As many of you have probably noticed, there were A LOT of missed weigh ins this past week. Life comes up, things happen, and people can't always make the deadlines. How do we keep this from effecting others in the challenge? I've received a few PMs and seen posts from disappointed challengers who aren't sure if they want to compete in challenges anymore as more then half of their team has disappeared. With very little going on in most of our chat threads and a fast decrease in numbers as we near the end of the challenge, I'm wondering what we/I could change to help as many as possible feel successful during the challenges.
Decreasing the number of teams is one thing that WILL occur in the next challenge. We may have started with over 20 people on each team, but 3 out of 4 of the teams had 5 or fewer weigh in this week. There may be 3, or as few as 2 teams, depending on how many sign up. If there are 2 teams, I will take over doing statistics for both teams, but will only participate in one teams chat thread. This means I will need one other person to help keep everyone talking on the other team. I'm wondering if I should do the same if there are 3 teams as well?
Challenge length is an issue for the next challenge as well. If we keep it at 6 weeks, and end on the December 5th, then the following challenge will either start the week before Christmas (which falls on a Saturday this year), with New Years following a week later... OR it will have to wait to start until AFTER New Years, leaving a month between Challenges. I had thought about extending the challenge to 8 weeks, ending it on December 19th, so that there would only be 2 weeks between challenges (the next one would start 1/2/11, with leniency on getting starting weight posted because of the holiday). BUT the concern to extending the challenge is high due to the quick decrease in challengers during the week 5 weigh in...
Does anyone have any ideas as to how we can improve the challenges? What do you think about length of the challenge?
10-07-2010, 08:01 AM
Hey, first up, I just want to say thank you so much for organising all of this! I know everyone really does appreciate it, even though for various reasons, people have been unfortunately unable to keep up with the challenge at times.
In terms of keeping the chat threads interesting and active, I thought it might be nice to have the team leader (or whoever) post some discussion topics every week or every few days. The topics could be things relating to weight loss, that might be motivating or help people get to know and bond with one another, or they could be more off-topic things, asking about things in people's broader lives. People could then continue to use the threads as they currently are being used (talking about challenge progress, etc), but then they could also use the threads to chat and answer questions relating to the discussion topics. Example topics and questions could be things like:
- What made you want to lose weight in the first place?
- What tips or tricks to you have to stay motivated when your willpower falters?
- Do you have one or two really great pieces of advice for someone wanting to lose weight?
- Do you feel your life has changed since losing weight, and if so, how?
- Where do you see yourself in a year/five years/ten years?
- What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given/read/heard?
- What do you do when you want to take care of yourself or give yourself a treat?
- What's your favourite book, and why?
- Has your life turned out the way you imagined it? Why/why not?
These are just some various ideas, but I think having some topics can be useful when trying to get a group of strangers or people who don't know each other at all to get to share information and chat amongst themselves :) Sometimes it's hard to think of things to talk about, so this could help!
I think the challenge length is fine at 6 weeks, and I wouldn't mind an 8 week challenge, but I understand your concerns about extending it given the high drop-out rates. Personally I don't have any strong feelings on this :)
Finally, I think decreasing the size of each team could help. Twenty people is really high, and so it might help to have slightly smaller groups, so each individual feels as though their presence and participation in the group is more significant, rather than feeling a bit anonymous. At the start of the challenge, to help people feel more "part" of the group, perhaps people could post a short bio/Q&A about themselves to be included in the team thread, this could perhaps be PMed to the team leader and then posted in the weekly weigh in thread for each team? Something like name, age, location, occupation, overall weight loss goal, interests/hobbies, something brief like that!
Sorry that was a bit long and waffly :)
10-08-2010, 11:51 AM
Thanks for doing all of this, Kim! I think that having the next challenge run 8 weeks to bring us to Christmas would be a great idea. I think you need to do what is easiest for you as far as team numbers, team leaders etc is concerned. Unfortunately, it seems like the burden is inevitably going to fall on you sometimes and you need to make sure that you are okay with the situation :) I think fewer teams is a good idea, that way you can do all of the stats if you choose to. I am cool with anything :) Looking forward to our next challenge!! Thanks again for all of your hard work... these challenges are a huge motivator for me!
10-11-2010, 06:35 PM
Kim- I applaud all the time and effort you put in to these challenges. I haven't participated in one for a long time but am thinking of joining the next one.
Is it possible to put the people who are "active" on the boards on a team and have a team with others who are usually not so active? That way the people who do post a lot can be encouraged by others who do the same?
I love the idea of an 8 week challenge. I don't think participation over Christmas and New Years will be very good.
You should do whatever makes your life easier.
thank you and good luck!
10-11-2010, 07:23 PM
Thanks for taking the time to do this.
I have not participate in the last challenges, I did before , and I stooped because i WI , it OK if was me and some body else , but I want to see the biggest loser for the week , for my group and for the whole 20 something biggest loser.... like the Do in the exercise BLC .
I do know if you guys have change something , but for my was important to see , who did the best , and how close i was to be the best . (just my two cents)
10-11-2010, 07:48 PM
I wasn't part of the fall challenge so I can't comment on that too much, but I am signed up for the new one. I just wanted to say that I love tinycities's idea to post discussion topics. I don't know about other people, but I live a pretty boring life and I find it hard to come up with interesting posts in the chat threads, especially on an ongoing basis. I think these topics would be a great way for team members to get some insight into each other and kind of bond over similar experiences/thoughts/opinions.