Weekly Challenge #101

Jessica photo for The JourneyWEEKLY CHALLENGE #101!

We are putting together a few challenges this year to just get you moving more and back to the basics.  I’ll be writing a challenge for you each week that is simple and short and that you can do at home.  We also have a Back to the Basics Challenge going on each month starting in September.  You can find all the details about that challenge here!

We have a theory about challenges…and honestly, I’m not blind and can see what you are pinning and posting on Facebook and all the crazy challenges you are joining.  I want to go all “fitness instructor” on some of you and tell you to knock it off (and a few of you that I know well, I do).  Here’s the deal…some of you are doing way too much and I am concerned about three things:

  1. Your safety.  The chances of injury increase when you repeat the same exercises daily.  A lot of the monthly challenges out there have this concept and it really is just not safe for the majority of people.  This was posted on Pinterest under a pic of a squat challenge that started with 50 squats on day 1, went up 5 to 10 squats a day with the ending amount on day 30 at 250 squats:  (the challenge also has a pic of a lady with no underwear on which I’ll chat about in #3)  “30 Day Squat Challenge – I’ve just completed the challenge.  Unfortunately, I don’t see drastic results, outside of the intense pain in my poor knees 😦  “
  2. The dropout rate.  Beginners or those who have little exercise stamina or experience…this is really all about you.  You are still trying to figure out why in the world you want to do this moving and lifting stuff.  Exercises might cause some soreness and they make you tired and stinky.  The phase where you don’t like this part is tough…and that is why we like small changes…so you don’t burn out as fast and then just stop.  The dropout rate is a big concern of mine because exercise is important.  As we get older our bones need it so they stay strong.  We also need it to help with our metabolism, lung capacity, endurance, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol…the list just goes on and on on why you should exercise.  But if we do too much too fast the risk is there that you may just be an exercise dropout.  Here are some stats to note:  I once asked how many people at The Journey signed up for monthly challenges and how many finished those challenges.  About 20 people responded and only 1 person finished a 30 day challenge on social media.  1 in 20 will finish according to all of you at The Journey.  Looking at our records of when we held our own 30 day challenge, the stats are even a bit worse.  We had almost 40 people participate at the beginning.  They got excited, sent in their info and said they wanted to make changes.  2 people finished the entire challenge.  The majority of people I never heard back from after week 2, even when I sent them a personalized message.

  3. bad 30 day challengeThe marketing in motivation.  As I was looking for a really bad 30 day challenge to show you as an example I was shocked but really not surprised when I found a pic of a pushup challenge with a naked lady on it.  First of all, why would you use that picture for a 30 day challenge if it wasn’t to guilt someone into thinking that they aren’t beautiful already.  Second…who in their right mind does pushups naked?  I don’t really want parts of my body touching the floor…I like to be nice and secure as I’m exercising.  😉  Third…this challenge is marketed as a beginner.  If this was my beginner challenge, I would do things differently like include modifications on how to do pushups that would actually work for a beginner…not put a pic of a naked lady right front and center.  Apparently pics of naked people are going to give you a better idea of how to do the perfect pushup rather than the full modification sequence that you should try to see where you should start.  (that was sarcastic!)  Seriously though, most people, especially those who are beginners (as this is targeted to) can’t do a pushup on their toes correctly.  See why these drive me crazy?  :/

I am more concerned about #2…WHY?  Because most of you won’t get to #1 because you will have already done #2.  If you have already dropped out…you probably are thinking that you failed, again, and you just can’t make better changes for your life.  You want to get healthier but it just isn’t working and so you go back to eating crap and not doing anything for a bit.  Your self-esteem is lowered yet again and you are still wearing the clothes that are starting to get too tight.  You see pics like #3 and you just are frustrated and mad at yourself.  You are stuck in a rut and don’t know how to get out.  Any of this sound familiar?  It does to me…cause this was my life for many years.  You can read more about my story...but this last little paragraph sums up a good portion of my life.

The info is out there that 30 day challenges will work for a very small percentage of you.  Unfortunately…most of us are not that 1%.  You have to do something different.  🙂

Start small.  Join our challenge.  Move just a little bit more in ways that are normal activities that you can do at home…but not something that is promising you unrealistic results.  I promise you though that I will NEVER put a pic of a naked person on our challenges.  There is no reason other than to have it spread faster on this social media world or to make you feel guilty about who you are…so that you want to join the challenge so you too can look like the naked pic.  It’s not gonna happen here.

101 stepChallenge #101…Step It Up!   Find that one stair you want to conquer…and just step up and down.  Right leg first or left…that is up to you.  Watch the time and go for 30 seconds.  Take a 30 second break and repeat this up to 3 times.  Be sure to smile too…you will have a better time if you go at your own speed and put a little curve in those lips.  :). Do this 3 or 4 times this week.

Bonus:  use a little resistance to get your heart moving and better that lung capacity just a tad more.  Grab some weights in each hand or even soup cans or milk jugs.

WHY DO THE WEEKLY CHALLENGE?  Will you lose 15 pounds from doing this exercise this week? I’ll be honest, it is highly unlikely. Stepping up and down on a stair will not make you lose 15 pounds. But, it will get your body moving. It will build muscle. It will help your lungs build some cardio endurance. It is exercise so it will help your metabolism and will burn a few calories. And…it makes you do something that maybe you aren’t doing already. You don’t have to step up and down fast…all you gotta do is try and do the best you can.

So, Who’s ready to Step it Up? Send us a message at smallchangesbigpicture@gmail.com  You can also share this with your friends and family by hitting “like”, favorite, Pin it, sharing on your page, writing a comment or two…because the more people that participate, the more we can spread the word about the way challenges can be a positive experience that really can be done.

Everyone who tries is just making a step towards getting healthier.  That seriously makes you a winner in my book…(and if you record how you felt and what you did during this challenge…you will see for yourself that you are a winner, cause you will make progress my friend…you really will!)

*Look for the next weekly challenge on Monday, September 15th!*

Want to find more of our challenges?  Check out this page…it has all the details:  Challenges at The Journey

– Jessica

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #101

    1. mominminnesota Post author

      Glad someone else agrees…many people like to just hit “unlike” rather than actually comment. 😉 It is true though…and I won’t even start to talk about the money that is generated from some of the monthly challenges out there.



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