• Challenge Instructions and FAQ

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      2018 Challenge Dates

      Challenges run for FOUR WEEKS with a planning week before every challenge.  *However, the first challenge of the year will be 5 weeks instead of 4. You can start this challenge January 1st OR anytime in the first week of January (really, you can start any challenge anytime within the challenge dates, you'll just have a shorter challenge). This will allow current members who are ready to start January 1st start then, but offer some flexibility for those of you who are new to Nerd Fitness or are traveling or finishing up with holiday stuff still on the 1st. Start any date you want.    You are allowed to start early, during the planning week, if you do not need the full week to plan, or if you want a longer challenge.   The challenges start on Monday and go to Sunday. (this is a change in 2018) If you do better starting on Sunday and going until Saturday - that's fine   There is a 2 week break in between the 5th and 6th challenges - this is our summer break. During this time, if you want to continue to challenge, you can start your next challenge early or continue your previous challenge.   The challenge forums for the next challenge will be opened the day after the last challenge ends, on the next Monday.    January 1 to February 4: Challenge 1   Feb 12 to March 11: Challenge 2   March 19 to April 15: Challenge 3   April 23 to May 20: Challenge 4   May 28 to June 24: Challenge 5   July 9 - August 5: Challenge 6   August 13 to September 9: Challenge 7   September 17 to October 14: Challenge 8   October 22 to November 18: Challenge 9   November 26 to December 23: Challenge 10  
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      Basic Rules and Guidelines

      The basic guideline of the 4 Week Challenge is simple:   Pick 3 diet and/or fitness quests, and one level up your life quest, and work to complete them over the next four weeks.   A quest is simply a goal that you'd like to complete. These quests are completely up to you, though we recommend you go through our Goal Setting (LINK COMING) worksheets to help you create your goals.   The NUMBER ONE THING that people say prevented them from being successful in their challenges is that they tried to make changes that were TOO BIG or that they tried to do TOO MANY things all at once.  Please keep this in mind when creating yours We'd much prefer you create quests that are small and will help you build healthy habits than set huge quests to completely change your life all at once. If you think the quests sound too small, they are probably the right quests   CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR GOAL SETTING FAQ PAGES   NOTE: Just starting out and need help picking your quests? Does the idea of picking out your own quests seem overwhelming (it's common for it to!) The Nerd Fitness team has created a LEVEL 1 CHALLENGE that you can take and customize and use. These are the items that we suggest you use as quests if you're just starting out and have no idea what to do. YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.   Create a thread in the challenge area of the forums, declaring your quests. The challenge forums are separated into CLASS or GUILD sections.   If you're just starting out, post your challenge in the LEVEL 1 section. This is for people doing their first challenge, and offers more assistance to help you get started with Nerd Fitness and the challenges. If you post your thread within a guild, it will be assumed that you know how all of the things work, sopPost your challenge thread in the LEVEL 1 subforum.   Full class/guild descriptions are here.   If you'd like to pick a class or guild, here are the basics and some SAMPLE activities that someone in that guild might focus on. Obviously there are many different activities - you can join the guild that you want to and thinks fits you the best.   If you want to change at any time, do it! (meaning, you can do one challenge in one guild, and the next challenge in a different guild) There's no formal way to join or un-join a guild other than selecting it on your own.   REBEL - if you do not want to pick a guild. You can stay a Rebel as long as you want - there are many people who don't WANT to pick a guild, and that's fine. This is a general fitness guild. ADVENTURER - exploration, hiking, climbing, travel. ASSASSIN - bodyweight exercises, gymnastics, parkour DRUID - yoga, meditation, tai chi MONK - martial arts of any sort SCOUT - running, swimming, biking, endurance sports RANGER - crossfit, general mixed training (running AND lifting, for example) WARRIOR - powerlifting, weightlifting, strongman   Update as much or as little on your progress in your thread throughout the challenge. Your thread is your place to do whatever you'd like! Some people find it beneficial to update daily, others weekly.  Update your thread as much or as little as you want.   Encourage and help out other challengers.   Part of a 4 week challenge is also participation, and encouraging your other challengers - this isn't a competition - we want everyone to do well.   This isn't a requirement of the challenge - if you're a lone wolf type, that's fine!   You'll be posting about your successes and struggles in your thread, and the more help and encouragement you offer others, the more you will get in return, the more accountability you'll have, and the more friends you'll make (some of my closest friends today I met doing these challenges in 2010!).    That being said, we want you to be out working on your goals, not sitting on the forums all day - so there is a balance    At the end, review your challenge and grade yourself. End of challenge grading worksheets can be found here.    
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      Planning Your Challenge + Planning Worksheets

