The Gauntlet

20 Mar


The time has come, the walrus said, for you to do something with your damn self.

Actually, the walrus wanted to talk about many things like shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. But I want to talk about you. And how it’s go time.

I’m throwing down The Gauntlet.

Let’s start with the nitty gritty, for those of you just tuning in. In 2011, I launched a 365 Project and vowed to post every day of the year. All I wanted was to accomplish a resolution and point to a black and white goal to say I achieved it, but in the process I became an accidental advocate of 365 Projects for how the deliberate, applied effort at something over the course of time can help you eliminate excuses, set yourself up for success, and get you closer to your goals. Because the postaday challenge in 2011 did so many wonderful things for me (even though I hated it very, very much, very, very often), I decided to use 2013 to do another 365 Project. I’ve dubbed it Project Fatass 365 and have vowed to work out every single day for at least 20 minutes, culminating in a 10K at the end of the year.

To put things in perspective, I used to eat an entire Freschetta pizza and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s after dinner. With no shame. At my lowest point, I hid delivery boxes of pizza under my bed and went unshowered for several days while encasing myself in a protective layer of lard.

So I’m about 1/4 of the way through my second 365, and I’m feeling pretty frisky. A few weeks ago, I told you all I was in the mood to issue a reader challenge and asked you what you would prefer: A Lollipop Tuesday Challenge or a 30 Day Challenge. Much to my surprise, 60% of you were willing to participate in a 30 Day Challenge, and 40% a Lollipop Tuesday Challenge.

Really? Most of you would rather do something for thirty days in a row with no cheating than go do one daring thing in thirty days? I find that surprising. And impressive. So I give you: The Gauntlet.

Here’s the skinny, kids. I’ve posted the rules below and will later add them to the right hand side of the page for easy access. Check them out. Complete before midnight, EST on May 10th (that’s 11:59:59 EST on May 9th, people) for the chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card.

That’s money. That’s real money. Shoes or food or a puppy or anything at all can be yours. You can focus on the intrinsic rewards of becoming a more awesome person, less of a pathetic weakling, and acquiring a far superior set of conversation topics, but it might help to picture the puppy around Day 15.

Oh, and of course I’ll feature the winner in a post about how awesome they are here on The Jackie Blog in May.

So that’s the deal. I wrote a blog post every single day for 365 days in a row and now I’m agonizing to Jillian Michaels workouts every day for 365 days in a row. Lets see what you can do over there on your end in 30. I’ll bet it’s spectacular.

I’m so looking forward to this. You’ll be beautiful, I just know it. ♣

The Gauntlet

1) Think of the thing that you sincerely suck at that you want to improve. It may be writing, being physically active, spending more time with your family, reading, cooking – whatever.

2) Identify one thing you can do every day that will get you closer to that goal. Examples: to get better at writing, write for X amount of time every day or X amount of pages every day. To get more physically active, commit to X number of minutes working out each day. To be a better cook, commit to cook a full meal at home every single day. You can take photos, call people, create things – the world is your oyster. But pick something measurable. At the end of the day, you should be able to clearly state that you either did or did not complete your activity that day. No gray areas.

3) Conquer the monster. 30 Days in a row, no cheating. 30 Days. No. Cheating. We take the honor system very seriously here.

4) Share your experience and any related pictures or evidence with me in 1000 words or less via email at with the subject line: 30 DAY CHALLENGE. You can either email me about your experience directly, or post about your experience on another platform and email me the link. Deadline: Before midnight, EST on May 10th, 2013 (that’s 11:59:59 EST on May 9th, folks).

5) Winner will be determined by degree of sheer awesomeness and win a $100 Visa Gift Card and a feature on The Jackie Blog. Good luck!

Tell me how it’s going on Facebook, or on Twitter using hashtag #TheGauntlet (@thejackieblog). I’d love to encourage you. Or openly mock you. But mostly encourage you.

21 Responses to “The Gauntlet”

  1. VivBlogs March 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Girl, I’m waaaay ahead of you! Having been doing it for three months now (getting rid of 10 things a day and blogging every day about it), it turns into a necessary habit. I’m cheering you on!


