November 19th was my birthday, and it also marked the end of the second year of my push-up challenge. For the last year my goal was to average 100 push-ups per day, and I finished five push-ups ahead of that goal, with a running total of 54,805 push-ups. This isn't a magical coincidence, there's a strong rubber banding effect with my color coded spreadsheet. When I get behind, I do more push-ups to catch up. When I get ahead, I know that I can take a day off if I get tired or lazy. This kept me hovering right around my target throughout the year.
If you look at the "Year 2" tab in the doc, you will see that there was a lot more yellow than in year one. This is largely because I got sick at the end of April, and had two consecutive days with zero push-ups. It took me quite a while to catch back up, because I didn't have any time pressure to do so. Why is all of this relevant? Because it has taught me a few things about my motivation and how I should structure the challenge going forward:
- I really only care about finishing the year on target, being slightly behind in the middle of the year doesn't bother me or motivate me all that much.
- I am unlikely to do more push-ups than the sheet requires, so thinking that I will get ahead naturally is silly.
- Everything is a lot easier if I spread the push-ups out during the day, instead of jamming them all in right before I go to sleep.
Because of these learnings, and specifically #2, I've decided to bump my goal for year 3 to 125 push-ups per day. This will allow me to finish the year at over 100,000 push-ups, which is 10% of my goal. If I maintain the 125 push-up average going forward, I will finish the challenge a little over two years early. I also might continue to raise the daily total in future years, so I can shave a little more time off the end, and potentially finish in 20 years instead of 25.
The beginning of this year was a bit of a struggle, but towards the end I got much better about doing my push-ups during the day, which had a dramatic positive impact on my attitude while doing them. Since I work from home this is fairly easy to do, and I'm going to continue to push for that going forward (pun definitely intended).
Questions? Comments? Ideas for future updates? Let me know, below.