Board the Awesome Train

28 Mar

There is no room in your brain for new content from me today. 

Because it should be filled to the brim with ideas for how you might best conquer The Gauntlet.

That’s right: The Gauntlet. I told you all I wanted to have a contest wherin I give you an incentive to better yourself from the lazy pile of slop that you are now by bribing you with American dollars. I polled you about how you’d best like to be challenged and you said I should  incentivize you to a 30 Day Challenge. I threw down The Gauntlet, gave it a hashtag, announced the rules and prize, and set you about brewing up a plan.

Have you been brewing?

I’ll tell you about some of the people who have been. There’s Samantha Owens, who feels like she needs to relax, balance, and organize her brain.  She’s going to knock those out by doing yoga every day for 30 days. She blogged about her throwdown here. There’s also Grace Bell, who is pregnant, achy, and having trouble getting enough time outdoors. She’s afraid that as she gets more pregnant and more achy, she’ll just be more and more unlikely to go out.  So for 30 days in a row, she’s committed to getting 20-30 minutes of time outside her house.  To make sure she sticks to her guns, she even dedicated an entire page of her blog to it so that she can give regular updates, and others can give her regular encouragement. Follow her journey here

Everyone has different goals, is at different places, and needs different things. So pick just one little sucky thing about yourself and see what happens when you battle it head on every day for thirty days. Maybe you need to improve your physical, emotional, or financial health. Maybe you need to get more sun. Maybe you need to find more time with your kids or read more often or be more creative. Whatever. You can start any time, but the timing is such that you can easily start April 1st, end April 30th, and then still have several days to submit your entry. That means you still have plenty of time to cook something up and go for it. While you’re working all those cobwebs out of your brain, go check out Samantha’s and Grace’s attempts at awesomeness.

I want to do my part, too. So here are a few tips to get you started and keep you going. If you’ve been following for even a short amount of time, you know that I struggle.  I frequently finish my day to find that my underwear was inside out all along, I take on too much with too little time, and I will always prefer a box of 50 Munchkins alone in my bed to going outside my apartment. A gal like me doesn’t conquer a challenge without some built-in motivators. So here’s some lovin’.

1) Use The Gauntlet Rules & Discussion Page 

If you direct your pupils to the right side of this page, you’ll see an enormous Gauntlet. If you click it, you’ll go to a magical page buried deep in the recesses of this site that lists the official rules, deadlines, and has a section for comments where you can discuss your own progress and connect with others. Go, read, encourage and be encouraged.

2) Make a Motivation Board 

Nothing like staring at the several measures of my fatness to get me moving.

Nothing like staring at the several measures of my fatness to get me moving.

I have no patience. I can’t even wait for people to finish their sentences so I have to refrain from finishing them. It’s a serious and chronic issue. So as one might imagine, I don’t like to wait for results. To help ease my anxiety and keep me looking forward, I made a motivation board and threw it on the back of my bedroom door. I house all sorts of information there, like before/after pictures, weight and measurement tracking, current workout programs, an envelope full of rewards, and a current short-term goal. On days when I don’t feel like working out, I look at the board, stare at the before and after, remind myself of the short-term goal, and think about the beautiful rewards in that envelope that I can draw from when I complete it. You can make this for any challenge; a motivator board can be made of inspirational pictures and quotes or a calendar where you cross off your accomplishments, or post interesting articles.  It’s whatever you want it to be and it can be your most helpful tool in this process.

3) Tell a Bunch of People

It makes all the difference in the world to know you’re accountable. I frequently want to back out of things after I sign up for them so I try to talk about them as much as possible. On difficult days, the embarrassment of writing a post about how I gave up is enough of a motivator to get me moving. Do whatever works for you; post on Facebook, throw it on Twitter, email a friend with progress updates – whatever you need to do. 

4) Get Inspired

If you need some motivation, tweet at me. Email me. Go to The Gauntlet page and talk to others. Look up articles about what you’re doing, about other people doing 30 Day Challenges – about anything. 

