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Everything posted by athousandwords

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. OH! And fun fact: today is my 11 year NerdFitnessiversary! 🥳 And I'm still a recruit. Forever a recruit.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. Mini Challenge #1: Get Atomic ⚛️ ⚛️ ⚛️ ⚛️ ⚛️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #2: Sweat the Small Stuff 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #3: It's a Doll World After All 🏚 🏚 🏚 🏚 🏠 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 This week as been kind of chaotic (when isn't it?) and I've been driving the kids to school instead of walking, which throws off my run-after-daycare-dropoff routine, since I'm not warmed up. But I'm finding that there's definitely less friction if I go for a run mid-afternoon instead of in the morning because it's warmed up a little and I don't have to run in near-freezing temperatures. So that's working for now - today I did 3mi right before lunch and it worked out fine. And yes, I stretched after. I had a mini meltdown last night and told Matt there's too much on my plate right now. This challenge was streamlined: do the runs, do the Atomic exercises, do the dollhouse. But with kids home sick last week, I'm still playing catch up at work, and I've added on a ton of scope creep that always seems to happen at the holidays: baking cookies, sending out holiday cards, shopping for gifts. Plus helping my parents with their move, which I should have anticipated, but I didn't realize how much time it would take. Anyway - he's taking what he can off my plate, but I think the long and short of it is that no matter how much time I put in, the dollhouse probably won't be ready by Christmas. There are too many must-dos and too little time. I'm still going to get as much done as possible, but this will very likely be a January surprise instead of s Christmas gift. And that's fine - it's not like we didn't get the kids plenty for Christmas or that they won't have gifts. This was the big gift, but they're young enough yet that they won't even notice the absence of a showstopper gift. And maybe it's an unreasonable expectation anyway. So I feel a little better knowing that I'm taking that internal pressure off of myself, and I can make this house look good instead of rushing through trying to get it done fast. They'll love it whenever they get it.
  11. I did! Ended up being a treadmill run at 9pm, but I got it done! There's a lot of great content on his website too but if you already have the book, you should read it! Lots of great ideas, I find myself thinking through it almost daily. I borrowed a copy from the library, but asked for a print copy for Christmas for reference! 🤭
  12. Mini Challenge #1: Get Atomic ⚛️ ⚛️ ⚛️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #2: Sweat the Small Stuff 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #3: It's a Doll World After All 🏚 🏚 🏚 🏚 🏠 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 New week, but baby girl is still out sick, so not quite as productive as I was hoping. It's Monday and I still haven't gone for my run yet, but I'm in running clothes and it's getting warmer outside... (better than the chilly 25*F I woke up to this morning). I knocked out two Atomic Habits lessons this morning: first I wrote down "2 Minute Starters" for each identity I wrote down last week. The next lesson was to write an "Implementation Intention" and I realized that it didn't make sense to keep writing out ideas for all 10 identities, so I picked one as a practice for the rest of the month: Identity: I am a loving and supportive wife 2 Minute Habit: Ask Matt about his day and listen attentively to his answer Implementation Intention: I will ask Matt about his day at dinner time when we sit down to eat Starting in January, when we're back to "real life", my plan is to pick 3-4 identities I want to get closer to and develop mini habits in support of each one; so this is a test run of that method.
  13. Mini Challenge #1: Get Atomic ⚛️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #2: Sweat the Small Stuff 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #3: It's a Doll World After All 🏚 🏚 🏚 🏚 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Had a great run this morning - weather was a balmy 50*F and it was much easier to run than the cold weather last week. I procrastinated a little on stretching, but got it done in the end. I'm already noticing a difference after 2 weeks of consistent stretching I'm less sore. More good progress on the dollhouse last night! Walls and staircase are glued in and it's starting to feel achievable. I took tonight off, but tomorrow I should be able to get lighting wired in. Very exciting. I also got an early Christmas gift from my company - aka the literal best place to work ever. They do personalized gifts every Christmas, and reached out to my husband to ask what I might want. He gave them a couple suggestions, but top of the list was a Dremel rotary cutter for all that tight dollhouse sanding and cutting. It arrived yesterday and I almost waited until Christmas to open my mystery present, but my husband told me to open it now and who am I to argue?? It's SOOOOO nice! I used it last night to notch out the staircase and am already looking forward to using the sander disk to get some caked on glue off the roof. What an amazing gift! Yay for accountability and stretching!!
  14. Hello!! Nice to see you back posting!! I loved getting to catch up on your last couple weeks - the Sinterklaas evening sounded magical! 😍 I love this mindset - I'll have to remember this when I want to ignore the tidying and just crash. Lately our house has been a bit of a wreck and I definitely notice the effects on my anxiety. I love that you and Jaap are getting a chance to talk through your shared household goals and come up with some strategies. It's so much easier to make those kinds of changes when your partners is on board!
