Struggling to Start? Pick One of These 5 Quests.

Sky Rim

I love quests, missions, and goals.

It’s no surprise the tagline for Nerd Fitness is “level up your life” – it’s something that’s been part of Nerd Fitness since day 1, and we’re only gonna quest out more as we go along.

We love helping people who are brand new to fitness get started by using quests, remove the mental barriers to getting started, and encouraging people to just TAKE ACTION.

If questions like these sound familiar, today is for you:

  • “Do I start running every day? What about push ups?”
  • “Should I eat low fat? Should I count calories? Try Paleo?”
  • “I hear yoga is good. But so are bootcamps. And what about those dvds?”

There’s about a bazillion different ways to get started, and as a result its damn easy for us to do nothing.  We call this “paralysis by analysis.”  I was actually afraid of writing this article for that very reason.

Instead, we’re going to break the habit, and build a healthy cycle.

Level Up Quests

I’m going to present you with 5 quests.  These are 5 quests that will get you started down your path to a leveled up life.  I want you to pick one. And I want you to do it every day for the next week.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can do two of them.  HOWEVER, what we don’t want is for you to try and do all of them every day; you’ll get overwhelmed and drain your willpower meter.

YOUR MISSION: finish your week with 7 straight days of victory.  The quests below are designed to be completed daily.  We want you to prove to yourself that you CAN build a habit, that you CAN make a change, and that you CAN stick with it for an entire week.

You’re going to finish this week with a boatload of momentum – for the uninformed, that’s quite a bit of momentum.

5 Ways to Level Up

Are you struggling to start or looking for a way to reboot your journey?

Your mission is to select a quest below, and follow through with it, every day, for the next seven days.

1) Go for a 5-Minute Walk!

Stone Feet

Description: Sure, five minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time.  And a single step might not seem like much either.  However, combine enough steps together, and a small hobbit can walk to Mordor, destroy the One Ring, and save Middle Earth.

The five minutes isn’t the important part, it’s actively committing to a change in habit and making these five minutes a normal part of your day. Once you prove this to yourself, you’ll be asking, “Hey I can walk for five minutes, why not six?”

2) Veggie Powered!

Veggie Spread

Description: Every single day, for an entire week, you need to eat at least one vegetable per day. The more green and leafy, the better. Vegetables are loaded with nutrients, but generally light on calories. This means they can fill you up and fuel you up without fattening you up.  Not gonna lie, I’m pretty proud of that last sentence.

Anyways, even if you hate vegetables, your excuses end here. Pick one and get started.

3) Push Ups Are Your Friend!


Description: Complete 3 sets of 10 push ups (any type). As one of most iconic and accessible of all exercises, the push-up builds strength in your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. If you can complete 3 sets of 10 regular push ups, go for it. If you can’t, try incline push ups, knee pushups, or wall push ups instead.

The goal again is to not exhaust yourself, but rather to prove to yourself that you can spend five minutes each day focusing on making a physical improvement to yourself.

Make sure you read our guide on push ups!  

4) Upgrade Your Batcave

batman batcave

Description: Every day this week, spend 5 minutes “improving your batcave.”  What I mean is, we’re products of our environment, and thus by making small changes to our environment we can actually change our behavior without expending willpower.

If you want to build a new habit, remove one step between you and that new habit:

  • Sleep in your running clothes, so you are ready to run first thing in the morning.
  • Pack your gym bag the night before and put it in your car. DING! Ready to work out.
  • Put a pull up bar in your doorway, and do one rep every time you walk past.

If you want to break a bad habit, ADD one step between you and that habit:

  • Stop DVRing crappy shows, so you spend less time watching TV.
  • Throw away all junk food from your house!
  • Block yourself from time wasting websites. More time for fun, positive stuff.

Check out our full guide to building your batcave here.

5) Cook a Meal at Home

Chicken Kabob Thin

Description: Replace one meal each day with a home cooked meal.  It can be something as simple as chicken and broccoli, or any of these other recipes. Heck, you can batch cook one meal on Sunday and eat it for the next seven days.

Just prove to yourself that the kitchen is not scary, and that you are capable of making a meal – for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner:

Start Now


Alone, just five minutes a day might not seem like much.

Each of the quests above are like those steps towards Mordor.  Collectively, they add up to massive change. But they must be committed to every single day.

We are stopping the “boom and bust,” all or nothing mentality:

We are never going on a diet again: instead you are striving for lifelong lifestyle changes.

We are not going to exercise ourselves to death – we are going to build a sustainable exercise habit that allows us to succeed over the long term, and actually make us fall in love with the process.

