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  1. Yes, I'm changing the theme! Hey, it's only Week One. I had this thought a few days ago that took fire that I should really do a Stardew Valley-themed challenge, and it caught fire in my mind and I decided I didn't want to wait 5 weeks. This theme change is a bit of work in progress--but I'm hoping by the next challenge I'll have it more developed. You can see the new challenge starting here. Previous challenge below cut:
  2. I’m Ranger Hal. Normally I would say that I hike, snowshoe, scramble, climb, and do search and rescue, but the last few months have been kind of light on all those things. Motivation to exercise is very low and my mental health is a bit of a mess (mostly lonely for IRL friends I think, although corporate at work being idiots isn't helping. I love my team, but somehow corporate keeps making me hate the company). If I want to be able to do the outdoor things in the summer without being super slow, I need to start getting in some regular exercise (something that actually gets my heart rate up), but I'm not sure if that's going to happen this time. So I'm going to stick to doing something rather than nothing. Last challenge, I didn't update often, but I mostly did the things (1 and 2). This time, I'm going to keep doing the things and add broccoli. For meals that don't already have a bunch of veggies (like the cabbage/carrot/ground turkey soup that's in my fridge right now), I bought a bunch of frozen broccoli and divided it into smaller bags work for one meal, so it's easy to just pull one out and cook it. Here's the challenge: 1. Light a candle for morning prayers 2. Walk - regular walk (1.3 mi) if I'm not feeling rushed to leave for work, short walk (0.4 or 0.6 mi) if I am feeling rushed 3. Eat broccoli (or other veggies) I had this grand idea that once my office moved (several months ago), I'd join the climbing gym because it's kind of close, but that hasn't happened yet. Partly because low motivation, partly because I don't know anyone that goes to that gym so I don't know if I'd have anyone to belay me (although there are a couple of groups I suppose I could ask, but I don't know anyone in those groups particularly well, if at all, so cue social anxiety), and partly imposter syndrome because I don't believe I'm a real climber. Maybe it would be worth it just to do a little bouldering (which I haven't really ever done) and have access to whatever's in the exercise/weight room. So much uncertainty, so I don't know if anything is going to happen there. It would be good if something did happen, but it's not going in the challenge because if I don't do anything, that would make me feel more guilty than I already do about not doing anything. Oh, and my current nerdy thing is binge watching Critical Role. I'm a little ways into Campaign 2, so please no spoilers for anything in about the last 5.5 years. (Sooo much to catch up on!)
  3. After careful deliberation, I've decided to shift gears and create a challenge theme inspired by Halo, since the new season of the TV series is out now. My goals will remain the same as last challenge, with a few Spartan-specific references threaded throughout. As many of you know, Spartans must possess superhuman strength and speed. They must also be intelligent, calm and collected when necessary but fierce when needed, and intuitive under pressure. My goals for this challenge fit into 5 categories: STRENGTH, SPEED, MEDITATION, JOURNALING, and READING/LEARNING. STRENGTH GOAL: I will increase my strength by 10% in 7 different kettlebell exercises (swings, goblet squats, kb push-ups, racked squats, deadlifts, rows, snatches, and overhead press) by training four times a week for 12 weeks with a 35 lb (16 kg) kettlebell. I will measure my strength by the number of repetitions I can perform with good form for each exercise and record my progress in a journal or an app and follow up with weekly strength tests. I will follow a periodized workout routine that also includes both kettlebell and other weight training, along with warm-up, cool-down, and recovery sessions. I will also eat a balanced diet, drink enough water, and get enough sleep to support my training. Achieving this goal will improve my overall health, performance, and physique. SPEED GOAL: I will run 5k in less than 30 minutes by following an 8 week training plan that includes interval training, tempo runs, long runs, and recovery runs. I will measure my progress my timing my 5k runs and tracking my pace and distance with the Nike Run Club app. I will also do some cross-training and strength training (see above) to prevent injuries and improve my overall fitness. Achieving this goal will challenge me and boost my confidence, as well as help me prepare for longer races and improve my health and well-being. MEDITATION GOAL: I will meditate for 20 minutes every day using a guided meditation app. I will track my meditation sessions and duration on the app and on a calendar. I will start January 1st by adding 5 minutes to my current 10 minute meditation practice every week until I reach 20 minutes. I want to meditate more because it helps me reduce stress, improve focus, and feel happier. I will achieve my goal of meditating for 20 minutes daily by the end of next month. JOURNALING GOAL: I will write in my journal every day for at least 10 minutes, using prompts or free writing to express my thoughts and feelings. I will track my journaling habit on a calendar or an app and aim for a 100% completion rate each month. I will schedule a time for journaling that works for me and make it a priority in my daily routine. I will also prepare a comfortable and quiet space for journaling and have a notebook and pen ready. I will write in my journal to improve my mental health, creativity, and self-awareness. I will also use journaling as a way to reflect on my goals and progress and celebrate my achievements. I will write in my journal every day for the next six months starting January 1st and then evaluate the benefits and challenges of my journaling habit. READING/LEARNING GOAL: I want to read at least one book per month and learn one new skill or topic every week. I will track my reading time and progress using a reading app. I will also document what I learned each week in my journal. I will set aside 20 minutes every day to read a book of my choice (list to be shared later). I will also dedicate at least one our every week to learn something new, such as a language, a hobby, or a subject. Reading and learning will help me improve my vocabulary, knowledge, creativity, and curiosity. They will also enrich my personal and professional life. I will start this goal January 1st and review it every month to see if I need to adjust it. Accomplishing this goal will make me a more well-read and well-rounded person.
