Not so long ago I shied away from challenges, especially ones online. It wasn’t that I didn’t like competing or being in the spotlight. Or that I feared failure. Been there. Done that. Still alive to tell the tales.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the work. I could … and can … and dang well, I might add. My cumulative body of professional work and personal accomplishments are many. But I did fear something.
I feared embarrassment
I struggle with consistency, especially when it comes to certain business tasks, like regularly adding new blog posts to my websites and emailing my subscribers.
I really wanted to write that last paragraph in past tense but truth is, despite my accomplishments, there are plenty of times I still fall short on the consistency meter.
Commitment to change
Last fall I made a commitment to change. It began with paying to participate in Kelly McCausey’s annual Stretch Yourself Challenge last September. I talk about why I joined here.
Then I opted into Jen Lehner’s Fall Accountability Challenge for her Front Row Vip group, of which I was already a member. Her main group is free. You can check out the Facebook group here.
I put my heart and soul into completing those challenges as best I could. I needed to know I could do it if I really tried. And if I failed, well then I’d have some new mindset fodder to seriously investigate.
Can I brag a little? I ended up top point winner in Kelly’s challenge, by a significant margin, completing 13 of 15 business-related content creation challenges, plus worked my butt off earning as many bonus networking points that I could. I skipped one individual challenge, which was to set up a YouTube channel, because I’d already had one for several years. Then there was one challenge that I just ran out of time to complete.
I also completed the Jen’s accountability challenge, including being part of the winning team. The two challenges overlapped for part of the month, and I was able to use that to my advantage.
I completed so many projects during those challenges that I was a bit stunned. Many had been lingering in the infamous I gotta finish that soon hole of procrastination. Uncompleted projects that were holding up other more important to revenue producing ones. I was super stoked when I got to finally mark them Done!
Winning was thrilling … but not the best part
The best part came a month later when I was still working steadily and consistently on planned projects. My pace slowed, a lot some days, because I’m just not equipped mentally, physically, or financially to go at hog wild speed all day ever day. I’ve had some good runs at that in my younger days. And that’s okay.
Which brings us to today, April 18, 2020.
I’m just past mid-way in completing the Ultimate Blog Challenge, which is hosted by Paul Taubman, four times a year. The challenge is 30 new blog posts published each day in April. You’re reading my 18th consecutive one today. 🙂
I’ve signed up for the UBC several times in the past, back even before Paul was ran it. Most times I never or barely got started. This time I’m committed to finish. So if you’ve been following things here, that’s why there’s been new posts daily, even if they get posted into the evening hours.
Yesterday, the Front Row VIP 2020 Spring Accountability kickoff meeting was held. This challenge runs four straight weeks. I’m a day ahead of deadline (Go Me!) having completed the first bonus opportunity today. It consisted of sharing a recorded video or livestream about the challenge in Jen’s groups. Plus, I’ve completed writing down and sharing my overall Good, Better, Best Goals for the challenge and my Week 1 Tasks specifically related those goals. I put a screenshot of that list below, too.
Accountability + Responsibility = Success
Once I moved past the fear that I might be embarrassed, challenges have become exciting part of my work life. I choose which challenges I want to participate in carefully. Not because I might not complete them, but I want them to have purpose to the business I’m growing. I’m not aiming to be a super star finisher. My goal is to improve my own productivity habits.
Click top right arrow to play video. It’s short. Under minute and half. Didn’t even bother fixing hair or putting on makeup. Only cared about getting done what needed to be done. That’s a solid productivity tip, right there. 🙂
It you prefer to read, here’s the text just as I delivered it:
Hi Everyone. I’m Kat Sturtz, your Purgatory Relief Coach for People Who Think Marketing is Hell from Rocking Your Path.
I am doing the Front Row VIP Accountability challenge again because I exceeded my own expectations on how much I could accomplish participating last time. I’m a big believer in taking responsibility for one’s own thoughts, words, and actions.
And participating in a quality accountability challenge like the one Jen Lehner hosts for her Front Row VIP group adds the effective elements of camaraderie, encouragement, support, and tracking.
We each still have to show up and be responsible as we set for ourselves important, measurable goals, identify and share the specific tasks we will complete each week, and report honestly our results.
Four weeks from today, I will have completed the redesign of my main website home page, built out my new course platform, added at minimum one complete course that’s already been delivered live, and mapped out the rest of courses I have planned through end of the year.
I’m so excited to get started. Bring it on! I hope you’ll be there, too.
Here is the screenshot I mentioned above showing my current Front Row VIP Spring Accountability Challenge goals and week 1 tasks. Notice that every goal and task can be measured as to whether it is completed or not. There’s no accountability with pie in the sky that can’t be measured. There’s gotta be a yard stick somewhere if you really want to move forward with purpose.
Once I’m done with the current challenges, I’m planning to take on the Kelly’s I Dare You to Track Challenge. You can check it out here.
Do you participate in challenges? What’s your experience been like? Please share in the comments.
I’m excited to hear about your many “ta-da’s” continue to roll in! Well done before and my bet is on you now and after.
PS – I love Hamlet. And I must say, there seems to be a method to your challenge madness. 🙂 I enjoy challenges also.
Ah, thanks for the support and encouragement, Julie. The sweatshirt I’m wearing in the video was from when I played the part of Lillian Troy in a community theater production of I Hate Hamlet. I got to dance with the ghost of John Barrymore and triggered tears from some sentimental audience members. I am a fan of Shakespeare’s work. But I’ve only been in one Shakespeare play. Had the female lead of of Titania in Midsummer’s Night Eve. Was lots of fun but challenging!
Congratulations on all of your successes! That is wonderful that you’ve got such a good momentum going. I have participated in challenges, too, and it’s wonderful to complete them.
Hey, Jeanine. You’ve got the momentum thing going to, and I think you’ve been first to post each day. I’m not even gonna try to take that crown from you. 🙂
I just finished typing a great long comment to you and it disappeared when I tried top post it. For some unknown reason it though it was spam, suggesting I might have made an error is spelling my web address or email address.
So I will try again but it will not be the same.
I started the ultimate blog challenge back in 2010. I had to set up a blog site/ web page and a twitter account. I chose the handle “2baccountable”.
Soon after that I switched to hosting my own WordPress site and registered a domain name.
I can see you will be a busy lady with the challenges you have set up for yourself. Blog on!
Bummer about losing your first comment, Doug. Hate when that happens. Appreciate you persevering and taking time to share your input. You mentioned starting the Ultimate Blog Challenge in 2010. Have you completed them all, or some? I can imagine you’ve populated your site with a goodly number of posts by now. I’m looking forward to reading more of them.