By Leo Babauta
A year ago, my team & I started a grand experiment in our Fearless Living Academy, designed to create the best training possible for learning to face and deal with uncertainty in our lives, especially around habits and purpose work.
We call it the Uncertainty Challenge.
It’s a 4-week challenge that we’ve run 12 times so far, with astounding results. Seriously, I didn’t know what to expect, but people have been doing things in these challenges that’s just blowing me away.
- Finally stopped procrastinating
- Made more progress on a project in 4 weeks than in a year leading up to the challenge
- Started marketing their creations after resisting for a long time
- Stuck to habits like exercise and healthy eating, for the first time ever
- Created morning routines that set up their day for success
- More lightness and less judgment in creating their art
And much more. I’m not saying that everyone was “perfect” at getting the results they wanted … but perfection was never the goal. They learned a lot about themselves, they worked with their sticking points, and they’ve created some amazing things.
Why did it work so well? There are some things we’ve put into the structure that set people up for success:
- Clarity: The first week of the challenge, we ask people to set a clear target for themselves for the challenge. This act alone is responsible for a ton of progress, because most people aren’t setting clear targets for themselves in most areas of their lives. It makes a huge difference if you choose where you’re aiming for.
- Accountability & logging: We have people logging what they do each day, which gives some accountability but also a way to see your progress and notice where you’re getting stuck.
- Reflections: We ask people to periodically reflect on the progress they’re making, notice their sticking points, and draw learnings from their practice. This makes the most of the learning opportunity.
- Community: Challenge members are a part of a team of about 15-20 people, where you can share progress and struggles, get support, and encourage each other. Don’t underestimate the power of community for a challenge like this.
- Drills: We’ve created practice drills each week that help people to get better at their weaknesses, from facing fear and uncertainty to getting clear on their targets. These have been proving to be highly effective.
- Length of the challenge: The challenge is 4 weeks, which is about how long people are able to focus on something purposeful. For many people, that kind of focus is a stretch, so you’re expanding your capability. Others will say it’s too short, which is because they weren’t able to make the progress they were hoping for. That’s OK — we hold a new challenge each month, so you can keep going!
That’s the structure we’ve created, and it’s powerful. I’m really excited because we’ve been testing this in private for a year now, and it’s time to bring it out to a wider group of people who want to change habits and do something meaningful in the world.
If that’s you, come join us!