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  1. The story so far... After years of living a normal life, Vidd remembered his past as a vigilante hero, and decided to turn away from his normal corporate 9 to 5 life to live a double life: Accountant by day, hero in the night. The past two months involved grueling training sessions, a rehaul of nutrition, and countless hours of study to further hone his financial skills: An important trait in getting to the bottom of the shady dealings of the local crime syndicates. Now he was met with a new obstacle. If he was to infiltrate their operations, he would need to be indistinguishable from other members of their gang. Fortunately, he was able to collect a large amount of phone calls through wiretapping between their members. Vidd walked over to his desk, and he turned on his console, illuminating the area around him. In a few clicks he used an advanced AI program to convert all of those calls into text, and then projected them holographically before him. It was time to master their dialect. Day by day he would do this, so that when the time came he would blend in and be able to slip through their ranks smoothly, without rousing suspicion. While it may seem a small task, it was critical for survival. Hey all, so I am still celebrating the passing of my 4th and final CPA exam. I really cannot top that. It was a goal nearly two years in the making and I'm feeling great. I want to keep this positive momentum rolling, but this next challenge is going to be a little less hardcore and this is intentional. I want to give myself time to catch up on some video games I've been neglecting. I think I deserve it after all I've put myself through This challenge is going to build off the former challenge where I am tracking my daily habits in an app. The notable additions are I'm going to actually track my protein intake and ensure I'm getting 1g/lb of bodyweight. The second addition, and the one that is the theme of this challenge is at least 30 minutes a day I'm going to read a novel out loud to myself. Since my early teens I've had a stutter. Where speaking comes naturally to many, it's something I still struggle with. Although I've notably improved since my teens, it still holds me back in some ways. One of my first jobs was front desk at my local gym, and the sales manager overheard me talking with an older guy just starting out, and he walked over afterwards and told me I'd be great at sales due to my ability to connect with people. I didn't believe him cause of my stutter, and he told me his best friend dealt with the same thing, but what he did was read out loud every day, and eventually he became an even better talker than him. The interesting thing is if I am reading to myself my speech is perfect. And the idea is, the more I hear myself speaking perfectly, the more it will program my brain into that being the expectation. This may not be something many can relate with but it's only one aspect of the challenge. Here is my daily plan: Charisma - 30 minutes of reading out loud per day Nutrition - 1g protein per lb of body weight Nimbleness - 15 minutes stretching per day. Agility - 20 minutes cardio per day Training - Gym five days a week Meal Prep - Batch cook lunches Thursday and Sunday. Recovery - Sleep 7+ hours a day
  2. I've been having a hard time coming up with a good goal for this challenge round, hence the lateness. However, I think I've found it. I've spent the last couple of weeks spending most of my spare time working on work tasks. Mostly, organizing a large pile of information accumulated over a decade into a better, more searchable, and easier-to-use form. This is not how "spare time at home" is meant to go. There is meant to be time for actual fun and personal projects and the like. So I am going to inject some fun, even if I have to schedule it, while still allowing myself to chip away at my digital chaos. Ongoing habits: These all need care and feeding. Exercise after my coming-home laundry routine Washing and prayer on hearing my alarm (if I am home and able) Reading NerdFitness when.... I still don't have a good habit here, but read it! Get rid of one thing every day New shiny things for this challenge: I have played a game called Angband on and off since 1999. In the game, you are a character descending through the 100 levels of the Mines of Moria to kill Morgoth. I have never won, and the closest I've ever been is about 20 levels from the bottom. I just killed my latest character today, so I'm going to make a new one and see how far I can get. I also play on BoardGameArena, and they are forever putting up new games that I don't take the time to try out. Goal here is to try one per day on days where this is a realistic thing to do. (Reading rules takes time!) I have a pile of work tasks consisting of Stuff that needs to be sorted into my new organizational system. There are currently 578 items on that list. (I split the tasks up a lot, so most of these are fairly small.) Some more will be added as time passes (as I find new things, or break, say, a pile of links in an email into a bunch of smaller tasks), but obviously the goal is to have that number be smaller at the end of the day than at the start. I may also try to work on things that will improve things for me long-term, like my stock research and buying of last challenge. I am thinking of figuring out a good way to organize recipes to easily make meals. But this is more of a bonus item. Okay, feels like a challenge. Let's go!