  15. Mini Challenge #1: Get Atomic ⚛️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #2: Sweat the Small Stuff 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #3: It's a Doll World After All 🏚 🏚 🏚 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 I started this post about an hour ago and realized that in 5 days I haven't made any progress on my first challenge. So I stopped, forced myself to do lesson 1 of the 30 Days to Better Habits, and now I can at least say I've started! The first lesson is focused on identity: I reviewed my goals for next year and pulled out a list of what my ideal identities would be. I know I'm not "there" yet for most of them, but I wanted to write down the kind of person I could say I am at the end of 2022 (or the kind of person I'm working to be). I feel like there's a separate list I could write about what kind of person I am currently, but honestly that feels like it could devolve into some negative self-talk, so instead I'm going to focus on who I want to be. I ended up listing about 10 desired identities, and my hope is that this will give me a starting place from which to pull challenge ideas goals for next year – do I feel like I personify this identity yet? If no, what change can I make to get there? In other news - I finally made some great progress on the dollhouse last night! I got my LED lights in and was eager to get started lighting everything... but realized I really had to move some walls and cut some doors and do more prep before I could start. Which is all stuff I knew I needed to do a week ago, but getting those lights lit a fire under my ass at last. I got the staircase moved (turns out it was screwed in from the bottom, d'oh) and made peace with my jigsaw to cut out a new floor opening and some doors in the existing walls. I also got the doors trimmed out so I can install the walls today. Progress at last!!
  16. It's so great to see you back!! You have a battle log now? I've been antisocial this challenge, but I'm gonna go follow along!
  17. Mini Challenge #1: Get Atomic 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #2: Sweat the Small Stuff 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #3: It's a Doll World After All 🏚 🏚 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 I got to run with some snow flurries this morning - they were so light as to barely count, but there were there! I feel soooo slow lately though, like my body is just dragging through these runs. I'm going to blame the cold - it was about 35*F this morning, and maybe my legs are just grouchy? I did a 10 min stretch after but I'm still feeling sore and laggy and like I just want to take a nap today. 😴 Last night I barely got anything done on the dollhouse and gave up after about 45 min. I stained some shingles but I'm not sure I like how it turned out. And I attempted to move the stairs, but whoever built this house must have glued them to hell. So now I need to figure out a new layout if I can't move the staircase. I think my LEDs should be in today though, so hopefully I'll make some actual progress on lighting this week and be able to move on to more fun things like painting and wallpaper.
  18. Mini Challenge #1: Get Atomic 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #2: Sweat the Small Stuff 🧘🏻‍♀️ 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 Mini Challenge #3: It's a Doll World After All 🏚 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 In typical life-with-small-kids fashion we're starting this week out with the extra challenge of both kids being home from school because of a Covid exposure. It's odd how this doesn't even phase me anymore. The kids are getting tested on Thursday and we're obviously hoping for negative results, but for the present we're just focused on getting work done with two tots running around wanting attention. Luckily we're in a slow period at work, so I feel like what's going to suffer the most from this is my #1 challenge - since I was thinking I'd work through some of the exercises during downtime at work during the day. But clearly there will be no down time this week. That said, I told my husband that my runs were non-negotiable. I usually run right after I drop the kids off at daycare, but without that cue this week, I'm forcing accountability by making sure my husband's schedule is free to watch them while I do my morning run. Yesterday I had to leave early so that I could get back before his 9am meeting, but I did it - and I stretched. I also made myself confront the dollhouses yesterday, after avoiding them since Thanksgiving. I've been telling myself it's because I'm waiting for the electric components to come in, but really I'm just kind of stuck. There's a lot to do and last night I barely got anything done: I put wood filler on some gaps and tried to create a template for where I need to replace some roofing and ordered some shingles from Amazon. But I'm getting a little worried because the next few steps are all a little hard and murky and I have a lot of ideas but I'm not exactly sure what to do for execution. Still, last night I showed up, and tonight I'll show up, and I'll just have to hope that if I keep putting the time in, I'll gain some momentum. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays! And I'd love to have the accountability partner!
  19. Thank you both! I wanted something a little fun for the holidays. These badly need to happen, so I'll happily take any peer pressure you want to apply! I very nearly tagged you
  20. It's a Mini Challenge and that works perfectly for me, because my challenge is all very Mini as well! There are 3 things I really want to focus on this month. Of course, I need to make sure I don't eat all the sugar cookies or drink all the mulled wine... but I'm embracing the less structured eating approach I had last challenge, and trusting in myself to make good decisions. My big goals are to set myself up for success next year, to keep running and avoid injury, and to finish my kids' Christmas present on time!!
  21. I already finished it! I just devoured it - it's so good! If your library has Hoopla, check there - they may have it available!
