We all have big goals.
And we all want to witness a real change in our lives.
So we learn to build habits that move us towards the life we want to experience.
However, keeping habits can often become extremely boring, which is why we often stop doing them.
We have this deep desire to experience instant gratification.
We want to experience novelty and excitement.
So today I want to introduce to you a very practical strategy that will help you achieve both novelty and continuous progress.
I call it the Weekly Challenge.
Here is how it works.
Pick an area of your life:
For example, you feel a bit out of shape, so you plan for the next three months to work on your health.
At the beginning of each week, you set yourself a challenge that moves you a little bit closer to getting back into the best shape of your life.
At the end of each week, you check in with yourself and see if you were able to complete that goal.
It’s so simple.
And yet, in the beginning, you may feel that setting weekly challenges can be difficult just because you are not yet used to pushing yourself on a regular basis.
However, I guarantee that if you challenge yourself on a weekly basis, you will start enjoying these weekly milestones, because you will quickly experience the kind of progress that will give you lots of satisfaction.
This is especially if you set yourself new commitments that push you just slightly outside your comfort zone.
And progress to me really means feeling joy and happiness.
OK, I will admit that at first, your progress might be marginal, and you might not even feel a big change in your life.
However, this is when you need to stay patient.
Over time, we tap into one of the greatest powers existing, the power of compounding.
Everything starts to come together, and we enjoy significant changes.
And when we progress in any key areas of our lives, we feel at our best.
We start feeling in control of our own lives.
We see that our actions are powerful.
But here is the exciting part.
Weekly Challenges have a much deeper benefit:
When we make and keep commitments, we build true confidence in ourselves.
We see ourselves as the kind of person who has integrity and who follows through with his plans.
This confidence allows us to go for bigger and bolder challenges.
And then all of a sudden, we create the kind of upward spiral that makes us literally unstoppable.
But how do we start?
Let me share with you how you can immediately use Weekly Challenges to transform your life without ever feeling overwhelmed or stressed out.
Step 1: Choose an area of your life you want to focus on
What many of us struggle with is that our life consists of many different areas like:
These areas are different for all of us, so take a moment to think what the key areas are for your life.
In order to experience progress, we want to pick one area that we will work on.
You might sense which area this is for you.
Alternatively, take a moment and rate your areas from 1–10 so you can see which area really needs your attention right now.
Ideally, it will be an area that once improved will really impact the quality of your life.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean you need to give up the other areas of your life:
Everything else can stay exactly the same — but you are committing to really upgrade this one area.
For illustrative purposes, let’s say you feel you’re a bit overweight or you’ve been getting sick and you decide health is your topic.
Step 2: Imagine how your life would be in a year, having drastically improved that area of your life
So in our health example, I would want you to ask yourself:
Where do I want to be in one year from now with regards to my health?
I also want you to really visualize how your life would change if you achieved that goal by picturing the answers to these questions, and by really experiencing the emotions that these outcomes would trigger::
Step 3: Set Weekly Challenges
Once you did this you are ready for the next step.
I want you to break this goal down into smaller manageable goals.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Maybe you don’t know the answers to these questions.
If so, then your first weekly challenge should be finding out what your next steps should be.
So in our health example, some things you could do include:
Again, these are just examples:
If you do know what your first weekly challenge should be, make sure you make your benchmarks very specific and very measurable.
This might mean:
At the end of the week, you really want to be able to say with certainty if you did or didn’t achieve your weekly challenge.
So you want to be able to answer these two questions:
Our Weekly Challenge should be something that pushes ourselves outside of the comfort zone, but that also isn’t too difficult. It also doesn’t take to much time.
But bare in mind that on the one hand we often underestimate what we’re able to do in the long run.
We underestimate where we can be with our lives in a year from now or three years from now.
At the same time, we overestimate what we can do in the short run. We really take up big weekly goals for example, and then we collapse, we don’t manage to follow through.
We say things like:
We tend to make these commitments knowing they are not realistic.
What we want to do instead is push ourselves a little bit but set ourselves for success so we really build that confidence loop that lets us gradually increase our challenges.
In other words, we want to set ourselves up for success.
Step 4: Celebrate
I really want you to celebrate whenever you complete a Weekly Challenge.
Feel good about them.
Even, find a way to reward yourself because when you do that you train your mind to look forward to really completing your challenges.
You know often we have challenges where we need to do repetitive work like writing every day or going to the gym every day, and if we don’t train ourselves to see mini successes weekly successes, then we can lose the courage and the motivation to follow through. So celebrating is so critical for successful challenges.
At the same time if you didn’t follow through, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Instead, ask yourself:
In this way, it becomes much easier to recommit to a new challenge the upcoming week.
But what happens if you can’t follow through one day with your commitments?
You’re busy and things come up, and that is totally normal.
Don’t be hard on yourself when you skip a day with your challenge.
But make sure you commit that next day.
I say this because our problem isn’t when we miss doing a habit or a commitment for one day.
It is when we then allow ourselves to miss two, three, four days and suddenly missing our commitments becomes our new habit and our new identity.
So we quickly want to recommit to our Weekly Challenge and make it our identity that we are the kind of person who follows through with our commitments.
This is how we build momentum, that’s how we build progress, and that’s how we build confidence.
OK, so now that you know how a Weekly Challenge works, it’s time to get started:
I’d love you to take action right now, by sharing with me below in the comment section what your Weekly Challenge will be for this week?