  3. Since getting my own trampoline a few months ago, I've briefly considered doing a tramp sesh every day, but didn't do it. I'll try it out now. Maybe I'll burnout, or get tendonitis, or get sick of tramp. Maybe I'll set a PR for the most progress in the shortest time. Maybe both. I'll set the bar really low: all I have to do for a sesh to count is to set foot on the trampoline. I don't even have to bounce, or do a flip. There's no minimum time for a sesh to count. Main quest Trampoline every day
  4. Hello, lovely nerds! I'm back in the "real" world (I use that term in the loosest possible sense) after a whirlwind of a summer. My adventures, briefly: Started singing lessons Auditioned for Making God Laugh Played Baptista Minola in The Taming of the Shrew Auditioned for The Wedding Singer (which meant actually singing in front of people, thus directly addressing a lifelong phobia) and played Angie Sullivan (which involved not much, but a little, actual singing in front of people.) Began learning to play the tin whistle Auditioned for The Little Mermaid. Had a mild panic attack because the audition panel comprised some of the most well-trained professional singers I know, but I did it and did not die so ... yay! Was not cast, but I don't mind that because the actually doing it despite the fear was the thing. Was confirmed as the director of next spring's presentation of The Merry Wives of Windsor - the second Shakespeare production ever in our community. Signed up to sing in my music school's Christmas Show, which means much more singing in front of people. Solo. Whole songs, not just a line or two. <taking deep breaths. Lots of deep breaths.> Shot my first NRL-22 competition. Absolutely sucked at it, didn't care, had fun. All of this came after a several-year period of doing remarkably little. Wake, work out (sometimes), go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch YouTube or scroll 'til bedtime, repeat. My comfort zone had become a rut and it started to itch, so I went into this year determined to do three very specific things. 1) Audition for community theater things βœ… 2) Submit a story to a publisher πŸ”² 3) Shoot in competition βœ… Ah, the writing. Well, I still have four months left of the year. And I have the Struthless Alphabet Superset challenge (spoilered for size). TL:DW - a 30 week challenge to make something, of a reasonable, doable size, every week - 26 weeks, with four planned breaks. The something of each week will be on a topic starting with a different letter of the alphabet. The something must be shared on the internet (part of the driving force behind this is the near-universal fear of sharing creative work on the internet.) My something is short stories, 100 - 1000 words. In other news, the Summer of Theatrical Craziness got me out of my workout habit, though I was still very active. But now that I am not in intensive dance rehearsals three nights a week for a musical, I am starting back up with bodyweight workouts. Just the basics right now. BW squats, push-ups, inverted rows, planks. That's all. I'm keeping it simple, because life is complicated enough right now. The venue where we had planned to present Merry Wives will be under construction in March, so I have to find a place to play. I'm lobbying for an outdoor venue, Shakespeare in the Park style, but the logistics are complicated. And I am trying to squeeze singing exercises and tin whistle practice in as well. So, challenge specifics: 1) Post a short story online every week 2) Do a bodyweight workout at least 3 days per week.
  5. I'm not trying to increase the total volume of training per week. Just swapping out jumps for flips. Main quests - Increase frequency of front flips on grass. Currently I do it once every few months. I think 2 per week is doable. - Increase frequency of back flips on trampoline. Not sure of the current frequency. I think every other day is doable, except rest days. - Increase frequency of side flips on trampoline. Currently its once in a blue moon. Maybe I can work up to every other day, except rest days, by the end of the challenge. Side quests - Do the needed exercises to get back into climbing - Less time on entertainment videos, and more on technique videos - Get a video playback app with speed control - Journal on Fridays about Thursday's tricking class - On rest days (Monday?), plan Japan trip and learn some Japanese
  6. March 29th, 2021 - 'Time to live a normal life' thought Vidd, as he gave one last look at his base he'd built back in 2020, before closing it up for good. It had been months now since he'd turned 30. Not old, but not young either. The pressures of life had begun to weigh on him. Maybe Seattle did not need heroes? Maybe now, he could finally rest and hang up the name Vidd forever and become a normal civilian. He walked away, and went on with his life. At first it was fine. He began skipping the gym, only going if he felt like it. Diet and nutrition fell by the wayside as well, relying primarily on microwavable meals. This newfound time allowed him to work longer hours at work, spend more time with friends, family, and girlfriend. After being locked up for so long it felt great... until it didn't. He would wake up with aches and pains he never had before. His body felt tight and stiff, and even going for longer than usual walks, he'd feel winded. Not only that, but the environment in which he lived began to feel less safe. Something was wrong, something was missing.... July 23rd, 2023 - On the way home from work, Vidd made a detour to stop at what appeared to be an old abandoned warehouse. He looked around to be sure he was alone, before lifting up the door, and turning on the generator. Memories flooded him as it lit up, covered in dust from misuse, but mostly in order. He walked inside, and knew what he had to do. No longer would he live this normal life... It was time to get back to work. Hey all, so this is my first challenge after being gone for a little over two years. I lost focus on a lot of my health oriented goals when the world began opening up again. This challenge is going to be pretty comprehensive and it's similar to my battle log goals I just thought a challenge would be better. I'll be building strength, cardio endurance, flexibility, time management, and studying for a major exam. My aim for this challenge is for me to lay the groundwork for anything I decide I want to pursue. I'll be using a task manager app that will track my success in each goal, and each week I'm going to give stats on how I did. So here are the goals for the challenge: Rebuild the Base - 10 minutes minimum cleaning per day. I think this'll add up quick over time. A clean work station will help me in all the other goals. Nimbleness - 15 minutes stretching per day. I'll likely do even more than this because this has gotten so bad with my sedentary lifestyle. Intellect - 2 hours study minimum per day. Aug 31st I sit for my final section of the CPA exam for accounting. Passing this would be life changing for me. Agility - 20 minutes cardio per day. Starting off with the bicycle until I can do the elliptical without my heart rate getting too high. Training - Gym daily, I am running a body part split so that the workout is new and fresh each day and so I have a reason to go daily and build the habit. Meal Prep - Batch cook lunches Thursday and Sunday. This will help stop my dependence on packaged microwavable foods. Recovery - Sleep 7+ hours a day I'm pretty excited to see how this goes. I think if I can get ~90% of these done daily I'll have this exam behind me, and I can start feeling like my old self again too health-wise
  7. Had grand plans for this challenge but I think I am going to hold off and do that challenge next time. For this challenge I am mostly going to just report random stuff that people say to me all the time because holy crap do I get a lot of random stuff said to me. To kick things off I am on Holiday in Guizhou (Southwest China) this week on holiday and today we were visiting the HuangGuoShu area (a natural preserve with lots of waterfalls). As we were walking along one of the paths along with the 40,000 other tourists who came today, I was talking to Ghost let about how crowded it was. Some guy who was walking on the other side of us heard me speaking English and his mouth literally dropped open in surprise. It turns out he could speak a little English and wanted to chat. Apparently he must have thought I was talking to myself because he says "Oh, are you here by yourself?" I look over at Ghostlet and then at Ghostess. I then look at our tour guide and responded that I was, in fact, not there by myself. He started to ask if I wanted to join him and his friend before his brain caught up with him. I was a really nice gesture but ended up being pretty awkward for both of us During the course of the day there were probably more than a dozen children who were surprised to see a foreigner and felt it important to declare to everyone around them that they saw a foreigner and point me out.
