By Cassie Johnston
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If you were with me last year around this time, you might remember a little self-imposed challenge I did here called the All About the Numbers Challenge. I was discouraged by the number on the scale, so I decided to turn the focus on some numbers that made me feel empowered. So for the 40 days leading up to the “big” American food holidays, I set out to focus on things like improving my plank time and eating a certain number of fruits and veggie servings instead of focusing on what the scale was saying.
The challenge was a big honkin’ success for me. I managed to hit all of my 10 goals, my focus was taken away from scale and I had some healthy momentum going into Thanksgiving. I truly believe that the challenge helped set me up to have a healthful holiday season. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I celebrated, ate and drank in moderation during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. I mean, heck, we even had a planking competition at my family Thanksgiving last year!
I would really like to repeat that empowerment and healthy momentum again this year. So, we’re gonna do it again, friends! It’s time for a sequel.
Thanksgiving Day is exactly 50 days from today (can you believe it?). Last year I did a 40 day challenge, but I’m starting a bit early because I need this challenge now. My motivation to be healthy has been seriously lacking as of late, and a little bit of a jumpstart (in the form of this challenge) is exactly what I need. Plus, Babyface’s family is coming in next week, and when the Johnston clan is together, the Johnston clan can drink and eat with the best of them, so it’s good to have a challenge to motivate me to make good, healthy choices (while still enjoying myself, obviously).
As far as the number-y goals go, the idea is still the same—focusing on the “good” numbers in my life—but some of the goals are changing from last year. Ready, Freddy? Here’s the plan:
And for those of you that would prefer not to read it in obnoxiously-colored graphic form, here’s the good ole text-based list:
And just like last year, I’m going to give myself a big, juicy reward if I check off all nine goals. Normally I like to keep my goal rewards pretty small—a new shirt here or a new bottle of nail polish—but since this challenge has so many different aspects in so many different areas of my life, I figured a success deserved a hefty prize. So if I successfully hit all nine of my goals, I’m going to give myself a $200 shopping spree at Target. And that $200 is not to be spent on boring necessity stuff like food, toilet paper or dish soap. I’m talking full-on $200 splurge! Two-hundred buckaroos worth of sparkly nail polish, gaudy jewelry and throw pillows. Woohoo!
And it’s all or nothing, friends, so if I miss just one goal by a bit, no Target spree for me. And dude, I want that shopping spree so it’s on like Donkey Kong.
And just because everything is more fun when it’s wrapped up in a nicely-designed chart, I put that five years of design school to use and whipped up a chart for easy check-off-ery.
I’ve hung the chart on the small corkboard right next to our back door. I want to make sure I see it each and every day. It’s there as a constant reminder that I’m working on a challenge, and I need to get to gettin’!
If you’re interested in playing along with me, I’ve posted the chart for download. Share it, print it, email it, use it!
And if you’re interested in keeping track of my progress, I’ll be posting weekly updates to my Facebook page with how I’m doing. And then, of course, I’ll post a wrap-up here once the challenge is over (and hopefully with lots of photos of my Target shopping spree swag).
Wish me luck!
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I need to do something like this, as well. I won’t be able to work out until sometime in December, though I need to get myself in the “healthy body” mindset so I don’t just fall into a pattern of laziness all winter. Moderation and me have never been friends, but I’ve gotten better lately. The holidays make that really hard, though!
I’m doing it now, but you could wait until after the baby is here and you are healed! 50 days can start whenever you want. :)
True! I can choose any 50 days I want!
I’ll do a plank a day with you when we get there. If not on Saturday we’re doing it sunday, best to do it before the football game or else it’ll be a disaster afterwards lol. And i will run/walk with you as well while we’re there cuz i’ll go crazy without some sort of fitness. You will achieve all goals because really missing out on a target shopping spree is not something a girl wants to miss out on…i’ve been purusing the website and have tons picked out that i’m buying haha. See you Saturday!!!
We should have a Johnston family plank off. Craig almost won my family’s last year, but my brother beat him by a smidge.
Plank off challenge it is!!! I’m gymin it up today so i’m gonna practice mine some more
I Am In!!!! I will print your chart off this morning and follow along on Facebook :) Currently, I am a mess and Holidays, well, forget it, I become a disaster… Not this year! Thanks for the challenge. I think I may even copy your reward as well. I love Target, the closest is 3.5hrs from here, which will make it even more fun; roadtrip plus $200 shopping spree. Good Luck with everything Cassie! Thanks for waking up my motivation this morning.
I’m In!! This coincides perfectly with my works wellness month in October! My goal is get to yoga 3 x a week, But I’ve been thinking of Adding more goals, so this is perfect. Thanks for the motivation!
This is awesome Cassie! On top of the fact that you come up with great motivational ideas you’re also a killer graphics designer too.
My “Number Challenge” right now is getting my waist size down. I don’t care if my weight stays the same, I just want to lose a bit of belly fat… 6cm to be exact.
What a fantastic idea – getting ourselves into that healthy mindset while we come up a couple of huge holidays (let’s not forget Halloween and all the candy the kiddies bring home!). I love it! I may modify it a bit (but then I won’t have the fancy chart – boo!) … Thanks for the idea!
I love so much your colored graphics and charts!! When I see them, I want to do what’s is written :)
Wow, what a great chart Cassie!
I’m printing this off and going to give it a try! Don’t have a target by me, but I’d probably do a $200 shopping spree at Winners or Joe Fresh! Got my wedding next April and I would love to be in the best shape of my life for that special day!
Um, you’re awesome. That’s all!
