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  1. A little late but here goes... So tomorrow marks my 1 year NF anniversary. And while I wish I could say my life has drasitically improved or changed since then, it hasn't. This doesn't have anything to do with NF, it has to do with me and how I've been approaching this journey... my brain has certainly changed dramatically in the way that I look at the world and what I do with and put in my body. But somehow everything I've been working on just hasn't stuck. I've had bouts of sucess and bouts of failure over the year, but nothing really consistent. Going over my past challenges (excluding my most recent) I notice a trend of doing really well in the beginning, and falling off towards the end. Or doing well all the way through only to lose a lot of my progress during the zero weeks. Essentially, habits have not been formed as I had hoped. Basically I've been having some trouble getting through the every day stuff. Even after my vacation I came back and instead of feeling refreshed and jumping back into things I have kind of just been sitting around for 2 weeks and doing not much at all. So now I am switching everything up. Instead of assigning myself specific tasks, I am going to just make sure I do a few things every single day. I have gotten into the habit of meeting my goals on a weekly basis instead of a daily one. I'll cram in 3 different work outs in one day (morning, afternoon, evening) or do extra sets to make up for a missed work out. But, shockingly, my body doesn't respond well to that and I'm really just playing mind games with myself pretending I'm doing what I've asked myself to do. I've also been struggling with how to eat healthily. Mostly because the restrictions I've put on myself (which really do make my tummy feel awesome) my boyfriend has a hard time enjoying. Even if I make something that I think is delicious, he still wants pizza or cheese fries or something of that nature. And it's hard to have to try to stick to my guns and eat what I made and try to convince him to eat it too nearly every day. So I end up giving in a lot and we eat something terrible. So I'm going to back off on some of the restrictions I've had in place and see how I feel and will possibly work them back in at a later date, this is in the interest of cooking healthy things that hopefully the boyfriend will want to eat, and that we can enjoy together. I'll be not considering gluten a failure anymore, as long as it is in whole grain form. I will also not be so picky about dairy, since I have learned I can't not eat pizza, I just need to think more when I eat things that are "bad". If I don't think of it as bad it will hopefully be easier for me to eat a normal human amount instead of like 20 slices. More on this down in my food mission. So. I will do small things. Or big things. Or medium things. My choice depending on how I'm feeling as long as I do something from each category every day. Every day I will focus on myself and improve myself a little bit. Even if I'm exhausted and it's something super tiny, it's still something better than yesterday. Every Day Missions 1) Move. This can be running, yoga, strength work out, swimming, or going for a walk. Or even hopping onto my mini stepper for a bit if I'm super busy. Even stretching and foam rolling counts here if it's a rest day or I'm super sore or sick. Just do something every day. Especially if it's capoeira. 2) Meditate. I started using Headspace before I went away and continued to use it on vacation but I kind of lost track of it since. It's small little meditation sessions that build up over time in length and intensity (ie - become less and less guided) and eventually begin to branch out into different aspects of life that I can focus on. I absolutely love it, so I'm going to make a commitment and really start doing this every day again. 3) Make Healthy Choices. Try to avoid gluten, but when neccessary make sure it is whole grain. Also portion control is key. Don't over eat. I know when I've screwed up, if it's one thing I've gained over the year it's knowledge of what's good and what's bad to put into my body. Actually following through with this hasn't been super sucessfull but I do know. So this is kind of subjective but that's also kind of the point. I want an overall feeling of making healthy choices and really thinking about what I put into my body every day. I'm not too worried about the nitty gritty. 4) Improve My Space. Clean something, or organize something, or make something look a little nicer in my space every day. Even if it's tiny, even if it's just scooping the cat litter. If I'm not home for a day, this can be as simple as organizing my purse, throwing receipts out of my wallet or cleaning my hair brush. Just something. 5) Sleep. Get at least 7.5+ hours a day. This can be supplamented with naps in extenuating circumstances. No excuses. 6) Be accountable. I have tapatalk, I have access to it everywhere. I can get on here every day even if I'm not at a computer. Even if all I say is something like "Today: 1235" beecause I everything on this list except for number 4 sort of thing. It's not that hard. I can do it. This doesn't count towards grading but I'd really like to keep on top of it. Bonus Activities These will make sense once I get to the grading portion. 1) Brain Train. I don't expect to do this every day, but I do want to do it a few times a week. I have a free Luminosity account and also a brain exercise thing on my DS. So either one will work. (MAX 5 POINTS/WEEK) 2) Snake Love. Not sure if I've mentioned this before here but I own 4 snakes. I completely love them but sometimes I don't play with them as much as I probably should/want to. So once a week or so I'll try to take them out and handle them. (MAX 1 POINT/WEEK) 3) Pamper. Take a bath. Give myself a face mask. Get a manicure or a pedicure (or do it myself). Do something nice just for me. (MAX 1 POINT/WEEK) 4) Boyfriend Time. Do something romantic with the boyfriend. We have been living together for 3 years now so the romance is starting to be more like let's lay on the couch all night in our PJs and order in as opposed to going out for a nice dinner or see a movie. I feel the opportunities to be healthy are much better in going-out situations too. Plus I enjoy dressing up and looking/feeling nice. (MAX 1 POINT/EVERY 2 WEEKS) 5) Volunteer. I've been volunteering on occasion with HRC, if the opportunity arises during this challenge I want to volunteer more! (MAX 2 POINTS/CHALLENGE) 6) Duolingo. This is basically a free version of Rosetta Stone. I've been on and off using it for Spanish for about a year now. Hopefully I can find the time to work on this a bit. (MAX 5 POINTS/WEEK) Grading I will start off with 175 points. If I miss an every day task, I lose one point. If I do a bonus activity, I gain one point. But I can't get more than the max points per week from the bonus activities listed under each bonus activity (so I can't just take 20 baths in one week and get 20 points haha) At the end of the challenge I will grade myself based on my end total points. 175 is 35 (days left in the challenge) times 5 (number of daily tasks). So I can't actually get below 0. 210+ points: A (15 stat points) 190-209: B (11 stat points) 175-189: C (8 stat points) 125-174: D (5 stat points) 100-124: F (1 stat point) 0-99: F- (0 stat points) I will award myself the above number of stat points. Since my end grade isn't broken up into how well I did in each category, I will decide at the end what kind of stat points I get depending on what I feel I improved upon the most during this challenge. And I'm off!
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