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Everything posted by Devyn

  1. I'm so sad I missed this. Will there be another one like it this time around??
  2. I'm determined to build habits and to actually win a challenge for the first time in a year. So why not go out in 2015 with a bang! I learned a lot about habits from Rog Law at Camp Nerd Fitness this year, and I think the 6 week challenge is the best place to learn how to implement these habits. So now I'm going to introduce my challenge. No comics, no Muse songs, no stories. Just simple updates and execution. MAIN QUEST: LEARN TO BUILD HABITS USING S.M.A.R.T. GOALS (my own version of SMART) Mission 1: To complete all class assignments and exams on time and with an A average Specifics - Finish by making course work a habit through task management and calendars. Measurements - Complete tasks by deadlines given by instructors and according to criteria for a 4.0 GPA Actions - Put each assignment and its specifics in Trello and use Google Calendars to block off time to do it without distractions. Reminder - Calendar alerts and a program that blocks websites, complete as soon as I sit down at my desk. Tools - Trello, Google Calendar, Site blocking program Mission 2: To win Nanowrimo Specifics - Schedule times and have a list or calendar to check off after completion Measurements - 1,667 words per day, 50k words. This mission will be marked complete on December 1st Actions - Schedule blocks of writing time and write without distractions Reminder - Calendar alerts and a program that blocks websites Tools - Google Docs, Google Calendar, Site blocking program, checklist Mission 3: To begin a strength training program Specifics - Do bodyweight based exercises starting one rep at a time and adding a new exercise each week Measurements - Begin w/ 1 rep of 1 exercise and end with at least 1 rep of 6 exercises, do Tues, Thurs, Weds, and Sat Actions - Start with just 1 push up for the first week as soon as I get home from running Reminder - put a yoga mat in front of the door to remind me to get down and do a push up. Tools - Yoga Mat REWARD: a standing desk Side Quest: Finish BCS Half Marathon sub 2 hours, 30 minutes - this is not a habit because I already have a running habit. I just need to pick up speed using speed workouts, long mileage runs and variety runs. I know there aren't many fitness goals here, but that's because I have too much going on to make my main quest fitness related. But learning to build habits affects health and fitness, so it counts. Let's get this party started.
  3. PVP is definitely good. I find I work well with other people. I got through my first marathon because I had people to help me. I used to think running was dull but now I hate it when I don't run!
  4. Doing squats and pushups would be a challenge in and of itself. I hate doing those things. For me, it's gotta be fun or I won't do them and I get mind numbingly bored doing them. Jumping on crates is a cool alternative and so are handstands. If I can find fun alternatives for strength training, I'd probably be more willing to do them. Often, it's not just that I'm busy, but that I have such an aversion to them, that I won't do them at all.
  5. Sorry, I have been keeping up - I just haven't been commenting here. 1. I have been running. The fact that I've been the sole coach for my running group has helped me keep track there. I've also been cycling nearly every day. I didn't at first because we've been getting temps over 100F and I'm not going out in that. But I bought a trainer to hook my bicycle up indoors so since I've had that, I've been riding daily. I can't wait til I can get out again, but it looks like the heat wave is continuing for the foreseeable future. As for strength training, I have yet to do any of that. Maybe this challenge I need to just focus on running and cycling until I get used to them and then add the strength training. 2. I'm at about 2k on my novel which is well below where I wanted to be, so I need to step up my gear on that. But I have been doing really well working on my platform. 3. The konmari method has been doing really well. My office and living room look absolutely amazing. I'm working on books this week which is a LOT harder. As for TwoGrand, I have been logging daily and I have been losing weight. Things seem to be going well. Thanks for checking up. I need to get in the habit of journaling what I've been doing.
  6. Right? My kids will undo everything I did in about 2 of those minutes. I did the flylady approach for about 9 years and never got anywhere. After having kids, I ended up spending those 15 minutes cleaning up toys and doing laundry and washing dishes. Nothing ever got clean. I realized part of the problem is we have way too many things. Of course it takes me 15 minutes to put toys away when we have about one billion toys. The strict Konmari approach helps me to realize what we really don't need. And actually the kids are enjoying figuring out what toys they really love. But because I have kids, there's no way I can just get rid of everything in one day. I have to do it little bits at a time.
