The Halfway Hump

We are at the halfway point in the 30-for-30 Swordplay Challenge! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can learn more about this 30-day swordplay training challenge in this post (It’s not too late to join. 15 days is a good start to a new positive habit.)
Halfway points are both exciting and challenging. On one front, you’ve made it half way! However, you also have as far again to go. The energy that comes with newness is gone and potentially some of the willpower with it. If you’ve missed a few days it’s also easy to start eroding your resolve: “Well, I’ve already missed a few days, what’s it really matter if I miss a few more.”
Here are a few tips to get through the halfway hump.

Recommit and Realign

Sometimes when you read something like this you can get a bit of a boost of willpower and energy to get back on board. How you use this energy is critical. The most important thing you can do is use it to setup systems that will be there for you when the willpower is gone. Check out some of my ideas on that here.
Perhaps you have some systems in place, but they’re not working for you (or at least not anymore). Use your energy now to re-examine those systems, tweak them, or change them up completely. Plan a time to check-in on your changes and progress in one week.

Make a Progress Bar

Seeing your progress in a visible way can be very motivating. Put a series of boxes up on your bathroom mirror, in your training journal, or on the back of your bedroom door. Seeing the boxes get filled-in is a reminder of your capacity to achieve something. It feels good to see how far you’ve come and how few steps remain until you’ve met your goal.
Try not to make it look like ticks on a prison wall.

Connect with Supporters

It can be a vulnerable thing to reach out to someone when you feel like you’re failing. Who wants to put that on display, especially if you committed to a challenge in a public fashion? The reality is that this kind of struggle is probably one of the most important things we can show our peers. As peers it’s important to know that we’re not alone in struggle, that we can help each other, and that success comes with a lot of failures, some scrambling, and a lot of help, not through individual invincibility.

Engage in Some Friendly Competition

Another way you can harness your peers is through a little bit of smack talk. Who’s going to be the more awesomest, hard workenest, sword trainer in your school?
A good competition rewards all participants on some level for succeeding. Don’t setup a challenge that derives your winning from your friend’s failure.
Come up with a consequence like buying the other dinner, or getting to help your friend with their ice bucket challenge.
Check-in regularly and consider making the challenge public and inviting others to be a part of it. You can maintain a 30-for-30 based effort challenge or perhaps add a new measure to achieve, like highest total training hours or number of sword cuts you can do in a minute.
I’m hoping to use my next 15 days to build momentum and I’ll certainly be leveraging my training peers to do so.
What systems have you put in place to help you keep on top of your goals? Let us know about them in the comments.

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The Third Annual 30-for-30 Swordplay Challenge

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a good holiday and looking forward to the new year as much as I am. This year I’m hosting the third annual 30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge and I wanted to invite you to be a part of it.
You’ve heard of 30-day yoga challenges. Well, this is much cooler. I’m a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions to help me kickstart my new year with a boost of energy.
The challenge: Practice swordplay for 30 minutes per day for 30 days in January from the 2nd to the 31st. This requires no experience and is open to newbies and experts alike!