Are you up to the challenge?

budget, cut expenses, early retirement, financial independence, FIRE, fitness, get out of debt, how we win, personal finance, savings

As an ambitious couple that enjoys winning, we often task ourselves and each other with challenges to help improve on our fitness, finances and (minimal) flaws. Over the past few years we have tried several challenges, below are just a few:


  1. 99 Days of Freedom– We gave up all social media for 99 days. As millennials and general consumers of information we found ourselves slipping into a bad pattern of filling our idle moments with checking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We took the challenge and when 99 days came and went we stayed offline for just a little bit longer. We broke a bad habit and filled our time with much more positive ventures (Mrs. Winning Williams started writing a book!)
  2. ERE 21 Day Challenge– After reading this document, one day at a time we were able to make a short list of items we needed to do in order to reach FIRE. This spurred up other smaller sub-challenges. When started this Challenge in July of 2014 and vowed to not purchase any new clothing or shoes until 2015. While you may not be able to move on day one and find a new means of transportation on day two, you can make a plan. We highly recommend reading through this challenge. Mr. Winning Williams has also taken up a no-spending challenge and tries to go as many days as possible without spending any money (with the exception of groceries, although we sometimes we try and eat through everything we have!).
  3. 100bySummer (or any other holiday) – As a big fan of ToneItUp, Mrs. Winning Williams loves the running and fitness challenges posted on the site. The running challenges provide a great push to go another mile on daily runs to hit that milestone with ease. The trainers, Karena and Katrina, usually do one for each season.


As if the multitude of challenges available on the internet weren’t enough, we’ve decided to tackle our own. That’s right, that was a football pun, because we are about to embark on our second Football Season Challenge. Last year Mrs. Winning Williams was feeling great with her fitness progress but knew she was sabotaging herself by snacking on sweets so she decided to have no sweets for the entire length of Football Season. The challenge also involved working out EVERY DAY and completing a full pull-up. With the success of the challenge last year (it was tough but the value of breaking bad habits and making room for more positive habits) we are about to head into our second year.


2015 Football Season Challenge

Starts: September 3rd (1st College Football Game)

Ends: February 7th (Superbowl Sunday)

Bye-”Weeks”- Family Wedding in October (3 days), post half-marathon race Celebration in December (1 day)


To successfully complete the challenge:

  • Burpees and Push-ups while watching football (push-ups when our team scores, burpees when the bad-guys score)
  • Complete ½ marathon (we’ve already sign up for one in mid-December)
  • Mr. Winning Williams- train for a full marathon
  • Mrs. Winning Williams- increase muscle strength with advanced weight lifting
  • When we are together we have to ask, out loud, if the other person is OK with us checking our social media accounts. (This habit is easy to slip back into so we want think that verbalizing the ask will keep us from checking so often)
  • Any alcohol consumed has to be burned off in the next workout. (We wanted to just say “no alcohol” but we have never had a problem with it and are primarily concerned with it’s negative affect on the progress we have been making towards our fitness goals. This should disincentivize us or at least make us second guess any drink)

With that being said are you up for a challenge? Think honestly about what daily habits are keeping you from your goals. Maybe you want to get out of debt, or get into a fitness routine. Whatever it is, think of what you want to change and what would truly incentivize you to and set a challenge for yourself. You can do it!



Find out how we did here: Football Season Challenge Recap

3 thoughts on “Are you up to the challenge?

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