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?

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