Thursday, July 24, 2014
Today is Day 102 of the 10+ streak. I’m at 20 minutes so far today – including 3 minutes of calf raises while waiting for an appointment.
Good news! My boys have decided that they would like to start their own 10 or more fitness minutes streak – yesterday was Day 1 of tracking it for both of them. They are really excited. Now, I know as a Dad that this excitement can wear off especially with kids, so I have a fun reward in mind for them.
They don’t know this yet, but I’m going to tell them today that if they keep up their streak for 50 days, then their reward will be that I’ll take the family to see a San Jose Earthquakes soccer game (no snide comments about how watching a soccer game is not a reward!). Since the World Cup, they have both been excited to go see a game in person and my oldest played his first year of soccer this past spring.
I also decided that since I hit 100 Days, I’m going to reward myself by enlarging a bunch of my favorite photos into posters that I can hang around the house for motivation. Great example of a virtuous cycle, where:
* Hanging photos is a motivator to continue my streak
* Being fit helps me have the energy to get more good photos
* Each great photo builds my confidence at photography
* Buying more photos posters is a meaningful reward for me
As Hannibal from the 80's A-Team TV show would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
Note that the video will only play on the main blog page, not the individual blog
What's your plan to stay motivated?
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Today is Day 101 of the 10+ streak – first first day of the second 100. I’m currently at 45 minutes for the day.
Today’s highlight was teaching my boys to jump rope. It was an interesting experience. My oldest got the hang of it quickly and I helped him set small goals to do 3 jumps in a row, then 5 in a row, then 10, and then finally 25 in a row. His highest was 26 and he was super-proud of himself and then went and did some other exercises.
My youngest was a different story. He is super-athletic and led his flag football league in touchdowns last season says the proud papa -- I motivated him by showing him YouTube videos of Barry Sanders, but he also gets frustrated easily if he can’t do something right away. So, the most he did was 3 in a row before getting frustrated and giving up in a huff.
I’m trying to teach him that it can be even more rewarding to be good at something when you have to work for it. I still remember first trying to jump rope myself. I couldn’t do 10 in a row for awhile. But, I kept working at it and was eventually able to do more than 1,000 jumps in a row and now love jump rope.
I’ve also been trying to show them both that jump rope is a great foundational exercise that will help them in the sports they love like soccer, flag football, basketball, and even skateboarding. And this type of higher intensity exercise in general will have great benefits like clearer thinking, easier to wake up for school, etc.
I’ll keep at it with them…
Hope you have a great day conquering your “jump rope”.
Here’s a fun one from yesterday:
The great thing about 10 minutes is that it's SO DOABLE!! Even when you're ready to jump into bed, how hard is it to think of doing something, ANYTHING for 10 minutes that will allow you to sleep like a baby knowing you've done it again.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Woohoo – today is Day 100 of the 10 or more fitness minutes streak! I’m at 33 minutes so far today. Yesterday’s funny fitness highlight is that my car had a flat tire from a slow leak. So, I used a bike pump to pump it back up – talk about practical fitness minutes :).
I was just telling some people on our team today about one of the best parts about using this streak strategy: that once you hit a certain point, then there’s just no way you will stop your streak unless some type of calamity happens (which is possible as I've found). And then, each day as the numbers increase so does your confidence in all areas of life. So, two of the big keys are to make a streak simple and to make it meaningful. The simple part is why the low hurdle of 10 or more minutes in a day is important (even if you end up averaging significantly more than that over time). The “meaningful” part leads into the new project I’m working on now.
I’ll step back and give a brief snapshot of part of my history: I had done fitness for many years – but ended up doing yo-yo fitness where I’d get in great shape, but then fall off when life got busy and would need to start all over – and then would never hit the true benefits of consistent fitness. I then read some books about leadership and goal-setting and had an aha moment that it could be great to combine the best of fitness (and eventually all of health/fitness) with the best of goal-setting, motivation, leadership, behavioral psychology.
To do this, I first wrote down what was most important to me in life and set long-term goals. Next, I set a goal to do 10 or more fitness minutes in a day and keep track of how many days in a row I could do this. I ended up doing that first streak for 700 days in a row and was even featured in the local newspaper for it.
Along the way, one thing I did was to write a 5-10 page Microsoft Word document about the streak and started sharing it with friends and co-workers. Eventually one co-worker used the program to lose 50 pounds and tell me I changed her life – and then she went on to spark many other people. That was the real “spark” that eventually led to SparkPeople after I sold my first company to eBay.
Eventually, one thing I did at SparkPeople with our great team was to write The Spark in 2010, which became a New York Times Best Seller thanks to our great members.
But, unfortunately, many people just don’t read books these days. So, I have decided to go back to my original roots and write a simple 5-10 page PDF document about the power of this 10 minute program and distribute that for free to help as many people as possible. One of the goals will be to show people just how “meaningful” this simple strategy can be to their entire life.
In conjunction with that, I’ll start a 10-minute streak challenge in a fun way on the site as well and some other fun activities including continuing to blog and check-in as much as I can.
How does this sound to everyone? Would you be interested in reading this yourself? And then eventually sharing the final version with your friends (it will specifically not be a "diet" plan), but rather something that anyone can do in an easy way?
If you are interested in beta-testing this document/program to provide any feedback, just make sure you are a member of this SparkTeam and when I'm finished I'll let you download a draft copy to review:
Or, just keep an eye out on my blog!
I was motivated again by a member yesterday – here’s what she wrote:
On a recent trip to the hospital...I asked the nurse if it would be possible to try to transfer into a chair. Once it happened, I got in my "chair marching" and she asked what was going on? Told her that being in the hospital is no excuse to not continue my Spark marching and I got in 500 steps.
And you are so right! There are some days that 10 minutes is truly an effort to complete and others, I breeze by the 10 minute mark and keep on going.
Thanks for your support – SparkCheers!
Monday, July 21, 2014
Day 99 Update: Celebrity Wife Swap
Today is Day 99 of the 10 or more fitness minutes streak – one more to triple digits! I got over the 10 minute hurdle with a morning workout of mini-trampoline, pushups, and stretching. Nice and easy. Good luck this week to all the other Streakers out there :).
Last night for family night (movie & popcorn), the movie seemed a bit scary to the kids so we stopped it and watched Celebrity Wife Swap instead (some may say that was the scarier option :). Surprisingly, the show often has some good messages from the few times I’ve seen it.
The two celebs who swapped lives were Laila Ali, a former boxing champion (and the daughter of Muhammad Ali) and a singer named Angie Stone. It was interesting to see the plusses and minuses from each family.
Not surprisingly, Laila was still very much into fitness and healthy eating. Unfortunately, Angie Stone has Type 2 diabetes and still doesn’t eat very healthy or do any exercise. She talked about how exercise wasn’t for her.
Both families talked about getting Angie to go to the gym with the rest of her family. That would be great, but I just wish I could grab Angie and tell her that if she could give just 10 minutes per day at home to get started, she really could change her life. Eventually, she’d most likely average way more than 10 minutes because she’d actually enjoy the exercise vs. dreading it. But, the 10 minute hurdle would still keep her consistent and help prevent yo-yo exercise where people fall off when they get busy and then have to start all over. Angie seemed great, so hopefully she figures this out.
Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to share this new project I’m working on with Angie and get her on the SparkPeople track!
Using this as inspiration, I’m ready to work on that project now. I’ll share more details tomorrow. Have a great Monday everyone.
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