The Halfway Hump

We are just past the halfway point in the 30-for-30 Swordplay Challenge! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can learn more about this 30-day swordplay training challenge in this DTV blog post.

Halfway points are both exciting and challenging. On one front, you've made it half way! However, you also have as far again to go. The energy that comes with newness is gone and potentially some of the willpower with it. If you've missed a few days it's also easy to start eroding your resolve: "Well, I've already missed a few days, what's it really matter if I miss a few more."

Here are a few tips to get over the halfway hump.

Recommit and Realign

Sometimes when you read something like this you can get a bit of a boost of willpower and energy to get back on board. How you use this energy is critical. The most important thing you can do is use it to set up systems that will be there for you when the willpower is gone. Check out some of my ideas on that here.

Perhaps you have some systems in place, but they're not working for you (or at least not anymore). Use your energy now to re-examine those systems, tweak them, or change them up completely. Plan a time to check-in on your changes and progress in one week.

Make a Progress Bar

Seeing your progress in a visible way can be very motivating. Put a series of boxes up on your bathroom mirror, in your training journal, or on the back of your bedroom door. Seeing the boxes get filled-in is a reminder of your capacity to achieve something. It feels good to see how far you've come and how few steps remain until you've met your goal.

Try not to make it look like ticks on a prison wall.

Connect with Supporters

It can be a vulnerable thing to reach out to someone when you feel like you're failing. Who wants to put that on display, especially if you committed to a challenge in a public fashion? The reality is that this kind of struggle is probably one of the most important things we can show our peers. As peers, it's important to know that we're not alone in the struggle, that we can help each other, and that success comes with a lot of failures, some scrambling, and a lot of help, not through individual invincibility.

Engage in Some Friendly Competition

Another way you can harness your peers is through a little bit of smack talk. Who's going to be the more awesome-est, hard working-est, sword trainer in your school?

A good competition rewards all participants on some level for succeeding. Don't set up a challenge that derives your winning from your friend's failure.

Come up with a consequence like buying the other dinner, or getting to help your friend with their ice bucket challenge.

Check-in regularly and consider making the challenge public and inviting others to be a part of it. You can maintain a 30-for-30 based effort challenge or perhaps add a new measure to achieve, like highest total training hours or number of sword cuts you can do in a minute.

I'm hoping to use my next 15 days to build momentum and I'll certainly be leveraging my training peers to do so.

What systems have you put in place to help you keep on top of your goals?

Devon Boorman is the Co-Founder and Director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in Vancouver, Canada since 2004. Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the Renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques.
Read more from Devon Boorman.