Come Streak With Me: A Challenge

Want to do something? The best time to start is right now. And if for SOME reason you can't start right now, start before the end of the day.

Today is the kick-off for the Memorial Day-to-Independence Day “streaker” challenge: a challenge to create a streak for yourself and over the next 38 days, do something you’ve always been wanting to do (Full disclosure: I first saw this idea in Runners World as a challenge to run one mile a day to combat the summer training lulls. I was sold. I'm in). 

What sort of streak do you want to set yourself? Are you willing to see if you can start today and do something consecutively for the next 38 days? Here are some ideas:

  • 10 pushups a day for the next 38 days.
  • Write every day, a quote, a phrase, a journal, a sentence.
  • Doodle every day.
  • Run 1 mile every day.
  • Touch your toes every day (or work towards it)
  • Yoga every day.
  • Handstands every day (You knew that was coming!)

These are just some ideas… what do you want to do? What are you waiting to do, and haven’t started yet?

Habits, Goals, and Reminders:

"Where your mind goes when it wanders ~ that’s where your heart is."

Make it small enough so that you actually do it.

If it’s too big to do, make it smaller. I get into this trap often—I feel an essay or project or run has to be some monumental achievement (2 pages, a complete post, a 5 mile run) and so I skip out on doing it because I don’t think I can do that much. MAKE IT SMALLER. Reward yourself for going on a 2 mile run.

Do it anyways, even if things don’t feel right, even if it gets rough, even if it seems weird.

Break through the invisible rules in your head. These invisible systems--rules and arbitrary barriers that we set up as reasons why we can or can't do things--aren't always true. Challenge these assumptions.

Ignore the voices and chatter in your head. Observe them, and then let them go.

If you miss a day, keep going anyways. Often in habit formation we miss a day--and then we beat ourselves up and quit altogether because we "failed." Shrug it off. Keep on keeping on. Despite our desire to be internally consistent, do it anyways and keep going. Check a box on the calendar for every day that you do.

See how many days you can do. The aim is 38 days, but if you do 30, that's still pretty darn good. Do what you can. Something is better than nothing.

Reward yourself and be pleased with the results. It's too easy to focus on the things you didn't do, the things you wish you had done, or the places where you could have been better. No matter what happens these next 38 days, if you do 20 days of goodness, that's 20 days of goodness. Be kind to your soul. It's a process.

If you’ve been meaning to do something, but haven’t, start now. Start small. Start so little it barely feels like you’re doing anything at all. Commit to running around the block each day. Or maybe walking. Eating a piece of lettuce every day. Something so small it feels like you're hardly doing anything--until it's become a part of what you do.

If you’re up for the challenge, join me: I’m going to do pushups, write, and play one guitar chord every day for the next 38. Tell me what you’re going to do—leave a note in the comments with your challenge!


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38 Responses to Come Streak With Me: A Challenge

  1. Hello Sarah. Funny that I just started a “30 day challenge” yesterday. Might as well stretch it out to 38! I’ve been slacking lately on my diet, so I’ll be eating clean-Paleo for the next 38 days, along with daily exercise. I will also write every day. I hope you had an awesome Memorial Day weekend!

  2. Michael says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I accept your challenge! My 38 day journey will consist of writing again, running again and living again. I just started a new blog and posted for the first time called Lyrical Procrastination so I kind of jumped the challenge gun so to speak. I thought it was about time for me to do what I love to do with no regrets. Here’s the link if you feel like checking it out. http://wp.me/p2sXZZ-1.
    Don’t mind the mess on the site, It’s still under creative construction.

    The character Red from The Shawshank Redemption said “Get busy living or get busy dying”
    I’m going to get busy living with this challenge.
    Good luck to you in your challenges.
    Cheers!
    Michael

  3. Sathya says:

    Sarah, what is the end date for this if i take this challenge for 38 days.

    I am going to do 20 pushups.
    Take min 10 photographs everyday.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Sathya! This challenge goes until the 4th of July – Independence day. Did you do your 20 pushups today and take 10 photographs today? I love your challenge! Keep track of it and keep me posted!