  8. No matter how many or how few flowers you plant in your garden, you will eventually want to do some work with them that is not about planting more. Spruce up the borders. Build an automatic watering system. Make nicer pathways. Heck, build a cute picnic table that you can eat some of those home-grown veggies at. This is that time. I noted WAY back, not long after I first joined if I recall correctly, that my challenge items tend to fall into the "habit" or the "goal" category, and that mixing both tends to mean I succeed on goals but fail spectacularly on my habits. Probably this is because habits are harder and more nebulous in their benefit and wanting, and they are never completed, whereas goals have normally a more urgent (or at least current) reason for coming about, you can throw yourself into them for hours at a time, there's an end date, and you get something out of it at the end. And I like to front-load my work, because I am lazy like that. If I can put in some time to automate a thing so that I either never have to do it again or it is forever easier somehow, this is HIGHLY motivating for me, as my day of building out my work dashboard at the end of the last challenge proved. But committing to doing something forever without end feels like the exact opposite of that. It is adding work to my life. So I'm going to take a page from @KeysMcGee, and my own past challenges, this time around. I'm going to focus on goals that I can (hopefully) complete in this challenge time period. I will also have some habit-based stuff thrown in, because I never learn. But I am going to try to frame them more like goals. Anyway. Here we go. Goals 1. Sort out my investments. Pretty sure I have had this on the list before and didn't finish on the follow-through. I built a plan a couple of challenges ago with categories and percentages and everything! Now I just need to apply it. This goal has three steps: Finish moving money. There is a limit to how much can be moved per day, and some things I need to watch with moving things between accounts. The money that should be in investments accounts is not yet all there. Research categories. For each category, pick one ETF. Two or more if there is a good reason for it (but do not get lost looking for the perfect in the good! That can come later!). Purchase things. Self-explanatory. 2. Fix my bicycle. I have an electric bike. It's a bit of a mess right now. Needs a new battery, issues with the tube. I've wanted to get it rideable again ever since we moved here (and indeed before), but I cannot motivate myself to work on this in an unheated room in the winter. I know this as surely as I know my own name. This is a summer-or-bust job. This goal has three parts. Not so much steps; they can be worked on independently and each have multiple parts, but we started with a numbered list so we're sticking with it: Fix the battery. This basically involves getting a new battery (or two), wiring it in, and disposing of the old one(s). This is both an exciting project and a frightening one. My father was an electrician. I have respect for electric current. Fix the tires. The tube in one of the tires (possibly both) has a slow leak. When repaired, it returns. So the last time I rode this bike, I would just pump it up before I went out, and that would normally last the day, but it would be flat in a day or two. (I did take the pump with me.) I am not 100% sure what the issue is, but I have some ideas to test. This step is done when both tires hold air for a reasonable length of time after a ride. General maintenance spruce-up. check the brakes. Check the cables. Oil things a little. See if the chain needs replacing. The usual stuff. 3. Finish knitting scarf. I have a commission to knit a scarf. I have already been paid. I set the deadline in the contract I wrote for the end of August. The buyer has extended it into December, but if I can honour my original terms, I will feel better. This project has but one step, but the step is easily broken down into measurable pieces. I am currently at row 325 of 780. A little more than 40%. Two rows takes approximately 3-3.5 minutes to knit, so I need to average about 30 minutes per day in order to finish "on time". Habits Many of the habit things from last challenge that weren't going well were lacking a trigger, or had a bad one. I need to apply the Tiny Habit spirit of experimentation here, rather than just complaining that I need a good trigger and then doing nothing about it as I have been. So my habit goal for this challenge is to take one goal per week that has not been consistent (or even existent), and play with its parameters. Try a new prompt. Turn it from a starter action into a scaled-back behaviour, or vice versa. Think about what makes this action difficult. Change the habit entirely to something that better meets the intention behind the habit. And so on. I took notes. I just haven't been applying them. And I plan to continue the habits I already have (or like to believe I do). The ones I will track will be getting rid of one thing per day, exercise in some form (probably GMB), and reading and posting on NF (this last one will be one of the weekly items to work on, but it can stay here in the meantime). So there we are. Three goals, one "goal", and three continuing habits. It is enough. Happy challenge everyone!
