A new year brings opportunities to change. This goes for listeners make New Year’s Resolutions, and can also be effective for your show. The New Year Challenge can be great serial content, or provide inspiration for listeners to share stories with you.

New Year Challenge

Start planning early and brainstorm to find clever, creative ways to connect storylines into the segment. Set this up in December, if possible, but launch it the first week of January. Starting the story before Christmas will get lost in the holiday shuffle.

Here are a few ideas as thought-starters:

  • 100 days to learn a new skill or hobby. The idea behind it is that anyone can learn any skill with a commitment for 100 days. Details here. Make a commitment to learn something new, but make it something fun, like dancing (as in the linked video). Take listeners on the journey with you on the air and via daily videos.
  • Try something new that scares you. Some stations have staged Face YOur Fears or focused on overcoming fear during a Theme Week. This is a great time to show your character in a vulnerable way. Do Something in public or on-stage. Anything that draws an audience in public has potential. Maybe it’s singing, performing stand up, acting in a play, learning and instrument and playing in a band, etc.
  • Sex (or no sex) for xx days: Find couples who make a commitment to “get busy” every day. Maybe you get 3 couples competing to see who can do it every day for the longest period of time. Or find one to commit to every day for 100 days. Too much? Try the 30 Day Challenge. Or reverse it, and see who can hold off the longest (or for a specific period of time).
  • Start a 100 day project: Maybe it’s a craft, or an art project. Or starting an online story, adding one line or paragraph to social media every day. Get listeners involved to help write the line each day as the story expands.
See also  6 Keys to a Great Year End Countdown Show


The keys to making this work on the air is to find a storyline that enhances your personality/character brand. Then build suspense each day by adding to the story.

This could create a story arc of serial content that lures listeners back to the show each day for an appointment. This drives ratings, as increasing a show’s Daily Cume is one of the most effective methods of our Double Your Ratings strategy.