  4. Andi-Roo says:

    I am so *IN*!!!

    A day late, but that’s okay by me. My Challenges (which are admittedly all over the board, but each is necessary since I’m such a slacker!) are as follows:

    1. Run 2 miles.
    2. Write 750 on my WIP.
    3. Respond to all blog comments.
    4. Complete & email blog posts by 5pm.
    5. Put away all laundry.

    BTW, I found a group on FB who are committed to running daily, so I’ll be reporting my running progress there as well: https://www.facebook.com/events/256988917695076/

    • Sarah says:

      I love it! I would challenge you to pick only 2 right now, and save the others for later. Otherwise there is too much of an opportunity for you to “should” all over yourself and bum yourself out. In my completely irrelevant opinion, putting away laundry is not necessary. :) I’d say focus on #1 and #2 for now. :)

  5. ChaChanna says:

    Hey Sarah,

    Stellar post! I am going to accept your challenge. It’s actually coming at the perfect time. This morning I talked myself into doing yoga. I haven’t done it in weeks and can feel my muscles have tightened up since. Ugh! So, I will do yoga every day. I have the DVDs and they are only twenty minutes of my day, I can do this. I’m also going to reach out to a new person every day. This is out of my comfort zone but I really want my business to grow and it’ll only happen when I put myself out there and by doing it every single day it’ll become a habit and less intimidating. (At least, that seems like that would happen.) So we’ll see!

    I trust we will all do a stellar job on our challenges. Let’s get to it!

    • Sarah says:

      I love it! I like the two that you’ve picked – yoga, and one person. If twenty minutes is too long, do ten minutes of gentle yoga and LOVE that you’re letting yourself do it. Some mornings I get up and all I do is wiggle a bit and touch my toes, but just doing it every day means that I do it far more frequently than if I didn’t do anything at all.

  6. Hello Sarah,
    I really enjoyed this post and it really resonates with me. I firmly believe that often times the most limiting factor in our lives is our own fear and our own minds. I see your challenge as an awesome way to overcome that fear and break free from the boxes that hold us in. Thanks for your insights!

  7. Andrea says:

    Funny, I too started a 30 day challenge a few days ago. So I am in too :)
    I do daily exercises, eat healthy (I leave the “rubbish” out and eat the healthy stuff I ate before) and work on my writing.
    I can already tell it`s turning into a habit!

  8. Hannah says:

    This is great! And nice to know there is a community of others taking on the challenge at the same time. I am going to meditate each morning for at least 15 minutes.

  9. Cat says:

    Morning from Down Under Sarah! I’m in – love a good challenge. I am going to write every day, even if it is only a paragraph or two; with a view to have 4 blog posts in that time.
    And meditate 20mins every day. How i’ve missed it!

    I think it was Stephen Covey that said – 21 days to create a habit; 7 days to break it :)

  10. Carrie says:

    I’m going to drink half of your body weight in ounces and write in my journal, even if it’s just one sentence.

    • Carrie says:

      hehe…I should probably clarify that I’m going to drink half my body weight in ounces of water :) See I must be dehydrated because I can’t even type.

  11. Karimah says:

    Hey Sarah here are my challenges for the next 30 days:
    -Workout everyday (have been doing this for 9 days now)
    -Eat healthier home cooked meals (been doing this for 9 days as well)
    -Get better at running 3 miles by trying to run at least 5 of the seven days of the week. I want to be able to run the full distance without stopping (right now I can only run a max of 20 min).
    – Get better at illustrator
    -Practice my French.

    • Sarah says:

      Nice! That’s a lot – what if you tried one or two — do just the first two for this challenge; add the next ones in after these are already habits.

      • Karimah says:

        Thanks for the advice! I will stick with the eating healthy and working out as I am already on a roll there and wanna complete the 38 day challenge so it becomes a habit!

  12. [...] But seriously, I love to be challenged. It’s the inner competitor in me. The fire in my belly still flickers from time to time if only to tell me I’m hungry but that’s another story. I’m taking on a new challenge. It’s called the Memorial Day-to-Independence Day “streaker” challenge put forth by Sarah Kathleen Peck. You can check it out here: http://itstartswith.com/2012/05/streak/. [...]