  9. Hi, everyone! I know I'm a bit late to the challenge, but I figured that this would be a good way to get my feet wet. So here are my goals for the next few days! 1) Write down everything I eat. 2) Do some type of exercise every day (usually strength training, walking, and/or pell work). 3) Take time for self-care every day.
  10. Hi friends! It's been soooo long. I started a challenge in the beginning of the year and I stopped again. For some reason I couldn't follow through. But I'm back again. I missed you guys. I have been keeping up with fitness and nutrition (with varying success), but a little accountability couldn't hurt πŸ˜… So without further ado, here are my goals for this challenge: Nutrition I've been on Noom for a bit now, following their course. I know, there are many people who say it's not good for you. And I see their point (I really don't like their color system). But there is also a lot on there that IS good for me. I've been learning a lot about the psychology side of eating. I've had quite a few aha moments. So my first nutrition goal is to continue the noom course, maybe I can even finish it within this challenge as I am over half way. Noom has been talking about different eating strategies. Like paleo, keto, and intermittent fasting (IF). I've had lots of success with IF in the past, until I hadn't. When researching how to do IF when you got a female body I stumbled across the book "Fast like a girl". And it talks on how to do fasting in sync with your monthly cycle. This should take care of the side effects I was having when trying it in the past (hair loss, irregular period etc.), and should even help fix some issues I've been having for ages but my doctor can't help me with like stiff muscles, fatigue and painfull periods. There are 2 versions: a beginner one and an advanced one. I'm going to try the advanced one, but will fall back to the beginner one if necessary. (The beginner one is in parenthesis) So this is going to be my fasting schedule according to my cycle. Day 1 is the first day of my period, and I have a 28 day cycle (more or less). Day 1-5: 15 (13) hour fast Day 6: 24 (15) hour fast Day 7-10: 17 (17) hour fast Day 11-15: 15 (13) hour fast Day 16: 24 (15)hour fast Day 17-19: 17 (15) hour fast Day 20-28: 13 hour fast (no fasting) Fitness I found a zumba class that's a 5 minute walk from my house! So I'm going there once a week. I even got a punch card instead of a subscription, which is so perfect for me. I'm never leaving there. Next to this I've been trying so many different workout schedules and styles. Now I'm doing ringfit (nintendo switch) for an hour twice a week. I had been having trouble with hitting a wall 30 minute into my workout. Then I came across a video about pre-workout. I thought that was just for body builders, but apparently it's for when you want to workout longer. I found one without cafeΓ―ne or other stimulants, because I can't sleep if I have more than 3 cups of coffee a week (yes, a week you heard me right). And the stuff is epic! No more wall. Sure, I get tired and sore from the workout, but there is no block that makes it feel I'm standing in quick sand while trying to workout. I have no side effects. I researched the ingredients and everything I found says the stuff is save and you won't develop a dependence on it. Enrichment I should read more. I want to. But my phone and pc are such an easy distraction. So my goal this challenge is to read 10 pages a day. Of any book. I think that's it. I'm going to find some Doodlies now to say hi to. If they're still around here that is. And if you want to be friends, just drop a message below. It's fun meeting new people here πŸ™‚
  11. Lately I've been reading With Winning in Mind. I want to try two things from the book, which are keeping a performance journal, and visualization. The elements of a performance journal are: Schedule: time slots that you plan to devote to some area of your training. I'll ignore this one for this challenge. General data section: dat, location, event (training or competition), time of day, duration of activity, exactly what you learned, what you accomplished, number of attempts, how you spent time, result/score. No training = no entry Solution analysis: solutions to challenges that you've discovered. Or write "I'm looking for a solution to..." Success analysis: anything you did well Goal statement: state an objective in the first person present tense, as if you have already reached it For visualization, every time I do a not-easy jump/move, visualize it going perfectly before and after doing the move. So visualize, jump, then visualize again. Main quests Keep a performance journal for each training day Visualize before and after for each not-easy jump or movement
  12. I wanted a small character/story segment here, but my inspiration is failing me. Perhaps tomorrow. ------------------------------------------------------------------- I've noticed an interesting drift in my library book collection. It's far from my whole collection (you do not want to see the whole collection), but there's a rough theme going here. See if you can see it too: I appear to be collecting books about connection: connecting with nature through being in and doing things in nature, connecting with my body by getting in healthy movement, connecting with the past in this place as well as its ancestral language, and connecting with myself and what I want out of life in both a hands-on and mental health/self-helpy sort of way. And all of it together nurtures a spiritual connection, tying the individual to the whole and to the animating spirit behind it all. So for this challenge, I would like to connect with the land. My next five weeks is looking to be unpredictable and not at all a good time for new habit formation writ large. But that also makes it a good time for experimentation and trying new things. So that is what I shall do. Touch the land. Do some exercise every day. My exercise program literally has movements themed after animals. It's a perfect fit! I have had real trouble fitting this into my life though due to working a lot of late evenings lately and just not thinking of it before being dead tired. I think my best best is to tie it to the one consistent thing in my evenings. After I put down my suppertime reading book, I will open my GMB app and choose a program. Then I will hug the phone to my chest. Visit the land. Go outside every