  7. Day 2: Ran 4 miles first thing in the morning. No cycling because it was over 100 degrees and no way I'm going out there in that weather. I think things might be shaky with the everyday thing to start with until I can get my trainer for indoors. I forgot to do the strength training. Will have to make up for that tomorrow. Wrote a bit for my novel, but not as much as I wanted to. I still have 1 1/2 more characters to cover. I was hoping to get onto detail the plot by tomorrow but we'll see what kind of time and energy I have. I did do a lot for my writer's platform and got a good target audience planned out. Now I just have to figure out how to translate all that "what do they want and what can you give to them" into author things rather than selling a tangible product or service. I ate well and journaled in TwoGrand. I got rid of a lot of knicknacks in the living room as well. Things are looking a bit less cluttered.
  8. I think she has a good idea going on. There's a reason people like her approach. To me, Flylady is a little too imperfect. I find myself missing too much. I like a blend of the two.
  9. Your goals are looking pretty sweet! Especially the last one. I have a tendency to do that, but with being online. I might need to take a page from your book in the future.
  10. Yeah she is a bit wacky, but if it makes her happy, that's great. I'm really employing a sort of Konmari/Flylady hybrid. Marie Kondo doesn't really seem to give good advice for people with young children whereas Flylady is a lot more forgiving in that area. I like the idea of honoring each item though. It might seem silly, but it helps put positivity and gratefulness in the mind and it also helps you to really care for the items you do have. I think if we don't think about the objects we have in our house, we're more likely to buy what we don't need and mistreat what we have. As for the UK, they are still better for commuters than here. In the centers of the cities, it's not so bad. Austin tends to be alright for cyclists. Houston tries, but I hear a lot about deaths on the news. I felt safer when I was commuting by bicycle in Reading back in the day. I'm not sure if I'd feel so safe in London though.
  11. Day 1: I cycled for 4 miles/30min. I seem to be getting a little faster, but I'm still shaky. I didn't do any strength training because I thought that I was only doing it 2 days a week instead of 3. I might do some later today to make up for it. I fleshed out almost all of my characters for my novel. I should be finished with that part of it by today. I did a lot of admin and research for my author's website so that should be up and running by the end of the challenge. As for decluttering, I successfully used my app and ate well. I also cleared out all the DVDs, video games, board games and puzzles in the house and now only have a few that we really love. I can already see a huge difference in the house. I had no idea that I had so many games and puzzles!
  12. Hi there! I do ramble a lot, but luckily not so much in written format. 1. Where am I in the marathon training? Right at the beginning. The marathons are in January and March, respectively. I have already run a marathon last year and so I'm looking to improve my time (5:50>5:00) and to do two rather than one. I am going to be running a lot of 10mile races and half marathons both of which I have a bit of experience in. I'd like to improve my half time as well (3:45>3:00). 2. How would I like to be motivated and supported? To be honest, just being here and checking up on me helps a lot. I tend to get distracted easily so if I have some reminders and not-so-gentle nudges to keep it up, I'm more likely to stick with it all. I also enjoy the company and conversation. I'd love to hang out with the many writers. Life is lonely for a writer sometime. Let me know where everyone is and I'll say hi! Thanks for the welcome! I'll check the Scouts forums out. Yeah, my mind is very cluttered. I've got a whole mess of stuff crammed up in my brain and it needs a good sweeping and airing out. Sometimes I get carried away with needing to order everything and be exact because of my life-long struggle with ADHD, but I think the advice about houses works on the mind as well. The less stuff there is, the easier it is to clean. I'm not saying being stupid or ignorant is the way to go. Just that maybe my whole life doesn't need to be crammed full of stuff. I don't really have the option to commute. I live in the suburbs of Houston - a very dangerous place to cycle and no cycle lanes at all. Right now, I'm just cycling around my neighborhood. When I get a bike rack (I have no idea how to even bike rack) for my car, I might take the bike to a park. I also plan on taking it to my university when classes start, but I'm a little worried about theft. I really wish I could commute. I used to do that back when I lived in the UK, but it's just not a very safe thing to do here.