I’m totally in.
I am also in. I haven’t decided on a reward, but the sense of accomplishment might just be enough. Or some magazine subscriptions!
Just out of curiosity, do you count the minutes spent walking/running 100 miles as fitness minutes?
I sure do! :) But if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. :)
I LOVE this and will join in on the challenge!! I am going to modify it slightly to fit in the things I need to work on, like adding in some pushups every day!! I will be making my own chart and sadly, it won’t come close to looking like yours!!
Absolutely love this! I work at a college and have a group of women I meet with weekly to discuss life, body image, media etc. Posted it to the group and excited to see their response.
I LOVE this! I have been really lacking motivation lately and feeling pretty crappy. This is just what I need and I am so excited to participate in it! Thanks so much!
I might join in with a couple modifications. Good idea to stay on track with goals. I’ve printed the chart.
oops, published before I intended. While I’m not a slave to the scale I couldn’t go 50 days without getting on it I don’t think. Pushups are more important than planks to me. I probably almost definitely with you on this challenge.
Love this idea. I am tracking calories again and fitness minutes. A chart on the wall might be nice!
I’m definitely with you on this Cassie! I love the bright graphics and charts, that’s right up my alley. What is your definition of no added sugar though? Does that mean no sugar in your coffee, or desserts with sugar? I’m trying to think of situations where I would run into that. Thank, I can’t wait to start!
Yup, no sugar where it isn’t naturally occurring. No sugar in my coffee. No desserts with sugar. No cereals with added sugar.
What about honey, agave, etc.?
I feel faint at the idea of a $200 shopping spree at Target. That sounds so amazing, I can barely wrap my brain around it. Good luck! I know you can do it!
I downloaded the challenge checklist thingy. I’d like to something like this for myself with the end result being that gorgeous Fossil tote bag I’ve had my eye on. ;)
Love this! I’m so doing it, and recruiting my roommate as well.
I think I like the idea even more because of the awesome graphic :)
Jealous of your skillz!
I’m in too!I’m going to change a couple of things to fit in with my goals but I am going to use your cute little chart as I am not nearly as gifted in the chart making department.Haha.I’ve been wanting to do something for awhile, just was feeling a little lost as to where to start.I think this will be an awesome start.Thanks for sharing! :)
Good luck! What an awesome idea!
Brilliant idea, Cassie – so eminently sensible!! I’ve printed the chart and am going to try my very hardest to stick to it :)
I love this!!
When you say any added sugar do you mean processed sugar or sweeteners in general?
I meant sweeteners in general! Not even the less-bad-for-you kind. But you can interpret it however you’d like. :)
Question- Do the fitness minutes and the miles coincide? Like if I log 5 miles at 60 minutes do I put it towards both category?
I’m counting them, but if you’d rather keep ’em separate, you can!
What a great idea!!! I am so impressed by your dedication last year (I honestly didn’t even know what planking was, lol) – go you!! Good luck with your new goals!
You have totally inspired me – I really need to have a positive goal that requires a daily effort – a project to work on! I have come up with my own list!
Thanks for sharing!!!
GREAT, great, great idea! I’m so glad you did it again because I wasn’t following your last year. I think I’m going to do something similar for my kids to do and mark off so that it is a family affair , now we just have to pick what our family treat would be. The 5 year old is convinced we need to go to Hawaii together. LOL. She’s a big thinking!
I’m in! You should post some Random Acts of Kindness ideas! Thanks for being so inspiring!
Katie: I have a list of 30 of them from last month. Hopefully this helps! https://wholefully.com/2012/08/31/the-month-of-intentional-kindness/
I love your site because of the great advice and your wonderful design — some blogs are just so busy and yours is beautiful. I’ve printed out your fitness sheet (changing 50 planks to 50 prayers and some other modifications) and have it hanging on my fridge. Great for me, a new empty-nester whose husband travels who needed a project — myself! I’m probably a bit older than most of your followers (both my kids are current Boilermakers!) but I really enjoying checking to see what your new posts are.
I need an official ruling. I woke up at 2:30 AM and realized I had forgotten yesterday’s Plank. Can I do two today to make it up? I promise it won’t happen again…
It’s up to you! You make your own rules. :) I’d be lenient though. Just don’t make it a habit.
Hey Cassie. May seem like a stupid questions but what do you classify as a serve of fruit and vegetables?? Do you actually measure out the quantity of each serving? Thanks, Katie.
I don’t usually measure. I’m more of a guestimator! I use the USDA guidelines for serving sizes: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Healthy/5_Day/5_day_serving_sizes.pdf
I have recently starting getting into a fitness groove again. Just in time for Food Season (Halloween Candy, Thanksgiving Food, Pumpkin everything and Christmas cookies, egg nog…AAHHH it’s all too much!!)
Anywho, you rock for making this. Although I’m a bit late I’m so on board for this!
A lot of my friends are struggling with losing weight so I am starting a group on FB with this as long as that is ok with you! I am posting your website to direct everyone there so you get the credit :)
Sounds great to me! Thanks for sharing!
I am extremely late to the game. But I’m starting tomorrow. What an amazingly positive challenge. I’m so glad I found your blog! Do you might if I link to you on my own blog?
Yup! Go for it. :)
I finished this about 10 days ago. Loved it! I didn’t even get myself a prize, just filling out the chart was fun enough. I wrote about the experience on my blog as well: http://cateruns.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/all-about-the-numbers/#
Thanks so much for the awesome idea and printable chart. Cassie, you made a difference in my life because of this.
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