What can you learn about yourself in 21 days? More than you think, as a fun and attainable challenge a group of us participated in on a new app called “SPAR.”

SPAR is an accountability app that allows you to create group challenges. The challenge is whatever you want it to be, and people must check in every day or week, depending how you structure it. If you miss a check-in, you pay a financial penalty, which goes into a pot. At the end of the challenge, the pot is split among people who checked in every day.

Our challenge was for 21 days. Each day you must participate in physical activity and read 30 minutes.

What I learned / was reminded of.

Yes, you have the time.

I travel often for work, and would miss a lot of sessions due to time zone changes. Or so I thought. Due to the SPAR challenge, I couldn’t make any excuses.

During one trip, I got my reading done easily on the airplane, as I don’t use WiFi on flights. (Ryan Holiday, “Here’s a Quick Productivity Secret: Don’t Buy Wifi on Flights.”)

I got my steps in during a layover for 30 minutes, and then made sure I got more steps in once I landed.

Yes, you will find the time.

There was one day where I literally didn’t have the time. Or so I thought. I found the time.

You need arbitrary challenges to level up.

All goals are arbitrary. There’s nothing magical about running a 5K or making x-dollars or making it up to the top of a hill.

Success is the culmination of meeting arbitrary challenges.

Results are cumulative.

I burned an additional 5,000 calories during this challenge. That’s over a pound of fat, which would have be gained if I did nothing, or would have been lost if I cut kcals, or would have allowed me to have more gourmet food.

5,000 calories is a massive amount in 21 days.

I love reading and don’t read enough.

When I’m on a 5 hour flight without wifi, I read a full book. “Wow. Books are amazing! Why do I ever bother going online.”

Then the minute I hit the runway, it’s back online.

I’m 100% addicted to the Internet, and am going to have to find a healthy solution to this addition given my line of work requires me to be online for many hours a day.

Gorilla Mind Rush and Smooth were a big boost.

For more focus and energy, Gorilla Mind Rush and Smooth came in handy.

What others learned about themselves from the Spar Challenge.

  • “This was my 1st challenge on SPAR and an incredible one. Sticking to it and being disciplined about it has brought me amazing rewards. I’m back on a reading habit I had lost for years!” – L.
  • “With only a day to go I got my first miss… total lack of prioritizing the challenge in the AM when I had free time and being too exhausted by day’s end to complete it. Strike that – I wasn’t too exhausted (that’s an excuse), I just didn’t do it.” – A
  • “Thank you, Mike. This challenge got me reading and working out way more than I usually do (and I’m consistent on both things). Steamed through five different books – amazing what just 30 mins uninterrupted and consistent reading can do.” – B
  • “This has really made a difference. I’m going to miss it gang!” – C

You can download the SPAR app here.


If you want in on the next challenge, enter your email and I’ll get in touch.

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