Our Purpose

Welcome to our Healthy Habits forum, sponsored by Relishing Motherhood. We are kicking off our New for 2009 Challenge on January 12th. Leave a comment to join us.

And special thanks to our contributing bloggers, whose profiles and links appear in the sidebar.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Brand New Healthy Habits Challenge

Many of you have been raring to go, out there attacking your New Year's Resolutions since January 2nd. I, on the other hand, have been coasting into the New Year. As much as I love a fresh start, I seem to be content to wait another day until that fresh start starts. That is why I need you, dear readers, to join with me.

After talking to lots of people about what works for them, I have found that most of you would like to have a challenge similar to the one I did back in August-November; one involving a payment of penalties when you don't meet your goal. (I am finally about to pay out to the winners of the last competition--collecting the fines has been a job, let me tell you!) There are many who also are interested in adding daily scripture study to the challenge. Others want a completely individual goal included.

So, here's the plan. This challenge will have 2 parts, with an additional opportunity to set individual goals. You can participate in 1 part or all 3 (or none, but if you're not playing, you've probably stopped reading by now.)

Part 1 is exercise. We will commit to getting a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week. How strenuous this exercise is is entirely up to you, but I hope that if you play along, you will push yourself beyond your comfort zone. You'll earn 1 point for each day of exercise, and if you do more than 5 days, you can still earn points on the extra days. If you don't get at least 5 days in each week, you'll owe a penalty of $1 per day missed--but you'll have to pay for all of the days in that week that you missed, not just up to 5. So, if you only exercise 4 days, you'll owe $3 for the week. I think that may help us to not rationalize that "it's only a dollar" when we want to skip a day. Clear as mud?

Part 2 is scripture study. I will not put a time limit on this, but I hope that you will use this to establish a good study habit, say at least 15 minutes, but that's just a suggestion. We will commit to scripture study at least 6 times per week. Again, you can earn up to 7 points a week if you read every day, but 6 is all you need to commit to. The penalty will be the same: 1$ for each day missed, up to $7 in a week. If you don't already have this habit established, I promise you that it will effect your life for good even more than the exercise will.

Part 3 is your personal goal. I have wracked my brain trying to figure out how to track this one, and have decided to refer you to My Ice Cream Diary. She is sponsoring a "Just For One Week" event that goes from Saturday to Saturday. The idea is that you commit to doing something for that week. The next week, you can pick a new goal, stick with the same one, or refine it. So we won't really track it here at all, nor will this one contribute to the points or penalties of the other two--it just gives you an opportunity to be accountable if you want to set a goal to have Family Home Evening, get up at a certain time, or do your hair everyday. Whatever you want to work on.

Our challenge will begin on Monday, January 12th and go for 10 weeks, through Sunday, March 22nd. As before, if you join us and then drop out, you will be fined $25. The people who have earned the most points in each category, as well as the person who earns the most points overall will split the pool of fines. I will try to get us some sponsors as well so that we can include some give-aways or bonus prizes along the way.

For now, please just leave a comment to let me know you are in. I'll work on a spreadsheet to track our progress. Feel free to post about this on your blog or FaceBook--the more people who participate, the better.

Also, for those of you who need or want it, we will try to post some encouraging words on this blog from time to time. You can check in and give your own feedback, share what is challenging with us as well as the results that you are experiencing. Aubrey and Rebecca are already contributing bloggers here. If you'd like to help in that area (say posting once a week), mention that in the comments and I'll adore you always.

Let's get these habits well established, so that we can live happier, healthier lives in 2009!


Rebecca said...

I'm going to have to do a little thinking about this, as being pregnant I'm not always feeling well enough to exercise. Like today.

Would the payments be through Paypal?

I'll have to discuss it with James too, since it involves money. That would surely be a motivator for me, but with the pregnancy thing and all like I said...

What happens if someone gets the flu?

I'll do some pondering and get back to you later.

Rebecca said...

Re-reading your post I just realized that I don't have to sign up for the exercise part. It would help me be motivated...but maybe I should save that for when I'm not pregnant.

I'll plan on signing up for the scripture part at least, and get back to you on it for sure after I talk to James.

izziemakesthree said...

I'm in! Let me now what I need to do next. I'm looking forward to this challenge :)

Joyful Noise said...

I am also "in". I measured my waist this morning and the hour of exercise did wonders! I made it to the gym again this morning. Now I need to go eat some good food and drink lots of water! Also, I still do remember that I owe $6 for the last challenge.

Which does bring up a good point. All of my days missed were days that I was sick, is there some way to make allowances? Like if you are so sick that you go to the doctor than you have an excuse?

How much money did the "winners" of the first challenge earn? (Including my $6) And who were the official winners?

Rebecca said...

Somehow I completely missed in the last challenge that we were supposed to pay a penalty. I was doing great until the hospital stay and etc.

Michal said...

don't worry about the last challenge. your hospitalization came so soon after we kicked off the challenge that i just deleted you.

both you and debbie raise a good question about being sick. on the one hand, i certainly know that it is possible to be too sick to work out. on the other hand, we often use that as an excuse when we're actually well enough to do it. i'll have to think about a possible solution.

i will post the winners and the money very very soon. i still have a few last dollars to collect:)

Scrappy said...