day. Kind of what it says on the tin. I already have a reasonably good habit of taking walks at night, but they are often initiated by my son, who will be away for most of this challenge. So the goal is to get myself out there, day or night. Discover the land. This is tied to the previous item. There are a lot of interesting things in nature, and I want to take the time to notice them. Find good nearby foraging spots for the plants I like best. Listen to the frogs sing. Find some hatching turtles and help them on their way. Cut some wildflowers to enjoy at home. Look at the constellations. You get the idea. Share the thing that I did or observed here, however small it was. Spirit of the land. Prayer and reading. Gratitude. Meditation. Sitting and thinking and listening. I am not sure what form this will take. My prayer involves touching water and the ground. The other things listed do not involve physical touching, but spiritual; preparation of the self for a different sort of touch. This should also happen every day but not necessarily every part. I shall think more on this. Purify the land. Get rid of stuff. I have piles of stuff cluttering my space again (because I am a terrible housekeeper and also it has been a busy time), as well as piles remaining of undealt-with stuff from god only knows when. The fresh clutter won't take too long to deal with: goal target, end of zero week. As for the rest of the Stuff, something every day, multiple somethings if that is realistic. I want to see progress, but I also know that some items require actual work and time, while some can go straight to the trash. So no number-of-items target. Walk with the people of the land. Connect with the other challenges. Post. Be present with others on their journey. Give support. With our virtual hands held, we can walk together. After I have checked my Discord servers (after either waking up or getting home from work), I will catch up on at least one challenge. Then I will imagine that person surrounded by positive things, and smile. Talk to the land (bonus). I have been unable to resist the lure of Anishinaabemowin since getting a taste at the Esperanto conference last year. I've never tried a Pimsleur course, and the dialect on which this is based is more western than I would prefer, but hey, I ordered it in, so let's give it a go. Not sure if one lesson a day is realistic because I have no idea how long the lessons are, so this is a work in progress. (This challenge is subject to change. It is very late and I am throwing it down without a lot of forethought right now with the intention of editing it later if need be.)
  13. Notes and thinking have not been super helpful in the interval since the last challenge, and I'm already a week late on this one, oops! Here's what we'll try this time around. We all know the basic basic stuff to achieve healthy body and healthy mind: eat well, sleep enough, get some exercise, spend time with people, and so on. I'm going to throw down a grab bag of these basic basic habits and see what happens. There will also be a new mental health-y thing to try each week. This is going to look like a lot, but much of this is already happening in at least a scattershot way. Eating - Plan, in advance, at least one meal per week that is approximately 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 carbs, and 1/4 protein by volume. Exercise - I have physio and regular exercises. Aim to do physio daily and exercise at least 3x per week. Sleep - Get at least 8 hours of sleep, preferably every night, but at least five nights per week. Gratitude - A new thing and therefore by definition a work in progress. For now, I will say that before bed, I will take a regular piece of lined paper and write at least three things that I am grateful for from that day. Hobbies - Work on a hobby item (knitting, tatting, sewing, etc) at least 3 days per week. If I try a new thing (ex. making jam), that can count for more than one day if it took a lot of planning, research, time, or mental effort. Connect - I would like to make the effort to talk to someone outside of work to build and maintain relationships every day, whether that is in person or online. If I don't initiate the conversation, that's okay. If the other person doesn't respond or has to cut things short, that's also okay. I would also like to attend a social event and/or volunteer for something for at least one hour once per week, so that I can meet new people and give back to my community. I would also like to post on at least one person's challenge here, as this community is important to me too. Kindness- Make an effort to do something kind for someone every day. This can be words or deeds, big or small, at work or outside of it. Go outside - Get some sunshine every day. It it's raining, at least open the window and make the time to enjoy the smells and sounds of nature. Ramadan habits - At the moment, this is "when my prayer alarm goes off, touch water" (this is a lead-in step to encourage prayer without requiring it) and reading at least on app page of scripture every day. I think the daily videos I was watching for Ramadan were wonderful but also a lot of maintain for a daily challenge. I will say one similar thing per week for now. Reading - Read something from a book, electronic or dead tree, every day. I have a nice list of short story authors that I made at the start of the year that I can draw from, or whatever I have on the go (I usually have at least three things on the go). Weekly Challenges: Week 1: Sit down and think about what my ideal life really looks like in all of its various facets. It's been a while since I did this. Then set up a morning routine of picking at least one action for the day that will work towards bringing that ideal life to fruition. I'm hoping this will give me a bit of direction for the day, plus a sense of progress and hope for the future. Week 2: Try mindfulness/meditation. I'm not sure what this will look like yet. Maybe I will try an app (anyone have suggestions?). Or maybe a daily activity that I can practice mindfulness through. Week 3: Put some of those CBT skills into action! Focus on countering intrusive thoughts, creating positive self-talk, and reframing things. Week 4: Find a therapist. I really don't want to, but I think it would be helpful, so do the scary thing. Okay, looks good. See you all tomorrow, and I hope you all have a basic basic healthy day!