  4. Turned a big corner with my energy levels last year. Makes me feel like i can see the end of the M.E/CFS tunnel. Trick is not to try and rush there all in one go. All that tortoise vs hare stuff. so. My main goals this year are to loose some weight, get fitter and regain some of the muscle I've lost to the muscle atrophy. Doing this all in one go is clearly a bad plan, so I'm chopping it into smaller parts. As this is my first challenge I'm going to try and keep it minimal in an effort not to overload myself. goals; -try to go for 3 walks a week -sort room (there are still boxes in there from when i moved in, it is not good for my head and i want it sorted) -try not to snack between meals (if i need to, try to pick something healthy like fruit)
  5. Adventurer related discussions! *Note: You can participate in guild discussions regardless of your chosen guild. Adventurers are brave souls who fear nothing and are always curious about what's over the next hill or across the ocean. They are often found working diligently with their allies to help ensure that every adventure leads down the correct path, exploring and learning for the sake of others. * Fictional example: Indiana Jones, Lara Croft (Tomb Raider) * Real-world example: Les Stroud (Survivorman); Cheryl Strayed who hiked 1100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (Wild). * Example Activities: Hiking, Geo-caching, Travel, Exploration, Rock Climbing, Cave Diving, etc.
  6. A recent re-boot of my interest in Stoicism inspired me to create a Roman Empire challenge. With the help of AI and some personal interests, I think this is going to be a lot of fun! First, my goals. These are long-term goals and may extend beyond the allotted challenge time period. I used the SMART Goals format: STRENGTH GOAL: I will increase my strength by 10% in 7 different kettlebell exercises (swings, goblet squats, kb push-ups, racked squats, deadlifts, rows, snatches, and overhead press) by training four times a week for 12 weeks with a 35 lb (16 kg) kettlebell. I will measure my strength by the number of repetitions I can perform with good form for each exercise and record my progress in a journal or an app starting January1st and follow up with weekly strength tests. I will follow a periodized kettlebell workout routine that also includes warm-up, cool-down, and recovery sessions. I will also eat a balanced diet, drink enough water, and get enough sleep to support my training. Achieving this goal will improve my overall health, performance, and physique. SPEED GOAL: I will run 5k in less than 30 minutes by following an 8 week training plan beginning January 1st that includes interval training, tempo runs, long runs, and recovery runs. I will measure my progress my timing my 5k runs and tracking my pace and distance with the Nike Run Club app. I will also do some cross-training and strength training (see above) to prevent injuries and improve my overall fitness. Achieving this goal will challenge me and boost my confidence, as well as help me prepare for longer races and improve my health and well-being. MEDITATION GOAL: I will meditate for 20 minutes every day using a guided meditation app. I will track my meditation sessions and duration on the app and on a calendar. I will start January 1st by adding 5 minutes to my current 10 minute meditation practice every week until I reach 20 minutes. I want to meditate more because it helps me reduce stress, improve focus, and feel happier. I will achieve my goal of meditating for 20 minutes daily by the end of next month. JOURNALING GOAL: I will write in my journal every day for at least 10 minutes, using prompts or free writing to express my thoughts and feelings. I will track my journaling habit on a calendar or an app and aim for a 100% completion rate each month. I will schedule a time for journaling that works for me and make it a priority in my daily routine. I will also prepare a comfortable and quiet space for journaling and have a notebook and pen ready. I will write in my journal to improve my mental health, creativity, and self-awareness. I will also use journaling as a way to reflect on my goals and progress and celebrate my achievements. I will write in my journal every day for the next six months starting January 1st and then evaluate the benefits and challenges of my journaling habit. READING/LEARNING GOAL: I want to read at least one book per month and learn one new skill or topic every week. I will track my reading time and progress using a reading app. I will also document what I learned each week in my journal. I will set aside 20 minutes every day to read a book of my choice (list to be shared later). I will also dedicate at least one our every week to learn something new, such as a language, a hobby, or a subject. Reading and learning will help me improve my vocabulary, knowledge, creativity, and curiosity. They will also enrich my personal and professional life. I will start this goal January 1st and review it every month to see if I need to adjust it. Accomplishing this goal will make me a more well-read and well-rounded person.
  7. I’m Ranger Hal. I hike, snowshoe, scramble, climb, and do search and rescue. And over the last couple of weeks, I came to the realization that I'm a little screwed up and probably have been to one degree or another for like 15 years. Spoiler for stuff I guess I knew for a while that I wasn't doing really well, but it really hit home when I was taking a Mental Health and SAR required video training and had to take a break partway through because I was crying and I'm obviously not okay. The video had some suggestions to help (some of which kind of don't apply because the main issue isn't SAR related mental trauma, but some of them are pretty general). So, here's my challenge: 1. Light a candle for morning prayers 2. Walk - regular walk (1.3 mi) if I'm not feeling rushed to leave for work, short walk (0.4 or 0.6 mi) if I am feeling rushed Bonus 1. Do some exercises in the evening. I'd like to attempt pull-ups again. The best I ever got to was about half of one, but that was a while back and I'm nowhere close to that right now. I'm starting with bodyweight rows. I can also explore the stairs in my new office building. It's a 20+ story building, so that's lots of stairs (although I don't think I can get back to my floor without going to the bottom and taking the elevator back up. Stupid fire safety stairs). Bonus 2. Do something bigger (like hike) on the weekends.
