Alternatives to the “17 Before 2017” Challenge

Alternatives to the "17 Before 2017" challenge, for when you don't have the time or energy.

Have you heard of the “17 Before 2017” list, where you challenge yourself to achieve 17 things before the start of the new year? (Mine is embedded below if you want to check it out.)

If it sounds intriguing but you’re worried you might not have the time to complete it, read on for my alternatives to the "17 Before 2017” challenge, some of which will only require a few minutes of your time, and one of which (#9) will actually SAVE you time.


Alternatives to the "17 Before 2017" challenge, for when you don't have the time or energy.

Last week I uploaded a video of my own “17 Before 2017” list. The response was overwhelmingly positive and, if you’re a crazy person like me, you could just follow suit and set yourself goals so large you’d have to skip sleep between now and the New Year to actually achieve them. 😉

UPDATE: My progress report on how I fared is now on the right. :D​ Just click each video to play.

But some of you are of the sane variety 😉 and you expressed uncertainty about whether or not you could actually complete 17 things in such a short space of time — some of you were relocating, some undergoing surgery, some were understandably feeling a little unsure about packing even more onto your already-full plate…

And some of you were just plain struggling to come up with 17 things. (I definitely found it tricky.)

With that in mind, I thought I’d put together a list of options for your consideration. Here is my list of alternatives to the “17 Before 2017 ” challenge:

1. Read 17 (short) books or 17 chapters of a book.​

2. Read 17 magazines, comics, catalogues, or online articles.

3. Watch 17 classic movies, or 17 episodes of your favourite TV show.​

4. Declutter 17 items from your home. (They can be random or all from the same category, eg. 17 items of clothing.)​

Alternatives to the "17 Before 2017" challenge, for when you don't have the time or energy.

5. Learn 17 new things about a topic you're interested in.​

6. Write 17 emails or letters to friends you haven't seen in a while.

7. Try 17 new recipes or foods. (Bonus points if the recipes are all based around one staple ingredient, eg. pasta.)

8. Wear at least 17 different outfits.​

9. Delegate 17 things on your to-do list to someone else.​

10. Write 17 things you want to achieve in 2017.​

11. Visit 17 new places. (They can be local, such as a museum or park.)

Alternatives to the "17 Before 2017" challenge, for when you don't have the time or energy.

12. Clean 17 things that aren't part of your regular cleaning routine (eg. washing machine, dishwasher, gutters, windows, baseboards, etc.)​.

13. Pick 1 big goal and come up with 17 ways you could achieve it.

14. Save at least €/£/$17 on your average grocery bill (by meal planning​, couponing, cutting back on junk food, removing some items from your cart before checking out, buying online to avoid impulse purchases, etc.).

15. Save at least €/£/$17 on a utility or insurance bill by calling the company and asking for a better deal.​

16. Do 17 workout sessions.

Alternatives to the

17. Create 17 new things from a hobby (eg. painting, knitting, etc.).

18. Attend 17 events. (Christmas parties totally count.)

19. Make a playlist of 17 of your favourite songs.​

20. Listen to 17 episodes of your favourite podcasts.

21. Recycle/donate 17 things.

Alternatives to the "17 Before 2017" challenge, for when you don't have the time or energy.

22. Find new uses for 17 things (eg. cereal boxes as drawer dividers, jars as pen holders, yogurt pots to plant seedlings, etc).

23. List 17 things you're grateful for.

24. Write at least 17 journal entries.​

25. ​Schedule 17 meetings/appointments (eg, clients, dental & medical check-ups, eye test, hair salon, play dates, family photo shoot, etc.)

26. Delete at least 17 files from your computer.

27. Delete at least 17 photos from your phone.​

Alternatives to the "17 Before 2017" challenge, for when you don't have the time or energy.

28. Unfollow at least 17 people/accounts you're no longer interested in on social media.

29. Try 17 new crafts with your kids.

30. Perform 17 random acts of kindness.

31. Set a timer for 17 minutes and get to work on that one big, scary thing you've been putting off.

32. Read 17 stories with your kids.

33. Have 17 minutes of "me time" daily.

Alternatives to the "17 Before 2017" challenge, for when you don't have the time or energy.

34. Listen to 17 new songs/artists/albums.

35. If you're job-seeking, apply for at least 17 jobs.

36. Walk/jog/run 17 kilometres/miles. (It doesn't have to be all at once but, if you can, more power to you.)

37. List 17 happy memories from the past year.

38. List 17 of your greatest achievements to date.​

Alternatives to the

39. Spend 17 minutes researching something you've been curious about or that's been bugging you.

40. Learn 17 phrases in a foreign language or in sign language.

41. Prepare 17 healthy snacks or meals. (Freeze if necessary.)

42. Play 17 games (board, video, outdoor, etc.)

43. Add 17 new contacts to your professional network (eg. on LinkedIn).

44. Spend 17 hours volunteering.

45. Watch 17 sunrises and/or sunsets.

Alternatives to the

46. Learn and locate 17 constellations in the night sky.

47. Plant 17 new flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables and/or fruits.​

48. Invite 17 people over for a party.

49. Donate €/£/$17 to a worthy cause.

50. Open a savings account and set up an automatic monthly deposit of €/£/$17.

OK, admittedly I was planning on making that list 17 items long… and then I got carried away. Just goes to show that there are so many alternatives to the “17 Before 2017” challenge. So, if you’ve been struggling to come up with 17 things, or you just don’t think you’ll have the time or energy to devote to that many goals, something on the above list may take your fancy instead.

Or maybe something above sparked your imagination and you’ve come up with an entirely new one for yourself. Either way, use your creativity to think outside the box… and let’s all start 2017 having already achieved so much!


Which of the above alternatives to the "17 Before 2017" challenge is your favourite?

Can you think of any others?

Why not bookmark the page so you can come back to it next time you're up for a challenge?

And hey, share the post with your friends so you can all take on the challenge together. Nothing like a bit of accountability to keep you on track and encourage some healthy competition. 😉

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  1. I love this idea. Unfortunately, I only found your post yesterday, so I have really limited the time I have available before the new year. I have ten items on my list so far. I am tempted to include one that says “create 17 before 2017” as one of my items.

    Thanks for the motivation to get something done this month and not just skate into the new year.

    • You could try writing a “17 For 2017” list instead. =) Here are some other (seasonal) ideas: watch your favourite Christmas movie, bake Christmas cookies, decorate a gingerbread house, buy a pair of cosy socks, have a duvet day, get grocery shopping delivered, book a hair appointment, decide on a New Year’s resolution, go for a walk, try a fruit you’ve never eaten before…

      Hope you found some inspiration there. =) Good luck!

  2. loved this post – and loved your list, I am busy writing down some ideas of my own now 🙂

  3. Pingback: 17 before 2017 - Getfithappyhealthy

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