11.16.2013

The Fortnight Challenge Model

In his book, "The 4 Hour Body," Tim Ferriss proposes a dietary guideline that involves eating really healthy and restricting calories for 6 out of 7 days of the week, then on the 7th day, basically doing whatever you want...gorge on sweets, eat a stake, drink beer. The plan isn't bad, but when I tried it, it was hard to stick to having just one day of freedom. Actually, it was hard to make it the same day every week, which is sort of part of the discipline of it.

I am going to try a variation on this that I think will be more conducive to my nature. I call it the Fortnight Model.

Basically, I establish a fitness or wellness challenge and do it for 2 weeks, adhering to it strictly. If I successfully complete the challenge, I reward myself at the conclusion of the 2 weeks with something. The something doesn't have to be

The reason I pick two weeks is because it is a manageable amount of time and I have also heard that if you want to develop or kick a habit, you need about two weeks to really ingrain it. I think that anyone can do something for two weeks, even if it kind of sucks, because you know at the end of the two weeks, you can quit doing it, if you want to. The reward period following the fortnight is up to the person doing it, but if they plan to make the behavior a lasting habit, the reward phase should not be more than a couple of days, otherwise the habit will not solidify. If the person is not trying to make the behavior a lasting habit, but just wants to see if they can do it, then it doesn't matter. Let the challenge end and never go back to it. But I want to say that 2 weeks is enough time to start to see some results from a fitness or wellness challenge, whereas one week might not be enough time. And when people get results, it is encouraging. They may get a confidence boost and want to continue getting good results.

So, I am going to try a Fortnightly Challenge. Here is my goal for the next 2 weeks, starting today, Saturday 11/16, and ending on Saturday 11/30:

1. No alcohol
2. Eat only healthy food
3. Exercise for 30 minutes+ at least five times per week

Wish me luck.

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