  13. Hey, everyone. My name is Devyn. I am a kender. I am also an assassin. But, I haven't been doing too well in the assassin area lately. This is due to many factors both internal and external. I don't attend to abandon my profession, but it's time I took a good hard look at my ADHD-based assassin attitude and learn how to stick things out for the long term. So this is what this particular challenge is about. If you don't mind, I'd like to join you Scouts for a time and learn your ways. If you accept me into your group, I have challenges set for myself that are long-term based goals rather than the low-yield, high reward goals I tend to set for myself that rarely work. Okay, I'm babbling. Which I tend to do. Why, just the other day, I was telling a friend of mine a story about how I did this awesome thing off this thingy - it was really awesome and I had never done this thingy before because I had never tried it before and I...I...um....where was I? Oh yeah - goals. Here they are: Physical Endurance Training Marathon Training - train 3x per week according to plan for two marathons Cycling - Get confident on a bike by cycling every day Strength Training - time-based training by holding handstands, stretches and planks as long as I can 3x per week Novel Endurance Training Write part of my novel every single day unless I am literally dying Make it to 25k words by the end of the challenge Career Endurance Training Work on building my writer’s platform at least 3x per week Work on writing short stories and sending to publishers at least 2x per week Side Quest - Getting Rid of Distractions Using the Konmari method to declutter my very cluttered home Using the TwoGrand app to plot my food and stop worrying about counting calories and feeling awful about the food I eat - decluttering a cluttered mind My hope is by the end of the this challenge, I will have learned about making plans and sticking with them, learning how to cope with doing one task for long periods of time and learning how to avoid distractions. So how about it? May I run with the scouts crowd for a while?
  14. UPDATE: I haven't failed this challenge, but I have failed updating. This is because I thought I was so clever not bringing my laptop with me so I could enjoy my vacation unplugged, but that means I couldn't update this challenge! I wrote most things down so I will be making up for all the weeks I couldn't update here. GAH!
  15. The last few days have certainly been a challenge. With all the packing and errands and getting ready, my diet and exercise have both been terrible! I'm leaving in one hour so now is the time more than ever to fight my drone-like urges and eat real food mindfully.
  16. I'm a creative writing student and I'm trying to get published. Not only am I used to critique but I crave the harsh stuff. I'm thick skinned. My desire to learn is a lot stronger than my ego.
  17. These are great goals. How are you going to track them? Do you have a plan set up so that you stick to it?
  18. I like how your goals are directed toward the mental and emotional. I think that gives you a great base on which to build a pyramid of well being. Good luck!
  19. These sound like good and simple goals with big impacts. Please don't die from the exercise, though.
  20. Dead Inside I had been dead inside for quite a while now. It's not as bleak as all that. Really, it's not full on depression that hit me or anything like that. It's just that I seemed to have lost my way. I gained back a lot of the weight I fought so hard to lose and I succumbed to the temptations of not fighting. Not fighting is easier than fighting, right? I had been eating food that doesn't even taste that good to me anymore. It's become comfort that doesn't do me any good. I've been sitting around, playing on the internet, playing the video games, watching all the tv shows, not really living. And that's the problem. IRL, I'm human, but I have a kender spirit. I am not content to sit and do nothing while I get fat and weak. This challenge will be the start of a new era in my life. One where I have focus and one where I break from the prison I've made for myself. One where I enjoy life to the fullest in full kender fashion. Day 1: Running - I don't have to run today. It's a rest day. But that doesn't mean be lazy. Today will be dedicated to cleaning the home, laundering the launder and playing with the kids who are now all summery. Eating - Not a great start, I must admit. While the food itself wasn't such a bad choice, I scarfed it down while not really paying attention. This meal should have satisfied me but it didn't. The rest of the meals today should be dedicated to satisfaction in the very real sense. Writing - I took 40 minutes out and wrote that story above and a bit of something else. Part of my process is editing, so if you have any suggestions to "fix" what I've written above (either grammatically or in substance) then I welcome them with open arms. This is me, building the base of my pyramid so that in the future, I can stand strong.
  21. YAY! The story is only playing around with writing, but still I'm excited you're excited I'm excited! I hope I did nail it. This is now the act of putting it all to the text. You moved? I did not know this. How are you liking it? Still! I do not look forward to the heat.
