By Leo Babauta
I love issuing challenges to my family.
This past weekend, I issued a Pushup Challenge. Basically, it's a 6-week challenge where we follow a program, doing 5 sets of pushups for 3 days a week.
We started with a pushup test on Sunday -- see how many pushups you can do in a row in one set. That's just for assessment.
Then, based on the assessment, we follow the plan on 100pushups.com. Is the goal to do 100 pushups? No, it doesn't matter how many you can do by the end of the challenge. Is the goal to beat our other family members? No, we're just trying to stick to the program to see what kind of progress we make. It's a lesson in habits and self-discipline.
We're doing it as a group. We set up a Google Spreadsheet to track our progress, and we can all see if everyone is sticking to it. We have a reward (Cinnaholic for breakfast, and lasertag & miniature golf & go-carts and batting cages after) but we have to all complete the challenge to get the reward. We'll have to encourage each other, remind each other, push each other.
It's a great team-building exercise, great bonding, great learning experience.
Everyone is doing it, from me and my wife to my 20-year-old to my teen-agers to my 7-year-old and 9-year-old. And yes, Noelle the 7-year-old is doing full pushups, which surprised me!
We're learning about ourselves, and our boundaries, and what we're capable of.
Does it have to be a physical challenge? Hell no. Feel free to do a drawing a day challenge, or learn as many digits of pi as you can. It doesn't matter what the challenge is. Do it for fun, do it together, and learn along the way.
Update: Here's a copy of our Google Spreadsheet log.