32 Tips to Improve Your Health and Fitness
#27 How To Stay Accountable With The Calendar Challenge
What do we do when we know that nutrition is the biggest aspect of health that we need to focus on to make progress towards our fitness goals, but struggle doing it?
The Calendar Challenge
This simple challenge will help you to implement a habit to improve your nutrition, and a simple reward system that helps you make the habit a part of your lifestyle.
First, set a nutrition goal (no alcohol on weekdays, no refined sugar, add 20-30 grams of protein to your breakfast, eat a vegetable with each meal, eat a vegetable etc.). Think about one thing that, once you do it every day, will help you to transform your nutrition for the better.
Second, print out a calendar sheet for this month, stick it on the fridge, and draw a blank check box in each day. For every day you successfully complete your nutrition goal: add a big red X mark in the square.
Don’t break the chain! Try for big streaks of days with no lapse in the chain of check marks.
The book Atomic Habits, tells the story of how Jerry Seinfeld used this strategy to become one of the most successful comedians of all time! Seinfeld, knowing that consistency was the most important thing to reach our goals, put up a giant 365 day calendar on his wall, and every day he did his writing task, he would put a large red X for that day.
It didn’t matter if he felt like writing, or didn’t feel like writing, he had to write so he could earn his big red X!
We can use the calendar challenge to create small habit changes in our own lives. Start with a challenge that is challenging, but doable. Stick with this challenge for 30 days, 3 months, or the entire year. Once we make this small habit a part of our lifestyle, we can switch to another habit, and another.
This challenge works great for nutrition goals, but we can use it for any goal that requires a process of daily commitment: be in bed by 9:30pm each night, drink half our bodyweight in ounces of water each day, etc.
The calendar challenge is a simple solution to help us stay accountable so we can finally implement the changes we need for to reach our health and fitness goals!