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I'm not doing an organized, graded list of goals. With a nice theme. It just won't be possible. Here's a whole list of the crap I'll be doing this challenge. Working 30 hours a week 12 credit hours in school Practicing Flamenco guitar studying spanish studying mandarin hitting the gym (cardio, kettlebells, weightlifting) eating paleo-ish publishing a journal article (leftover from grad school) painting prepping for a journey overseas I guess I'll at least organize these somehow, and Oh shit, maybe there's a theme after all, with goals named for famous Chinese sages. Goal 1, Sun Ssu Mo -- TCM Paleo. Sun Suu Mo was a Taoist sage whose main claim to fame were his writing on Traditional Chinese Medicine, and much of what he wrote concerned how the diet affects the balance of chi. All in all, the dietary aspect of TCM seeks to balance out elements, and the result is a well-balanced variety of foods, which is the same finding that modern/Western biology based nutritional science has come to... go figure. I'm going to brush up on my TCM. I had a phase in college where I was obsessed with Traditional Chinese Medicine so I have a few books, including a cookbook with a big ole reference describing how foods fit the elements and such. Getting familiar with this may also help me understand the foods I eat when I go to China. Basically, it's paleo with rice. Most of what I eat now is meat, veggies, and rice or potatoes. And, I'll play around with trying to balance elements in my meals. (but without forgetting macros). I'm going to allow variance on this for breakfast, because right now I'm not sure how to comfortably avoid bread at that meal. Everything that I can cook myself from scratch is pretty much acceptable. And stop eating donuts you fool! Goal 2, Ta Mo -- Exercise and Discipline Ta Mo was the Chinese name of Bodidharma, the wandering Indian yogi who travelled to China in introduced Shaolin monks to yoga and founded Chan, aka Zen, buddhism in China. Basically, as a yogi he believed that physical fitness provided the foundation upon which one could build a practice of mindfulness and spirituality. He was known for enduring extremely long periods of meditation. He is said to have cut off his own eyelids so that he wouldn't fall asleep during mediation. He preferred to meditate in the caves surrounding the Shaolin temple, and when a fellow monk asked him about what he focused on, he said he would "listen to the ants' screaming." Exercise and discipline. Go to the gym. I'll repeat last challenge's goal. 1/week is passing, 2/week is good, 3/week is great. Goal 3, Kong fuzi -- Be Rational and Responsible AKA, Confucius. I actually don't know that much about Confucius. And I just spent a few minutes on wikipedia and I have a lot to learn. But basically, what pops into mind (other than fortune cookies) are notions of being rational, responsible, and dutiful, etc. So this goal is just about doing my research on how to make this voyage to China happen and work on being responsible about it. The whole ESL teacher in China thing can be either my downfall or an opportunity for positive change and self-improvement, or I can just go to China and hide from my personal problems by drinking shit tons of baijiu and fucking around for years. Make a thoughtful To-do list of things to do to get to China and make this an adventure of self-improvement. Goal 4, Lao Tzu -- Learn the Way Yeah. yeah... supposed, but probably mythical, founder of Taoism. Taoism is all about understanding, accepting and adapting to the Tao, the way, and trying to live by it. Keep studying Mandarin and Chinese culture so I'll be able to adapt and roll with the punches while I learn a new culture.