Join the “In Your Equation” 2014 Challenge
An invitation to make a commitment to yourself & achieve your goal(s)
I’m excited to announce our 30-day “In the Equation 2014 Challenge” and to invite each of you to participate. The “In Your Equation Challenge” provides an opportunity for you to set a personal goal — defined by YOU — and make a commitment contract with yourself and others to help support you and hold you accountable.
Why the Challenge now? I’m struggling more than I have in a long time AND I’ve been talking with many people in my life who are also feeling stuck, unhealthy, or simply out of balance — literally out of their equation. The truth is, we all need help to reach our goals. I’m doing this work to help both myself and others lead happy, healthy and “whole” lives. So let’s do this…together! (And P.S. — there is no perfect time. Now is as good a time as any!)
Why make a public commitment? Research shows — and my personal experience bares out — that going public and making a commitment to yourself and others helps you achieve your goals. Incentives and support from others also help. Thanks to my friend and mentor, Anne Knapp, I’ve discovered a great new tool to facilitate sticking to your goals with a public commitment, support, incentive and accountability. And we’re going to try it out.
StickK is a website developed by Yale University economists who tested the effectiveness of commitment contracts through extensive field research. According to StickK, years of economic and behavioral research show that people who put stakes — either their money or their reputation — on the table are far more likely to actually achieve a goal they set for themselves.
So here we go. I hope you’ll read more, join StickK for free, and then put yourself first by joining our “In Your Equation Challenge.”
The In Your Equation 2014 Challenge: How it works
We’re keeping it simple and personal. The official challenge will run for 30 days — Oct. 28-Nov. 26, 2014. (NOTE: We end the day before Thanksgiving.) Here are the steps to participate:
1) Set a personal goal defining what you want to focus on, change, achieve over the 30-day Challenge period. Your goal is personal to you and can be anything under the broad definition of “Putting Yourself in the Equation of Your Own Life.” For example, it can be a weight loss or other health and wellness goal (stop smoking, get off the couch and start moving…), a healthy habit goal, a time/work/family balance goal, or anything that you define focused on being a better you. It might be a big, hairy audacious goal that has eluded you and this is your chance to go all-in and jumpstart it. Or, it could be a baby step/let’s get started goal aimed at practicing a new habit. You decide. You define it, and then…
2) You commit to it — using the FREE StickK tool here. First, you have to set up an account on the StickK website (takes about 5 minutes if you fill out a full profile). The website is super easy to use and walks you through the process here. Once you’re signed up, invite me — Lori-ITE (In the Equation) — as your friend so I’ll know that you’re part of our In the Equation Challenge and can support you.
In this step, you’ll write out your detailed goal via a commitment contract. You can read mine and see others on the website to help you get clear about what you want to commit to for 30 days. They even have pre-established goals that you can choose from if you don’t want to set yours up as a custom goal.
3) Non-negotiables. I urge you to consider your goal (defined by your commitment contract) a non-negotiable, or set of non-negotiables to get there. When you read my commitment contract, you’ll see my detailed list of non-negotiables — things that I am committing to do every week, no matter what. Select your non-negotiables carefully to set yourself up for success and then go ALL IN! Don’t consider them optional, just do it. I used this technique in my personal transformation process and the mindset shift really worked. “It’s more than a goal, it’s non-negotiable. And I will not quit!” 😉
4) Stakes. As you’re setting up your commitment contract on StickK, it will walk you through the process and ask if you want to add a monetary incentive as stakes to your commitment. Our “In the Equation Challenge” is neutral on this point. That is totally up to you. As StickK points out, laying money on the line can increase your odds of success and you can designate where the money will go if you miss your goals. They take care of it for you. I chose not to implement stakes at this time, but that is a totally personal decision. You know what will work best for you. Money should not be a barrier (or excuse) for anyone not participating in the Challenge!
5) Referee & Supporters. Next the website will ask you to name a referee — one person who will help hold you accountable to keeping your commitment each week. If you do not have a referee, please invite me and I will assist/help as many of you as I can. But you might want to tackle the challenge with a friend or spouse and invite that person who is close in your day to day life to be your referee.
Because support is so critical, the site makes it easy to invite others to support you. I think it would be great for the “In the Equation 2014 Challenge” participants to all cheer and support each other, so please invite me and others with the In the Equation Commitment Contract to support you. Let’s see how this works. I also invited friends to me to support me along the way. You can invite them from the StickK website via their email. You can also invite other StickK users who have the same goal to support you even if you don’t know them. The site makes it easy.
6) Go ALL IN! Making changes in lifestyle or tackling big, hairy audacious goals is not easy, but there is no question you CAN do it. It was/is critical for me to start with a “CAN DO” and “We’ve got this!” attitude,. I go 100% all in on my goal making it my top priority. And I invite you to adopt the same attitude for best success. And please, don’t say or think: “I’ll try!” Try is a lame word. Say instead, “I’ve got this” or “I can do this!” And go for it. 100% All in!
7) The importance of the restart. Your human so you are very likely to struggle, slip and fall off the wagon in pursuit of your goal throughout the 30-day process. Or at least I predict you will since none of us is perfect. (I know, newsflash! Damn!) When you slip and fall, rather than beat yourself up and throw in the towel, pick yourself up, ask for support and get right back on the path. Get right back on the path. No pity party! No excuses! I call this the “restart,” and it is absolutely critical in long-term success toward a goal. I’ll write more about this along the way.
8) Journal/Reporting. Each week (or more often), each Challenge participant will journal about their progress, struggles and how they did with their goal/non-negotiables that week. I encourage more frequent check ins and posts as you have successes or struggles along the way. The StickK site also offers a messaging tool if you want to talk to your referee or someone in private and not post on the site for all to see. But at least 1x per week, we’ll be checking in and reporting on progress publicly.
We’ll be learning and experimenting with this (new to me) tool together to aid our progress and support. We’ll be virtually cheering and holding each other accountable. I’ve never used the tool before, but I think it will be a great way to connect us as a community — and remember it is backed by research that it aids in success.
The “In the Equation Community,” starting with me, will be here to cheer and support you in achieving your goals. Let’s renew our commitment to ourselves and be our best selves so we have more to give others in our lives. I’ve found that when I am squarely in the center of my equation and taking good care of myself, I’m more strategic, more creative, more fun, and more successful – not to mention happier! So let’s go put ourselves back in the center of our lives, and get healthy inside and out…together.
SHARE THIS & INVITE OTHERS
I invite you to share this blog and to encourage others in your life or online communities to sign up for the Challenge these next 5 days. During these start up days, please think about and establish your goal and your commitment online, invite me to referee or support you, and let’s do this!
The “In Your Equation 2014 Challenge” officially starts Tuesday, Oct. 28 and runs for 30 days, through Nov. 26, 2014. But that’s more of a guideline than a rule so we get some momentum in the community. If you join a bit late, so be it. Better late than never. And if you so choose at the end of the 30-day period to continue or renew or buy — even better.
We’ve totally got this! Who’s in?!
Let me know.