We are going to stop asking “Am I there yet?” and understand that we never truly arrive, and that’s amazing.

I love the idea of quests, small changes, and consistent progress.

And I love the idea of leveling up, which is why we incorporated a leveling system into our Nerd Fitness Academy -to reward you with quest completions, experience, and levels when you complete challenges just like the ones above.

Heck, I just became a Level 14 Assassin yesterday 🙂

I want to hear from you:

Which of the habits above are you going to pick?  Post a comment below and pledge to your fellow Rebels. If you have somebody in real life, have them hold you accountable.

And then get started.



photo source: Johnson Cameraface: Batcave, Pedro Riberio Simoes: feet, Martin Cthrae: veggies, Jay Springett: Start, Nicholas James Santiago: Skyrim

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  • These are the tools you need to start your quest.

    45 thoughts on “Struggling to Start? Pick One of These 5 Quests.

    1. It seems less daunting when you put it that way! Thank you so much! I’m going to do the 5 minute walk 🙂

    2. I’m going to do the 5 min walk & change up my batcave by moving my phone (aka my alarm) away from the bed at night so that my lazy butt has to go across the room to turn it off in the morning!

    3. Cooking at home. I live alone with my two cats, and I’m good about not having junk food, but I rarely cook. Which means I’m having prepackaged lean cuisine meals or chipotle which is right down the street, and hard on my budget. I just baked a bunch of lean chicken and made some ground turkey for salads for the week – it felt really good to be cooking and I’m going to try to continue to do that. I love NF.

    4. awesome stuff. The best tip in the world is getting an accountability partner. So many studies show that when you have to report or check in with someone you achieve greater results and goals.

    5. Improve my batcave & sign up for the Academy! I am moving to a new continent this week & get to set up my apartment from scratch. I’m designing it so that I have ONLY healthy foods, and area for yoga, muscle-up bar, at home gear, and the computer screen will NOT be in front of the couch so I don’t get sucked into watching movies instead of getting off my bum. And finding out where the indoor rock climbing is in Dubai 😀

    6. I only just started last week, but I’ve already been working on eating at least one veggie a day and cooking meals at home. This is where I have struggled the most in the past, so this is where I’m focusing most of my energy until it becomes a habit.

      One step at a time.

    7. I’m going to do 5 minutes a day on the Batcave. I’ve been in my current place for almost 3 months, and I still have boxes laying around and NOT ONE SINGLE PICTURE ON THE WALLS.

      This is going to change.

    8. Cooking at home. I just started with Nerd Fitness this week and my level up is to eat lunch everyday. Yes everyday. I usually skip that meal – but I’m cooking at home at night and taking real food leftovers to work for lunch – so far so good !!

    9. I am going to walk five minutes every day and improve my batcave. I’ve just started a new job so while I’m staying in my friend’s study I *can* improve my work environment.

    10. Thanks for those incentives. I am already walking some and eating vegies, but I really need to work on that push-up challenge so thanks for all the tips and tricks on that one.

    11. This is perfect timing for me as I just signed up to emails YESTERDAY and am trying to convince hubby to let me enrol in the Academy. I’m going to walk daily for a week.

    12. I am gonna start the Walk Quest (and Hobbit’s Guide To Walking) today. I will do a few pushups throughout the day as well to prepare to start the Pushup quest in a few days.

    13. I’m going to do the push ups! I’ve always wanted to be able to do a ton (I’ve always been able to only do the bare minimum to pass fitness tests at work). I’m pretty good with the rest of the list. I walk a ton, eat veggies, and cook, but I need to get back into exercising now after having a baby, and this is a good place to start.

    14. I love these ideas. I’m going to do the 5 minute walk and pushups this week. Next week I’ll add another of these quests and so forth till I get all five in there.

    15. I think I’ll do push ups (because I really need to work on them XD) and also vegetables. I’m in love with carrots but their not green 🙂 Great post, thanks!

    16. Awesome. I like when I get these emails. It gives me something positive to read in the morning after waking up to start my day. I’m probably just going to do the vegetable a day quest (seems the easiest). Does the vegetable have to be different every day or just any veggie in general?

    17. There’s no way you can possibly know how much I needed to read this today. Or at all. I’m SUCH a bad procrastinator and I’ve finally had enough, it’s leached into every part of life at this point and you brought up so many good things here… I think I was pointed to this post in particular for a reason so it’s time to listen. The 20 sided die has been thrown and I failed my dodge.

    18. Thank you so much for this! I’m going to be that over achiever, has-to-do-all-the-quests-in-the-zone sorta girl and do them ALL!