  8. I think I'm in the middle of, or at least recovering from, a nervous breakdown from work. I didn't work all last challenge, and basically spent the month drinking and snacking and eating and randomly crying and having anxiety anytime I thought about work. I was 168 lbs. two days before Thanksgiving and was 180 by Dec. 3. I got back to 172 and am back at 180. On a good note, my goals to get into a homeschooling routine is a 100% success. And my goal to get the entire house decluttered, organized, and clean is nearly complete. I have the Master Bath and the boys' bathroom to do. I was hoping to get to my studio/office before the New Year, but I don't think I'm going to make it. Not that big of a deal though as I won't really need it as a studio until April (at the earliest, when the super stressful 4+ year project is finally over). Every evening, I've been binge watching decluttering videos (and ADHD burnout/nervous break down videos) and by day, homeschooling and decluttering. I am hoping that as soon as the house is finished, all that decluttering interest will switch to weight loss focus. So...the year of Wu Wei (pronounced Woo Way for those who care, lol). Going with the flow of the universe rather than working against it. Effortless Action rather than Excessive Effort. Effortless action is working in the zone and going with the flow but "involves letting go of ideals that we may otherwise try to force too violently onto things" such as deadlines on work projects in which you let your ADHD hyperfocus takeover for 16+ hours a day for months at a time...and then you think you are done and you send it out and customer feedback comes back and you have to pivot and go 16 hours a day for a few more months and then you think you are done and you sent it out and customer feedback comes back and you have to pivot again. And again. And then you have a nervous breakdown. Breathe. Breathe. So...Wu Wei. No more deadlines. Which is hard. Because I want this project is done. And I think I can finish by the end of March. So there is a part of me that wants to do the 12 Week Year for the next 3 months but that is not just a 3 month deadline, but a monthly, weekly, and even daily deadlines. And then I feel the panic attack coming on just thinking about it. Part of me things that I should break the project down into micro chunks so that it seems manageable but don't assign a time frame to it. But then I start to panic and think, but what if I can't finish by the end of March? What if it takes longer? I want it done. I want the stress gone. Because once I finish, I can move onto the project that brings me joy. But anyway...goals for this challenge.
  9. I've been living with a chronic ankle injury for the last 5 years which has gradually been eating away at all the hobbies and fitness I used to enjoy (hiking, running, lifting, traveling, mountaineering). I finally had an operation just before Christmas which will hopefully have fixed it so I want to boss my recovery and slay this injury-dragon for good so I can get back to adventuring! I have a tendancy to be over-active and set myself back by trying to do too much and re-injuring myself, plus New Year is a super busy time for me as this is my big teaching term (I'm an Assistant Professor at a University) and I need to commute every day so I want at least one of my goals to be about prioritising rest. I also want to try and clean up my diet a bit as when I get busy I tend to snack a lot and eat easy junk food, especially as I'm on crutches and can't easily spend much time in the kitchen. I'm thinking so far: 1/ Be consistent with following my physio's advice - make sure I do the exercises and don't do too much! 2/ Prioritise rest - take a half hour lunch break each day and at least one day fully off at weekends. 3/ Be mindful about snacking - to quote Mulan "Always think before you snack!" - keep a list of snacks I eat and take a minute to think about why I'm snacking and if I need to before I do. What do people think? I'm conscious that I tend to set goals that are way too ambitious...
  10. After 10 years on NF, I hate to say it, but, I need a break from the forums. It's been great but I'm a little fatigued and not putting in the effort I used to, to be here and stick to my goals. But I figured I'll be around for one more challenge to say some goodbyes, let you all know what I'll be up to, and not just disappear. I'm not likely to quit entirely, or forever, but just taking an indefinitely long break. So here's a list of my biggest priorities over the next few months. 1) Get spiritually swole: As I've mentioned in previous challenges, I am converting to Orthodox Christianity. Today marks the first day of the Nativity Fast, and with this comes a lot of prayer, fasting, reading/studying, and attending extra church services etc. Then Great Lent and the Catechumenate start in February/March. Then I'll be baptized on May 4 (love that it's on May 4). So that'll be another big bout of fasting, reading, prayer etc. So I'll be quite busy and focused on all that, and I'm planning to disengage from a lot of screen time. 2) I mentioned in the last challenge that I've hung up my heavy bag. I"m considering joining an MMA gym. The goal is to focus on karate for all around fitness, and be able to do some boxing/kickboxing for conditioning, and dip my toe into BJJ when I need to get humbled. 3) Running: for karate/mma and general fitness I want to be running/jogging regularly. For now I'll be working on that first mile, and hopefully working up to running 5k and 10k. 4) Strength training: I want to go back to a more bodyweight focused training and max that out before I set up the old power cage again. But also, do some clean and presses. 5) Trying to find a new line of work: I'm burning out in my current job/company. Doing the same job at another company may or may not appeal to me. IDK. I want to do something else. I recently was offered an adjunct teaching role, but I turned that down because of the catchumenate/Lent because I can't make the time commitments with that going on. But I can dabble, learn about, and explore other things. So basically, this isn't goodbye forever, but I feel like I need to pull away from the forum and screens in general to recharge and focus on other efforts.
