Look, I’ll be straight with you…for whatever reason, when I see others on social media post about a challenge they embarked on, my perception has been that they started it on the day they claimed and then met the criterion each and every day of the challenge until the end. I mean they painted such a picture how could I not have read into that narrative?
I was so wrong. This is a huge caution of social media to be reminded of. Being that I completed the 2 week #100squatchallenge amidst my 3rd year as an Education Specialist, it all clicked! I recognized the reality of what overcoming a challenge……growth…… looks like. Having supported (and still supporting) students who typically struggle in America’s educational system, growth is something I measure, monitor, pin-point, and create solutions for in my role as an educator. Reaching success absolutely entails growth. And, it is with a growth mindset that we can walk a path in life that consistently points toward our passions and success (what we deem of it anyway).
On the first day I started the challenge I only managed to get in 50 squats. I could have given up after day 3 when I did a big fat ZERO. The inner thoughts sounding something like this…
“Damn, really? It’s day 4 and yesterday you didn’t even do ANY! 🤔 Ugh. Are you serious?! Get.your.life.Cerena. You better start that shit over. I really wanted to do this challenge too. Well, whatever. Aight I’ll start again, Monday. Or, Sunday. Yep Sunday…”
And then you fall off 🙄
I’m here to tell you that those thoughts are WRONG. It’s not only wrong, it’s limiting. Don’t let a setback stop the train from moving forward. Sometimes the train needs to stop and refuel and then keep going. So next time you try and challenge yourself toward a goal/end result, keep in mind you will receive feedback along the way but the point is to keep on pushing forward in some way shape or form. Even if you move slowly you are still going forward. There is still growth. Keep with the challenge!
And that my good people, is all that matters.
For this challenge in particular, I recognized that, although I am to do 100 squats each day, to think that I was just going to start on day 1 and go from 0 to 100 consistently just because I had accepted the challenge, was an oversight. And that’s ok.
It is ok because it’s called a challenge for a reason. We set the bar at a certain standard and aim to reach it. In the beginning we fall short much more than hitting the mark. But eventually, EVENTUALLY you start to become consistent. Soon after, you find yourself adding to it which means you push yourself further, hence a new bar is set. For instance, in the first week I most definitely missed the mark many times before I became consistent.
This is the true reality around growth. It is doing a #100squatchallenge for 2 weeks and missing the mark along the way but persevering to see the challenge through. What it does for you is so much more than you may recognize. When we push ourselves physically, it manifests itself in other areas. Cognitively, we become more fit and will push our thinking, push our creative levers, and our happiness button. Self-esteem is –derived from self-competence.
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When I taught pre-school, during many parent-teacher conferences it was important to me to inform parents of what I had not only studied, but also observed in my years of teaching. I’d tell them this: the builder to self-esteem is allowing your 14month-3 year olds who are trying to establish their “I do it” selves, to be given autonomy at their level. In the 2’s room where this was especially the case, my co-teacher and I gradually increased what they were to do independently. Wash, dry, dispose; grab lunch, open, eat, push in chair, put away; get rest time items, self soothe, rest, put rest items away; explore, wonder, engage. The list goes on. Why this is important? It is important because they recognize that they are capable, and their self-worth/self-esteem is nourished. These are the building blocks to a healthy self-esteem. It is known in the psych world, and elsewhere, that much of our adult issues stem from our childhoods. Heal these wounds, let them go, and grow. Healing looks like engaging in healthy things that push you outside of you comfort zone. They force you to grow and change as a person towards your best self. Live your best life isn’t just a saying to be said, there is reality on how to get there, and stay.
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With all of this in mind, I decided to approach the challenge with a different lens. 100 squats became a visual marker for what I aimed for. In the first week I most definitely missed the mark many times before I became consistent. On the road to week 2 is when I started to add to my “work out.” I’d add into a squat session some push-ups, crunches, lunges, and leg lifts while I also took more walks.
This is such a big part of why I started this challenge. I needed to exercise and even though I had the best of intentions to do so, life weighed so heavy on me. Prying myself up in the morning and getting going took a good thrust of energy. Most of my energy each day was dedicated to getting through the day and handling what was going on inside me.
Listen, we need small challenges like this to get some grease into your gears. The #100squatchallenge was the Wd-40 that got my exercise gears going. I am so grateful! Regular exercise is vital in our healing and staying healthy process. I know it can do that for you too. Hell, if squats can’t be your thing try: push-ups, crunches, burpees, lunges, you name it, set the bar at 100 of them daily for 2weeks. Please just know you will waiver some at first but you must keep going!
Yes, there are those who embark on various social media challenges who actually meet the criterion each and everyday. Kudos to them. I can guarantee you there are more who don’t meet the challenge each day (even if their posts suggest otherwise 🤷🏽♀️).
Everyone who embarks on a challenge has a different set of life circumstances that are going to make meeting the challenge harder than for others. I started where I was and did what I could. If I could not get in 100 squats I carried over what I had left to do to the next day. So by all means, do the same and…
#challenge on. It only adds to your life.
Week 1 Squat Score card
(Monday) Day 1= 50
Day 2= 150
Day 3= 0
Day 4= 175
Day 5= 100
Day 6= 100
Day 7= 100
Week 2 Squat score card:
Day 8: 100
Day 9: 100
Day 10: 75
Day 11: 140
Day 12: 75
Day 13: 50
(Monday) Day 14: 185
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I wanted to share this with the world because I know shedding light on the reality of #challenges will help others not only start but to be sure to finish them and keep going! Not only that, it can be applied to many aspects of your life. The message about the reality of growth is one that is relevant to all of us. Don’t say in the same place. I challenge you to GROW!
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With you on this journey,
THE goddess Of Growth ✌🏽💜🔥
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Embark on a challenge!!
If you’re interested in joining the #100squatchallenge: To get started:
✓ pick a day to start
✓ your end date will be 2 weeks later
✓ Take a before picture
✓ Post that you are embarking on the challenge or Tell friends/family (accountability is key!) use the hashtag #100squatchallenge. Tag me @the_g_of_growth…I’d love to follow your journey too 🙌🏾 💪🏾 ✊🏽
✓ Get your #challenge on!
✓ Keep going. Journal about your journey, post about it, tell someone about it. Again, accountability is key to seeing something through.
✓ Take an after picture when you are done to share, or not to share. Doesn’t matter
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THE goddess Of Growth is an Educator who enjoys leading others to knowledge, connections, healing, inspiration, peace, joy, and most of all, towards continual growth. Join her daily, or at your leisure, and most certainly in times of need.
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