First challenge of 2018; so I want to talk about my goals for the upcoming year a bit:
Eating less overall; eating less carbs.
Eating less meat, but more eggs and dairy.
Fixing my stomach problems.
Losing another 3 or 5 kg.
Walk more; preferably barefoot or with minimal shoes.
More regular and more intense bodyweight workouts. (Depending on my back problems...)
Making running and bouldering a habit.
Starting a martial art (most likely Wing Chun) towards the end of the year.
Finishing my PHD and getting a job.
Getting more comfortable doing new things. (Hindered by digestion problems and panic attacks.)
Reading more books.
Being satisfied with focussing on just a few hobbies.
Re-establishing the habit of meditating.
Moving in together with my girlfriend and -- if everything goes well with my PHD -- proposing to her towards the end of the year.
Not all of these goals are equally important, obviously. My priorities, as far as I can judge that right now, are my PHD and consistent and regular work-outs. And to achieve tham I will try to focus every challenge specifically on these goals. Moreover, I want to do fewer things per challenge in order to actually getting something done.
Another thing will be the Meta Challenge Challenge: I'm very intrigued by Jungian psychology and the book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover. Fittingly I have a warrior tattoo and I'll get a magician tattoo if I really finish my PHD in 2018. In order to embrace this mindset I will try to make every challenge -- or rather the theme of every challenge -- in 2018 about these four archetypes. That should be easy as they appear in almost every story with multiple protagonist just like Joseph Campbell monomyth/hero's journey builds the backbone of basically every story.
In doing so, I want to associate every archetype with a specific health/fitness principle:
King: Working on my PHD (and on other things I'm getting payed for.)
Warrior: Working out.
Magician: Diet and general movement. (I.e. walking, standing at work instead of sitting, etc.)
Lover: Hobbies and other aspects of my private life.
When you know anything about these archetypes you realise that they have little to do with the health aspects attached to them. But I want to keep things simple.
This should finish my general thoughts on the challenges of 2018.
I want to start the year by celebrating my favourite Star Thing...:
Sidenote 1: The order is Gate, Wars, Trek, Search if you're wondering.
Sidenote 2: I couldn't find a single group photo in which Michael Shanks doesn't look creepy as fuck.
Here are the quests for this challenge. More comments/explanations will come tomorrow added.
Writing 4 pages for my PHD thesis every week.
Right now I'm in a phase where is simply have to produce a significant amount of output for my thesis. Thus, when I manage to write four pages next week (during which I'm still on vacation) I will increase my goal to five or even six pages in the subsequent weeks. And I'll try to re-listen to the audiobook Deep Work by Cal Newport.
And if you're wondering: Jack is not the typical King i.e. leader. He is definitely more comfortable as a soldier i.e. Warrior. But comparing him to a real-life King like Bill Belichick it is easy to see him tell a subordinate "Do your job!" in his disgruntled voice. And this, of course, fits my intentions with this quest.
Working out twice a week.
One main goal for 2018 is to make workouts more consistent. To start I will simply aim for two workouts per week. I plan to do one bodyweight workout at home and go to the bouldering gym once a week. But I will focus on not stressing myself too much. If it is two workouts at home, that good enough for this first challenge.
Tracking weight, calories and macros daily.
Meditating four times a week.
Weight loss is not so important right now. I "need" to lose a few more pounds, but that's not a priority -- in particular when I actually do work out regularly. In the past I followed most often a mix of intermittent fasting and low-carb. But just being a bit more awaer of what I eat usually works the best. Hence, I just track my overall food intake.
In the last weeks (or months...) my psychological problems got worse again. So I want to get back into meditating. The end goal is obviously to do it daily but for now I start with four times a week. And I will use Headspace to make it a bit easier.
Practising the guitar four times a week.
Start and finish a book.
As always I struggle with enjoyeing my hobbies as my stupid mind tells me that I could and should do other things. So I want to casually focus (what an oxymoron...) on one hobby. As playing the guitar works almost like meditating for me I will start with that.
In 2016 I read about 30 books and in 2017 maybe... 10...? I want to push that number in 2018 again. I will start out with Spuk in Wien -- a short little book whose title translates to Ghost Stories from Vienna.