2018 at 08:58

      Wow reviewing 31 books would have been a challenge Leslie but a great excuse to read children’s books! Thank you for your kind words and have a beautiful day xx

  • Reply Kalpana May 4, 2018 at 16:10

    Your A to Z posts were wonderful Sue – sadly I didn’t get to read all of them because I was trying to catch up with so many blogs – but I hope to read them all eventually. Time management and creativity are the behind the scenes helpers who ensured your wise and lovely blog posts were published. Thank you for that.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2018 at 05:11

      No problem Kalpana I found it difficult to keep up with all the blogs I wanted to comment on. Thank you for your kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed reading my thoughts. Have a great weekend x

  • Reply Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid May 10, 2018 at 10:43

    I admire you Sue for you effort and YOU DID IT! I couldn’t have kept up. You mention taking time to reply to comments from readers. That’s a HUGE thing about blogging and a MUST in my opinion. Some bloggers never ever bother. Shared your post x 4 ♥

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2018 at 13:36

      Thanks Dee. I do believe that commenting on other blogs and also replying to comments left on my blog is vital to keep the connection going and to build relationships x

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