AJ’s No Candy No Soda Challenge part 2

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AJ received a candy care package from his friend Isaac the day after he completed the challenge.

Picking up where we left off in the last blog, I wanted to take the time to interview AJ and get his direct perspective on his No Candy No Pop Challenge. For starters he informed me that he would rather I call it “soda” than “pop” and therefore the name change on this blog. šŸ™‚

Traci: What was the challenge from your perspective?

AJ: To go a full year without candy or soda.

Traci: Define candy.

AJ: Anything you would get on Halloween.

Traci: What was your first thought when you were presented with the challenge?

AJ: I thought it was impossible.

Traci: It took you two days to make the decision . . what made you change your mind about it being impossible?

AJ: Another person did it meaning it must be possible, so I decided to give it a try.

Traci: Why did you take this challenge on?

AJ: 1) The reward. ($365, all or nothing)
2) To show myself that I could do it. It’s not impossible.

Traci: How were you able to accomplish this challenge?

AJ: 1) I kept repeating the Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
2) Support from family and friends.
3) Saying “I am choosing” instead of “I have to”. It was my choice. I could end it whenever I wanted.

Traci: What challenges did you face along the way?

AJ: 1) We moved to Michigan, on a camp, where they have pop and candy. It was tempting especially during my week of camp.
2) Right before it ended – I really wanted to be done.
3) Friends and family would forget and offer candy and soda. It felt like they were doing it on purpose to taunt me.

Traci: How did you handle these challenges?

AJ: I knew I wasn’t going to back out anytime during the challenge so I just kind of stepped through them.

Traci: Would you do this challenge again? Why?

AJ: (A moment of pause). Yes. Without doing challenging things (like this challenge), I wouldn’t be ready or able to do other challenging things God has for me later.

AJ is a pretty wise 12-year-old.
What challenge or challenges have you been putting off? What new challenge are you willing to step into that will move you in the direction of your dreams and goals?
1) Choose your challenge.
2) Clearly define the parameters.
3) Enroll family and friends as your support team.
4) Give yourself a reason or set a reward that will motivate you along the way.

Will it be worth it? According to AJ it is worth it.

Be Extraordinary!

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AJ’s No Candy No Pop Challenge

IMG_0998My 12-year-oldĀ son, AJ, is a stud! šŸ™‚ He isĀ smart, athletic, witty, focused and a generally good kid. I love spending time with him – watching football, playing cards, or seeing him show-off some of his own sweet athletic moves.

I love many things about who AJ is, but one really stands out to me: determination.Ā When AJ decides to do something or to save money for something it is an opportunity to witness amazing determination. One time he was saving money for an iPad and in that situation every penny counted. In the summer all the kids decided they wanted to get smoothies. I told them I was happy to take them to the smoothie shop, but I wasn’t going to pay – they were on their own. The girls got their money, but AJ told us to go ahead without him. When we returned he was having a smoothie. He had made his own with things we had in the house so he didn’t have to use his money. Creative determination.

August of 2012 I threw out a challenge to AJ: no candy and no pop for one full year. This may seem an easy task for some of you, but believe me it was a challenge for AJ. This came about after a fellow USANA associate shared at International Convention how his daughter, AJ’s same age, had gone one year without candy or pop. There was a monetary reward for this girl and I put a $365 reward out there for AJ, all or nothing. If he had candy or pop even one time in 365 days then his reward would be $0.

It took AJ two days to make his decision. He was in – all in! Consider, as AJ did, some of what this would mean . . .

Halloween – no candy, school (yes, they still have candy at school), friends and siblings (they do love to torture), Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, birthdays (his own and others), going out for burgers or pizza – no pop. Then to top things off, we moved to a camp with pop machines in the dining hall and candy in the Red Canoe (store). AJ was so determined that he wouldn’t even eat a cookie that had M n’ M’s inside. He eliminated every possibility of missing his goal.

P1020040WOW! It is so convicting to consider what was accomplished. I have goals (desires) that I want with my health, family, income, business, etc. and yet I often find myself saying, “It’s too hard!” Sometimes, as I’ve written before, these goals are only 30 or 90 days long. What could I accomplish in 365 days with the determination and focus of my son, AJ?

To be continued . . . because I want AJ to share with you how he was able to accomplish this great challenge. I think there will be lessons for all of us in what he has to share.

Be Extraordinary!