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Everything posted by courtneyc

  1. I started taking bjj and kickboxing classes about 3 months ago and love it. But I realized recently that my initial growth will slow rapidly if I don't start training outside of class. That's where drills come into play! I'm setting up a space in my home this week to run through striking, footwork, and foundational bjj movements on a regular basis. I'm also trying to regain my focus when it comes to my writing. Currently, a lot of time gets wasted each day doing "research", i.e. searching the internet until something shiny comes along to distract me. So I'll be implementing the pomodoro technique (25 minutes on task followed by 5 minute breaks) to stay on task. My breaks need to be computer-free time, so some stretching, simple bodyweight movements, or trips downstairs for more tea are all fair game. Last, but certainly not the least challenging, is giving better care to my diet. Historically, tracking calories is obnoxious to me. I'm going to switch things up a little an give myself a daily protein goal that increases as the challenge progresses. I'll start it at 60g for the first two weeks and add 20g to the daily goal every two weeks. So week 3 & 4 will be 80g and week 5 & 6 will be 100g. My hope is that trying to reach a certain number, instead of trying to stay under a caloric one, will be the positive mindset shift I've been missing. To summarize: Challenge Goals BJJ Drills x 2 per weekKickboxing Drills x 2 per weekPomodoro Writing Sessions w/ Breaks away from the computer x 15 per weekMeet Daily Protein Goal (starting at 60g)But wait, there's more! Side Quest - Rescue the short story from certain doom! I have several promising short stories that are hanging out in the doldrums while I work on my novel. To claim victory over the side quest I must pick one of these stories and get it submission worthy by the end of the challenge. So, I think that's everything. I plan to assign points/grading at some point, but really that feels like more than I can handle this evening. Any suggestions for a not-elaborate method of counting are welcome!
  2. I read (and loved) The Power of Habit a couple years ago and find myself thinking about the principles of it often when trying to elicit change in my life. Do you have any plans for leveraging the techniques Duhigg mentions when developing your new habits? For example, when Duhigg examined why he was eating a cookie every afternoon at work and found it was for social interaction, not because he was actually hungry. Applying that sort of thinking to why you tend to eat at your desk or bedroom might reveal something that will make it easier to break the current habit and form a new, satisfying one.
  3. Nice looking challenge! I hear you on binge eating. One thing I've some success implementing is telling myself I can have whatever it is I want if I wait until some specific day/time (that is of course not that same day).
  4. I just finished up a points based challenge and loved it. I had a mix of easy/moderate/challenging ways to earn points. If some temporary life-altering event took place I added things to the list that fit the change. It kept me engaged without becoming obsessive. For my next challenge I'm trying to come up with a way to use points and goals together, so I can have the best of both worlds. Good luck!
  5. Challenge Recap Things that worked: Flexibility - could adapt my focus each week depending on what life threw my way, i.e. slow down, alter goals, raise the stakesChoice - Similar to the flexibility getting to choose what I focused on each day or week, instead of feeling too regimented was helpfulLittle wins - Earning points each day kept me focused on little wins, not an all-or-nothing mindsetRealistic Goal - Clearly important, but sometimes what I think is realistic at the outset doesn't take into account the way life can surprise and complicate things. Creating a goal, and then taking it down a notch or two might be a good habit to get into until I become better at making realistic goals.Room for Improvement: Progress Measurements - Not something I built into this challenge, but in the future it would be nice to have some way to track improvements, ex. Kishi periodically tests himself with a set of exercises. It's like a physical fitness test minus the entire 8th grade class watching me struggle to do a chin up.Lack of Daily Tracking System - Future Courtney, please come up with a simple way to track what targets you hit each day...a spreadsheet or just a printed out piece of paper you can easily mark. Your brain is lazy and doesn't want to remember how many vegetables you ate 4 days ago.Board Involvement - In the future I'd like to be more involved in the community aspect of the challenges by picking 2 or 3 other rebels to cheer on and also participate in a side quest or two as I'm able. Accolades: Leveled up to level 2 monkStrength up 2 for increased core strength and much improved knee push-upsDexterity up 1 for improved footwork during sparing Stamina up 2 for consistent back to back class attendanceConstitution up 1 for plantar fasciitis stretchesWisdom up 2 for making sleep a priority and increased awareness during sparing Charisma up 2 for social feats So that's a wrap on this challenge. Now I must go plan my next!
