curious builders

The Show Up Club

Imagine you could beat procrastination. Take a moment to reflect on the person you would be if you did not hesitate or postpone important work. What would your life look like?

A lot would be different I imagine. Much would be better. At least that is what I imagine. Which is why I created The Show Up Club. I needed a way to combat my own procrastination and resistance. I needed tools to help me fight the internal battle against my own Instant Gratification Monkey.

Why Show Up?

Showing up may be the most important thing you can do today. Showing up can be writing a few words, running a few miles, or studying thirty minutes. It may be texting a friend or visiting your father. Showing up is beating procrastination and defeating resistance.

Showing up isn’t working harder or doing more urgent things. It is doing the most important thing today. The thing you have been putting off. Sometimes that is taking a rest or going on a long walk. Other times it is working intensely into the night.

Big achievements happen one step at a time. One page a day and you soon have a book. Work out thirty minutes a day and you are soon fit and strong. Improve a bit every day and before you know it you are a better person. The compounding effects of taking small steps every day are remarkable.

We don’t need big heroic feats to do brilliant things in life. We just need to show up. Every day.

Unfortunately showing up is much harder than it sounds. Which is why we need all the help we can get.

How to Show Up every day

The Show Up Club is based on two tools: goals and accountability. These two tools have been around for a long time and have proven themselves many times over.

(S.M.A.R.T) Goals

You need goals to fight procrastination. Without a goal you can’t score. You don’t even have a target. No deadline. No nothing. And in that state your inner resistance will have an easy time tearing you apart.

S.M.A.R.T is a set of criteria you can use to set goals. A SMART goal should be: specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

The Show Up Club is loosely based on these criteria as you can specify something you want to do (like reading or running), a daily value (like 10 pages or 5 km), and a duration (e.g., 7 days).

Here is me working on a project 60 minutes a day for 7 days.

Tracking progress

When you create a journey in the Show Up Club you specify a daily goal. Something you want to do every day. Your progress is then tracked in a graph with your current value next to your target. Like this.

You may fail some days but that is alright. That just puts you a bit behind schedule and you can catch up again later. Some days you may also do more than your daily goal. If this happens you are rewarded for that by moving ahead of target.

This is in contrast to another way of tracking daily goals where you cross off a day when you have completed your task. The downside of crossing off days is that you can never catch up. If you miss a day that is it. This can be good for accountability (which we will talk more about in just a moment), but it can also quickly become a source of demotivation.1

Accountability

The second tool we can use to fight procrastination is accountability. You can share your journey with people to build social accountability. As soon as you tell people about your goal you increase your chances of reaching it. So I encourage you to do so. When you create a journey you get a unique url you can use to share your journey with the world. Do so and experience the power of social accountability.

But social is only one of the accountability types you can enjoy in The Show Up Club. The other is a more direct one: you can put money on the line and use that to hold you accountable.

It works like this: when you create a journey you deposit funds to be locked up with the journey. If you reach your goal you get your money back. If not you lose the deposit. This can be a very strong motivator and accountability method.

Hello Web3

The Show Up Club is built on the blockchain. It is a web3 application. This means the logic controlling the club lives on a smart contract that can’t be modified or controlled by anyone — not even me. Once it is on the blockchain it is immutable. The code can’t be changed or removed.

Why use blockchain?

The motivation for using web3 is threefold.

First, with web3 we don’t store any user information in a database. You don’t need to register using email and password. You just connect with your Web3 Wallet. You don’t need to worry about hackers compromising the database and stealing your information. There is no database.

The second motivation is the deposit accountability functionality described earlier. You deposit funds and expect the get it back if you reach your goal. The logic computing that functionality is open source and on the blockchain. This means it is possible to audit and verify the functionality. If you trust the code you can deposit your funds knowing that the blockchain execute without anyone being able to interfere. No banks, credit cards, databases, or backend servers involved. “Just” cryptography, code, and the blockchain.

Of course this still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. What if you do not know how to read the code? And even if you do, it is hard to verify the code is sound. Bigger web3 projects usually get their code audited by trusted sources. But even this has issues as auditing is difficult. Ultimately web3 projects may have to rely on their reputation. Much like companies do today (except in web3 the source code is public and can be verified). If enough people have looked at the code and trust it we can use that as a heuristic to determine the code is probably correct.

Finally, the third web3 motivation is curiosity. I’m curious about web3 and what the future will bring. This little project is a teaser to some of the things we can do in this new space.

Web3 user experience

The Web3 world is still in a very early stage. Which means the user experience isn’t great yet. If you want to use a web3 app you need to know how to get and use a Wallet (such as Metamask). And how to supply this wallet with funds. It is getting better but there are still a couple of hoops you have to jump through to get started. And if you just want to use The Show Up Club then this may seem like a lot of work and complexity.

Unfortunately that is the state of web3 right now. Lots of smart people are working hard on making it easier but until then you need to get yourself a wallet and learn how to use it.

I personally use Metamask.

Is this a dApp? (Decentralised Application)

Sort of. Depending on your definition.

The Show Up Club is powered by the blockchain on the backend via smart contracts. But the frontend (the user interface you see when you visit theshowup.club), is a standard application running on a centralised server. Depending on the definition used, this means the application is not yet a dApp (decentralised application). If the user interface goes down it is harder (although technically possible) to interact with The Show Up Club. The code and functionality is still there. On the blockchain. You just need to know how to interact with it.

I decided to use a centralised server for the user interface because it gives a much better user experience. I don’t believe The Show Up Club has to be fully decentralised to be useful. Maybe in time it will move towards that but for now only the backend is fully decentralised.

Start your journey now

If The Show Up Club sounds interesting to you then head over to theshowup.club and start your journey now. If you need more information you can read the documentation here or reach out.

🙏

Re-post from thejourneyof.me (16 May 2022)

Footnotes

  1. If you want to use The Show Up Club with the “cross off a day” method you can also do that with a bit of creativity. You can set the daily value to 1 and consider that your daily checkmark. Or you can limit yourself to only add the daily value each day and never go above that. With a bit of imagination the graph tracking can be quite flexible in the journeys you can undertake.