    • Jackie March 20, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

      Oh I know – I LOVE what you’re doing! Also, you look great in pictures. That hair. 😉


      • VivBlogs March 21, 2013 at 10:23 am #

        Getting a trim today! This haircut is ridiculous. I got it on a lark and have always been a little on the fence about it, but everyone freaks out about it so much that I have to keep it. I feel like a little girl in it. After so many years of wishing I had big, curly hair, I am surprised to find myself chic.


  2. Samantha March 20, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    I am in! I think mine will probably be doing yoga every day for 30 days. The hard part will be getting up in the morning to do it or not just collapsing into bed at the end of the day.


    • Jackie March 20, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      Yes!! And it *is* hard on those days that I didn’t get the workout out of the way during the day. Like right now.. It’s 11:45 and I still have Jillian Michaels to endure before I can go to bed.


  3. donofalltrades March 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    I was going to be in, but the “improve my sex prowess by doing the nasty 30 straight days idea” was just shot down by my wife. She said what about once or twice a week and you take care of the rest of the days yourself? Would that count?


    • Jackie March 20, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

      this is hilarious. and I would say masturbating would only count if you, you know, had a genuine problem with getting to know your sexual self. only you can be the judge of that, my friend. 😉


      • donofalltrades March 20, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

        I’ll think about this. I have no problem with getting to know myself, so it may have to be a “where” I get to know myself. Hmmm, 30 days…movie theaters, in line at fast food restaurants, during confession, wait….crap, I’m not supposed to share so much online. The wife is going to cut me off from the once or twice a week now for sure if she sees this! Abort! I’m out, but I love the blog!


  4. geeloubee March 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    Is there a specific date we need to start our 30 day dance with life (so to speak)?


    • Jackie March 20, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

      I originally intended for everyone to use the month of April because people tend to like to keep things clean (beginning of month / end of month). So that’s an option, with plenty of time to plan and then to reflect. But you can start any time you like. 30 Days in a row. Any 30 days in a row, so long as the submission hits my email before May 10th you’re entered to win 🙂


      • geeloubee March 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

        Sounds good. I know exactly what I am going to do and it is going to help my pregnancy so two birds with one stone and blogging about it along the way, I can’t go wrong. I may start after Easter time though 🙂


  5. Bella March 20, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    I’m with Samantha! I’ve been trying to get back into my yoga groove for a while now, not as successfully as I’d like. It’ll be kinda cool knowing that there are a bunch of us trying to improve ourselves as one group. Tomorrow morning, I’m all over that Sun Salutation!


  6. knotrune March 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    I suck at more than one thing so I’ll have to think about which one to pick… 🙂


    • Jackie March 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      You’ve got time 🙂 I’m excited to hear what you choose!


  7. bikerchick57 March 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Well, I suck at confrontation, but I’m not going to have my girlfriend yell at me for 30 days. Since I need constant encouragement and self-motivation to move my butt every day, I will make it my challenge – to swim, walk, bike or go to yoga each and every day. I’ll post links about my swimming adventures on your FB page.


    • Jackie March 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      Yes! Love it. It’s good to see some fitness ones so I don’t feel all alone 😉 good luck and keep us all posted!


  8. Jazmin__ March 30, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Okay so I’m going to give this one a go, seeing as I’ve just taken a drive into the bloggersphere I’m gonna try and write a post every day. Seems not much, I know, but being a part-time commitment phobe I have no idea how its gonna go and hell, I just wanted to get involved 😊


    • Jackie April 3, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      Jazmin, saying writing a post a day is not much is blasphemy here. My first 365 was writing a post a day and it is certainly not easy. Just make sure you write every day, regardless or whether you think it sucks. I often tell people that when you put out so much material, you’re going to have a decent pile of crap. But in that pile, you’re also going to have a few beautiful golden eggs. I’m so excited for you 🙂 Good luck!


  9. lorification April 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    My 20 minutes/day on my dissertation has been lumped into fewer (but longer!) chunks throughout the week. For the month of April, I will return to spending 20 minutes/day on my dissertation.


    • Jackie April 3, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      Nothing like a nice dose of inspiration to recharge a 365 🙂 Good luck!


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