Happy New Year everyone! I am excited to bring you the conclusion and wrap-up from the first ever Adventure Rich Streak Challenge!
Remind Me Again What The #ARStreak Is…
Back on Monday, November 20th, we posted an article introducing the Adventure Challenge #8: Let’s Go Streaking! (Intro to the #ARStreak Challenge!) with the following challenge.
Find a daily activity or goal you are willing to commit to and complete said activity/goal starting on Thanksgiving Day and ending New Year’s Day.
40 days! Can you do it?!?
The goal was to find something that improves your health, wealth, and/or well-being and try to do that activity every day for 40 days. This challenge coincided with the Runner’s World “Run Streak” Challenge, but broadens the definition to include an array of activities.
I gave a mid-challenge update in December and now have the grand finale… the Adventure Rich Streak Challenge Wrap Up!
#AR Streak Challenge Participant Wrap-Ups and Re-Caps
Much to my excitement, we had several people join in and start to comment, tweet and Instagram about the challenge using the #ARStreak hashtag. I am thrilled to bring you their re-caps and perspectives on the challenge today!
Mrs. Picky Pincher – www.pickypinchers.com
Challenge: Eating Healthier
I challenged myself to eat one healthy meal a day during my #ARStreak after experiencing some health issues. I’ve had … mixed results. It’s been a struggle since healthy eating doesn’t come naturally to me. I think the “baby steps” approach is working well, though. In the last 40 days I’ve eaten more veggies, thanks to discovering the beauty of spiralized veggies! I’ve also started treating fruit as a dessert instead of a snack. It’s slow going, but I do feel like the #ARStreak has helped me focus more on my diet going into the new year.
Mrs. Farmhouse Finance – www.farmhousefinance.com
Challenge: Running at least 1 Mile/Day Outdoors
I just finished my final mile of the Holiday Running Streak. In total, I ran 80.19 miles and completed every run outside. Mr. Farmhouse Finance also completed the running streak, but logged a lot of his miles on a treadmill (I’m not sure what his total was). I ran many miles in the dark before work, and braved some pretty frigid temperatures (There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. Right?). My favorite run was on Christmas morning with Mr. Farmhouse Finance. It had just snowed, and looked absolutely magical.
Erin – www.reachingforfi.com
Challenge: Daily Meditation
I did a meditation experiment in November and it didn’t go so well. I wrote about that here: https://www.reachingforfi.com/learned-meditation-experiment/. So when I saw your post about the #ARStreak I decided it would be an excellent opportunity to extend the experiment and continue trying to build a daily meditation habit. It wasn’t perfect, for many of the reasons November wasn’t, mainly lack of routine with holiday festivities and inertia with missing days and then finding it hard to get started again. But despite the fact that I didn’t have a perfect streak Thanksgiving through the end of the year, I’m so glad I did it!
For once this year, I haven’t set personal New Year’s resolutions. That’s a good thing: I’m working on building smaller, daily habits this year instead of trying to suddenly make big, radical changes (which aren’t likely to stick and honestly I could do without the guilt that causes). I credit this to what I learned from my extended meditation experiment and what you said in your #ARStreak post about not waiting until the new year and the end of the season of excess to do something good for yourself. January 1 doesn’t have to arbitrarily be the day we all try to suddenly become different, better people, so why not take the opportunity for that at the end of the year, especially since it also tends to be a season for reflection?
Now that the #ARStreak is over, I’m going to try for a January (and beyond) streak. Already knocked out day 1 yesterday!
Mr. Slowly Sipping Coffee – www.slowlysippingcoffee.com
Challenge: Running at least 1 Mile/Day
My AR Streak was committing to running 1 mile each day. I figured that this would fit in well with the beginning stages of training for a half marathon in early March, since I’d already be running 4-5 days a week. It started off fine, but it turned into sucktown pretty quickly. With my schedule, I exercise in the afternoon or evening, and the 1 mile almost always turned into 1 mile being run at 8pm or later. In fact, I ended up running less than planned for my half marathon training for December. I think part of this is the forced nature of keeping a streak going. I did well the first 2 weeks with running 3-4 miles 4-5 times a week, but on my “off/recovery” days, I still had to run at least a mile. I don’t think my body liked it, or maybe it was all mental and my body didn’t care, but man, not having any off days seemed to bug me.
The positives I got from it was that I dropped a ton of time off of my pace. I typically run around a 9-9:30 minute mile, but during this streak I was able to start banging out 4 mile runs at an 8:40 pace consistently. I also knocked out 2 sub 8 minute miles. I did see some other benefits like increasing my cadence. I’d been around a 153 steps per minute cadence and was able to get it up to 163 steps per minute consistently.
Overall, I would not choose another running streak. I found on days when I would swim or do some other cross training non-running activity, I REALLY did not want to do that mile. I still did, but I found it not to be enjoyable. It was like, “Ugh, I still have to run a mile… Why did I commit to run a mile?” lol. I’m glad I did it but I probably won’t do another running streak challenge.
Mrs. Kiwi and Keweenaw – www.kiwiandkeweenaw.com
Challenge: Daily Yoga
I started 2017 by completing a 30 day yoga challenge (in 38 days – perfection isn’t my thing), and I was excited to end the year practicing yoga daily. The #ARStreak motivated me to commit. I’ve always struggled with finding time for quiet and this came at the perfect time (the holidays are busy). Tack on a week long road trip and I practiced yoga in two countries and four states! Vacation me was grateful, even if sleeping in sounded more tempting.