  13. Maria says:

    Hey Sarah!

    Great to meet you yesterday! So here is my challenge…

    Learning coding at least 10 min every day. Until the 6th of July (38 days).

    I am not happy to commit to this, but…I’ll take the challenge. I know doing it will help me.

    Cheers!

  14. Gabe says:

    Just curious – why 38 days?

    • Sarah says:

      38 days is the time between Memorial Day and Independence Day – the challenge ends on the 4th of July.

  15. Ellen says:

    OOH OOH! I accept! Hopefully tomorrow morning I won’t forget… I’ve been working on running (I’m now up to four miles at a time), but sometimes four miles seems so daunting. I don’t need to run four miles EVERY time. I could just do a 2-3 mile run if that’s all I can squeeze in. That’s better than nothing!

    But I want to include something else, too, something new. I think I’m going to try to not eat ANY candy/sweets. This does not include pasta & carbs, those are still fair game, but lately I’ve had a gnarly sweet tooth.

    Thanks! This is fun.

  16. Juan C. Mendez says:

    Challenge taken, SKP. I’ve been keeping my streak since Jan 1st — daily bike, run, swim, yoga, etc. Knock on wood that I can keep it up to July 4th :) See you at the BBQ

  17. Mark Harnett says:

    Sarah,
    Good idea, and fun title!
    Matt Cutts has an interesting blog post on giving up on news for 30 days:
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/no-news-challenge/
    Giving up driving for 38 days would be a good one. (not sure I can pull that off though).

    Mark

  18. Rachel says:

    I am in as well for something simple: flossing daily.

  19. Jessica says:

    Hey Sarah. I came across this post on twitter, and it resonated with me. I am in transition (for the past few years) out of the 9-5 into working for myself. This past January, I made the leap into supporting myself as a freelancer, and I love it!

    I’m in for this: I want to launch a new business venture by the time WDS rolls around in July, and the timing fits perfectly with this challenge! The pieces are all laid out, and my next steps are taking action – this is a great kick in the ass to get moving!

  20. [...] Next challenge: 38day streak, as here. [...]

  21. Crystal says:

    I’m in!

    I started here: http://clstal.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/38-daysstreak/ and just finished a 21 day happiness project at that blog, so good timing!
    –Crystal

  22. [...] Warped Glass: I’m trying to take on this challenge from a blog I follow (itstartswith.com).  http://itstartswith.com/2012/05/streak/  Trying to create a streak for myself over the next 38 days (until July 4th).  I’m going to try [...]

  23. [...] trying to take on this challenge from a blog I follow (itstartswith.com).  http://itstartswith.com/2012/05/streak/  Trying to create a streak for myself over the next 38 days (until July 4th).  I’m going to try [...]

  24. [...] week, I read Sarah Kathleen Peck’s post Come streak with me: a challenge. I love a challenge, so I decided after reading the post to accept the challenge of doing something [...]

  25. Mandy says:

    I am catching up on reading your blog so I apologize that my comment is so late. Like others have said, your post really resonated with me! I am in for this challenge and I’m committing to doing yoga every day until July 4th. It’s not quite 38 days, but it’s still a daily commitment over the next few weeks and most importantly, it’s DOING SOMETHING! Thank you!

  26. [...] writing and reading, I was a bit tired from a long night in the ER, and I had to miss 2 days of my streaker challenge to do a handstand every [...]

  27. [...] by Sarah Kathleen Peck’s “Streaking Challenge” I decided now was as good a time as any to start doing things differently.  The premise was [...]

  28. [...] Email them to friends/colleagues. Post them on facebook. Tweet about them. Or even participate in a “streaker” challenge. But increase your accountability by telling others about your writing [...]

  29. [...] You can do it. Start small, tomorrow. Make a resolution. Start a streak. See how many days in a row you can exercise. Then see how many weeks in a row doing four days a week. There’s real power in starting a streak. [...]