Tag Archives: 30 day challenge

Boobs! Canadians! Patriotism!

12 Mar

This week I’m dropping in to announce two super important things. 

One: the little boxes under “How to Suck Less” ——> over there

have been updated to take you to an actual “how to.” So if you’d like to grow a pair and try something new, do something for 30 days, or go all in and try a 365 Project, there you go. And if you don’t want to, let those little boxes be a constant nagging reminder of the human you could be.

No pressure.

As promised, I’m working on a little hall of fame for the folks who have tried and completed a Lollipop Tuesday, 30 Day Challenge, or 365 Project. I can’t do everything, people. Not all at once, anyway.

The second announcement is that I realize it’s been quite some time since I’ve regaled you with stories of my attempts at conquering fear in my Lollipop Tuesday series. But I’ve got ’em in the queue. There’s all sorts of newness happening – a burlesque show (watched, didn’t perform thankyouverymuch), a trip to Canada, and if I prove myself to be a worthy enough patriot, even jury duty. Boobs! Canadians! Patriotism!

I’m struggling with my feministy feels on that burlesque one. Maybe I shouldn’t have sat in the front row. 

So! Good things are here, and good, potentially distasteful things are coming.

Glory, hallelujah. 


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 jackiemarie@gmail.com, or commenting on The Gauntlet’s page. 

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

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 jackiemarie@gmail.com 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.

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