  14. Building on my previous challenge of 1 backflip per week (layouts, pucked backflips, non-landed ones all count), I'm going to try and do them with feeling this time. Not sure what that means yet Main quest 1 backflip per week, with feeling
  15. My partner of over 12 years and I are FINALLY tying the knot in October! It's been a long and bumpy road, and I'm so excited!! I am less than excited though about my health, which has steeply deteriorated the last half a year or so. Between financial stress, family health stress (several cancers have been popping up in my immediate family), and work stress, I've been absolutely exhausted and drained and letting myself go. While my perfectionism would love to focus solely on getting my weight down, I know that would only wind up making things worse. So instead I am forcing myself to focus on making myself FEEL better, and be more healthy in general, and the weight will eventually follow, even though it will likely be a lot slower than I would want. For this first challenge we'll start kinda slow. Nutrition: We have been eating out basically every meal lately, it is hitting the waist line almost as hard as the pocket book and therefore is a HUGE stressor right now. I want to focus on only eating out 5 times or less a week for this first challenge. What constitutes eating out: Takeout, drive-thru, restaurant. What does not constitute eating out: meals at family's house (regardless of whether it's takeout), family gatherings at a restaurant when paid by family (Sunday lunch with my parents after church is still considered eating out). Fitness: I am going to start focusing on getting my core strength up. It is the area I am severely lacking in. To do this, I will be doing the Core Play program by Karina Dimitrovova. This is a 4 week program that I will repeat for a couple times (at least 3 times). It takes approximately 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, with a 7th day of rest. If I feel up to it after my Core Play routine on Mon, Wed, a/o Fri, I can also do a water aerobics class at my local rec center, but this is completely optional for this first challenge. Mindset/Mental Health: I have been spending far too much time bingeing TV shows and webtoons lately, and just generally being pretty lazy, but lately I started re-reading the Harry Potter series, and remmebered just how much reading really calms and centers me. I have a buynch of books I've bought in the last couple years that I had ever intention to read, and never got to, so I will slowly make my way through them. In addition to rediscovering my love of reading, I have discovered a NEW SHINY HOBBY! of bookbinding! So my goal this challenege is to work for at least 30 minutes daily on either reading or bookbinding projects. In order to keep from going overboard on things to do, I will not be striving to update daily here, but I do need to have some sort of consistency goal for posting or I will completely drop off the challenge somewhere around week 2 or 3, so I will aim for at least 1 post/update a week So excited to get started!!
  16. With the weather warming up, I'm reframing the old "sun's out, guns out" slogan to focus on the important artillery - not these guns but these: i.e., pistol squats! I made some good progress towards my first pistol squat last challenge, so we'll see if I can achieve one this time around. I'm following GMB's pistol squat progression (below) and supplementing it with additional single leg exercises for additional strength and mobility work. Overall I'm keeping my goals simple since life is still a bit crazy: Goal 1: Train at least 2x/week, including some sort of leg work for at least 2 sessions, too (tracking leg work with πŸ”« and other sessions with πŸ’ͺ) Goal 2: Take my darn supplements every day (tracking with πŸ’Š) Other stuff that's going on: I'm travelling in early June, so I'll time that with a deload. My pull up bar is now installed, so I have a lot more exercise options! I thought about making that the focus on this challenge, but really want to nail the pistol squats first since they feel so close. However, I'll still spend some time hanging out on the bar. Gardening - mostly veg with some flowers mixed in. Job search/job search prep/career skill building. I'll use Zero Week as a warm up and start tracking with Week 1.
  17. Ugh. Running. Not really my thing, but it's good for me for a variety of reasons. But most importantly, Little Bug enjoys it. And now that the rest of the family has started joining us for lifting, he was looking for an activity that was just the two of us. The weather is getting nicer, and it's probably good enough we can start getting out there again without needing a bunch of cold-weather running clothes, so here we go. Probably once a week, twice if we're feeling particularly inspired or something, plus lifting and roller derby. No particular race or anything in mind at the moment, but we'll likely do another virtual 5k this summer. We're going to try Zombies, Run! to get us started, and then as soon as their Marvel Move program becomes available, we'll be switching to that. I am also going to take another stab at cleaning up my eating. I have a vague idea of a plan, which probably means I'm not going to really succeed, but any progress is progress. Eventually I'll figure out a way to make all the work required to eat healthy fit into my schedule and be part of my "normal," but I'm not there yet. Let's goooooo!