  11. Not sure if I should do a big update for the shorter challenge. I'll keep it brief since the past 2 months have been a time-warp of awfulness: 1-Ladyfriend's uncle died. Memorial service is this Saturday. 2-Ladyfriend's dad has a failing heart and might die soon. 3-I got 2 new jobs and I'm learning the systems each use. I'm supposed to start next week but that's all dependent on if there are clients. 4-I keep dragging my feet about reciprocity because I got job #3 which might be the best option and I need to do a lot of paperwork and dumb hoops to jump through. 5-I started messing around with liquid UV curing resin and I'm experimenting with molds. The Warhammer army of flesh-eating cave-dwellers project is back on as I try to make copies of the mid-size units. 6-With her uncle's death, both of us have sort of went on a binge for a week. I'm trying to get back to normal but I forgot how much junk food fucks up literally EVERYTHING in my life. From my energy levels, to when I sleep, to waking up constantly in the middle of the night, to being weaker during my workouts, to a big bout of depression. I'm basically taking each of these current events and turning them into little goal so: 1-Get through the memorial service. There's a lot of drama with her mom and the planning and constant arguments and passive-aggressive bullshit. Not good for mental health. 2-Visit ladyfriend's dad. It's so....so sad. #1 and #2 are basically 'be aware of my mental health and also be there for ladyfriend'. 3a-Finish my casenotes book. 3b-Write the casenotes guide. 3c-experiment with the casenotes systems for the new jobs. 4-Start reciprocity. 5-Try to make 5 complete varghiests. Required: 1)Base 2)Legs 3)Torso 4)Head. Hoping I can update with some pictures. 6-Start whole30 tomorrow and try to hit the gym 3x/week.
  12. Hello fellow Rebels. A lot has been going on in life, most of it good, all of it overwhelming. I'm going to be a grandpa (it's a boy) My family and I were in the local newspaper because we adopted out fourth and fifth children on November 1st (the first day of National Adoption Month) I'm hosting a poetry recitation competition at the school where I teach, as well as sponsoring the Drama Club I've signed up for (and completed) several 5k races and have remained a middle-of-the-pack runner without injury I grew out my mustache So yeah, life has been pretty great lately, just busy. I'm sticking to my past goal since they haven't yet been achieved (although I'm getting closer and closer to the sub-30 5k time). And of course I will be channeling movies and characters that inspire and motivate me along the way. I recently re-watched "Bullet Train," which is still amazing. Tangerine remains my favorite character. So... STRONGER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will have increased my physical strength by at least 25% as measured by an increase in number of reps to failure of kettlebell single-arm overhead press. HOW: I will pick "heavy things" up and put them back down for at least 20 minutes, three days a week; this will include mostly kettlebell training with some "greasing the groove" using resistance bands, random heavy objects, and my kids. Training will look like this: Sunday: Benchmark (single arm overhead press to failure, count reps; 30 minute run, note distance) Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Strength training Tuesday/Thursday: 30 minute run + "grease the groove" Saturday: Long trail run FASTER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will be able to run a sub-30 minute 5k as measured by a 5k run. HOW: I will run for 30 minutes at least two days a week, with a distance/endurance run at least one day a week and sprint/speed intervals at least one day a week. SMARTER: GOALS: By the end of the challenge, I will increase my daily use of Duolingo; I will increase my daily reading habit by at least 5 minutes a day; I will learn at least one new thing daily. HOW: I will set a reminder to complete at least the daily requirements to achieve a 30 day streak on Duolingo I will set aside at least 30 minutes of reading time daily I will use apps such as Humane and Kinnu to learn new information, as well as the NPR app and podcasts. CALMER: GOAL: By the end of the challenge, I will improve my mental health by reducing my angry reactions to stress. HOW: I will use a meditation app to increase my meditation/contemplative prayer practice from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I will write down what I am grateful for and create daily affirmations using the 5 Minute Journal app. In moments of stress and frustration, I will apply a relaxing breathing technique (short inhale through nose, long exhale through mouth). I will listen to music that elevates my mood.
  13. I have failed every challenge I ever did since 2018 or 2019 when I first joined except the last one I did over the summer. And I didn't even pop on the last week of the challenge to mention that. Then, I gained all the weight I lost in that challenge and literally went back to the same habits (because the same work stressor came back). But, I realized something. I fail because of excessive action. Work takes over everything, and even if I am technically "in the zone," it is not effortless action because I am pressuring myself with deadlines because every other aspect of my life is put on hold and so I just try harder to get it this particular work project done because then I can move into a much more enjoyable work project. And so I stress eat. I eat because the project is stressful. I eat because I feel guilty that I am neglecting everything else. I eat to get the dopamine and concentration boost that food gives (esp. as an unmedicated ADHD'er). And then I gain weight. And I stop working out. And I fail at everything. And then I get discouraged because this has basically been the story of my life for the last 15 years. The opposite of excessive action is wu wei, which is effortless action. Effortless action is working in the zone and going with the flow but "involves letting go of ideals that we may otherwise try to force too violently onto things." such as deadlines. When there is no deadline, everything else doesn't have to get neglected. There is much less stress, and if the project becomes stressful, it's time to take a break rather than force myself to continue for several more hours until I get so burned out I have to drink myself silly. Just to get up the next day and do it all over again. So anyway, 2024 is my year to practice wu wei. This challenge I am getting all the other areas of my life on track (such as minimalizing and decluttering my house yet again, losing the 10+ pounds I gained so I can start the new year with all areas of my life in balance and ready to maintain rather than in havoc. I want to start 2024 with only 20 pounds to lose not 35, and getting back into habit of going to the gym, and starting the habits of yoga and tai chi sword. Practicing wu wei in regards to work basically means, work during work hours ONLY. Stop making deadlines. Yes, it could be finished sooner if I worked all day and several hours into the early morning, but the goal was to finish before 2024 and that is not going to happen. So I may as well just let all the deadlines (and the stress) go so that I can find balance. Prequel Wu Wei Challenge Practice wu wei. No deadlines. Work, clean & declutter, exercise, homeschool & engage with family effortlessly and without guilt. Get back in the habit of going to the gym (barbells and treadmill). Add yoga and tai chi if it is effortless to do so. No snacking and no drinking (for this 3 week challenge).
