by | Jun 2, 2014 | 33 comments

Do you ever notice that when people set a personal record running in a race, they often set a goal of achieving an even faster time soon thereafter?  When people lift a new weight at Crossfit, swim a new personal distance record, walk a block further than they ever have before, or hold a plank for their longest time ever … they often decide that it’s just not quite enough, and they want to go further / faster / longer / stronger. constant and never ending improvement(picture source)

Of course, I think it’s incredibly important to celebrate every single achievement, no matter how small, and recognize your progress, but I also think it’s great to strive for continuous improvement.

Kaizen(picture source)

In business school, we learned about kaizen, which is Japanese for “change for the best,” and symbolizes the constant drive for continuous improvement (especially as embraced by Toyota).  I like to apply this concept to all aspects of my life, encouraging myself to keep striving to get better.  Let’s face it, no one is perfect (and perfection shouldn’t be the goal), so there’s always something we can work on making just a bit better. fitness is not about being better than someone else(picture source)

What can you strive to improve about yourself today?  If you’re looking for an idea on how to improve your fitness, keep reading!

 30 Day Ab Challenge, Revisited

30 day ab challenge the lyons share

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember when we did the 30 Day Ab Challenge together back in August.  It worked well – I actually worked up to a 5-minute straight plank!  The secrets for me were gradual improvement, persistence, and motivation.

You readers must be thinking about getting your abs ready for the summer, because I’ve noticed that (aside from obvious terms like “The Lyons’ Share”), “30 day ab challenge” has become my most popular search term over the past week or two.  So … we’re going to revisit the challenge, together!  But in the spirit of continuous improvement, I’m making it better.  Here’s what you get:

  • An updated printable calendar to track your progress (we’ll be following the same workouts as the previous challenge)
  • A community tracking sheet to report your progress to our group (it will keep you more accountable!)
  • Social media encouragement!  We’ll use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to keep each other motivated (and it’s a great way to make new social media connections!)
  • Prizes!  For one lucky winner who shares his / her progress, I’ll contribute the most popular prize from my 1-year Giveaway … a $30 basket of healthy snacks, hand-selected by me!
  • Motivational emails: I’ll send you an email once a week to remind you to keep up with your workouts!
  • AWESOME, strong, and lean abs!  (Well, only if you actually do the workouts!)

This is a FREE 30-day challenge, and I want you all to join!  We’ll do our workouts June 9th – July 8th (so you’ll be feeling strong for July 4th weekend!).  Anyone can follow along using the old calendar (from the August post), but if you want the updated calendar, and to be included in the emails and prize drawing, I’m only sending out the registration link in my monthly newsletter, which comes out tomorrow.  You can SIGN UP HERE if you haven’t already (you’ll also get my free download, “7 Nutrition Myths that Will Change How You Eat Every Day”).

Let’s do this … together!

So tell me in the comments … What is one way you strive for continuous improvement in your own life?  Are you ready for the 30-Day Ab Challenge?!


  1. jill conyers

    I constantly strive for improvement and try to keep the focus on better than I was yesterday and not she’s better/faster/more fit than me. Great challenge!

  2. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee

    I love the idea of challenges but why do I always forget to do them?! I get your newsletter and look forward to taking a look at the calendar… maybe this will be the kick in the pants I need to actually do a challenge 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      PRINT the calendar and put it on your desk or something! I always forget, too, unless I set calendar reminders or keep the printed calendar in a visible place :).

  3. Michael Anderson

    Sounds awesome – count me in! I have been trying to make more time for non-running stuff, but the great weather here makes it more of a challenge! All the yardwork and so on recently has reminded me of some ignored muscles 🙂 So why not?!?

    I continue to strive to be a better employee through tighter focus and constant reading / learning, better parent by being more engaged and attentive, and a better spouse by always being present in the moments we share. There is so much going on that it is a constant struggle. But that is how we make progress.

    Thanks for hosting the challenge!

    • Megan Lyons

      Of course! Excited that you’re thinking about joining!! Now there is one MAJOR benefit of owning a townhouse that is managed by a housing association … no yard work!!! (And although we pay, it gets lumped in with other things so I can pretend we don’t 🙂 – not really, but you get my point!)

  4. Karen

    This is a tough one for me. I tend to get to the depressing “it’s never going to be good enough” side too quickly. So for me, I like to focus on my accomplishments and let that successful feeling push me to the next level.
    So today marks 4 weeks til our family reunion in Hilton Head and I want to “hit it” – lose 5 more pounds and get as fit as I can. I continue and push to welcome water, veggies, discipline and extra exercise. ::)) I can do it !!!!!!

    • Megan Lyons

      You’re going to do GREAT! I also think you do best when celebrating your accomplishments, so make sure there is at least one thing every day you can celebrate!!

  5. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    Normally I’m a bit opposed to 30 day challenges… but I’m realizing that’s for no good reason. My thought was that we should be consistent – not just for 30 days – but the more I’m getting caught up in events, travel, etc, the more I realize a challenge like this may be what I need to get back on track!

    • Megan Lyons

      I totally get your point, Laura! In an ideal world, we’d take all the challenges in the world and do them ALL each day, so we can create healthy habits overall. But, I think challenges are a ton of fun, super motivating, and can help you make progress that CAN be sustainable – so even if I’m not holding a 5 minute plank every day after the challenge is over, I’ve still made some strength gains that I can keep up!

  6. Emily

    Can’t wait to participate! I’m striving to relax my desire for control and to enjoy the present moment without always worrying about tomorrow.

    • Megan Lyons

      Woohoo! Let’s plank off that birthday celebration ;). Happy early birthday!

    • cheap camaros

      great tip! I usually wipe off the wand with a baby wipe too, and then just pop it right back in, i'll have to sanitize it and let it dry now :)@liparazzi the chanel exceptionnel is def fantastic :)@nefertari lucky u didnt invest in the full size, samples are great, us girls should always get samples before we splurge!@with freckles and love, i love diorshow too!

  7. Lauren

    Just signed up! I’m not always the most consistent in my planks, but I definitely notice a difference in my core/running/yoga when I am.

    Always striving is so essential. My efforts lately have been striving for continuous improvement in my private practice and work with clients. It’s always fun to try a new exercise or question to see how someone reacts and takes action.

    • Megan Lyons

      Awesome on both fronts, Lauren! Glad to have you on board – and keep up the awesome work with your clients!

  8. Salt

    I love a good challenge! Thanks so much for this!
    One way I strive for continuous improvement is definitely with parenting. I just want to be the best of everything for my daughter every day (and sometimes I fail, but luckily she loves me anyway!)

    • Megan Lyons

      I’m confident that even when you say you ‘fail’ as a parent, you’re still winning in your daughter’s eyes. Keep up the amazing work!

  9. Running Bear

    Thank you for hosting this. I’ve been stagnating in my efforts to mix in more core work to build strength for general fitness and especially stability on long runs. This 30 day challenge is a great way to try out some new exercises and build a constructive habit. I’m not following the challenge 100% to the letter of the law, I’m mixing in a few different exercises and alternating them every other day, but the basic structure of the challenge is what is motivating me, so thank you!

    • Megan Lyons

      I’m so glad you’re seeing such great results and have modified to do what works best for you! Keep it up!


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Megan Lyons Headshot

Hi! I'm Megan Lyons,

the voice behind The Lyons’ Share. I love all things health, wellness, and fitness-related, and I hope to share some of my passion with you. Thanks for stopping by!
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