  6. When you say test, do you mean testing your max number of reps? How often do you do this? I'm not usually a plotter, but for NaNo that sounds like a good idea. Also, both creeped out and intrigued by your intentions for Panera...please consider recording for our viewing pleasure. A short horror story about it would be an acceptable substitute.
  7. Total Current Points: 625/600 While not technically my final score, I declare victory over this challenge having exceeded my goal of 600 points. Huzzah! Some merriment was already had yesterday when we met up with friends at the renaissance festival. A leather cinch belt may have been added to my slowly growing costume arsenal...I maintain that it was a very practical purchase as it is black on one side and brown on the other. So obviously it can be worked into my current pirate costume but also fit nicely with a hunts woman outfit, mercenary, etc. or paired with a dress should I ever feel the need to be ladylike. Honestly, the question is how I've gone this long not having a cinch belt in my possession. To steer this back on topic though, I finished the challenge strong by making sleep a priority, getting my writing in, the usual Thursday night bjj/kickboxing combo. I even ate some plants for good measure. This was my first challenge I've stuck with beginning to end, and I think that was made possible by not demanding massive/exhausting changes of myself from the start. Keeping it flexible prevented me from developing an all or nothing mindset, that historically leads to me blowing off my initial goals. I'd be smart to keep that in mind for future challenges. Speaking of future challenges, I'm already considering what my next one will look like. Later today I'll do a write up of what worked well for me this challenge and what didn't. From there I should be able to develop my next one that (I hope) will go just as well, if not better.
  8. I read back a bit through your posts...sounds like life has been crazy, to put it mildly. I hope things on the job front get resolved for you soon. It's tough when you're on the waiting end. Got a chance to read the story snippet you posted a few weeks ago. It was a fun read! Are you gearing up for NaNoWriMo with that particular story? If you aren't already familiar with him, Chuck Wendig did a good post on NaNo prep the other week.
  9. It was most certainly a 'survive' class. You make a good point about focusing on one thing at once. My reaction was very much: Not realistic, even if I would love for my training to be a montage of me performing ridiculous exercises in an abandoned warehouse after which I emerge and destroy my instructor in battle....a girl's gotta have dreams. So yeah, step 1 more realistically would be me shadow boxing while focusing on keeping my chin tucked and lead shoulder up. The warehouse montage can come later.
  10. BJJ and kickboxing were rough last night. I got hit and kicked a lot. I tried and failed to stop it a lot. I was told somewhere around a dozen things I needed to fix, but then told not to think too much about it. That boxing is unnatural, but also makes a lot of sense if you think about it...but don't think about it. It was the shittiest kickboxing class I've ever taken, and I will confess that I almost cried and wondered why I'm doing this. But then I decided, screw that. Screw letting my current shortcomings stop me from doing what I want. If my teacher pissed me off with his laundry list of issues then the best thing I can do is figure out how to fix it all so that eventually he's the one getting knocked around, instead of me. Issues include, but certainly aren't limited to: Dropping my guard during strikesNot guarding my face properly when my opponent attacksNot tucking my chinStaying front on instead of moving to the sidesGrabbing at strikes too muchNot turning my fist properly on hooksClosing eyes or looking awayNot having block/strike combos ready when attacked (seemingly at odds w/ guarding my face when attacked)Thinking too muchNot thinking/watching for openingsDropping my front shoulder I'm sure there's a few things I've forgotten, but that's plenty to work on for now. I'll need to come up with training exercises to do independently of class if I actually want to address all of this. If anyone has recommendations, I would welcome them. I see the inspiration for next challenge shaping up... Total Current Points: 565/600
  11. Week 6 Total Current Points: 545/600 It took a full week, but my vertigo has finally cleared up. Most points earned since coming back from the conference fall under the 'Life' category, not 'Health', and don't get me wrong points are points. But...being social has its drawbacks, like not getting much work done and eating junk until I'm reminded of how my pants felt prior to this challenge. So my final week of the challenge I'll pretend those health goals are the made-to-order doughnuts I've been day dreaming about and take one of each.