  14. Returning to my original goals with the hope of sticking to them this challenge: STRONGER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will have increased my physical strength by at least 25% as measured by an increase in number of reps to failure of kettlebell single-arm overhead press. HOW: I will pick "heavy things" up and put them back down for at least 20 minutes, three days a week; this will include mostly kettlebell training with some "greasing the groove" using resistance bands, random heavy objects, and my kids. Training will look like this: Sunday -- Benchmark (single arm overhead press to failure, count reps; 30 minute run, note distance) Monday -- Five rounds of: 200 meter run kettlebell clean and press x 2 each side goblet squat x 5 two-handed kettlebell swing x 20 rest 2 minutes Tuesday -- 30 minute run; record time Wednesday -- 5-10 rounds of: 25 double-arm kettlebell swings 30 seconds rest 25 alternating kettlebell swings 30 seconds rest 25 single-arm kettlebell swings L 30 seconds rest 25 single-arm kettlebell swings R 2 minutes rest Alternating kettlebell clean & press x 30 (15 per side) 2 minutes rest Alternating kettlebell dead snatch x 14 (7 per side) Straight leg singe-arm kettlebell deadlift x 30 (15 per side) Overhead triceps extension x 15 Thursday -- 30 minute run; improve previous distance Friday -- 15-45 minutes of: clean with left hand press with left hand one arm front squat with left hand one handed swing with left hand park the kettlebell, recover, repeat with right hand Saturday -- Distance run on trails; mark distance and pace FASTER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will be able to run a sub-30 minute 5k as measured by a 5k run. HOW: I will run for 30 minutes at least two days a week, with a distance/endurance run at least one day a week and sprint/speed intervals at least one day a week (see 200 m run above). SMARTER: GOALS: By the end of the challenge, I will increase my daily use of Duolingo; I will increase my daily reading habit by at least 5 minutes a day; I will learn at least one new thing daily. HOW: I will set a reminder to complete at least the daily requirements to achieve a 30 day streak on Duolingo I will set aside at least 30 minutes of reading time daily I will use apps such as Humane and Kinnu to learn new information, as well as the NPR app and podcasts. CALMER: GOAL: By the end of the challenge, I will improve my mental health by reducing my angry reactions to stress. HOW: I will use a meditation app to increase my meditation/contemplative prayer practice from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I will take 30 minute mindful walks to help clear my mind. I will write down what I am grateful for and create daily affirmations using the 5 Minute Journal app. I will practice a relaxing breathing technique (short inhale through nose, long exhale through mouth) and apply this technique in moments of stress and frustration. I will listen to music that elevates my mood.
  15. Goals: 7am -- Get up and out of bed -- naps allowed whenever needed/possible to support early rises or nights with less than 7 hours of sleep. 7 exercises -- do 7 stretches or calisthenics exercises every morning. 7 kilometers -- walk at least 7 kilometers every week (about 4.35 miles) $77.77 dollars -- my weekly grocery/food budget -- this will be the hardest goal. 7-to-7 -- fast from 7pm to 7am 7 things -- Find 7 things to give away or sell. Very likely just putting them in a box for a future church rummage sale etc. 7 days a week -- follow my morning routine, 7am-7 stretches, 7-to-7 fast 7 days a week.
  16. Here I am again. I have goals and I thought it would be good to have some accountability to go along with them, so I'm back. This is a simple challenge for me - in theory at least. 1. November is NaNoWriMo so my first goal is to write - even if I don't quite have a handle on my story yet. Power through and get it done one more time. I can't start until 11/1 and must write 50,000 words of a novel by midnight on 11/30. I'll track my daily or weekly totals as I go along. It's going to be some kind of weird Western Fantasy thing, but I'm still lacking a bit on the plot - one week of planning to go, so I can track that as well. I've done some brainstorming the past couple days, and hey, today I actually names for several characters, so that's progress. 2. I'm determined to get into a strength training routine and I have found a Beginners Over 50 30-day Challenge. I started on Monday morning and I did Day 2 just a little while ago. Must keep going and not miss. Each video is less than 20 minutes, and I get Sundays off, so it's not too taxing. Just the right amount I'd say, considering how my arms and abs feel right now. 3. Tracking is also very important. I know that. I want to track at least 2 meals and 1 snack daily. I did that yesterday. Today I tracked almost everything I ate well before I ate it, and there's still time to get the couple snacks I missed. I'm using the MyFitnessPal app for this purpose. So that's it. I track my food. I work out daily. I write like the wind. What do you think?
