“You should come for a run with us,” a friend said to me at a party one evening.
“Sounds fun! I’d love to start running again,” I replied.
“How about Saturday morning at 8:00?”
“Oh Saturday? I don’t know, I think my daughter has a…”
This was typical for me. I had been making excuses for months as to why I couldn’t work out, which is sad because I used to love working out. I used to be so committed and strong. If I were on vacation, I’d find a a park, or some stairs. But since baby number two came along, exercise had become a chore and an afterthought. I put everyone else first and myself last. I decided then and there to toughen up and get moving… and I did.
You must exercise every day for 30 days.
With this challenge, there are no time limits or intensity requirements, no rules on what type of workouts to do or where. There’s no worrying about pounds lost or strength gained. Your only job is to show up so that the behavior of exercise becomes habitual.
HOW I REDISCOVERED THE FITNESS HABIT
If there are two things I know about myself it’s this: First, I cannot trust myself to workout on my own. Second, if I don’t put it on the calendar and schedule the time, I won’t do it. Something else will always take priority.
Also, I need other people to tell me what to do, and the only decision I’m responsible for is to show up. So I signed up for lunchtime classes, recruited friends to work out with me, and asked a friend to be my “accountability partner” for the month. These were key to staying on track.
In the end, I did run with a friend. I enjoyed it so much that I went back again, and again, and again. By the end of the month, I’d fallen into a routine of runs, yoga, and long, leisurely walks. I pushed myself and worked out hard, even when I didn’t have to. Most importantly, I found myself reuniting with the endorphins and hooked once again.
*Plan seven days of workouts in advance. Better yet, sign up for, prepay for classes, and put it on the calendar.
*Write in on and share your Calendar. If you must exercise on your own, write your workouts down and send them to a friend or trainer for approval.
*Set financial stakes. They are a great way to stay motivated! For my challenge, I created a commitment contract on StickK.com, where for four weeks, I had to exercise seven days per week, with my exercises refereed by my sister. If I missed a workout, I’d have to give $25 to the NRA, which I really didn’t want to do.
*Create a reward system. Set milestone rewards after your first week and upon completion of the challenge. I found the best way to motivate my Son was for him to work towards something he really wanted at the end of the challenge. Some call it bribery….I call it challenge completion reward!
*Make it fun! Go for hikes and long walks, call a friend, or make it a family adventure!
Whatever your challenge is…..use the tools and resources you find here to give you inspiration, help you to start something new, or give you the opportunity to try something you’ve never done before.
- WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW OFTEN – list the details of the challenge on the Accountability Tracker.
2. DOCUMENT IT ON THE CHALLENGE CALENDAR:
3. THE REWARD – don’t forget to document your reward on the accountability tracker! How will you reward yourself? Do you respond better to milestone rewards or are you holding out for the big daddy upon completion? What will it be? What motivates you?
4. KEEP TRUDGING FORWARD – don’t give up. If you fall off the wagon, keep moving forward! Ask for help. That’s what family and friends are for!
5. REFLECTION – reflect on the challenge – what went well, and what could be better. Learn from this and use this to improve on yourself and your future challenges!
What’s your Challenge? Get started today!