      Each challenge is 4 weeks with a planning week beforehand. You can use the planning week however you want, as an extra week of challenge, a week off, or a week to prepare.   The planning phase is the MOST IMPORTANT part of a challenge. Please don’t just pick random goals! It may seem like a lot up front but will set you up for success.   To help you with this, we've created the following instructions and worksheets (in google doc). Make sure to go to File --> Make a Copy, as you won't be able to edit the original. https://docs.google.com/document/d/131HtppGjPZ_dr7KoRS4Cqh50TYwya2TYZUnco-f8ZCQ/edit?usp=sharing   A few notes before we start: 1) This may seem like a lot of steps, but it's not! We just broke everything down into very small steps to make sure nothing was missed 2) This takes the longest the first time you do it --> after you've done it once, it's easy to review and make changes quickly before each challenge.   STEP ONE: THINK BIG. REAL BIG. What are my top things you want accomplish in the next six months to a year (or further out!)?  It’s okay for these to be vague and/or “dreamworld” things. These can be from ANY area of your life, not just fitness. You can come up with as many as you want here, the sky's the limit.   Examples: Spend more time with my kids Get better at gymnastics Lose 20lbs Quit smoking Get out of debt   STEP TWO: CUT DOWN AND RE-ORDER IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE Next, pick your top 3-5 goals, and order them in order of importance to you. Which one is your top priority?   This doesn't mean you can't do everything on your list eventually, however, we are finding focus areas for you to work on THIS challenge.    Think of this list of QUESTS. A quest is a big, over-arching goal that describes an outcome, however does not tell you how you are going to get there (ex: TO SEEK THE HOLY GRAIL is a quest, yet it doesn't say how they're going to do it)   STEP THREE: BREAK DOWN YOUR QUESTS Next, start to brainstorm some ideas on how you want to do these things. We can still be somewhat vague here.   Look at the above quests we created, and let’s break them down:   Lose 20lbs Eat Better Stop drinking soda No eating fast food Eat more vegetables Count calories / macros No more junk food Work out Go to the gym Do yoga Go running Walk every day   Quit smoking Seriously, just stop. (cold turkey?) The patch? Start a support group with friends                Get out of debt Make a budget Review spending Get a raise   Get better at gymnastics Lose 20lbs Find a program to follow or a class to attend Make sure to practice every day   Spend more time with my kids Family dinners Find an activity to do together See if they would be interested in learning gymnastics   STEP 3A: Look over the list and see if there is any overlap, or start to brainstorm ways to make some of them overlap. Here are a few ideas based on the goals above: -See if your kids are interested in gymnastics, so you could take a class together -See if your quit smoking support group would walk every day at lunch instead of going out for a cigarette -Hiking with the kids / Yoga with the kids? -Teach kids about budgeting (ha!) -Cook one healthy meal per week WITH the kids     ALTERNATIVE FOR STEPS 2 AND 3: MAKE A MIND MAP For some people, visualizing goals makes things easier. Here's an example of the above, only in mind map format. Pink is the quests, blue is goals that could potentially overlap.     STEP FOUR: DIG ONE STEP DEEPER NOW, look at each quest more in depth, and create SMART goals (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) based off of them.   You won't do all of these goals this challenge - so don't get overwhelmed! This is just creating a list of SMART goals that line up with your quests to choose from for your challenge.   Lose 20lbs Eat Better Stop drinking soda Reduce daily soda drinking by 1 can/glass per week until soda drinking is eliminated (So if you drink 4 cans a day now, start by drinking 3 cans a day, then 2 cans a day, then 1 can a day, and then 0) No eating fast food Bring lunch to work at least 3x per week instead of buying out for one month, then bring lunch to work at least 4x per week for one month, then bring lunch to work every day. Reduce fast food intake by 1x per week. Prep meals ahead and have food ready at home at least 3x per week. Have healthy pre-prepped meals delivered for at least 50% of meals. Eat more vegetables Eat at least one vegetable at least once per day. Eat at least one vegetable per meal. Count calories / macros Count calories for a week, and then look to see what changes you can make to add/reduce calories as needed. Then focus on getting between X and Y calories every day. Work out (I’ve included goals for 3 different styles of exercise, I wouldn’t recommend doing all three of these!) Go to the gym Pick a workout program and follow it as written (attending the gym the number of times per week it calls for) Find a coach and work with them X times a week Go to X class at the gym at least x per week Find a new gym that is on the way home from work Do yoga Find a yoga studio and teacher I like. Try trials at X, Y, and Z yoga studios and attend at least 3 classes at each studio. Attend yoga at least 3x per week. Go running Follow the X running program Run at least 1 mile 3x per week Walk/run at least 1 mile every other day. Increase running time each session - by the end of the month, run 1 mile without stopping.   