Mar 22, 2013

Are Challenges Good for Everyone?

Photo by Ed Yourdan
Challenges can be motivating, but they can also be a detriment if you take on more than you should.  Are you guilty of the latter?

Meeting a goal is a big deal, but if the carrot dangling in front of you isn't worth the effort expended, why are you doing it?  

If your goal is health and fitness, any step in the right direction is worth it, but don't set your goals too high right out of the gate or you risk disappointment and losing whatever ground you've gained right from the start.  

Taking on a challenge just for the sake of a challenge is fine for some who need the push to do a particular thing, and if you have lots of extra time on your hands, knock yourself out.  But if your challenge doesn't benefit you monetarily, physically, or psychologically, why are you doing it?

What prompted this post is the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  I did it one year with four blogs (including this one) and it about killed me. I did it because I wanted to be able to say I did.  Big deal.  It brought me no extra income, no long-term increase in readership, nothing tangible.  I got to display a badge on my blog.  Wow.  The challenge is designed to get people posting to their blog on a more consistent basis, and that works well for some, but it did nothing for me (but of course that doesn't mean it won't work for you).  All four of those blogs got 26 posts in the 30 days in April (every day except  Sunday), but have been all but dormant since.  

This year I signed up with just one blog, but decided last night that I was going to pull myself out of the challenge this morning.  I write articles for pay, and that's where my time needs to be devoted.  I only have so much in me each day to get things done, so I need to use that time wisely.

I am, however, going to be using the challenge in a different way.  My goal for April will be to write and publish an article each day for either Examiner or YCN, like I mentioned in this post.  I try to publish every day anyway, but some days it doesn't happen, whereas other days I might post two or more articles.  Taking up the A-Z Challenge for article writing just puts a different spin on it, striving to come up with an article topic that corresponds with a particular letter, rather than any old thing I pull out of the sky. My goal of writing every day really hasn't changed, but this small challenge will actually put money in my pocket.  Article writing is what pays the bills, so that's where I need to put my attention.  I won't get a shiny badge to display anywhere upon completion, but I will get the same satisfaction of having met a goal, and earn a few bucks to boot.

So don't give up on goals and challenges, but do look at why you're doing them and what you will gain from taking them on, and, more importantly, what you stand to lose.

~ Marie Anne


  1. Best of luck with your goal. You've done what some who join everything should do. You've thought about. I don't think some folks join with the intend of fulfilling the requirement, and that always bothers me. I've always visited and commented when joining a meme or linky party; but can see as I make my rounds a huge number don't. I think some think only of the link they get and forget they need to really participate. And right you are, it does take time. Competition is good for some, not so good for some. I'm doing it primarily to meet some new blog mates, as many of previous blog mates have fallen by the wayside. They don't blog, or they don't visit anymore and that takes the fun out of it. I'm doing it with my newest blog which I hope will give it a boost since it's new.

  2. OMG ... What a photo. Cracked me up this morning!

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