  22. CHALLENGE WRAP UP! I definitely tapered off on this challenge toward the end - Thanksgiving tends to do that to us yanks. I took most of last week off to rest and heal, knowing that I'm going to dive right into the December mini-challenge with no Week 0. So that said, I'm going to back off of percentage grading and just reflect on how these challenges went overall... Meal Plan and Share - Meal plan 6 healthy recipes per week - Add 5 recipes per week to Plan To Eat - Log meals on NF challenge thread 5x per week – ideally with pictures! This goal was surprisingly hard. The whole reason I'm putting time into Plan To Eat is because meal planning is hard and draining and takes a lot of time. And guess what? Those are all reasons why I tend to fail at goals. However, I did add about 20 healthy recipes to my planner and completed meal plans for about 4/5 weeks. Posting my food here on NF was an interesting challenge. I found that as the challenge went on I was less likely to justify my foods choices and was more comfortable sharing my meals without internal judgement (which was a win!). I decided I don't like taking photos of my food, but it was fun to try for a month. Alas, I'll never be a foodstagrammer. I liked posting recipes and tips, though honestly I did that less often than not. Mostly it was nice to post on NF more than last challenge, though admittedly, that dropped off this last week. Run - 1 long run (Starting at 45 minutes and adding 5 minutes each week) - Run 5k 2x per week Really happy with my progress on this one. I got up to running 5mi in 60 minutes, I completely first 5k race in over a decade, and hit a PR of 5k in 33min, which is great progress on my sub-30 goal. Aside from taking last week off, this was my most consistent goal – I ran 3x a week without missing any runs. Continue Healthy Habits - IF 16/8 5-6 a week - Drink 8 glasses of water daily - Floss daily - Limit alcohol to 2x a week I did pretty well with doing IF 5-6x a week, I did really well with flossing (my only 100% success). Limiting alcohol definitely was less successful... too many excuses for a glass of wine or a beer. Especially as we got closer to Thanksgiving. I expect I'm going to struggle with this during December too – there are so many good holiday beers and spirits and so many social gatherings. I'm not going to stress too much about it, but I do need to be more conscious of choosing WATER. Yes. Water. Which I struggled with hard all challenge. No answers here, just a big question mark of why it's so hard to remember to just pick up a dang glass of water during the day. 😠 Read - Read November Book Club pick, Talking to Strangers - Finish The Starless Sea - Finish Deep Work - Read Atomic Habits Done, Done, Done, Done!! I finished my last book on Saturday and have already moved on to reading a much lighter, fun-read book (Song of Achilles). I thoroughly enjoyed everything I read this month, but I think I need to limit non-fiction to maybe 1x per month. Or at least no more than 1 productivity book per month. Those require a bit of mental fortitude.
  23. Tuesday / Wednesday Food: Tuesday: Lunch: Leftovers – bbq chicken, roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potato, and a mayo-based sauce Snack: Cheese and crackers Dinner: Teriyaki salmon, butternut squash, bok choy Wednesday: Lunch: Leftovers – Teriyaki salmon, butternut squash, bok choy Dinner: 2 slices pizza, 3 bbq wings Managed to pull together a decent dinner on Tuesday, just using up the food we had in the house. On Wednesday, I spent the entire day deep cleaning the house and making food for Thanksgiving, so we planned on just ordering pizza that night to make things easier. There's probably some snacking that I'm forgetting to list out (I know I sampled my sweet potatoes and cranberries!) but honestly most of the day Weds I was on my feet and too busy to snack! Run: N/A (resting) Continue Healthy Habits: IF 16/8, 5-6x a week ✅ Drink 8 glasses of water daily ✅ Floss daily ✅ Limit alcohol to 2x a week 1️⃣ Reading: None I have no idea if I'm going to finish Deep Work in time for the end of this challenge. We're hosting family the rest of the week so I don't think I'll find time to read... but who knows. I only have a couple chapters left. Not sure I'm really absorbing the full content of the book (ironically, I'm doing a fairly shallow read) but at least I'll have the concepts covered and can always go back and do a deeper read of some of the sections that need more care later. Anyway... Today we went to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. I (obviously) love to cook, and my mother-in-law loves to delegate cooking, so I brought a pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, homemade cranberries, and macaroni salad. Needless to say, I was cooking a lot on Wednesday. But the day was fun – I helped out in the kitchen most of the time, chopping vegetables and making gravy, while the in-laws played with the kids. The food was delicious and the whole day was lovely. I actually didn't really overeat. I only took one plate, and then had pie a couple hours later. I felt like I managed the appetizers well without too much grazing. I did have a couple glasses of wine, but it definitely wasn't a binge-fest like it could have been!
  24. Monday Food: Lunch: Leftovers – bbq chicken, roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potato, and a mayo-based sauce Other: Cupcake Dinner: Spaghetti and meatballs Run: N/A (rest day) Continue Healthy Habits: IF 16/8, 5-6x a week ✅ Drink 8 glasses of water daily ✅ Floss daily ✅ Limit alcohol to 2x a week ✅ Reading: Finished a chapter of Deep Work ✅ Also! Found Song of Achilles on Hoopla and that's been on my to-read list for a while, so that'll be up next. More motivation to finish Deep Work... I worked on the dollhouses some more last night - got one completely emptied out, and pried all the trim off. I'm cutting new crown molding for the rooms and getting ready to paint. I'm debating whether I even want to put the attic floor back in, it's so much roomier and lighter without the extra floors. But I do think the kids would rather have the extra floor. I'm excited to get to painting and trimming, I think it'll look make a huge difference in how dark it looks currently. Progress shot:
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