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Everything posted by athousandwords

  1. Wednesday Update Habit 1: Start 2 hours of Deep Work every weekday Habit 2: Fill up water cup every morning Habit 3: Spend 15 minutes every weekday adding recipes to Plan to Eat Habit 4: Practice yoga for 30 min a week So on Friday, my parents came up for a visit which stretched through today because of the snow on Monday. We had a lovely time over the weekend and some much needed relief from child-care. DH and I got to sleep in and go watch the new Spiderman movie and generally breathe a little. Unfortunately, on Monday my dad started showing symptoms of Covid. We isolated him down in the basement guest room and he got a PCR done on Tuesday... today he got the positive result. We've kept the kids home from daycare all week, and with the snowstorm and precautions we took seeing the movie, we don't have to worry that we've spread it past our household. But we're all quarantining until we can start testing next Monday and playing the juggling game of full-time work and childcare. I've kept up with my running so far - my family knows it's a priority and I'm making it happen. Other habits are going as well as can be - I took off Monday and today, so no deep work, and I forgot to spend time adding recipes on Monday since I wasn't around my computer. Anyway. Here's hoping everyone else stays healthy and it doesn't spread through the household; and that the next two days are at least somewhat productive.
  2. Oh boy. Usually I just read in the fandoms I like (currently: Schitt's Creek, Merlin, and the Simon Snow series). I can't say any of the fics would be all that great if you don't know those characters well, but if you do, I'll send you some recs!
  3. Week 2 (early) Recap I know, I'm a day early, but I found time time to get on and update so I figured I should! Habit 1: Start 2 hours of Deep Work every weekday The focus on "Deep Work" this challenge is going well so far. Most days, I can just start and then I get so interested in what I'm working on that I end up getting a lot done. It's been great for my productivity at work and I feel like I'm really leaning into non-distracted working in a positive way. But then I get days like Monday where I just can't even get myself to start. It's like, too many good days and my brain just quits on me. Overall it's going well though, I like that scheduling out my day makes me really aware of the hours I have. Too often days sort of fly by in a blur and I can't seem to fit in everything that I want to. I like being more intentional with my time. Although it would be good to be intentional about checking in on this challenge, too... Habit 2: Fill up water cup every morning The water habit is going surprisingly well! It seems so simple, but it's been really effective this week. And I don't beat myself up if I don't get 8 glasses of water a day, I just start over fresh and fill up my water cup first thing the next morning. And more often than not I do get 8-9+ glasses once I get going. Habit 3: Spend 15 minutes every weekday adding recipes to Plan to Eat I feel like I barely got this done this week, but I did it. I was struggling to find things I wanted to add though. I think I need some new recipe blogs or sites or something. Most of the recipes I added were things I saw Antoni make on QE while I was running! A few of the recipes I added this week below. Again, I haven't tried these yet, but they looked good and I will be adding them to the meal plan at some point! Antoni Porowski’s Cauliflower Steaks with Turmeric and Crunchy Almonds Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo Recipe Thai Basil Chicken (Easy Gai Pad Krapow) Mince and Haloumi One Pot Meal Habit 4: Practice yoga for 30 min a week This got pushed back to Friday again because Tuesday didn't work out, but I did get it done. I'd like to start adding in a second practice (so Tues/Fri) because I really am seeing a lot of benefit from the stretches and the mindfulness. --------------- Today I ran 8 FREAKING MILES on the treadmill, which I'm super impressed with. I'm still on track for my half marathon in March, and the mileage is really starting to climb now. This week I did all treadmill runs, and I miss running outside, but we've been having seasonably appropriate temperatures of around 25-35*F and I just don't have the gear to run when it's that cold out. Maybe next winter. But in the meanwhile, treadmill runs have been fine. I'm getting to watch some motivational TV which is kind of an indulgence, since normally I'm not much of a TV watcher. Another mini-resolution I picked up this year, although I didn't include it in this challenge, is starting a new book every Monday. I love reading but I haven't been making the time for it in my life the last few years. I've gotten in the habit of just reading fanfiction at night because I don't want to get "involved" with anything too long. But it's an excuse and I miss reading long-form novels and challenging myself (I love fanfic and it can be great, but what I read tends to be heavy on romantic drama and little else). Anyway, this week I read The Other Black Girl and last week I finished Under the Whispering Door. I have a few holds at the library available so up next may be Gold-Digger, Kindred, or The Vanishing Half... we'll see what I'm in the mood for on Monday!