  17. Hellooo! Getting this in as a placeholder. I'm running my last challenge into 'zero week' as I got a bit caught out by a bunch of weekends away which drastically affected my points (or lack thereof). It's also keeping me a bit more on track this week which is good. So I've been pretty consistently under 11.5 stone now for most of the year which is great, and I definitely find this forum massively helpful to keep on track. For historical reference, I was 15 stone at the start of 2011 at which point I figured enough was enough, and did the classic 1200 calories + exercising to lose 4 stone in 9 months, which I then yo-yo'd back to 14, down to 12, before setling between 12-13 stone for a while until I found here in 2014. I'm generally happy with my size and fitness level now, though have had a few annoying injuries or general pain things going on (yay getting older!) most recently some weird nerve pain in my heel which means I've stopped going running in the mornings (which is VERY annoying but I don't want it to get worse). I've got an MSK referral in progress for hip pain I've been having for nearly a year (greater trochanteric bursitis) so am hoping I can tag the heel pain into that referral by asking if it's due to me changing how I walk because of the hip... I'll try anyway My September challenge is likely to follow the same format as previous - eating, exercise and sleeping, but I'd really start to try moving away from such rigorous tracking if I can as it's generally pretty exhausting! After I've seen whether I've passed challenge 35, I'll update here! Will note down any overeaty thing I have over the five weeks of the challenge, as I like to do!
  18. Not long after slapping in the above placeholder photo, two of those angelfish started laying eggs on the leaves of one of the Anubias plants in the tank and beating the crap out of any other fish that came close, not to mention darting across the tank to harass the other two angelfish. So I go the breeding pair out of that tank and set up a 10 gal on the fly and yadda, yadda... they ate their eggs. <sigh> But now I know I have a breeding pair of angelfish. Time to move on. ====== Hi. I am Stronkey Kong. I've been on NF ten years. Lately it's church etc, and fish tanks that are getting me off the couch and not stuffing my face so we'll roll with that. This challenge will be a combination of a lot of the usual: a nutrition goal, a bed time routine, a morning routine, an exercise routine, and a fish tank based LUYL. When does life stop getting weirder? ========== Goal 1: Bedtime Routine-- In bed by midnight. I get home from work around 10:30 pm. That gives me an hour and a half to: feed the cat feed the fish feed myself (a small snack) change clothes, wash up, brush teeth evening prayer go to bed by 12 am. I can read in bed if I don't feel like falling asleep right away, but that's it. Goal 2: The point of goal 1 is to fix my morning routine. Get up at 8 am. Morning prayer. Feed fish/tank maintenance. Exercise Breakfast Read scripture Study Ukrainian or Greek Goal 3: Exercise Mon-Sat MWF = walk or something light TRS = KB, Ringfit, or jogging Goal 4: Ditch the soymilk and fake veggie meats. It's our liturgical calendar that has brought out this one. There's a lot of fasting in Orthodoxy, mainly in the form of giving up meat and animal products. My eating habits have veered toward vegetarianism, and so I have a lot of soy products around, so much so that it makes fasting not really feel at all like fasting. I don't really have to give anything up, I'm just switching the days where I eat tofu and veggie sausages. I should feel like I'm sacrificing something, and on fasting days I should always be at least a little hungry. Also, veggie stuff can be kind of expensive, and it's debatable whether its really all that healthy cuz it's processed yadda yadda, and I tolerate real dairy well enough. And there was recently a big study on diet that found that whole fat dairy was actually protective in terms of longevity (not counting butter). So I'll eat meat, milk, and cheese and just limit myself to tofu on fasting days... tofu is not a meat replacement, just ask a carnivore. LUYL: Breed Fish, Grow Plants, Make Money This goal will practically do itself as I require little added motivation to do this hobby. But I'm at the point where i need to tune it up and turn it around so it doesn't just become a money toilet. I have a couple of orders of plants, fish, and hardware coming. After that I need to stop spending and start focusing on growing and marketing and come up with a legit plan.
  19. After some personal battles combined with the start of the school year requiring me to adjust my routine, I am ready to get back at it... for real this time. My goals for this challenge remain the same as the last, although some specifics have changes. I will be channeling great warriors, both mythical and real, as my guides, such as Kratos, King Leonidas, Geralt, Achilles, Beowulf, and more. STRONGER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will have increased my physical strength by at least 10% as measured by an increase in number of reps to failure of kettlebell single-arm overhead press. HOW: I will pick "heavy things" up and put them back down for at least 20 minutes, three days a week; this will include mostly kettlebell training with some "greasing the groove" using resistance bands, random heavy objects, and my kids. Training will look like this: Sunday -- Benchmark (single arm overhead press to failure, count reps; 30 minute run, note distance) Monday -- Five rounds of: 200 meter run kettlebell clean and press x 2 each side goblet squat x 5 two-handed kettlebell swing x 20 rest 2 minutes Tuesday -- 30 minute run; record time Wednesday -- 5-10 rounds of: 30 seconds one-handed swing with left hand 30 seconds rest 30 seconds one-handed swing with right hand 30 seconds rest Turkish get-ups Thursday -- 30 minute run; improve previous distance Friday -- 15-45 minutes of: clean with left hand press with left hand one arm front squat with left hand one handed swing with left hand park the kettlebell, recover, repeat with right hand Saturday -- Distance run on trails; mark distance and pace FASTER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will be able to run a sub-30 minute 5k as measured by a 5k run. HOW: I will run for 30 minutes at least two days a week, with a distance/endurance run at least one day a week and sprint/speed intervals at least one day a week (see 200 m run above). SMARTER: GOALS: By the end of the challenge, I will increase my daily use of Duolingo; I will increase my daily reading habit by at least 5 minutes a day; I will learn at least one new thing daily. HOW: I will set a reminder to complete at least the daily requirements to achieve a 30 day streak on Duolingo I will set aside at least 30 minutes of reading time daily I will use apps such as Humane and Kinnu to learn new information, as well as the NPR app and podcasts. CALMER: GOAL: By the end of the challenge, I will improve my mental health by reducing my angry reactions to stress. HOW: I will use a meditation app to increase my meditation/contemplative prayer practice from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I will take 30 minute mindful walks to help clear my mind. I will write down what I am grateful for and create daily affirmations using the 5 Minute Journal app. I will practice a relaxing breathing technique (short inhale through nose, long exhale through mouth) and apply this technique in moments of stress and frustration. I will listen to music that elevates my mood.
