I thought I'd do something a little different and ask @CannyMonkey to do the honors. Why? Well for one, he signed up for Twitter just to be able to follow #NovGTD. Secondly, he's been so good about blogging about his progress as it relates to #NovGTD. Third, he's been one of the most enthusiastic tweeple I know about #DecGTD.
So what follows are his thoughts about the challenge. As always, feel free to send me links to your final thoughts and I will include them on this page as a link below!
#NovGTD. What has it meant for me?
spreadsheet meant that I had smaller, workable goals to work towards and I work best and get most motivated, I think, when I have lots of boxes to tick, columns to fill in, results to post, etc as it is some kind of physical evidence (for me mainly, I don't feel the need to prove anything to anyone else) that I am working towards something. So, the spreadsheet helped my accountability to myself, but the Twitter aspect of #NovGTD brought me much deeper into this challenge than most as I got to chat, cajole, motivate, laugh and generally shoot the breeze with other participants and this instant community kept me coming back.
On the one hand, a skeptic could make the argument that all #NovGTD is, is just filling in some spreadsheet and you're on your own the rest of the time, and while that might be true for someone unwilling to make any effort, most of us successful #NovGTD participants realise that the more you engage with [___]GTD the more you get from it, because the true heart of NovGTD, for me, was the new people I met, their successes and failures, their points of view, their training ideas, their nonsense tweets...and mine. And when I say "Successful #NovGTD participants" I mean those that kept posting results each week, stretching their current comfort zone a bit more and posting on others' blogs or tweeting, i.e. getting involved, not necessarily those who achieved their goals. I achieved 88% of my running goal and 81% of my spinning goal, but I still went the distance in November and I'll have words with anyone who says otherwise! ;o)
NovGTD. What have #NovGTD and the Romans ever done for me then , eh? (apart from the sanitation,...)
- It encouraged me to break my goals down into smaller ones and go after them first. This meant that a bit of forward planning was required to allow for things like recovery days between runs.
- It introduced me to new folks and new ideas.
- I think that by keeping the challenge focused on exercise rather than weight-loss it kept things simple. Weight-loss was simply a fringe benefit.
- I learned that when I fall off-plan in what I eat (as i did for 2-3 days during the month), I also shut out the exercise and figure "what's the point?". This is not good and is a behaviour that needs to be corrected.
- During this month I have lost 2 inches on my waist and I am 9 lbs closer to goal weight thanks partly to healthy eating and partly to consistent exercise as part of my monthly GTD goals. It's great to see that #DecGTD makes more provision to get involved in reporting on daily water intake, fruit and veg consumption, etc. Exercise is nothing without good eating.
GTD has a simple kind of genius to it - the more you put into it, the more you get from it, and the only person you are competing against is yourself, while all around you is a large network of accountabila-buddies (reference for all the South Park junkies like me out there!). There were quite a few folks who started, and slightly over 50% who finished the month (judging by the posts on the spreadsheet) and were still pushing their own envelope and being accountable to themselves and others. The energy seemed to wain a little after the halfway mark but it soon returned in spades and ended November on a high note.....and the anticipation coming up to the start of the all-new, brand-spanking, bling-wearing, all-singing-all-dancing #DecGTD is palpable. For the new challnge I am pushing out of my comfort zone again - my goals are longer and harder, and I may not quite reach them again but quitting isn't even an option. Persistence, my friends, will triumph over perfection.
I would like to thank Robby [Phil, you're welcome -FGvW] for being a great host, opening up GTD to anyone who cares to challenge themselves, and giving me the opportunity to post some of my thoughts here. Three cheers for her and a hearty slap on the back. And lastly, I will leave you with a cheesy, cliched bit of advice (but, thinking about it, advice only becomes a cliche because it is true and it just gets used a lot, so let's not be too down on it).....
"If you don't dare to begin, you don't stand a chance of getting there."
Thanks for reading guys, hope to be cheering you all on in DecGTD.