Happy late Father’s Day! I spent most of the weekend with both of my parents, and did some baby organizing (more on that later this week).

Saturday was spent in Milbridge doing the usual work stuff. For a workout I did try the modified version of a Shaun Week workout and it was a lot of fun! I’ve been missing my Shaun T. workouts. Then I went over to my Mom’s house where she was baking up a frenzy (I got sent home with brownies and whoopie pies, in addition to the cookies I’d already made). I got to hang out with Boomer AND we watched Beauty and the Beast 🙂

Boomer was pretty excited and spent a lot of time sharing this with Gumby (I managed to get a snap of him on a very brief break)

Sunday was Father’s Day and my dad was a rockstar and drove all the way to Bar Harbor to deliver the crib and mattress that he’d bought a few months ago (I don’t have a truck which was necessary for transporting). We were looking for a good breakfast spot in Bar Harbor (there are MANY this time of year). Dad saw a sign promising “Lobster Benedict” so I pulled over (we even got a parking spot right in front!) of 59 Cottage Street. I’d never been in before since it seems more seasonal and it ended up being amazing. Dad got his lobster benedict, and we also tried out some popovers with homemade blueberry butter.

My day after that was pretty tame- cleaning, studying, organizing, and napping. And now it’s Monday and time to hit the ground running again!

Challenge Groups

In April and May, I decided to run my own fitness challenge group. What even is that? Here’s the background story.

Back in February I signed up to be a Beachbody Coach. As part of the multi-level marketing, you are encouraged to invite people to join challenge groups and get them signed up on a program that works for their goals. In March I sat back and participated in one of the groups run by a couple other coaches and it was a lot of fun… And I took some notes. I wanted to run my own challenge group, but with some different twists:

  • I wanted to post something every day as the challenge group ‘leader’- tips on nutrition and eating, motivational stuff, the occasional workout selfie, and other bits of knowledge that might be helpful for people.
  • I didn’t want people to feel like they had to be doing a Beachbody Program in order to participate. I shared what programs/workouts I was doing, but wanted the focus to be on health and fitness without people feeling like they had to buy something in order for it to be successful.

The other point in doing this was to see if I liked it generally. Since I’ve been studying for the ACE Personal Trainer exam, one part is the “book smarts” and being able to study, and the other part is actually interacting with people and being able to form connections. The challenge group setting is a low risk way for me to get my feet wet while still being early on (and sans program design stuff), and it’s a way for people to start getting to know me in that capacity. In other words, the challenge group was a “trial run” of sorts, both for me and for the people in the group.

What I learned:

I could have pushed harder with inviting people. This is one of those personal development areas where I flop pretty hard. I’m actively sucky at self-promotion. Getting people to my challenge groups involved exactly 1 Facebook post the week before the challenge group started, and that was it. Going forward I could have been more proactive about asking people if they’d be interested in joining rather than assuming people who didn’t comment weren’t interested.

People don’t always engage/post every day, in large or small groups. This is something I noticed in both my group and the group I participate in. Even though I might be posting every day in my small group as the leader, this didn’t always lead to participation from others. At first I chalked this up to having 3-4 other people in my group and knowing 1 or 2 of them had crazy life schedules. But in the much larger group, this was also an issue. There could be a few days at a time where NO ONE would post, in a group of 50ish people. In part, I think this is due to the perceived value of a free group (something that I was listening to in a podcast the other week). If you undersell yourself compared to the competition, customers may not “show up” for you as much because they perceive your services as “discount” as well. Along those lines, because the challenge group is “free,” people don’t have the same skin in the game as they would for signing up for a gym membership/class. Of course, I think those are subconscious reasons and they don’t cover all the reasons why participation may be lacking.

-Rather than making people pay to participate, offering an incentive or tangible “prize” was a successful way to increase engagement. In one of the challenge groups I participated in, the person running it created an “extra” challenge during the final week where there was a point system (x points for workout selfie, x points for meal checkin, x for commenting on someone else’s post, etc) and the person with the most points at the end of the week would win. This is effective because a) all the things are fairly easy for participants to do, b) the points encourage the actions leaders hope participants would be taking anyway, and c) everyone wants a prize, let’s be real.

Outlining the month beforehand > “winging it.” In April, I printed out a blank calendar and filled in every day with a post topic for the day. I missed maybe one or two days of posting, but overall was very consistent and on top of the schedule. In May, I figured I could just wing it and come up with something new every day. Ha. What happened was I was pretty diligent for the first 1.5 weeks, and I petered off until I went a WHOLE WEEK without posting (kinda not cool for the challenge group leader). Having flexibility with a posting schedule is always a good idea, but remember that some plan is greater than none at all!

Some other things- I asked my group for feedback on things they thought could have gone better, and how the challenge group expectation matched up to the reality. The cool thing about running a challenge group, no matter who you are or what kind of challenge group it is (fitness, finance, baking, etc), you can really make it your own. There are plenty of templates on Pinterest so don’t feel daunted and like you need to recreate the wheel, either.

After May’s challenge group ended I was feeling a bit down about dropping the ball so hard on the leadership front, so I’ve put off running a challenge group until after the baby is born. I may have over-committed with studying, working out, full time job, and running a challenge group, but maybe it could have been smoother if I’d planned it out in advance like April. After the hiatus I will say I’ve already missed helping people out and can’t wait to jump back into it with fresh eyes this fall!

If you could run any type of challenge group, what would it be?

Any tips on running a challenge group?

How was your weekend?!

Thoughts on Running a Challenge Group
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