  18. This may be before some of your time, but when I was in high school there was a popular game franchise featuring the supervillain Carmen Sandiego She would run around the world stealing national treasures, anything from the Nile River Delta and the Casablanca to "All the Goulash" and "Every last drop of salsa". There were a number of spin offs, mostly focusing on specific geographies, but some focused on time (history) rather than geography. My challenge is going to be China Specific So for this challenge, I am going to try and steal a major tourist attraction from every Chinese Province, of which there are 33 (34 if you count Taiwan, which will be my bonus theft if I get all the others). In order to get the theft I have to do a certain amount of things each day. The challenge has 42 total days, which means I can miss 8 days and still get everything. In order to get my daily theft, I need to hit the following daily minimums Exercise: 5 pullups 20 pushups 10 leg raises Stretching: 5 minutes of some kind of static stretching Food: 0 sugary snacks 2 bottles of water Music 1 song practiced Housekeeping Vacuum the living room Disinfect Wraith's room In addition to the above, I will still do my regular exercising (which will now include running or some form of cardio) at the park, but that won't be a daily thing. I also need to figure out something about overall calories, but I haven't figured that part out yet. I will probably keep up with the story telling in some format, because NF doubles as my journal
  19. So I know I'm joining really late in this challenge, which is why this is a prologue. I'll be using the rest of this week, and next week (zero week) getting myself set up for success going in to the next challenge. As you may be able to tell from the title, or if not, definitely by the tags, I'm getting married! The wedding is at the beginning of October this year, so I have almost 4 full challenges before then to get ready. Lately I have really (REALLY) let myself go, a combination of stress and health issues (my own and various family members) and I want to be feeling my best as I walk down the aisle. When you feel your best, you tend to look your best! Therefore I'm not going to focus too hard on specifically losing weight, but making changes that make me feel good, and the weight will eventually follow. The goals for the next 4 challenges will be roughly the same for each one, just building in intensity as I achieve goals. They will be roughly: 1. Nutrition: I will start off with decreasing eating out to just 4 times a week (currently, sadly, we are eating out almost 2-3 times a day, and this is greatly impacting my health, energy, stress, and pocket), then move on to only twice a week (Sunday lunch with my parents after church, and Wednesday lunch while doing laundry at the laundromat), Then focus will switch to what I am actually eating, and logging food. 2. Fitness: I will be going through Core Play again, doing at least 2 rounds of it, then deciding whether to continue with another round, adding more reps, or move on to Beyond Flexibility. I will also be doing a water fitness class anytime I feel like I can swing it. 3. Lifestyle/Mindset: I have started bookbinding and making my own sketchbooks and notebooks, so I will aim for 1 hour daily working on that, and then 1 hour of either reading, writing, or arting. So what is the prologue going to look like if those are my goals for the actual challenges? Well, like I said, I need to set myself up for the best chance at success, so this "prologue" will be for getting everything together. 1. Nutrition: I need a clean kitchen and clean dishes in order to prep food. Then I will also need to go shopping so there is actually food in the house to eat instead of ordering more food. So, daily I will be working on cleaning the kitchen and putting it back together (we've had to take it apart a couple times now due to roaches in the building and the new landlords actually doing something to get rid of them for real). I think 30 minutes daily will work greatly. I will also need to make a list of foods to prep, and grocery list based on that. Then go grocery shopping and prep some meal items. 2. Fitness: I need to renew my membership to my rec center, pack my gym bag and start packing it in my car, along with printouts of my workouts for the day. I need to figure out schedule of when the rooms I will want/need to use will be available, and what time classes are, and create a working schedule around that for sleeping. 3. Lifestyle/Mindset: Make sure I have all materials I will need for bookbinding, and clear off desk again. (clearing the desk shouldn't be too bad, it was done 2 weeks ago). Ready a list of books to read, and place them in bedroom near bed for reading before sleep. I will try to update semi-daily, but not stress myself out about it, I have enough going on already. I will commit to updating at least once weekly, to make sure I'm staying on track and focused. I encourage punishment for not posting updates for over a week. I have a bad habit of falling off the edge of the world after about 2 weeks...
  20. I'm back with a low-key challenge after disappearing due to a combination of illness, stressors, and having other priorities. Going to keep the challenge set up and design simple because the priority is just making progress. Things have been happening offline - I've greatly improved our garden (we have grass now!), mostly painted another room in the house, and we got a DOG! The latter has been both disruptive and helpful when it comes to routines. I need to get back into the habit of doing strength/skill sessions, but thanks to regular dog walks I am at least getting ~5-8k steps in most days. My endurance is definitely better and my weight is in a good place, too. The other big to-do in my life is career planning/development, as I will be job-searching this summer. Right now I'm focusing on picking up more skills (adjacent to my current ones) so I have more options. I also need to build a portfolio that demonstrates those skills. So, goals for this challenge will be Figure out new routines for strength/skill/mobility work. By the end of the challenge, I'd ideally like to be training 2-3x/week. Sessions can and will be short while I figure out how to allocate spoons. I will also experiment with making my walks more difficult by rucking (which is completely new territory for me), and I will count that as a strength training option for this challenge. Do skill or career development at least 4x/week, with at least two "creative" sessions (i.e., making something that's not an example/tutorial, although it can use those as a basis). Again, these sessions don't need to be long or arduous - I just need to make consistent progress. As usual I will use emojis to track my progress: πŸ’ͺ bodyweight strength/skill session πŸ“š career skills session 🎨 creative career skills session Week 1 (starting Monday) ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ [Bodyweight strength and skills] πŸ“š ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ [Career skills]
  21. Maybe I set the bar too high last challenge. The goal this time is to do 1 backflip per week, and it counts even if I don't grab my tuck. So layouts and 'pucked' (open tuck) are all good. And it even counts if I touch my hands on the ground, as long as the intention was there. Main quest 1 measly backflip a week
  22. Hooray for spring! This challenge month overlaps almost perfects with Ramadan, which has just begun, so I am going to be building habits based on that. I don't want to fill up my chat with religious stuff though, because I have no desire to proselytize anyone and it's not exciting stuff to anyone else. So I'm just going to call the new habits (reading, prayer, lectures, and so on) "daily Ramadan habits" and try my best to hit them. I'm using the Tiny Habits method to build these habits, and I've already got one that just feels perfect. The one goal I'm going to pull out separately is eating/drinking. I need to make sure that I eat enough, because I often don't at the best of times and now I'm on a reduced eating schedule. So at least one extra meal after supper, preferably high-calorie, and at least one bottle of water drunk. Should be easy, but it is important so it must get done. Physio exercises continue, but I need more. More strength; so weak. I am going to aim to do one session of GMB per day (I have several programs, so alternating for rest days or to compensate for a soreness should be easy), then check this goal in a week or two to see if there are any issues. I do best when I post here every day and put some time into reading others' challenges and supporting them too. So, post every day, read something, however little, every day, and try to post. My other stuff is a bigger priority, but I'm going to try to try. That's everything! Happy spring, and happy challenging!
