March comes in like a lion and out like a ...
lamb lady. In honor of Women's History Month, here are 31 fierce, fun, and fabulous "fempowering" daily challenges to help you become the best woman you can be.
The best part? You don't have to stop when March ends. Incorporate these "fempowering" lifestyle choices into every single day of your year!
1. Compliment other women.
Every day this month, challenge yourself to combat cattiness with compliments. Go beyond surface-level "I love your skirt. Where did you get it?" remarks to praise your female friends and colleagues on their interpersonal qualities like intelligence, determination, and sense of humor.
2. Learn a new skill.
Whether it's learning a new language, learning to cook, or simply learning how to get rid of that annoying "Not Enough Storage" notification on your phone, improving yourself is one of many ways to empower yourself.
3. Stop apologizing for your natural beauty.
If you're leaving the house with tousled house or a make-up free face, it's too late to say "sorry." And why should you? Uncontoured, unquaffed you is beautiful.
4. Color outside the lines.
Women are often taught to be polite, quiet, obedient — basically to color inside the lines of life. Break the rules on paper to get comfortable breaking free of gendered expectations in your life. There's no better place to do so than the new notorious RBG printable coloring book.
5. Learn about a powerful woman in history.
From Catherine the Great to Eleanor Roosevelt to Lucille Ball, there are so many amazing role models for modern women of all ages. The best part? You can easily learn about them through their memoirs. While they're not all side-splitters like Mindy Kaling's, Tina Fey's, or Amy Poehler's, they're certainly worth reading — and taking notes.
6. Love your body. All of it.
If you've got it, flaunt it. And if you're stuck with it, that's all the more reason to flaunt it. Some parts of your body you just can't change (no matter how hard you've tried), so it's about time you showed them some love. Because every body is worth celebrating.
7. Call out a mansplainer — nicely.
Don't fight rudeness with rudeness. You don't have to be mean to stand your ground or provide support to another woman who's been mansplained. Instead, say, "That's a good point, Joe, and relates back to Jane's original idea. Maybe she can expand some more on it?" Then perhaps open a dialogue with Joe on ways he can be more aware of "mansplaining" in the future, so he can catch himself before he starts..
8. Take a break from your emotional labor.
While office civility is important to extend to both genders, don't allow your male co-workers, friends, or partner to take advantage of you because women are "better" at "emotional labor," like remembering birthdays, planning playdates, and offering service with a smile. (yes, that includes executive meetings).
9. Ask for what you want in the bedroom — and don’t stop until you get it.
How many times in the last month were your sexual needs compromised or forgotten about completely? If the answer's more than zero, you deserve better. And you're the only one who's gonna make sure you get it. If you don't know where to begin, here's the perfect place.
10. Create something.
Leave your mark this month. Whether it's planting seeds for the summer, making a painting, reusing household products for a fun and useful craft, or starting that novel you always wanted to write, you'll always feel empowered when you can say, "Look, I made this."
11. Embrace your flaws and work on them.
Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Accept them as inherent to your personality. Then, think of strategies to improve what you might consider to be your weaknesses. You won't be able to "fix" these flaws overnight — or even in a month — but self-reflection and self-improvement can help you achieve self-empowerment.
12. Do something alone.
You don't have to make any profound "I'm an independent woman who don't need no man" declaration by going to the movies or a restaurant alone, unless you want to! If you don't, think of an activity you usually do with friends (like exercising or shopping) and try it alone.
13. Do something with friends.
Yes, this can (and should!) include your male friends. Think about something you normally do alone, like cooking your favorite food or binge-watching your latest Netflix obsession. This month, introduce that activity to your friends and create an event out of it.
14. Say “no” to something without offering an explanation.
Whether it's a date with someone you're not interested in, or an extra work project when your plate's already full, you always have the right to say "no" —and nothing else. Save your breath for something more important, like inhaling a glass of your preferred alcoholic beverage.