    19. I’m upgrading the bat cave hopefully finally be able to kick my terrible smoking habit. Off to throw away all the lighters!

    20. Food, Lifestyle and physical activities work together to
      improve physical health. We should never to forget about the mental health because
      a healthy body has a healthy mind. Stress level should be kicked out or at
      lease to reduce to maximize the physical health. One has to plan for exercise in
      the busy routine of life and also spend time with him or herself. The body
      respond more naturally in its comfort zone; working late hours, fast food, busy
      life style, increased stress level triggers blood pressure, cholesterol,
      anxiety level and physical mental performance.

    21. Happy to say that I already do a lot of those things. But it hasn’t always been that way, took me a long time to build good habits. I work out almost on a daily basis, I always cook my own meals and have taken a liking to a lot of veggies and I keep reorganizing my Bat-cave, striving for maximum efficiency. Reading the blogs on this site certainly has helped me a lot along the way.

    22. I started reading Nerdfitness almost 2 months ago. Since then I started the Paleo Diet, exercising 4 to 5 times a week ( including squats, deadlifts, over head press, bench press etc ). I am weight training for about 3-4 years on and off, but for the past 2 months I have been able to level UP my diet a ton. Since day ONE I stopped all the processed foods, sodas, bread, alcohol, sugars etc. I eat only meat, fish, veggies,fruits, nuts and use only extra virgin olive oil when cooking. To be honest, I have never felt that energized in my whole life before! I lost 15 pounds and about 5 % BF as well. I look better than ever and it has only been 8 weeks so far. I am really enjoying that kind of LIFESTYLE and I recommend to everyone to start trying it out as well. There is nothing better in this life than to feel great and be able to do things you haven’t done before. And when some good looks come out of it all >>> it gets even better ! Thanks, Steve , for being so motivating and inspiring as you are ! Good look everyone and remember : IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING !

    23. Hey! Gonna be honest, I never even played Diablo, so it’s pure coincidence that it looks like a nerdy reference. 🙂 It’s actually a name I picked long ago for my artisty alter ego.
      Nice to meet a fellow rebel!

    24. This seems fair enough. I am picking #5 cook a meal at home which hopefully includes #2 Veggie powered. Thank you ! This is the start I was struggling to achieve.

    25. Whatever you like, but more interesting to mix it up. I like broccoli, cucumber, carrots, peppers and mushrooms.

    26. I am picking none of those habits.

      I am either already doing them as prepwork for my first level 1 challenge, or I’ve already done them, so I chose something else.

      In retrospect it probably falls under the ‘Upgrade your batcave’ section. I decided to spend five minutes every morning doing all the little jobs around the house that I tend to let build up. Dishes, ironing, making my bed, etc.

      Funny thing, just two days in and I found myself doing some of them at odd times, just because it annoyed me to see something out of place.

    27. It’s like the movie “What About Bob” – baby steps. So yesterday (9/11) I set as Quest 1 – Walk for 5 minutes and Quest 2 – 3 x 10 (wall) push-ups and I entered them into ToDoist so I could check them off every day. Last night was very warm in the Bay Area but I went out and set Strava (could I have any more tools to help me??) and walked for 5 minutes and then leaned against the wall of my house and did three sets of 10 wall push-ups. Then I opened my phone and checked off both. Felt really good.

    28. I’m going for push-ups every day. I have this habit of starting an exercise routine and then getting lazy/busy/etc., and I want to get strong, so it’s time to build a habit to that end.

    29. Ok…this is about perfect! I am going to take on the push ups…I can do at least one set of 10 regular…but will go for more. EVERY DAY!

    30. Heh, I was just saying this on marcandangel’s blog (another of my favorites) EVERYONE is on this theme right now (or at least the blogs I follow) And I have to say, I get it. I hear it. It’s totally time to get moving in ANY direction as long as it’s forward!

    31. I think this is my first comment on nerd fitness. I love the idea of this post! I’ve been doing the 5min walk now for over 30 days. It’s only the rare day it is really that short!

    32. Where do I log into Nerd Fitness Academy?? I signed up for it and seriously every time I try to log in, the link is elusive. There are lots of links to sign up for it, sure, but how about a nice big “LOG IN” on the main page of instead of wherever the heck it’s actually hidden?

    33. I also live alone with 2 cats! Cooking more is also a goal of mine. One thing I made recently was some ground beef, onion, canned tomatoes, frozen spinach all cooked together with some Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. It tasted amazing and could all be cooked in 1 big pan. One pot/pan meals for the win!

    34. I don’t think there is a problem with that. Just focus on completing 7 days straight. If you started at Monday it could be a little easier to measure, otherwise no difference.

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