It’s a challenge finding time in one’s schedule to exercise regularly, eat healthily, get adequate rest, and tend to other responsibilities. It’s exactly because we are limited in the number of hours a day that thinking outside the box is required.
There are critics of various 30 day challenges, but when I was asked to start an online community that would participate in a 30 Day Pushup Challenge, I didn’t hesitate for a few reasons. First, if someone is asking, that probably means they need some support and accountability partners. Second, who doesn’t want to get better at pushups? Third, the idea of seeing progress over a month is appealing.
I made an open group on Facebook and invited some pals. I’ll admit. The number of those who stuck with it for the whole month was under 10, but you know what? If just one person other than me was motivated, that’s success. Heck, if I were the only one, it would still be worth it.
Hearing people check in, knowing that they were reporting on their progress, reading words of support and celebration. All of this happened day in, day out of the month. People enjoyed the first challenge so much that they asked what the next one would be. And so began the 30 Day Plank Challenge.
I began completing the challenges at school with my learners during independent study, what we call study hall. It got them active and helped them connect with me on a different level. I’m all about learners being able to see someone who leads a balanced life, which includes being active. Plus, it allowed me to take a brain break at school and manage my time wisely. The members in the Facebook group enjoyed the pictures.
People posted pictures of them doing the challenges with their children. What wonderful role models for these kids! A wife reported that she began doing the challenge with her husband; thereby, giving them a shared experience through exercise. Not only was the online community growing more close-knit, camaraderie at home was also positively impacted.
Here are some tips on hosting a 30 Day Challenge:
- Ask around to determine the type of challenge a group of your friends, family, or acquaintances would want to do.
- Try to find a challenge that has rest days. We all know that rest is important to allow your muscles to thrive. (See my previous posting Late Bloomer for more information.)
- Invite people you think will be interested to your public Facebook (or other social media) page. Invite them to invite others.
- Make the experience even more interactive through posting:
- Model your progress in how each day felt
- Share pictures of the challenge
- Check in when you completed the day’s task
- Be a cheerleader and give members in the group virtual high fives through supportive posts like “You got this! Thanks for reminding me to do mine!”
- Crop pictures of the challenge by week and post to keep the days’ tasks straight in people’s minds.
- Be mindful that certain exercises might need clarification. This was definitely the case int he Plank Challenge. We weren’t certain how to do walking planks, but posting a simple video kept people on track.
- Celebrate when a month is completed but keep momentum up for the next challenge!
- Above all, HAVE FUN!!! And enjoy getting fit with others!