I love it. I am trying to decide if I am going to participate in all three though. I will let you know before it all gets started.

Andrea said...

I'm in for sure this time. I did so poorly on the dec. challenge that I need to make up for it! I'll just stick with the exercise challenge this time.

Aubrey said...

This is great! I am in for both of these. I am much more motivated when I have to pay for it.

Garbett Family said...

Ummm I don't think my comment posted. Please count me in for the exercise part. We'll do the scripture reading as a family goal. Thanks Debbie! Please let me know what to do!

Nana said...

Oh, all right. I really need to be accountable to someone, I guess. Exercise and reading are great places to start.
I also like the idea of weekly goals, as it gives me a chance to put good intentions right to work, and try out some potential future goals for focus. I wonder what kind of daily exercise they do in Buffalo in the winter?

Nana said...

Some contributing thoughts on sick leave: A set number of sick days allowed without penalty. (3?)If you use them up on a lame excuse, you may have to pay for a real sick day later.
Sometimes it is really not advisable to exercise when you are sick. I used to judge whether my students were too sick/injured for PE by what they seemed able to do at recess. Ask yourself, am I too sick to run to the mall?

Cornfields, children and waterballet said...

OK--Talk about stepping this up a notch...I LOVE IT! I am going to really consider it. If you don't see my name..e-mail me and guilt me into it. I NEED IT! I have a trip to China--maybe, the Trek in WY in August and...I just need to get it together this year. I feel it coming on.

Thanks for raising the bar....

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

part 1- I don't think I can sign up for this part because my personal goal is 3x a week . . . I guess I'll have to find another baby steps challenge. :)

part 2- Okay, you can count me in on this one. The $$ thing makes me nervous, but I'll do my best.

Garbett Family said...

So, how/where do we record our exercise etc. days? Do we record at home and report at the end of the ten weeks?



Michal said...

I should have a spreadsheet set up by Monday. We'll report daily if possible (or at least every few days) on our progress. I'll link the spreadsheet to this blog, so you can just come here and then click over to fill in your info.

Becky said...

Alright, alright, alright! I don't like the money thing but with the exercise being cut down to 30 min instead of the 90 it had been I know I can do it. Count me in for both. Ack!

Suldog said...

Well, as I said at your other place, I already study scripture most every night, and I'm not ready to commit to any new exercise regimen. However, I wish you all the best and hope that you all meet your goals, whatever they may be.

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

Okay, I have been debating long enough an have finally decided to join in for the scripture study portion only. I have been doing pretty well, but still find that I'm able to convince myself that missing a day or two won't hurt. So, if it will hurt financially, as well as spiritually, maybe I'll think twice. Anyway, I'm in.

Scrappy said...

Er...um...uh...okay. I am going to do both (yikes!) and I really hope that I don't end up sending you half of my tax return to pay for it!

Why am I such a wimp? I am so scared... :)

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I'm going to have to think about this before I commit. I'm such a bad committer.

As for sick days and such my mom and I had a payment exercise plan much like this and what we did was this:
For every week of 100% exercise we got a one day get out of jail free card. The catch is that you have to earn those cards first, or pay up. It is a good motivator to reach 100% so you can be prepared for the sick days. We found, too that with the right motivation we were able to exercise in different ways when sick. My mom was laid up with a bad back but still managed to life small weights while lying in bed. I had the flu but was still able to do the more simple pilates or walking for at least 30 minutes.

If you want I can even send you the coupon I made for it. Maybe you could award them on the blog and just keep track of them in your system.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

P.S. I am absolutely flattered that you linked to my For Just One Week idea. It is really working for me.

Garbett Family said...

My mom (Katrina) wants to sign up for the exercise portion. She doesn't have a blog so she can't comment on her own.... Thanks!

Andrea said...

Sign up my sister Marna. She doesn't have a blog but I will send you her email later.

Irina said...

Michal, thanks for doing this! it is a great opportunity!
I have a different idea for the excersize program though... would you let me do my own thing and still participate? I would just count it as a point if I do it in the day...
It is a program I came by last year, and it is pretty old, but it worked for me (I used it for a month and lost some inches, plus it is 15 minutes day)If anyone is interested it is in the book "Be a loser" by Greer Childers. Sorry, I don't know how to make it into a link... I bought it on Amason for under a $1.00
I stopped doing it only because I didn't have any support system...So this challenge seems a perfect idea!!!!
Thanks again!

Joni said...

I just found out about this challenge today on Scrappy's blog. Can I still join? I'd like to sign up for both parts 1 & 2. Hope this isn't too much of a gamble, but it's for my own good, right?!

Michal said...

I think to keep things fair (since this is not only a challenge but a competition,) we need to stick to our minimum of 30 minutes a day to earn a point. So, you could still participate in the scripture study portion, or you could do your own exercise program but add 15 minutes of walking or something to come up with 30. Even if you don't decide to participate, good luck with your goals. What's important is that you do what works for you.