One of the oldest and most effective ways to increase fitness motivation is to undertake a challenge. Whether it be a 6 weeks ab challenge or a transformation challenge or a strength challenge or maybe the couch to 5k. Whatever it is, a challenge can really get people inspired and keep up the fitness motivation for weeks, months and even years!
Here are my top reasons why a challenge can really transform your life –
It breaks bad habits – It is well documented that a habit takes 21 days to make or break, so any challenge longer than 3 weeks should help you to easily change some of those dodgy habits that have seemed so hard to break. Most fitness challenges will involve diet and lifestyle changes too so its a perfect way to rid yourself of those bad habits like late night snacking.
You learn a lot about yourself – The element of competition is a real motivator for some people but in a challenge you can also choose not to consider the others if this is off-putting. Although there will often be a winner, success does not need to be measured against anyone else. This encourages personal growth and a greater understanding and respect for yourself. Because a challenge has an end date its a great way to stick at something for long enough to feel proud of yourself and see real changes.
You learn new skills – All those exercises and food choices are not going to be forgotten in a hurry. You will end the challenge with a whole new skill set without spending time or extra money on tricks and techniques that may not work for your goals. Because a challenge has a specific goal in mind the exercises and advice are tailored to what is required. If you choose your challenge well you get fabulous advice for a fraction of the cost of a personal trainer and maybe even for free.
It develops community – Some challenges are set up by employers and involve an element of team work. These can be really rewarding in more ways than just improving health and fitness. Real friendships are made and a community feel can be created with colleagues reaching out to one another in the challenge, personally and in their work. Online challenges often have a forum where participants can encourage one another and this also encourages community and team spirit as well as new friendships.
It shows you that the right peer pressure is a good thing – Often when taking part in a challenge you will be forced to re-assess certain things, like who you spend time with at lunch for example, or distancing yourself from negative friends who think its not possible. This might seem hard at first but when you realise that who you hang out with affects who you become then you might just start to enjoy peer pressure. Spending time with fitter and healthier friends, at the gym or in online forums, really encourages your own success.
You discover the strength of making goals – Although it may not feel like it a challenge is actually just someone else making your goals for you. You have something to work towards, you are given the tools you need to help you get there and you are forced to document the process and then at the end you are praised. This is the exact formula for success in fitness and in life. Set goals, work out how to get there, do small things every day, continuously document how you are doing and reward yourself when you do good. An organised challenge has all these things and once you realise the process then you can apply it other areas and be unstoppable.