Our Monthly Challenge series continues in 2018 with a great mix of classics and new activities! We’re starting this year with the PLANK, as I love the symbolism of launching into a new year by focusing on core strength. Also, every month’s physical challenge comes with a secondary challenge related to growth, community, education, etc. This month’s secondary challenge tasks you with highlighting one of your core strengths. So, it’s 20 days of focus on core strength and core strengths!
Here’s how it works:
Primary Challenge: 2 minute Plank x 20 Days
Complete a total of 20 days this month where you hold a plank for a total of 2 minutes. Based on your level of fitness, the hold can be all at once, or in segments. If you want more of a challenge, make it 3 minutes per day for the first 10 days and 4 minutes per day for the last 10 days. If you are totally new to core conditioning, scale it down to 1 minute. You may plank on your elbows, with locked out arms, or with any side plank variations. Make sure you keep your shoulders, hips and ankles in a straight line.
Secondary Challenge: Core Strengths Focus
This month’s secondary challenge is to spend at least 2 minutes on each plank day doing something to honor one of your core strengths.
What do I mean by core strengths? I mean something you naturally excel at. It can be a hobby, a personality trait, something you do for fun, fundraising, making someone laugh, etc. Start this challenge by sketching out some things you’re especially good at and enjoy, but perhaps don’t get to spend as much time doing as you’d like, or do in one area of life a lot, but rarely in another area. Perhaps it’s a musical talent, writing, creating something with your hands, etc. Select something that you wouldn’t normally do without this challenge to remind you. If it requires more than 2 minutes and you don’t have the time on a given day, then spend at least 2 minutes doing whatever you can to slowly move the project or activity forward.
Here’s an example: One of my core strengths is music, so my secondary challenge will be to learn to play Bach’s Prelude in C Major on Ukulele. I’ve had the music for nearly a year and haven’t learned it yet, so this challenge will motivate me to practice at least 2min a day.
Another example: If you enjoy writing, write a story in 20 2-minute writing sessions. Set a timer for 2 minutes — that’s all you get for that day. Repeat for 20 micro sessions and see where it takes you. Then, feel free to share the story with the group.
How to Join
Just ask to join this closed Facebook Group — for support and accountability. The support group on Facebook brings friendly and supportive people together from around the world.
Once you’re in, feel free to add any friends who want to join.
It’s not required that you post on the group, or even join it in the first place. It’s more fun and motivational in a community though!
By the way, this whole thing is FREE — just good people coming together to support each other.
And don’t forget to TRACK your actions toward this challenge. Use whatever works for you, but two quick ideas are 1) smartphone daily reminder and 2) track it in a spreadsheet.
May I join late? What is the deadline? You may join any time you want, including late in the month. Really? Sure. It’s more fun to join closer to the start of the month. If you discover the challenge later in the month though, then please go for it and join us! That said, I get a lot of fake person requests to join the Facebook group well after the challenge starts, so especially if you’re wanting to join late, send me a note first.
How do I join if I’m not on Facebook? Just say I’m in out loud 3 times, and you’ll be in! If you want to connect the dots and receive a virtual high-five, feel free to also drop me a note at [email protected] or say hi on other social media channels (links in footer).
Have a great start to 2018!
Jeff Grant is the author of Flow State Runner: Activate a Powerful Inner Coach’s Voice, Hill Running: Survive & Thrive, Run Faster: Unlock Your Speed in 8 Weeks, Running Heavy, and UltraRunning: Coach’s Handbook. Based in Switzerland, Jeff is a coach and writer who specializes in mental coaching, peak performance, and transformation. Jeff’s popular newsletter is a digest containing inspirational and instructional resources, including his latest content. See recent issues and subscribe for free here. Refer to Jeff’s bio for more information, and please check out Jeff’s Coach & Author page on Facebook.