Quit smoking Cold turkey? The patch? Determine best method for me to quit - is it gum? The patch? Cold turkey? Once determined, make a plan based on that method of quitting. (Yes: do research and make a plan is a goal!) Reduce number of cigarettes smoked per day by 25% each week. Start a support group with friends Reach out to X number of friends that smoke and see if they want to start a FB support group with me to quit smoking. Look for an online support group (and join one!)   Get out of debt Make a budget Make a budget spreadsheet or find budgeting software that automatically pulls in spending. Review budget progress at the end of each week to determine status Review spending Upload all data to X budget site and analyze spending. Where can I reduce spending? Write out my top spending categories and determine if there is anything I can reduce spending on. Only allow one trip to Target/Wal Mart per month Get a raise Make a plan to ask my boss for a raise. Read up on different tips and techniques on how to do this. Each week, write out a summary of what I learned. Ask for a raise by X date.   Get better at gymnastics Lose 20lbs Overlapping goal! Find a program to follow or a class to attend, and commit to it at least X per week Make sure to practice every day Practice X movement for at least 20 minutes each day after work before dinner.   Spend more time with my kids Family dinners Start having family dinners at least 3x per week Find an activity to do together See if they would be interested in learning gymnastics Ask kids what they are interested in, and what we could do together.         STEP FIVE: CREATING INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGE GOALS Now, this list looks EXHAUSTING. But it shouldn’t be. This is what you’re going to do over the next 6 months to a year - not in the next 4 weeks. If you tried to do all of this at once, you would likely fail as it is too much.   We recommend you don’t pick more than FOUR goals per challenge.   So based on the above, I might choose:   Quest: Lose 20lbs and Spend more time with my kids: Start having healthy family dinners at least 3x per week Find a yoga studio and teacher I like. Try trials at X, Y, and Z yoga studios and attend at least 3 classes at each studio. Quest: Quit Smoking Reduce number of cigarettes smoked per day by 25% each week. Quest: Get out of Debt Make a plan to ask my boss for a raise. Read up on different tips and techniques on how to do this. Each week, write out a summary of what I learned. Ask for a raise by X date.   Note that we haven’t touched on a lot of elements. THAT’S OKAY. Each challenge is only FOUR WEEKS LONG. If it seems like this is too easy, it's probably the right amount of goals   STEP SIX: Post Challenge Retrospective Read more about the Post Challenge Retrospective here.   STEP SEVEN: Planning Your Next Challenge The good news is, you don't have to do this at the beginning of every challenge!   After the challenge retrospective is done, quickly go over each of these steps.        a ) Are your big, over-arching quests still the same? If yes, leave them as they are. If not, update as necessary.      b ) Based on your retrospective, make changes to step three and four.       c) If you were successful in your first challenge, you may just want to cross goals off and pick from the same list that you made last time in step four!   WORKSHEET CAN BE FOUND HERE. CLICK FILE --> MAKE A COPY, AS YOU CAN NOT EDIT THE ORIGINAL.   FAQ: 1) Why do all of this just to pick four goals? By looking at where you want to be in 6 months to a year, it's easier to look at what you need to be doing TODAY to get there.   Think of it like building a map. If you know you need to walk to a specific location, but have no idea how to get there, you're going to likely get lost and have to start all over again many times.   But if you take the time to draw out the map to follow, even though it takes a bit of time up front, not only will you be able to see where you're going, but how far you've come, and you'll know exactly how long it will take for you to get there. This not only helps for actual success of getting things done, but mentally to make a gigantic goal that seems far away feel like it's actually possible.   2) Why just four goals? What if I want to do five? I'm not going to stop you from doing more, however: the majority of people who do not complete a challenge is because they bit off more than they could chew. 
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      Post Challenge Retrospective

