It’s not all about fitness, weight and not chasing the white dragon. There are goals like saving money, volunteering more, caring about your kids, writing letters, doing art, etc. Some of these goals are tough to achieve alone. That’s why there are running groups and Weight Watchers and AA and Pie Club. I give you a 43rd option – The League of Extraordinary Shame. Think of it like personal fantasy sports for your life. Head to head showdowns with friends and strangers to see who has the best willpower and stick-to-it-ness.
Here’s how The League of Extraordinary Shame works:
1. Each person chooses three things they’d like to improve – anything previously mentioned or something unique but it needs to be something you can work incrementally towards but that won’t expire in a week or two.
For instance, “Assemble That IKEA Bookshelf That’s Been in the Closet Since Christmas” or “Finally Eat the Unlimited Pasta Bowl at Olive Garden” won’t work. I’d also counsel against goals that celebrate the finish line and don’t focus on the process. For instance:
Good = Eat better Good: Work out more
Not so Good = Lose 15 pounds Not so Good: Bench press 250 pounds
I care about the process.
2. These don’t need to be major goals. Some should be fairly attainable and some should be a little more difficult. But “wake up in the morning” shouldn’t be something you choose unless you really, really have trouble waking up. Neither should you choose “walk 45 miles each day.”
3. You don’t need to tell me what you’d like to improve on. That can be your secret. But you need to abide by the honor system, for The League of Extraordinary Shame doesn’t truck with cheats.
4. Once six or more people contact me about joining the league, a head-to-head schedule will be created to match people up against each other each week. From Monday through Sunday, each person will track how well they’ve progressed towards their goal and at the end of seven days either add a checkmark or red X next to each goal. The person with the more checkmarks wins the week. Ties count as well. Honor system rules.
5. The shame comes each Monday when the new League of Extraordinary Shame standings come out. Everyone won’t know what you’re working towards, but they will know if you had a good or bad week. And so will you. So when you’re matched up against the jerk who’s been nailing all their goals each week, it will either motivate you to do better in your quest or stay in bed all week. Or if you’re against someone who’s had a bad week, wipe the floor with their sorry ass! It’s your time to shine.
6. At the end of a predetermined number of weeks, playoffs will begin where we’ll work together to push your goals a little bit further for a three to four week period. If you want to get more exercise and you work out three times a week, maybe you stretch that to four. If you’re trying to read more, maybe you set aside a little extra time those weeks to be a real bookworm. This is the part of the league that’s tougher to workshop. It’s a league in progress. Baseball rules took 400 years to semi-perfect. We’ll get there.
7. As teams advance or are sent into consolation brackets in the playoffs, two people will emerge in the finals. The winner will receive a nice little prize from my coffers and the runner-up will get something slightly less impressive. And hopefully all of you will feel a slight sense of accomplishment.
Again, your personal goals can be secret, as can your name. Only I’ll know your identity and I won’t tell anyone you’re playing unless you’re okay with that. Here’s what my team will look like.
The Canadian Bacons
Work out more (goal is five times a week)
Eat better (quantity and quality of food)
Write my book (10 pages per week)
Sleep more (seven hours a night) OR spend less ($XX total discretionary spending per week)
Now who wants to play? Email me at email@example.com with your acceptance, ideas or questions. I don’t even need to know you personally for you to participate. I’ll gather names for a week or so and when I think we’re ready to go I’ll email everyone and kick things off.
Join the first season of The League of Extraordinary Shame!