  4. I'm on the fence. I really, really like the benefit of scheduling my day, but I feel like the particular app I'm using (reclaim.ai) might not be the best fit. Such a good point! It's always possible to dial up the intensity later, for sure!
  5. Week 1 Recap: Habit 1: Start 2 hours of Deep Work every weekday (I didn't work on Friday) Habit 2: Fill up water cup every morning Habit 3: Spend 15 minutes every weekday adding recipes to Plan to Eat Habit 4: Practice yoga for 30 min a week Week 1 felt like a success! But kind of unchallenging? Who knows, maybe an unchallenging challenge is okay to launch the new year. We'll see how I feel mid-February. And not to be repetitive, but since it's already Tuesday, let's just go ahead and check in on the current week: Habit 1: Start 2 hours of Deep Work every weekday Habit 2: Fill up water cup every morning Habit 3: Spend 15 minutes every weekday adding recipes to Plan to Eat Habit 4: Practice yoga for 30 min a week Yesterday was not really productive; I didn't get the one thing I meant to done, and I took off work early for a kid's dentist appt. But today's been great! I finished the thing and got a lot of progress in on the new feature I'm working on. Deep Work is like hyperfocusing - when you get going, it's easy. But some days it's just so hard to start. That's the point of this challenge goal; flexing that muscle and getting into the habit of starting.
  6. Today was a little better. I took work off because the kids' daycare was closed for snow and I really made an effort to be present. I left my phone on my nightstand so I wasn't tempted to jump on whenever the kids were distracted and wow did that make a real difference in my attention and patience. We had a great day: we made salt dough and the kids played with it for over an hour while I started taking down XMas decorations; we baked chocolate chip cookies; I got three loads of laundry done (and actually folded); we made a giant bounce-pad out of cushions; read a few books and cuddled; and made homemade pizza for dinner. Habit 1: Start 2 hours of Deep Work every weekday (neutral today since I didn't work) Habit 2: Fill up water cup every morning Habit 3: Spend 15 minutes every weekday adding recipes to Plan to Eat Habit 4: Practice yoga for 30 min a week (fit in during the kids' nap time!)
  7. My toddler has a book called Grumpy Monkey, where a chimpanzee just can't shake his bad mood and learns that it's okay to be grumpy sometimes. And that's how I feel right now. Just... grumpy. I'm annoyed at my husband and I don't know why or what to do about it. I feel slow and run down at work, which is making this "deep work" goal hard. Last night I drank beer and read fan fiction at an attempt at "self care", but I just felt cranky and crappy by the time I went to bed. The only thing that really feels good lately is running - I was pretty bummed about it being too cold and snowy to run outside, but I'm warming to my treadmill runs, and getting to watch Queer Eye makes me feel a little better. But when I run down the checklist of usual solutions I feel like I'm checking all the boxes: I'm drinking enough water, I'm eating fine, I'm exercising, I'm getting "me-time", I'm back at work and the kids are at daycare so there are no distractions. I just feel... grumpy. This too shall pass, but for now it's putting a damper on my usual challenge enthusiasm. But, I owe myself a quick update because I actually am doing just fine on goals so far: Habit 1: Start 2 hours of Deep Work every weekday Habit 2: Fill up water cup every morning Habit 3: Spend 15 minutes every weekday adding recipes to Plan to Eat Habit 4: Practice yoga for 30 min a week Rescheduled from Tuesday to tomorrow Hope everyone else is having a less grumpy week!
  8. Oh man do I love this idea! I'm super money-motivated so it would totally work for me. Hope it helps you and you get an awesome shopping spree in August to celebrate all your hard work! ...also, you're totally going to share that training plan, right?
  9. I feel this. We keep the tree up until Three King's Day (tomorrow!!) and I'm so looking forward to taking it down at the weekend. It feels like the house has room to breathe again. Awesome!!
  10. I love doing this analog style - there is something so satisfying about marking a big ol on a calendar or grid of paper.
  11. Oh no that's worse! I think it used to be based on post count, but screwed up for a lot of people when the forums switched...? I just find it funny nowadays! It looks like it only shows up on the profile now, so actually I'm probably the only person who even pays attention to it.
  12. Thank you! And where's your challenge? *pokes* Yay, enjoy! And I loved Circe, but I think I loved Song of Achilles even more. Hope you like it!