  20. I keep thinking that I'm going to be more consistent with posting and it keeps not happening. So I'm trying again as I'd like to be more active on the forums again. So a quick spoilered update for anyone who is interested: Last week, my 4 year old grandson started Head Start (for non-US peeps, it's a kindergarten readiness program. Similar to pre-K, but has some added bonuses). So he is out of the house from about 8 - 2:30. This also means that I need to be up and out of bed earlier to help my daughter get the boys ready. It also means that I have a very quiet household for 6 hours now that I didn't have previously. Additionally, I've volunteered to be a mentor for Go Girls Go! Monday and Wednesday afternoons. My child abuse and criminal record checks came back and I'm starting on Monday. So I'll have two days a week to get out of the house and workout. Plus, my new treadmill was delivered last week and we got it set up. This completely eliminates my excuse of not being able to run due to the temperature. My daughter has also expressed a desire to start using the treadmill and eat better, which is just another reason to do it as a family. Goals for this challenge: Wake up and workout at least three mornings per week through the challenge. Alternatively, find another time that works well for working out. The time isn't as important as getting back to consistency. Note: I do have three weekly workouts "planned" two run days with GGG and one dance fitness. These don't count for this Meal plan and prep (weekly) Work with my daughter as she has a number of healthy recipes to share Include food for the (almost!) 1 year old - specifically things he can take for breakfast and lunch Stick with the food that is planned and prepped. I don't necessarily care about the number on the scale, but it's getting higher than I'd like and it makes some of the physical things I like / want to do more difficult Stop planning things on Sunday to use the day to prep Tomatoes I love using pomodoro timers for work and I've started incorporating it into other aspects (like cleaning). It's actually been super helpful because I hate doing certain chores, but 15 minutes gets a lot of work done. Cross off my monthly tasks before the end of September Aim for 10 tomatoes of cleaning and 40 tomatoes of work weekly Note: for days off work, the number of tomatoes is reduce by 8 per day
  21. Hi all, I'm glad to see that you are still all around here. I am re-starting a health and fitness journey, and I need a small amount of accountability - so I thought of you all Here's the plan: Go to Gym Twice a week = pass Four times a week = Gold Star More than four = Diamond Parkrun Don't miss two weeks = pass three weeks out of four = Gold Star More than four in a row = Diamond Food choices Avoid obviously bad foods - don't give into unnecessary food choices = pass Stop eating - 1 hour after dinner (to allow for a post dinner snack) = Gold Star Take control of the types of carbs I eat = Diamond (a bit hard to define) Food tracking Give it a go - track two days a week = pass A little more effort - Track four times a week - on the day or next morning at the latest = Gold Star Superstar - More than four times a week, and timely = Diamond Bed time In bed before 11pm four days a week = pass In bed before 11pm more than four days = Gold Star Bring that time back to 10:30 for at least two days = Diamond It seems a lot, but there is a ton of overlap here. I'm in the habit of Parkrun, so that is pretty much an insta win - and I will qualify that i have to be within 30 mins of a parkrun - as I may be away for a few weekends. What I really need to do is stop the self-sabotage which I'm hoping this will help. So go to Gym means spending at least 20 mins in the gym After dinner is where I self-sabotage the most with food Doom scrolling after I've finished what I am doing in the evening and going to bed late is probably the most frustrating of the self-sabotaging that I'm doing right now. Here we go . . . 🏆 - no nice diamond emoji's so I'm going with trophy
  22. Briefly, a Who I Am: I'm a 44 year old American woman living on a 10 acre woodland property in rural England I call Owlshire with my partner and 5 y/o son. I work in gamedev, our son is home educated (by ourselves and outsourced help), we have a bouncy adolescent golden retriever pup, a flock of plucky rescue hens, and as a family we enjoy nature and gaming. We moved to Owlshire not quite three years ago in the midst of the Global Pandemic/UK Lockdowns and we're still trying to find/form our tribe of fellow misfits and geeks. This challenge looks a lot like the last one, but with more travel. I turned 44 at the end of the last challenge, and my intention is to embrace the unknowns of our unique and quirky life and not worry so much that just because something changed that everything is "bad" or "wrong." Because it isn't at all! It just doesn't look quite what a past me thought it would look like! We are living an off-the-road-most-traveled adventure, and here be dragons. Dragon Form Building my strength and stamina and getting a sleeker dragon shape. Continue to aim for 80,000 steps a week. My weight at same or lower by the end of the challenge. Also, reduce snacking. This has become a real problem, I'm nibbling on something between nearly every meal and I'm not even hungry. I suspect it started as stress eating and has now become a habit I need to break. Dragon Wings Exploration and adventure at home and beyond. I have two overnight trips known for this challenge: A two day business trip to London. A three night trip to Devon for pleasure (my annual "Mum's holiday") There are some more in discussion but not yet defined. I decided not to do the cruise I was pondering last challenge, as it was causing me a lot of stress to decide on and figure out, and the whole point was a holiday plan that didn't stress me out. I haven't yet decided when or what I'll do