It has been a while I have wanted to put myself under a challenge. I have started and failed some challenges since the major success of Spiral of Awesomeness, but nothing has really concretely even started, which has at times even made me think that the whole model of making challenges for yourself is a bit contrived anyway.
Something about it appeals to me though and it can be hard for me to set my mind correctly to get started on some things if I just think I should do something. I guess I am a guy who reacts well to a set, simple target and working towards it. I don’t know what it is, and ultimately the results have been mixed anyway. Thing is, I am ready to try something again after spending last few months more or less stagnating.
After all, if any challenge can be as big of a success as Spiral of Awesomeness was, it is not just a gradual increase in the quality of my life, but a whole jump to another level. In the end it does not matter why something works, what matters is that I get a psychological leverage over my primitive brains. Competitiveness is one way to do that, as is this challenge mindset.
So with all that in mind, let’s delve right into what I want to do for my May Challenge.
It was a long process trying to figure out what kind of a challenge I would set. Spiral of Awesomeness was very structured, and I tend to respond very well to that kind of parameters, because it is very black-and-white, very little thinking involved. However the way my life is at the moment would be at odds with the level of rigidity such challenge would require. I needed something more fluid. I am sure eventually I will try to put more structure back to my life, but I needed more of a challenge that involved mindset rather than specific actions.
In the end the answer came to me from closer than I even thought – my point system, the Universal Awesomeness Score. In short, UAS tries to condense my quality of life/productivity in one number. It does not actually necessarily tell how good my life is, but it does measure well how well I am using my time. If I score high? Might have been a shit day, but I at least put in a lot of effort that day and did things I consider to be valuable to me. So while not perfect, it is a decent yardstick and I did score my highest weeks during Spiral of Awesomeness challenge – and all that effort wound up changing my life. To put it short, I don’t see anyone scoring highly in it for an extended period of time and NOT getting some rewards from their hard effort.
The risk of course is that without clear guideline the daily actions become a bit muddled, but I will try and see what happens. Regardless, it gives me the fluidity to do whatever I want on any given day as long as it is accruing me more points.
The only thing to decide was what is the appropriate difficulty level. My first instinct was 30 points per day, which is something I have been doing fairly consistently over recent weeks. I realized in the end though that it is not much of a challenge. There should be difficulty, so I decided to hike it up to the upper limits of my ability. Scoring 50 points every day is fairly hard and takes lot of discipline and consistency. This year I have scored over fifty only on nine days, so stringing a month of going over it every day is gonna be challenging. However, if I can do it once in a while, I can do it repeatedly. If you can take one step, you can take thousand steps.
50 points a day translates to about 350 points per week. Right from the start this is more than I have scored in any week of the year so far, in fact I have gone over 350 points only 3 times since start of 2014. So it is very challenging, but as said, it is within reason to go for. To further challenge myself, I want to beat my old weekly record from 2013, and take my record to 500s, so one of the weeks of the challenge has to score 500 points for me to consider the challenge a success.
The Parameters in Short
- Score 50 points every day (midnight to midnight Thai Time)
- Starts May 3rd, lasts five weeks until June 5th.
- One of the weeks has to score at least 500 points.
Completing the challenge successfully, I will buy myself Muay Thai Pads to assist training. If not, I will not buy them for at least 6 months. This is the perfect kind of reward as it is something that I really do wanna get for myself, but don’t necessarily need so I can forego it in case I fail. This gives a real, tangible outcome for my subconscious to motivate me.