Challenge Accepted

I recently podcasted that specific challenges provide motivation for working out–especially when the will to workout is waning.

I’m there. The will is waning.

My weight-loss routine is now 6 weeks old. It’s working–which is wonderful news. My belts are looser. I can physically see a difference. It’s almost enough to make me want to rest in knowing that I’ve accomplished something. BUT, resting now would make for a pretty boring podcast… and a kind of boring life. I set out to lose weight in order to improve my agility and eventually dunk a basketball. I’ve still got a long way to go… so I need a re-up on motivation.

Enter: a challenge.

A challenge can be motivating because it’s a short-term, readily achievable goal. My long-term goal is to lose 25 pounds–which, according the plan I’m working, should take about 3 months. That’s a long time to maintain motivation. A short-term challenge provides a renewed goal that is achievable more immediately. In a sense, it provides a marker on the longer journey.

I need a challenge… and I’ve accepted one.

There are a lot of physical challenges floating around social media and the web, for sure. Some trending challenges include:

I want a challenge that will build on my longer-term goal–which is to lose weight. My simple weight-loss plan is to consume 500-1000 fewer calories per day than I expend. So I want to burn up calories to keep working towards my long-term goal. For me, running offers the most bang for my calorie-burning buck. So it’s expedient to base my challenge in running.

So here’s what I’ve devised: I’m going to log 150 miles of running within the next 30 days. The challenge is based on the simple idea that I can realistically run an average of 5 miles per day. I know I’m capable of running more, but I wanted to build in a slight cushion for days missed–when I want to lift instead of run… or just need a day off. Thereby, some days I’ll run 10 miles, some days 5… and so on.

150 miles is certainly achievable, but it’s a lofty enough goal to really supply a challenge and make me a bit uncomfortable. Which I guess is the true boon of a challenge–it causes a discomfort that moves us from our complacency. Discomfort can be good.

Is there some place you’ve settled into comfort and complacency that could use a challenge?

Published by RyanDunn

Ryan Dunn has a bunch of certificates on his desk. A few are awards for content production and marketing. Another marks his ordination as a minister. One says he’s earned a BA in English from the University of Iowa. The certificate next to that says he earned an MA in Christian Practice from Duke (with honors!). Ryan is most proud, though, of the things he’s created: The Compass Podcast, some deep content on, a series of practical spiritual advice videos, a long-lasting marriage, and fantastic little boy. (He enjoyed A LOT of help on all of those projects, especially the last two.)

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