instead. I also need to set up arrangements for trips which will happen later this year: Dragon Heart Vision, community, and mental health. Update Vision Statement One things I realized during the last challenge is that I was feeling out of sorts because life had deviated from The Vision. But actually, life was going in good--even great--directions. I'm still walking toward the same Mountain, it turns out; I'm just approaching from a different route. So I'm updating The Vision. I'm still working to align it and make the verbiage pretty rather than just a bunch of haphazard bulletpoints, but I'm already feeling better. Complete the Vision 2023 Update. Be more social Reach out and arrange things with local people. This includes with my family! Arrange regular games and outdoor activites with Enting Arrange regular date nights with Mr. Spirituality/Pagan Studies Spend more time on spiritual activities. It always ends up the first things sacrificed when things go sideways, and that's probably when I need it the most! For this challenge I'm focusing on lessons and learning as part of the pagan groups I'm in because it's easily measurable and pleases my inner Hermione Granger. Complete 3 lessons (including the one in progress) for my coven. Reinvestigate the Hearthkeeper's Way (ADF) to integrate in my practice. Dragon Horde Taking care of Owlshire, creating a comfy place to live. Continue the decluttering project. Look after my autumn garden. There are pumpkins!
  23. Hi Everyone! I have a new handle on here, originally when I first joined I went by Kdognlog most of the time. I've been to Camp NerdFitness in 2016 and met some wonderful people while I was there but fell off the wagon very hard these last 7 years. But, I remembered this community and the old Nerd Fitness Academy were the only workout programs that really helped me lose my initial 15 pounds and now I want to go for round 2 since I've only gotten older and bigger. While this challenge is more about exercise goals I'm going to be approaching it a bit differently. For the next 6 weeks my main goals are: Clean and Maintain the cleanliness of the Batcave At least 10,000 steps every day Cook my own meals on the weekends. Boom, simple goals that I know I can achieve. If I throw in a real exercise routine I will post an update, but I am going with the Adventurer Guild so I'm going to be doing more hiking and maybe basic rock climbing if I'm up to it. But the main goals are just what I know I can get accomplished for 6 weeks. I'm happy to be back and I know this time it's gonna work out for me, I'll keep you guys updated regularly
  24. I’m Ranger Hal. I hike, snowshoe, scramble, climb, and do search and rescue. I was doing pretty good about getting out regularly until the beginning of August. Then for various reasons, I just sort of stopped. So I need to get started again. So here's the plan. 1. Walk 2. Put away outdoor gear (unless it's drying out) 3. Wash dishes 4. Leave for work by 9am For anyone that was following the backpack project, I did finally buy the pattern. I have started ordering some of the materials. So the plan is to continue obtaining materials and get some cheap fabric to do a mock-up to make sure I'm happy with it before I use the expensive outdoor fabrics.
  25. I’m Ranger Hal. I hike, snowshoe, scramble, climb (in theory, although not recently), and do search and rescue. My current goal is to workout enough to be able to keep up with the other people who want to do those things. There have been a number of trips over the last few years where I have either been turned away because the leader didn’t think my conditioning level was where it needed to be or I decided not to even ask because I didn’t think I could keep up. Last challenge was good. I walked/hiked/scrambled almost 138 miles. I want to keep that up and continue training hikes mostly in Zone 3. It makes me feel slow, but that's okay. Eventually, I should get faster, right? Group trips and SAR are going to be Zone Whatever because that's how they go. Also, I need to start thinking about a new pack. My trusty REI Crestrail (no longer in production) is getting worn in a few spots (in spite of minor repairs I've made in the past). I have this grand idea of sewing my own pack. Store bought packs often don't have the features I want, have features I don't like, or simply aren't built to carry the loads I might have to carry (I mean, most ordinary backpackers aren't going to strap an extra 15 lb of rescue gear to their pack in addition to their personal gear) without being a giant expedition to Denali size pack. I think it would be cool to make a pack that has exactly the features I want. I even have a pattern in mind to start from (but which I will likely want to modify a fair amount). But before I order the pattern, I have decided I need to finish two previous sewing projects. One is very minor. Just sew the button back onto a pair of office pants. The other is a bit more involved (but way less than sewing an entire pack). Pants are annoying. I hate pants shopping. They don't fit right. Especially hiking pants. But I did find a pair of men's pants that I like reasonably well. The only problem is that the waist is a couple of inches too big. So I bought a pair, took off the waist band and cut it shorter, and put the waist band back on. It was reasonably successful and they're currently my favorite pair of hiking pants. So I bought a second pair, but I haven't modified them yet. So that the second project, to take a couple of inches off the waist band of the hiking pants. So that's my challenge. Hike lots (preferably in Zone 3), fix two pairs of pants, and buy the pack pattern. I will try to continue sharing pictures of the flowers and stuff I find on trips. Y'all seemed to enjoy them last challenge and it helped me identify them because I want to learn the names of more plants and stuff.
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