Challenges For Two Or More People
May 11, 2016 6:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a casual challenge of some sort that my wife and I can engage in to compete with each other over the course of a year.

This past January, my wife and I decided to sign up for a stock market game where we each picked a portfolio of stocks. Each month, the winner gets an hour long massage and at the end of the year, the winner gets a romantic trip planned by the loser. It's been fun to check in on our portfolios and talk trash if we're just sitting around.

I want to do another challenge like this one with her next year and beyond. What are some activities that:
1. Can be tracked relatively easily
2. Take a year or slightly more time to complete.

Any ideas?
posted by reenum to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
posted by lois1950 at 6:54 PM on May 11, 2016 [8 favorites]

Obviously most non-economic or scientific competitions would be fairly subjective, so you'd have to amicably come up with some kind of criteria for mutual assessment

- Cooking / baking
- Sports
- Exercise / getting in shape
- Gardening
- Memorizing poetry / or creative writing
- Learning an artform
- Learning a new language
- Learning a new subject in the humanities or sciences
posted by cotesdurhone at 7:12 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Some kind of license or certificate: motorcycle endorsement, real estate license, confined space entry permit...
posted by bendy at 7:13 PM on May 11, 2016

Could you come up with something sort of like fantasy football, maybe "betting" on players in multiple sports over the various seasons? (I know nothing about spectator sports, so I can't be more specific than that.) It seems to me that the element of chance in something closer to your stock picking could save you from a situation where one of you is much more skilled than the other.

Any interest in bowling? You could go weekly and count total pins knocked down each month - if one of you is considerably better, you could use a handicap system. Or maybe you could come up with a system for backgammon or chess tournaments.
posted by FencingGal at 7:22 PM on May 11, 2016

posted by kevinbelt at 7:30 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Keep a game of chess going. One move per day.
posted by hydra77 at 8:12 PM on May 11, 2016

Fantasy football is actually pretty fun for this too. I play with a total of four people, and it's fun and competitive even without really knowing the players. There are plenty of stats you can find online.
posted by hydra77 at 8:14 PM on May 11, 2016

Reading a certain number of books or pages? My brother in law and I have an informal competition to read more books annually.
posted by thewestinggame at 8:20 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Movie Fantasy League?
posted by jacquilynne at 8:24 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

The Sunday New York Times crossword
posted by TrarNoir at 8:35 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Photoshopping for social media domination!
Most likes wins -- if you get reposted by a celebrity, instant win.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 8:57 PM on May 11, 2016

It's not year round, but you may like GISHWHES. Loads of mefites do it.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:37 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

My brother and I have a miles run contest each year - we both set a goal (they're usually different) and it goes from Jan 1 to Dec 31. We compete over percentage of miles run, rather than actual mileage, and usually try to do the last run together at our parents' house over Christmas, complete with a cheering section and champagne at the end. It's pretty marvelous.
posted by punchtothehead at 6:01 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

My husband and I have a fantasy NASCAR Sprint Cup team competition. We schoolyard picked 10 drivers each and after each race we see who is ahead in the points. During the race it is fun because rather than rooting for just one player as we had been, we each have a team and there are a lot of opportunties to be smug and trash talk. ("Oh look, Denny Hamlin got yet ANOTHER speeding penalty!" "Well, Jimmie Johnson just took out Dale, and they are both yours!") At the end of the season the loser has to plan... something... for the other person. Right now I am kicking his ever loving ass (which serves him right for picking Clint Boyer). Maybe NASCAR isn't your thing but maybe another sport is. Or hey, choose a sport that neither of you watch or know anything about and just see who randomly is able to pick the best fantasy league! Watching the sport is optional.

Also, We have a monthly Date Night where we take turns making a fun meal for each other. We have a rule that it has to be brand new recipes every time. While not explicitly or deliberately competitive, there is a definite sense of wanting to top the previous month's date night. We've ended up having truly spectacular meals with all sorts of themes. My husband actually got the recipes for what we ate at a restaurant in Las Vegas the last night of our honeymoon and recreated the whole meal, including the fancy drinks. It took two days of preparation and cooking. TWO. DAYS. And hot damn, was it ever worth it. I have no words for how amazing that meal was. I am still trying to top it but damn.. that was just... epic. So it is competitive, but nice competitive because we're competing to see who can do the most awesome thing for the other person.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 7:05 AM on May 12, 2016 [8 favorites]

My partner and I are traveling a lot this year, so we decided to call it a Big Year and try to see as many bird species as possible, 500 is the stated goal (we're at ~205 now). It's basically real life Pokemon, minus the balls, and the rewards are built in the challenge: plenty of travel from cross-country jags to mini-road trips, exploring new and hidden spots for rare birds, the thrill of eBird data management... It's definitely more of a collaborative effort than a competition, but there's plenty of trash talking when one of us sees a bird missed by the other.
posted by Freyja at 10:12 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Maybe something similar to Streak for the Cash? It combines a lot of different sports, some which neither of you are likely to have much knowledge in, and would involve competing against each other and yourselves. And you could definitely modify it to fit you and your wife's interests (e.g. only certain sports, bringing in non-sport binaries like elections or odd/even numbers, etc.)
posted by that silly white dress at 11:16 AM on May 12, 2016

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