  12. Week 5 Total Current Points: 500/600 NerdCon:Stories was awesome! The panels were great. I could probably be crushed under the weight of all the books now on my reading list from authors I met and book recommendations given during panels. Following Kishi's suggestion I focused some energy on complimenting others, which made conversation flow so easily that I will make it a permanent fixture on the points list. The other thing that was a big success for me at the con was having my book's one line pitch rehearsed beforehand. I felt weird spending time on that prior to going, but I knew I would kick myself if I had the opportunity to pitch it and wasn't prepared. Turns out one of the people who asked was a guest speaker at the conference, so I would have been kicking myself hard if I hadn't been ready with my answer. Getting settled back into my normal routine has been tricky since coming back. I don't know if I'm fighting something off or the plane ride really messed with me, but I've been experiencing vertigo since my flight on Sunday. I skipped bjj and kickboxing on Tuesday hoping that a little rest would set me right, but I'm still feeling funky. I'd go to the doctor except, other than some sinus pressure, I have no other symptoms that would indicate I'm sick. I'd rather not skip class again tonight, but I'll have to see if I feel up for the drive.
  13. That's a good question. I haven't seen anything on the boards (not that I'm great about checking them all out), so I went ahead and started one. Would it be correct to assume you are attending? Complimenting people...what an excellent idea. Score con friends and points for my challenge simultaneously. I'm beginning to see why you won the battle for guild leader. (Don't tell me there's not some sort of cage match for that job, because for monks there must be a cage match.)
  14. Week 4 Total Current Points: 380/600 No day by day points spread this time, but I will highlight a couple achievements. I finally managed to get myself to bed at a reasonable time (twice even!), earning the elusive bonus points for bed before 11. Last week I was having a lot of trouble staying on task at work and realized that it would only get more difficult if I didn't make sleep a priority. So I let myself get real rest and surprise surprise look who can focus once more! This week will be a little bit different as I'm leaving for NerdCon:Stories on Thursday. My excitement is building...and maybe just a wee bit of fear. I've never gone on a real trip by myself. I won't know anyone there. There's a definite chance of me getting lost and missing my flight home or not talking to anyone the entire convention because I revert to middle school wallflower mode. So I think some special convention points opportunities are needed. What those are yet, I'm not certain. I'll post them tonight or tomorrow.
  15. Fire the party cannon! Lots of good things have been happening lately, so I wanted to take some time between point updates to celebrate. First off, it's been about 2 months since I started taking bjj and kickboxing classes, and I'm really beginning to see the pay off in my strength, endurance, and how I carry myself. My form is getting better, my strikes have more power, my instructors are helping me fine tune my movements, which I take as a sign that I'm progressing. Most importantly I love what I'm doing more than any other physical activity I've ever done. I got a nice pair of boxing gloves to acknowledge to myself that I'm set on continuing with training. I wore them to class last night and was actually giddy putting them on for pad and light sparring work. I'd been using the old class gloves before that are worn out and soaked with other people's sweat, so big step up! Celebratory boxing cats! Yesterday, I stepped on the scale and saw that I've lost about 10 lbs since the end of the summer. Clothes that were too tight are fitting better. My arms are starting to look more toned. I'm finding it easier overall to keep my eating reasonable. It's like I found a couple key pieces, and the things that didn't fit right before are falling into place. Can't wait to see where the rest of the challenge takes me!
  16. Time for another update. I'll admit my memory of the last four days isn't great, so I've only included what I'm absolutely certain of in my points tally. Friday 15 pts - Water, Foot Stretches, No TV Saturday 15 pts - Eat 2 Plants, Social Time (w/ family), Log Food Sunday 15 pts - Walk, 2 x 30 min Unpacking Boxes Monday 30 pts - Eat 2 Plants, Walk, Writing x 2, Dressed for Day, Do Something Nice (called my Grandpa) Total Current Points: 275/600
  17. Sounds like you're making progress. Hope that cold is getting better!
  18. What book is this? I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting things to read. I was definitely thinking about what helped me slip into that state yesterday. My instructor certainly saw something shift, and he went with it, telling me to pull back faster on the final strike in my combo and really go for a knock out. So very helpful having someone on hand that can register that.
