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Challenges can be done for anything. Business, marketing, learning how to accept no’s, and of course, fitness. They are extremely popular and effective ways to achieve any goal, particularly when those goals are related to your health and fitness.
[Challenges] provide a comprehensible and achievable deadline, enhance sustained motivation, provide support, encouragement and accountability, and can be really fun
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I did a challenge recently to get back on track with my own fitness. I revealed every step along the way to the members of my online personal training Facebook community. You can check it out and join the FREE community here. Before doing that challenge, I was skeptical. I wasn’t convinced that challenges were valuable in the long run. But doing that challenge convinced me otherwise.
Look, there are certainly challenges to challenges. But if you plan them out and set them up right, they can be extremely valuable strategies for achieving your longer-term goals of say, losing 10kgs.
Always wanting to experiment on myself before others, I’ve had plenty of goes at challenges of various lengths. I’ve even helped others use challenges to get on track with their long-term goals. There are pros and cons for different lengths. But it seems the best challenges go for five to twelve days.
The Benefits of Doing a Challenge
The really short deadline means that it’s not a daunting task. You can draw upon your motivation without having to simultaneously drain your mental toughness muscle. Mental toughness is a finite resource. Just like your muscles, it does fatigue. And then you need to rest and recover to build it up again, just as you would between sets of squats.
You see changes really fast so this really enhances your motivation. Motivation is always at its peak in the beginning. The challenge is maintaining that motivation. Challenges teach your subconscious mind that you actually can do it. And belief is everything! Once you start to believe you can do it, you will do it.
Most challenges are conducted within a community. That means you’ve got the support of others going through the same journey as you. A special thing happens when you go through something together with others, especially if that requires you to overcome some difficulty. The support of a community also enhances your motivation and provides accountability in an encouraging way.
Perfection is disregarded
Because your time-frame is often (and should be) short, you don’t have a lot of time to get caught up worrying about if you’re doing it right. You just have to get in and start. Perfection is one the main obstacles for starting and seeing out almost anything. Through the support of your community and coach, just getting your hands dirty is much easier when you know it’s only for a short period of time.
Finding the right coach or trainer is one of the most vital aspects for having success with (well anything really, but) your challenge. A good challenge will be founded in the psychology of routines and habits and supported by a sound understanding of exercise science. This means your coach can structure an effective plan, modify that plan for anyone and tailor it to suit any goal.
Lastly and most importantly, your challenge should be fun! Fun is everything! Even if you have to work hard, and you will; if you have all five of the aspects above, it will be fun. And there’s nothing much more fun than seeing results. At a deep core level this is about moving towards the person you want to be and living the life you want to live.
Challenges are extremely valuable strategies for getting on track with your health and fitness goals. They provide a comprehensible and achievable deadline, enhance sustained motivation, provide support, encouragement and accountability, and can be really fun! Plus, if your coach formulates the transition out of your challenge effectively, your life can drastically change for the better.
What benefits have you experienced from doing a challenge?
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