15. Talk about your love interests, and then other stuff.
Being "fempowered" doesn't mean you can't obsess over the guy or girl you're crushing on this month. Go ahead, dissect their latest text with a panel of your closest friends. After you're done, deepen the conversation focus to critical topics like the 2016 election, a recent technological advance, or sexism and racism in Hollywood.
16. Increase your intake of feminist media.
17. Become an expert in an untapped area of interest.
OK, so you can't become an "expert" in a month, but it's more than enough time to take the first few steps towards uncovering a long-held fascination. Take a free online class to learn code, read a book about marine biology, or do what-the-fem-ever sparks your interest.
18. Scare yourself.
Don't worry, there's no need to vanquish your deepest, darkest fear in one fell swoop. Just do something small and simple, but nonetheless scary to you. You chose your fear, and you'll choose how to face it.
19. Ignore an obligation.
You know that party for that person you don't really like but feel like you have to go to? Skip it. That early morning boot camp class your friend always drags you to? Sleep in. While some obligations should never be ignored, know when it's time to cut yourself some slack.
20. Meet up with a female role model.
Catch up over lunch with a respected work mentor. Grab coffee with an influential professor. Go to a book reading and signing of a favorite author. Whatever you do, you're strengthening the bond between yourself and a woman you admire. Double the fempowerment means double the fun.
21. Stop making excuses for others, especially love interests.
Your friend flaked on dinner plans. Your co-worker was late on their part of the project. The guy you like hasn't responded to your text — from last week. Recognize these people for who they are, and adjust your expectations accordingly.
23. Pursue a passion project.
Stop putting off your passion project until tomorrow, or next week, or next month. The woman you always wanted to be is inside you, and she's ready to WORK.
22. Gossip less.
While Gossip Girl will always be a beloved classic, the premise didn't make for a fempowering female friendship. How many times did Blair and Serena feud over a rumor? Too many to count. When in doubt, just think: gossip less, share more.
24. Make a new female friend.
On the subject of female friends, why not make a new one? Introduce yourself to that cool girl in your exercise class, or ask a new female co-worker to hang out after work. Or if you'd like to go the technologically-advanced route, try the new Hey! Vina app (only available in a few cities).
25. Stop saying "I'm bored."
Instead of stating the obvious, take a moment to think why you're bored. Is it because you only use (and let's be real, overuse) the same three apps all day long? To combat ennui, use your time productively. Create a list of activities and pull it out whenever you're about to say the "b" word.
26. Make yourself less available to others and more available to yourself.
It's called the feminine mystique for a reason, right? Go off the grid, if only for a day. Simply put your phone on "Do Not Disturb" and leave it in another room. Use your uninterrupted alone time to slow down and focus on your priorities.
27. Contribute to a charity benefitting women and girls.
Celebrate Women's History month by changing the "herstory" of women and girls for the better. Donate your time to a local women's shelter or donate funds to global organizations and charities. No matter how little time or money you have to spare, you'll always feel empowered when you empower other women.
28. Write down one personal accomplishment a day.
Not everyone has the time to keep a full-blown diary, but everyone can make time to write down one accomplishment a day. Whether it's nailing a presentation or doing the dishes, you'll feel proud when you look back at the end of the month.
29. Take pictures ... without posting them to social media.
As much as we may hate to admit it, the number of likes our virtual selves get affects our real self-esteem. But here's the thing: If you're actually having fun, you don't need to document it. (Unless you really want to, save it for an April #TBT.) So take a break from seeking Insta-gratification and live like nobody's watching.
30. Say the "F" word.
While cursing can feel pretty empowering, the "F" word here is, drumroll please ... feminism! Feminism often gets a bad rap because it's misunderstood. Having a constructive conversation with both genders about feminism and debunking its myths is necessary to female empowerment. Women can't be the only ones empowering women; they need the wonderful men in their lives to support them, too.
31. Do something that makes you proud to be a woman.
Whatever thing makes you want to shout "Man, I feel like a woman!" from the rooftops, do that thing.