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This post first appeared on the blog in September 2018, and has been updated for our new and improved 21-Day Coding Challenge.

The 21-Day Coding Challenge starts May 1. You'll need all of your coding and quick-thinking skills to complete these space-themed challenges. But what if you haven't quite mastered those coding abilities just yet? Never fear, Lighthouse Labs is here! We’ve compiled the top eight ways you can set yourself up for 21-Day Coding Challenge success.

Plan Ahead

Since the 21-Day Coding Challenge is all about coding in JavaScript you’ve got a few options to help you hone your skills ahead of time.

1) Learn to code online

We've curated a list of free JavaScript resources to help you get a head start on your coding journey. You can also check out “5 JavaScript Terms Beginners Need to Know” on Course Report, written by Lighthouse Labs legend Don Burks!

2) Learn to code in person

If you’re looking for some hands-on help, consider joining one of our free workshop events, where you’ll have developer mentors to work with you through different coding challenges. Our workshops are delivered by coding professionals with years of experience, so it’s a great chance to get exposed to the realities of the profession and learn some different styles of problem solving.

3) Find your rhythm

Are you a morning person, or more of a night owl? Once you start something, do you need to finish it no matter what, or will you leave it and come back later if you hit a road block? Knowing how you work can have a big impact on how you complete the 21-Day Coding Challenge and avoid falling behind on any of the challenges. Life happens, so take a break if you need one - but have a strategy in place to get back in the game without losing momentum.

4) Plan your schedule

Do you know what your schedule will look like during the 21-Day Coding Challenge? Maybe you have some tight work deadlines coming up, or you’ve planned a weekend getaway. Plan ahead so you can find 15-30 minutes each day to complete a challenge. Depending on the rhythm of your day, you might find that time in the morning, evening, or even over your lunch - figure out what schedule works for you. As long as you’re completing the daily challenges, you're on the right track!

Stay Motivated

5) Declare the 21-Day Coding Challenge to the world

Tell your friends, family, co-workers, and the internet all about the 21-Day Coding Challenge, and ask them to help you keep up with your daily challenges. There is real power in stating your intentions out loud for the world to hear. Sharing your goals with a few people can help you stay motivated and accountable - plus, you have a built-in team of cheerleaders if you choose to share your progress on social media! Be sure to tag Lighthouse Labs on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and use #21DCC so we can cheer you on, too!

6) Get your friends involved

Coding is more fun with friends! Enlist others to complete the 21-Day Coding Challenge with you by creating or joining a Team. Working through the challenges with your friends is a great motivator, and the top team wins a $500 gift card towards a sweet team outing and a team feature on our blog!

Teaming up for the 21-Day Coding Challenge also gives you a built-in support system to help each other if you get stuck along the way. But don’t worry; if your friends aren’t able to help, you'll find a whole bunch of new friends ready to answer your questions on our handy Help Forum.

Reap the Rewards

7) Treat yo'self

Becoming a better coder is a reward in itself, but if you need an extra push, consider setting up rewards for yourself for each week you successfully complete all of your challenges. Go out for a nice meal, spend hours playing that video game you love, take a hike and leave your phone behind. Whatever makes you happy and provides that little extra incentive is the perfect reward to help you stay motivated.

We also have daily prize draws to give you that extra incentive - just for completing your daily challenge, you could win prizes from Fitbit, Swell, Netflix, Spotify, and more.

8) Did we mention prizes?

Everyone who enters the 21-Day Coding Challenge is automatically entered into our draw for a grand prize trip to Boston for three nights, inclusive of three nights of accommodation, a tour of MIT and Harvard University, and two Citypasses including access to the Space exhibits at the Museum of Science. Other fabulous prizes include a MacBook Air, Nintendo Switch, Google Home, Apple Air-pods, and more!

The 21-Day Coding Challenge kicks off on May 1 - are you up to the challenge? Register now.