5) Freaking Do It Already

The whole point is to stop  making excuses and accept that there are ordinary people with regular struggles just like you all over the place doing more than you are with what they were given. Someone out there wakes up earlier than you, goes to bed later than you, and has more responsibilities than you who isn’t using those things as excuses. This is an experiment.  You’re not committing to a year.   You’re committing to 30 Days. Every single day, for 30 Days. What’s stopping you?

So that’s the deal, ladies and gents. The next time you hear from me, you will almost be out of time to join the challenge. Remember to let me know what you’re up to by tagging #TheGauntlet on Twitter, emailing me at, or commenting on The Gauntlet’s page. 

After all…I just signed up for my first 5K. Don’t leave me hangin’ here. 


17 Responses to “Board the Awesome Train”

  1. donofalltrades March 28, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    Damn you, woman! Now I’m kicking around not drinking any beer and walking for 30 minutes for 30 days. Doing things sucks! Except for the beer. Not doing that sucks.


    • Jackie April 3, 2013 at 11:50 am #

      Do ittttt. DO ITTTTT. You still have 5 days to decide 🙂


  2. pfstare March 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Great idea. I felt like I’d conquered the world after my first 5k. Still haven’t got around to a half marathon mind you.


    • Jackie April 3, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      I just realized for the first time yesterday while I was on a run what people have been talking about this whole time. Folks have constantly said I should sign up for a race to motivate me and I didn’t know what they were talking about until yesterday when I took the difficult path and went as fast as I could because I realized that in a few weeks, it will be the real deal. Makes a huge difference! Have you done a 10K? Or would you just hop right to the half marathon?


      • pfstare April 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

        Yes I’ve done 10k and 10 miles. If I’d discovered running earlier, and pre children, I think I’d have spent most weekends racing! I love the headspace it gives you (plus the endorphins!) I still hanker after doing a half – no time to train for anything longer though.


  3. bikerchick57 March 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    I just finished a 30-day challenge of a different sort (with no prizes), so this keeps me motivated to do something every day. Thanks for the inspiration!


    • Jackie April 3, 2013 at 11:48 am #

      Wonderful! Keep going – I’m sure you’re gonna rock it.


  4. Georgia's Bath Products March 31, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Thank you for the inspiration and motivation. I’m taking a twist on it and applying it to my small homemade business, so it’ll be really interesting to see how things evolve.


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

      I think this is such a wonderful idea with seriously measurable results. Every day you do it is an investment in the potential of your business. So cool. Good luck!


      • Georgia's Bath Products April 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

        Thank you! It’s fun to challenge my creativity. I think I lost sight of that part for awhile and got caught up in the business part, instead of it being about the fun and pampering. The challenge was just what I needed, so thank you again for the inspiration! 🙂


  5. Dyl April 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Two Lollipop Tuesdays to Share:
    Last Week-Wheatgrass Shots (tasted weird. friend almost threw up. didn’t think it was that bad. wondered why anyone would pay for those when they could just go get some grass from their yard and do the same thing. orange juice to wash it down with was delightful)
    This Week-First Day at My First Job (now i can see why you just want to hole up in your apartment all day-too many people to talk to. you were my inspiration, ie, if jackie can do scary things, then i can do scary things! im just waiting for that motivation to kick in for running)


    • Jackie April 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

      Wheat grass! How very cattle-like. Grats on conquering the first day at the new gig. That’s always so very anxiety-inducing. It takes about a month before I even feel like I’m supposed to be there when I’m starting a new job. I hope you feel settled in soon and grats on trying new things. It’ll keep you young 😉


  6. Sakinah Katib April 11, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    I just found this blog but I’m going to start anyway and keep updates at I really appreciate the inspiration!


    • Jackie April 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

      It’s never too late to start – I’ll be following. Also, if that’s you in the picture, you’re a total badass. If it’s not and you’re just the one who took it, you’re still badass.


  7. Sakinah Katib April 11, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    Btw… I also just signed up for my first 5k


    • Jackie April 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

      Thank goodness. Sometimes I feel so alone 🙂


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