      At the end of each challenge, fill out a POST CHALLENGE RETROSPECTIVE.   These are very important and helpful in planning your next challenge.  It shouldn't take long, just a quick review of what you did that really helped you, and what you did that you could do differently next time.   This also gives you the opportunity to grade yourself.   We recommend you grade yourself as a percent complete - So if your goal was to work out 3x a week (12 times) and you worked out 8 times, your grade would be 67%.    The Post Challenge Retrospective form can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScaNoyMojQuCUNoEJ-zELJ7Nq36NmThlGMBZ0auTMoVp5-PNA/viewform after you fill this out, you will receive an email with a copy of your answers.     if you prefer it in google doc form to keep for yourself, use this google doc here (just File --> Make a copy, as you can't edit the original)
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      Level 1 - First Challenge Suggested Quests

      Are you just starting out or looking to respawn and need help putting together your challenge? It's very common for people to get overwhelmed trying to put together a challenge - even if you know it will be fun once you get started!   To help out, the NerdFitness team met and put together what we would suggest you do for your first challenge.    It is what we suggest you do for your challenge based off what we have seen work for other rebels in the past. A lot of these may seem like small quests, but they're not! The goal here is to start creating habits and build momentum.   Feel free to copy and paste and use for your own challenge (make sure to follow the 'pick 1' or 'pick 2' directions! don't do all of them!)  Use as much or as little from this as you'd like.   SAMPLE LEVEL 1 REBEL CHALLENGE: Diet (pick two) Swap out one soda per day with water Eat a vegetable with one meal every day Reduce fast food consumption by 50% Take one processed snack you have each day and replace it with a healthy protein, fruit, or vegetable Substitute one sugary coffee drink per day for black coffee or tea.   Fitness (pick one) Walk every day (5 minutes) - this could even be in the form of standing up at your desk and walking around the office. Complete the NF bodyweight workout at least 1x a week Participate an active social game, like frisbee or kickball, at least once a week (preferably with your family or friends who are also trying to get started!)   Level Up Your Life (Pick One) Put $1 in a jar (or savings) every day Notorious for being late? Start with making Mondays special - on Mondays you are never late for anything. 5 minutes meditation daily Say one positive thing to yourself each morning when you look in the mirror Have troubles keeping the kitchen clean? Clean for 2 minutes each night before bed or first thing in the morning (when you're waiting for your coffee to brew, maybe?). Focus on one small area and keeping that one clean, and then once you're good at that one, start to expand it. Floss at least 15 seconds each day Reduce caffeine consumption by 50% Make small talk with at least one person each week (or day!) you wouldn't normally (could be on your commute, at work, in line at the grocery store) Have a 5 minute dance party each day Go to bed 10 minutes earlier each week
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      Tying the Challenges in with your NF Character

      This step is completely optional   You can create your own Nerd Fitness Character (for FREE) here. With your Nerd Fitness Character, you can create goals and assign XP to them - and then earn that XP and level up as you complete the goals!   NOTE: Your NF Character and NF Forum Account are different logins and passwords.    FAQ and HELP DOCS and VIDEOS on how to set up your NF Character can be found here.   Once your character is set up, we recommend creating a NEW QUEST LIST for your 4 Week Challenge, and then base how many XP each goal earns based on it's level of difficulty (100XP levels you up, so I like to level up if I complete each challenge, so I usually do my goals around 25XP each)   Here is an example of the four week challenge we put together as a part of the planning worksheet example in the previous articles:   As of right now, there is no way to insert your EQ level into your signature or anywhere in the forums. We are hoping this is a feature we will have in the future
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      PVP Challenge Rules

      Note: PVPs are completely optional PVP forum rules   PVP Information   Date The title of the PVP should contain its date start and date end. If the PVP doesn't have a end date, write "unlimited" instead.  Example:     Participants The PVP presentation should indicate if the PVP is closed (Typically a PVP between 2 members) or open. A up-to date list of the participants in the presentation is advised.    Other things I should think about?   Be specific Make sure the participants knows what they should do. If you want to organize a pushup PVP, tell what variations are authorized, if your PVP involve an unusual exercise, a video of it would help people to know at once what they should do.   Be careful We all love PVP, sometimes a little too much. Pushing people to make some exercises everyday wouldn't be wise as it would increase the risk of injuries. Remember to give the participants the possibility to rest.   Be organized We also all love spreadsheets or at least a place to record our activities, so, if your PVP could use it, setting up one would be a nice addition.    How to make my PVP get noticed? You have written a cool PVP and you want more people to participate? What about telling some Guild leaders about it? A running PVP may interest the scouts for example while a pullup PVP would certainly interest the Assassins. If they think the PVP may interest some of their guild members, they will promote it to them.    Rewards Official NF awards are not allowed here - if you want to give a reward it's 100% up to you to handle it.   If you want to offer real life products or a monetary prize, you will be responsible for providing that - Nerd Fitness will not provide any prizes for PVP Challenges. Please be careful giving your home address and personal information out to people you don't know or trust, even if they are rebels and if you have won a prize they want to mail to you. If you want to offer Nerd Fitness products, we do offer gift certificates that you could purchase and send to the winner so no one is responsible for having another challenger's personal information. You are welcome to "bet" money where everyone who enters puts in a specific amount of money (as a buy in) to enter the challenge, and the winner gets the pot, however: If you are the person arranging the challenge, you will be responsible for holding the money and not spending it throughout the length of the challenge If you are a challenger, you will be responsible for trusting the person you send your money to.  If something happens, and they don't give the money to the winner, and keep it all for themselves - Nerd Fitness is not responsible.
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      Video Walkthrough of your First Challenge

      Quick Note: The planning worksheets and retrospective have been added since this video was made. A new video will be made soon, but for now, just keep that in mind!