  13. Oh man, this is so hard. I have a "bedtime" mode on my phone that shuts stuff off and turns the screen dim, but honestly I just ignore it most of the time. I feel like sleep is really difficult to habit-ize. One cue that has kinda sorta worked for me: putting a lavender-scented lotion on my hands right as I go to sleep (I keep it on my nightstand). It doesn't help me put down my phone any earlier or get to bed on time, but I've found that the scent helps trigger my brain to relax and slip into sleep-mode. For some reason I feel like scent-associations are really strong in my brain, so it works for me. re: Parents in adventure - I have a dream of one day writing a novel where the protagonist is a parent and struggling with the call of adventure vs the reality of parenting. I think it's a hugely overlooked gap in fantasy! Probably because readers want escapism, not a reminder of the struggle to get their kids to eat vegetables... That said, two books that come to mind: - Son of the Shadows and Heir to Sevenwaters, both by Juliet Marillier, heavily feature adventuring-with-a-baby. They're part of the Sevenwaters series and technically could be read as stand-alone books since each books has a new main protagonist, but they're better when read with the others. And it's a great series anyway that features a variety of family relationships. - Red Seas Under Red Skies (again, part of a series) features a side character who is an absolute bad-ass mother and goes off adventuring with her kids. The author deliberately wrote her as a wish-fulfillment character for middle-age mothers.
  14. Yay for getting into the house! Happy following along to watch you squash tomatoes!
  15. Love the goals, love the format, love the tracker! Such a great start to the year - I'll be following along!
  16. Following! And happy to see someone else indulging in narrative challenges this year. Very strong start - I love the challenge theme and the goals you've set!
  17. What a great list! I feel like this is such a good mix of a variety of things (so the shiny brain doesn't get bored) but also completely achievable. Congrats on keeping it realistic and fun! Looking forward to seeing how this goes for you over the year.
  18. OH! And fun fact: today is my 11 year NerdFitnessiversary! And I'm still a recruit. Forever a recruit.
  19. Following along! I'm excited to see your battle plan - I did a master list of goals this year too. I've always been a 'make all the plan! and then not follow through' type of person, but I like to think that even trying to have a plan helps? We'll see how it goes! Hopefully having your plan will help. In the meantime, I think your goals for the challenge look great. I haven't heard of the Elements workout, but I'm intrigued..? And I love the idea of snow shoeing when it's snowy out! We don't get enough snow for that, but I've always thought it looked fun. Good luck and glad you enjoyed your workout yesterday!
  20. Yesterday was a good start to the New Year! We had snow, like much of the mid-atlantic, but our area didn't accumulate much - about 1" or less. Enough to cancel daycare though, so the kids stayed home with my husband while I worked (also from home). In addition to setting up my new challenge, I also spent some time setting up reclaim.ai, which you'll see all over my habit goals this month. I'm trying it out as a way to beter "cue" myself during the work day. I've found that without having some structure, I end up falling into rabbit holes of lost time. Great when coding, terrible when Facebook. So now my days are structured so that I actually prioritize the things I want to get done. My water habit worked out well – just by remembering to fill my cup in the morning, I drank the entire 24oz and then refilled it 2 more times. I'm sure my body doesn't know what to do with all that hydration. I'm weird with water: I don't mind drinking it, but I feel like if I don't remember to get started, I'll just go the full day without any. So here's hoping that a strong start will mean more water over the course of the day. I was scheduled to do yoga today, but the kids are home again today so I decided to move it to Friday. Yesterday I did go for a run while they were out playing in the snow. It was too cold/snowy to run outside, so I did the 3mi on our treadmill. I really dislike treadmill running, so I gave myself a carrot of watching the new season of Queer Eye during my run and it made the whole thing much more enjoyable! I think I have a few more indoor runs in my future, so I'm going to restrict myself and only watch QE during my runs to incentivize them. Finally, here's 4 recipes I added yesterday and today: Apples ‘n’ Onion Topped Chops Paneer Butter Masala Recipe Orange Honey and Soy Glazed Brussel Sprouts Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots I haven't cooked these yet, just trying to build up my stash of recipes for meal planning. I realized meal planning would go a lot faster if I didn't spend an hour+ trying to figure out recipes at the same time, so my goal is to get my recipe "book" stocked by adding a few recipes every day. Then I have lots of new meals that I'm excited to try and plenty to pick from so that I can just drag and drop into the planner.
