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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or commenting on The Gauntlet’s page.
After all…I just signed up for my first 5K. Don’t leave me hangin’ here. ♣