  23. Okay, I might still have a tiny spark of sass and style, but it needs to be fanned into flames for sure. I've got gains, but they aren't the good kind. I'm at 141.6 lbs. and heading the wrong way, so this challenge (my first one) is right on time. I need it. Really, really need it. I have been in a winter slump and it's time to move past it. I wish my brain could conjure a lovely tale complete with a point system and rewards, but that is a bit of a reach at the moment. Perhaps I will work on it during this challenge once my brain is functioning better. Anyway, on to my goals for these five weeks: Fitness: NF app's Bodyweight Level 1 Attempt a pullup every time I look at the anime dudes hanging from the bar in my kitchen doorway. Whatever pops in my head to move a little more that day (walk, dance, etc.). Drop under 135 lbs. Nutrition (I know what works for me and I have to just do it): Lots of good proteins, carbs and fats. Limit tea (seeing if it affects my migraines), caffeine, sugar, grains, and whatever else that keeps me sick and unhealthy. Drink at least five cups of water a day with plans to increase as I adjust. Plan some meals. Mindset: Use music to motivate myself. Spend a little time each week on learning to play either my guitar or the piano. Memorize something (some French, a new word, lyrics, etc.). Try to overcome my shy nature and meet people on here and become part of the community (totally outside of my comfort zone). Follow a better sleep routine and work my way off of Benadryl as a sleep aid. Get creative: art, photography, whatever creative thing pops in my head. Writing: Complete Camp NaNoWriMo (my first time participating in the camps). Set up Scrivener. Work on my novel or something novel related a little each day. Continue journaling and writing on 4TheWords (online fantasy writing game and tool). Okay, I think that is my plan. Detoxing from sugar, grains and caffeine will be rough for the first week or so, but I have done it before, and I can do it again. I just might be prone to growling, snarling and biting for a bit, but it's all good.
  24. My challenges this year have all had some sort of travel-related theme in the name, so now I'm curious how long I can keep that going. I think climbing is appropriate for this one, because my 40th birthday happens to fall in the middle of it. I am most definitely NOT over any hills. I'm still climbing! I am also continuing with my attempts to climb the career ladder. I doubt I'll make any actual progress with that during the course of the challenge, but I'm going to keep trying. With any luck, I'll make the roster for our next travel team game and I will get to celebrate my 40th birthday by playing roller derby. I do really hope that fends off the expected (and dreaded) teasing about how old I am now. So, goals for this challenge... 1. Move every day for at least 20 minutes, 30 is better. This has been working really well for me so far this year, and I need to keep in shape/get in better shape to keep my spot on the roster. I've got my derby practice 2x/week, Little One's practice 1x/week, and lifting with Little Bug (and maybe the whole family?) 3x/week. Which leaves 1 day to do whatever I want, assuming it's a "normal" week. There are definitely going to be weeks that aren't normal. But I've got tons of pilates and yoga workouts to keep me busy, and if nothing else, walking in place (or a small circle) for 20 minutes is my absolute fall back. 2. Eat less sugar. I have my diet fairly well in hand, for the most part, and I'm doing pretty good with staying hydrated, though there's always room for improvement with both of those. That said, I have been having a few too many treats lately. So, aside from my morning coffee with fancy creamer (which you can pry from my cold, sleepy hands), I am going to try to limit myself to no more than 2 sweet treats/week. Easter, and a planned special day I will talk about later, are the exceptions. 3. Apply for another 5 jobs. Not really anything more to say about this one. Just need to do the thing.
  25. In the famous story "And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street" by Dr. Suess, the father in the story is trying to get his son to pay attention to the world around him and asks him to tell something he saw on the way home from school each day. The boy of course thinks his surroundings too boring to talk about and imagines all kinds of fanciful situations which would make for a better story. I have been thinking about my own life and I have posted very little here recently because I felt like I had nothing interesting to say. My last challenge didn't even get to page 2, As I thought about this, I realized that my life may seem boring to me because I am used to it, but from others' perspectives there are many interesting things happening around me, if I only stop to notice them. My objective for this challenge is to try and find something each day that is interesting and come and talk about it here. Some of it may actually be interesting, but some days it may just be me seeing a Chinaman who eats with sticks Other normal challenge things like healthy eating and exercise will still be happening, but probably not with enough variety to get me interested enough to come here and tell about it.
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