  21. credit: MorJer on DeviantArt CHAPTER 1: AThousandWords finds a Door At the top of the hill. At the back of the wardrobe. At the end of the trail. There is always a Door. Today it is hidden in yellow siding, tucked away at the back of an unused train station, metres away from a bustling pedestrian highway. Hundreds of cyclists and joggers and families passing by daily, none the wiser. Finely painted, with a trompe-l'œil handle that you think you could reach out and turn. An ornate window made of clouded glass, just far enough out of reach that you'd have to get on tip-toes to see through. If there were anything to see. I must have run past it a hundred times myself - surely it's always been there? Tucked away by creeping vines and tall brown grass. I hesitate, torn between wanting to reach out and feel if the doorknob is real and warm from the sun, yet unwilling to let the illusion dissipate. Happy New Year! I'm going to indulge myself this year in a long-running, immersive fantasy. For me, 2022 is a work in peeling back layers of old habits and forging new ones that support the identity I want to embody. I'm unlearning some negative traits (particularly around diet and weight loss) and opening a door to more consistency, simplicity, and joy. My framework for this challenge is based on Atomic Habits: establishing micro-building blocks that feed into the habits I want to establish. It looks a little different from my previous challenges, but I'm giving it a whirl! Habit 1: Schedule and Start 2 hours of Deep Work every weekday Use reclaim.ai to schedule 2 hours of focused work time on work days When the notification goes off, I will actually get started with work - even if it's just 2 minutes Habit 2: Fill up water cup every morning Every morning while I make coffee, I will fill up my big 24oz water cup Habit 3: Spend 15 minutes every weekday adding recipes to Plan to Eat Use reclaim.ai to schedule 15 minutes of time every weekday Add at least one recipe that I'm actually willing to cook/eat to Plan to Eat during this time Habit 4: Practice yoga for 30 min a week I will complete a 30 min yoga class from the Peloton app for 30 min on Tuesdays, after daycare dropoff If, for some reason, I can't do Tuesday, Friday or Sunday are my back up days Behind the scenes, there are lots of other things I'm working on: I'm still training for a half-marathon and running 3-4x a week. I'm trying to read more (that's a work in progress that will probably be its own challenge item down the road). I never finished those dollhouses, so that's definitely going to be happening this month. I'm also still parenting two small kids during a pandemic, with all the associated stress and joy that brings. But these four things feel like a good starting point toward establishing healthy habits this year, and casting a strong vote toward the person I want to be at the end of 2022.
  22. Such a great mantra and a fantastic goal to strive for. I think a lot of us get wrapped up in Maximum Effort, like you said, but it's really the everyday choices that drive your long term outcomes. We are what we do consistently. Following along!
  23. Mini Challenge #1: Get Atomic Mini Challenge #2: Sweat the Small Stuff Mini Challenge #3: It's a Doll World After All 🏚 🏚 🏚 🏚 Welp, it's Christmas Eve and those trackers aren't moving much, are they? Except the stretching - I've actually been really good and done all my post-run stretching. I'm just not doing all the runs; usually hitting 3x per week instead of 4x. And let's be honest, this whole week was a mess with Christmas anyway. So, I think this is where we'll end it for the mini challenge. The dollhouse has stalled, to be picked back up again in January. The Atomic Habits goal has progressed, but I didn't get through all the lessons. But I did the first few, which were the most crucial to me. I feel ready to pick this back up in the new year and incorporate it into my challenges. And stretching has become a solid routine over the last month - which has really improved my runs! I feel much less achy and sore, so that's been awesome. Have a Happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates, and a wonderful end of the year to all - I'll see you next challenge!
  24. I signed up for the 30 Days to Better Habits, but I also highly recommend his book. The email subscription is like a mini-teaser for the book, which goes into the identity concept in a lot more depth. And yes, somehow I decided I should challenge myself with a half marathon in March! Absolutely crazy. Exactly this - usually it's my own obligations that I'm creating. And honestly, the kids are getting so much already, they'll enjoy the dollhouse a lot more as a novel toy in the dead of winter when we're all stir-crazy from quarantining, I'm sure... Thanks for checking in!! I dropped off a bit, but it was overall a good end of the month. I de-stressed a bit and spent the last week doing more holiday fun than holiday have-tos, so that helped a lot!
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