  19. Week 2 is continuing to go well. I managed a trip to the county fair with the family and didn't leave hating myself for my food choices. Tracking is going much better, and my hope is by the end of this challenge it will turn into a habit. Points rundown for the last two days is as follows. Wednesday 35 pts - tracked food, family walk (w/ dog for bonus points), ate plants (apple and spinach), writing, dressed for day, water before noon Thursday 40 pts - tracked, back to back bjj and kickboxing, foot stretches, conference prep (worked on elevator pitch for the book I'm revising), writing, dressed for day, water before noon Total Current Points: 200/600 Training wise, kickboxing is going really well. Last night I was doing some pad work with my instructor and hit a point where everything was flowing smoothly. I was intensely focused, the combos became more fluid, and punches and kicks were landing harder than normal; it was a great feeling that I'm eager to chase after again. p.s. - A big thanks to whoever got rid of the repeat entries! It was driving me crazy seeing them taking up all that space.
  20. Have I perhaps found a second person on the planet who isn't enamored with the show? I've tried three times to get into it, because everyone raves about it. I'm beginning to think it just isn't my sci-fi cup of tea. I'll admit to not having given her a completely fair try. When the wedding got crashed by robots/daleks (can't remember which) I turned it off. What is it you like so much about her?
  21. Another day done, another batch of points collected. I hit my daily best yesterday, earning 35 pts by going to back to back bjj and kickboxing classes, logging my food, eating a plant, doing some plantar fasciitis stretches, writing, and getting dressed before I sit down at the computer, and not watching tv. Alas, I still did not earn the lights out by 11 points. My book was just too good to leave. Total Current Points: 125/600 Now that I'm getting some momentum, I think now would be a good time to update the list of 5 pt-worthy activities. Health Take a walk (take dog for an extra 5 points)Workout (strength training, bjj, or kickboxing)Log food for the dayEat a plant Eat two plantsAbstain from sweets for a daySchedule a long overdue doctor/dentist appt. Drink a large water bottle of water before noonPlantar Fasciitis stretchesStretching/Foam Roller SessionLights out and kindle off by 11PM **Temporarily worth double points as extra incentive**Life 500 words or 1 undistracted hour writingResearch panelist @ upcoming writing conference (Anyone else attending NerdCon:Stories?)Do something nice for someone (cards, phone calls, quality time, etc.)Spend 30 minutes unpackingTry a new quality time activity with JohnUpdate my address Get dressed for the day before sitting down at computerGo on a social outingLeave the TV off for the day
  22. I just started watching Doctor Who, so that's actually what I'll be skipping. I started in season 5, because Rose and the girl who came after her were too obnoxious for me to handle.
  23. Great job with your first week. How's getting back on track with the eating going?
  24. Wow, so it's been 4 days since I last updated? I'll have to get better about that. I will say though that much of my absence has been as a result of not sitting on my butt browsing the internet all day. So that's something, right? Onto point updates! Friday 20 pts - double date night (both social and different form of quality time w/ John, so double points), writing, 30 minutes unpacking Saturday 20 pts - water before noon, bodyweight workout, writing, 30 minutes unpacking, ate a plant (brussel sprouts!) Sunday 15 pts - went for a walk with family, social outing (creative writing group), water before noon Monday 20 pts - 2 hours writing (double points), social (writing critique group), ate a plant (an orange) Total Current Points: 90/600 I'm missing easy points with my tracking. I manage to do it most days for breakfast and lunch, but by the time dinner rolls around I seem to get busy and forget. So must come up with a way to make that happen. The lights out by 11 is another one that I could do well at if it weren't for all the lovely, lovely books that practically beg me to read them when the house is dark and quiet at night. If I started reading earlier instead of watching whatever is on Netflix, I could probably start logging full nights' of sleep. TV can really become the junk food of entertainment that I sit and mindlessly consume, because its easy. Perhaps I should add skipping TV to the list of points-worthy actions to encourage the switch?
  25. Sounds like you're doing great, even with the stress. Hope your weekend is calmer than your workday was!
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