The 40 days went by quickly, and I may have missed a day or two (or eleven), but 29 days of yoga is way more than I would have completed without the challenge. I embraced the fact that ten minutes is better than zero. I also got a little creative and tried out some self guided yoga when I had the time, but not the technology. The streak is going strong and I plan to keep it up through January!
JJ – www.ajourneytofi.com
Challenge: Running at least 1 Mile/Day and Eat Healthier
I didn’t do so well as I originally intended but there are two things I’m particularly proud of.
Yes, I did not run 1 mile every single day or had healthier food BUT I’m proud to say I did not touch my blog or went on social media since my last post on December 18th which was my last day at my job before taking time off.
Yes, It might seem
silly but it was really tough. This was not really a challenge of mine but came after a conversation I had with my wife that brought a deep feeling of regret. Without getting into the details my pursuit for optimization on all aspects of our financial journey has come at the expense of sacrificing quality time with my spouse and my two boys. To hear this from my wife was painful but necessary. As mentioned, this led to the decision of holding back from spending so much time on social media and on the blog.
I’m still in process of working on my 2018 goals but one of them will be having more balance between my desire to reach FI and what really matters in life which are my faith and my family.
Othala Fehu – www.othalafehu.com
Challenge: 4-5 Days/Week at Gym + Jenny Craig for Weight Loss
I stuck with my goal of exercise 4-5 days at the gym and using Jenny Craig to lose a total of 25 pounds in 4 months. I am close to my goal weight and have staved off diabetes for the moment
Lily – www.thefrugalgene.com
Challenge: Write 1,000 Words/Day
My #ARStreak was to write a minimum of 1,000 words a day. I wanted to improve my writing speed and try my hand at writing fiction as well.
I set a daily alarm to remind myself I owed 1,000 words but it lost it’s effectiveness after a while.
I started off strong but once the holidays hit, it was all over. We were visiting family for a week out of state. Family is a very good excuse for incompletion but for #ARStreak 2 I expect to fare better without the holiday distractions.
I intend to keep the alarm and continue working on writing 1,000 words a day for the rest of my life.
Lake Girl – www.mylittlebluekayak.com
Challenge: Stretch to Touch Toes
I decided to stretch everyday for my streak as touching my toes has been one of my health goals for quite a while now. I started out strong for about 7 days and then got busy and stopped completely! Initially, I had a sense of community with other “streakers” and that kept me going but in the end my toes still elude me. I am not throwing in the towel though, I believe that we have to make small daily decisions to keep us on the path to optimize health, wealth and happiness. That is what I blog about over at My Little Blue Kayak.
Although I haven’t yet reached my goal, I am confident that I will and I get closer and closer to touching my toes every time I measure. I look forward to your next streaking challenge!
Amy – www.lifezemplified.com
Challenge: Running at least 1 Mile/Day
For me, the #ARStreak stood for the ‘Amy Runs Streak’ and it was great while it lasted. For 20 whole days, I ran at least one mile on the treadmill – okay, okay it was more of a slow jog – and checked in on Twitter a few times.
Then life changed. My granddaughter was born 17 days early on December 13th and I fell head over heels. Priorities shifted and my sneakers remained untied at the bottom of my stairs for just over two weeks. While I missed my time on the treadmill (great for catching up on podcast episodes) I’m glad I took the time to focus on family. Back to balancing both now.
The #ARStreak is a challenge I’ll now continue through the winter months until it’s warm enough for me to get back outside and exercise in additional ways. Thanks for the inspiration, Mr. & Mrs. Adventure Rich.
I’ve got to admit, I absolutely loved hearing about the variety of challenges and how the 40 days turned out for some of the participants! Some rocked a solid 40 day streak, while others started forming an almost daily habit. Awesome!
I also really liked some of the insights that came from NOT completing all 40 days. JJ is heading into 2018 with a goal of creating a better balance for his family, Amy took time off to spend with her precious new granddaughter, Ms. Kiwi got creative with trying her own self-guided yoga at times and Lily is forming a new habit of daily writing in order to grow her skillset and build her blog. The inspiration abounds!
Mr. and Mrs. Adventure Rich #AR Streak Challenge Re-Caps
Mrs. Adventure Rich
I stuck to the original Runner’s World formula and ran at least one mile every day…preferably outdoors. And I’m proud (and slightly amazed) to announce I stuck to the 1+ mile/day for the whole 40 days! I did shift my running indoors when I had a cold and when I was pressed for time, but I also enjoyed many outdoor runs, including my favorite mile which featured pulling AR Jr. in the sled up and down our driveway for the whole mile! It was a great way to stay active throughout the holidays and embrace the chill!
I did, however, learn that I do not currently want to pursue a streak more seriously. Like Mr. Slowly Sipping Coffee, I found that my body wants days off… days where I just do some gentle yoga, swim, walk or just rest. The streak was a great opportunity for me to tune into that need a bit more and recognize the balance my body craves. I have a few big running goals this year, so taking the time to rest and rejuvenate will be top on my list of priorities throughout my training!
Mr. Adventure Rich
Mr. Adventure Rich set the lofty goal of taking 15 minutes of silence each day (yes, this is lofty when you have a 2.5 year old like AR Jr. running around… he is a bundle of never-ending energy!). He had mixed results, hitting some days and missing others. As we go into the new year, we hope to create more opportunities for quiet and meditation/prayer each day.
So… Should We Streak Again?
I think so! I learned a lot about myself through the 40 day challenge and it sounds like other had a similar experience. I plan to start another streak later in the year… this time choosing a focus other than running a mile a day in my case 😉
Are you working to form any habits? If so, do you think a streak challenge would help you to jump start the habit formation?
Always an Adventure,
Mrs. Adventure Rich