“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” -Jim Ryan
It’s officially the first week of 2016 and most of us are hard at work, going after our resolutions. As time passes, we’ll start to prioritize some goals over others, gradually allowing a few to fall off. A great way to develop habit and momentum towards your goal is to set up measurable challenges with which you can track your progress.
Progress breeds motivation and hopefully motivation breeds habit.
1. The 200 Mile Challenge
Two hundred miles may sound like a lot (because it is) but spread out over four months or a year, it’s a fully attainable goal. Simply try to get in 200 miles of running. To accomplish by the end of 2016, that’s only a little over .5 miles a day. To accomplish in four months, that’s an average of 12.5 miles a week, and a little less than 2 miles per day. If you take the next four months to set up this habit and stick with it, chances are, you’ll be a runner for life. Through the halfway point, challenge yourself even further by signing up for a 5K race. If you’re already an avid runner, try stepping up your total mileage this year.
2. Squat Challenge
Ass to the grass, all day, every day, for 30 days. Then repeat. This one is easy to follow. Once you’ve completed it, rest four days, add some weight, and repeat.
3. Starve Your Sweet Tooth
This may be the hardest challenge of all, but if you do it once, you’ll gain a sort of mental strength towards habit building that will never leave you. Spend the next 10 days gradually weaning yourself from sugar-laden foods. Find healthy substitutes during the weaning week that you can use to keep yourself on the straight path. Then launch into a 21 day sugar-free diet, with the exception of fructose which comes from fruit. You’ll be amazed at the results from eliminating just one negative agent from your body. Once your 21 days are up, treat yourself and repeat for another 21 days.
4. 6,000 Push-Up Challenge
Upper body strength is a challenge for most of us. Even the amazing jungle gym bar warriors had to start somewhere, and that starting point is moving your own bodyweight. Do this every day if possible. Though the number is daunting, aiming to complete 6,000 push-ups by the end of the year is feasible. You can do less than 17 push-ups per day and it can be broken down in any way you see fit. Bring your friends in on this one and share a google spreadsheet in which all of you can log your progress. I bet all of you hit the 6,000 mark way before December 31, 2016.
5. 156 Workout Challenge
It doesn’t matter when, where, or how you do it, just move. It can be a run, a walk, a gym session, a yoga session, a HIIT session, aim to get in 156 workouts within the year. It’s an average of three workouts a week, and it’s fully measurable. Buy a calendar and mark off your workouts by number. You should reach at least 78 workouts by June, and if you’ve done more, you’re in a fantastic place to crush the yearly goal.
Try these 20something fitness challenges in an effort to stay on track with your goals and you won’t be disappointed. Resolutions will soon turn into a lifestyle and you’ll be crushing your body goals!