  22. I absolutely love how you found the perfect Grease gifs for this challenge. AND STOP BEING HARD ON YOURSELF DAMNIT!
  23. That's right. I said 8 week challenge. And I'm back, baby. Over the past year or so, I’ve had a lot of difficulty keeping up with challenges and finding focus in my life. It’s been tough trying to improve myself when I didn’t know what to improve. So I gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of the progress I had made so far. But there’s one thing that I won’t ever lose, and that’s the experience. I took some time off and tried to decide what it is I wanted and how to achieve these things. I had done a lot of awesome things in the meantime like run a marathon (and longer!) and work on getting published as a writer. Now that I’ve discovered what it is that I want, I’ve looked back at past challenges and found what it was that made me either successful or less successful than I’d like. So I decided to come back and create a new challenge using components that I gleaned from my successful “missions.†Here is what I came up with: Focus - I need to have very specific goals outside of the challenge itself. The last few challenges involved things I’d like to do within the 6 weeks with very little focus on what I’d like to do after the 6 weeks is over. This challenge will include the bigger picture. A story - My most successful challenge involved a very action packed story complete with drawings! My least successful challenges included either unfocused, boring stories or no stories at all. This will have a story. Muse - My best challenges involved my ‘muse’ for success, the band Muse. In celebration of their most recent album which will be released at the start of the challenge, I will dedicate the story and challenge to the band that has motivated me in the past. Support - I’m always successful when I have cheerleaders and when I lead cheers for others. Even if I don’t get support here, I will make sure I have a group of people as my SHIELD. No one can go alone. So why 8 weeks instead of 6? I’ll be travelling to the UK for 4 weeks of this challenge and then it’s back to regular old life. That doesn’t fit in very well for my need to have things work out perfectly. So, I decided to extend the challenge by 2 weeks (including the 2 weeks in between this challenge and the next) so that I can split my goals into two 4 week periods. ENOUGH TALK - WHERE IS THE CHALLENGE? Alright, be patient, okay? Challenge Part 1: Maintenance (8 June - 5 July) I will be travelling and will be in the UK for 4 weeks starting this week. The most challenging thing for me would be to maintain all of the habits I have been building up lately. So this is what I will do. Maintain Running (+2 CON, +3 STA) - I will need to run at least 3 times a week each week for the next 4. No excuses. Rain or shine. Maintain Mindful Eating (+3 WIS, +3 CON) - My SHIELD team has been helping me learn how to eat in a more mindful way. Going to the UK where they have so many yummy things to eat will be a challenge not to pig out on everything. Every day, I must keep in mind what I’m eating and how much. Indulgence is fine as long as it’s not constant and it is mindful. Maintain Writing (+3 WIS, +2 CHA) - This week, I need to write for 40 minutes, next week 50 minutes and the week after that, an hour. I will keep up with writing for up to an hour EVERY SINGLE DAY. No excuses. One of the great things about this part is that I can write anything so I can write the story that goes along with this challenge. I will log here as often as I can and touch base with my SHIELD group to make sure that I am reaching these goals while I am not in my normal routine. Challenge Part 2: Building (July 6 - August 2) For this part of the challenge, I will be back at home in the US and settling back into my normal routine. I will be stronger for having maintained these goals while on holiday so I’ll be ready to build on what I have been doing. This is what I will do: Running with Obstacles (+3 STA, +2 DEX) - I will keep the same running schedule - at least 3 times/week - but now I will add new elements. I might run in the woods or run on hills (on the treadmill) or I might run in the extreme Texas heat. I might just speed up my runs or do sprints. Either way, more boring running. Each run will present a new challenge. Tracking Food (+3 WIS, +3 CON) - Now instead of just mindful eating, I will track what I eat. I might post what I eat here or I might send the reports to my SHIELD team. This is when I not only become mindful of what I eat, but I broadcast what exactly I’m doing which will put me in a position in the future to start watching my calories and the quality of my food more closely. Writing My Novel (+3 WIS, +2 CHA) - Now that I’ve been in the habit of writing, I will need to start putting some of that time toward a goal. Before now, my writing was just playing around, getting into the habit. Now I need to work on that monster that has been sitting collecting dust. At least 30 minutes must be dedicated daily to writing my novel. Where is the story? What is this about drones? It comes from a song in the new Muse album. The story starts tomorrow. Who’s excited? I’m excited.
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