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  1. Hello hello! Last challenge was my big respawn - to quote myself: I was hoping to have gotten dressed and crafted that wooden sword last challenge, and I didn't do that. But what did I do? I got dressed, and I found that stick. So here we are, last challenge's level up: (Cue level up music) Not quite what I was hoping, but good progress nonetheless. Here's a recap of some big wins and an overall overview of how I felt the challenge went: This challenge is going to be taking the last challenge and adding on to it. TL;DR: I'm a Nature Bonded Magus. and I'm putting myself through Nature Bonded Magus "School", while I rebuild my strength and life back post neuro lyme disease. Think of this like a tutorial level of a video game, I'm focusing on the basics. With this challenge specifically, the biggest thing going on is that everything is going on. I have appointments with 3 different new specialists, which is fantastic, but just a lot. One's a new psychiatrist and I'm hoping to be well enough post-lyme to be able to go back on my adhd meds - that would be huge. We've also decided to move full steam ahead on the interior of the house projects for the next 6 weeks, so I'm going to be needing to help with those when I can. I'll be working on the project plan and ordering all of our supplies tomorrow - going to be a lot. A lot a lot a lot. We've mapped it and it's all realistic, and will be worth it, these are all projects that you save a lot of work if you can do together - and right now, staying busy is better for my brain than not. I'm excited to have a direct focus. I'm also even more excited to have the major projects done - living without a fully functional bathroom and kitchen get old quick, and some of the upgrades will have a huge impact on every single day, so I'm excited to get them done. I need to build a chicken coop to house 18 chickens that will be ready to go outside in just a few weeks, so let's hope the snow and the ground melt. Aaaaaand lastly we've agreed to bring home a puppy the first week of May. We have a million reasons for having a farm dog, and now is the perfect time because it is going to provide me with a ton of structure and forced socialization in a way that I'm comfortable with (since the puppy will need to be socialized I will have to start leaving the house). And once he's old enough, one of the things we're going to train him to do is get help if I pass out, leaving me much more comfortable to do high risk activities like gardening in my yard in the sun. (That sounds silly but that's my reality right now!) What about Felix, you say? Well, apparently when they created him they accidentally included an entire bottle of the laziness from his bernese mountain dog grandfather instead of just a tiny drop and he has legit zero desire to be a task dog. Totally fine, he's absolutely wonderful and a funny dude and we love him to pieces, but he's more of a cuddler than a... do anything'er. He enjoys walking around the forest with us and exploring, and loves hanging out in the yard eating sticks, but he's gonna get eaten by a coyote before he even notices it there. Even though he's enjoying being a chicken mama, I think that's mostly so he can lick their butts and taste poo. It's time to bring in the reinforcements. I love dogs, I love training dogs, So I'm psyched. But, all of the house projects need to be done before he comes home. And the chicken coop, and the fence. And on top of that, I need to do that whole health thing.... So, let's get on with the good stuff. THE GOALS NATURE BONDED MAGUS "SCHOOL" I'll adjust the exact times and goals of the next day each night, at 8:45 when an alarm goes off and we review the day and plan tomorrow's day. That's the anchor. I'm putting big "end of challenge goals" to start for some of these - I'll break those down each week. Terrain Mastery/Woodland Stride: (Anything outside, gardening, building the chicken coop, setting up the rabbits, etc - work outside, going for a walk, Stomping through the woods, exploring Morning Walk Get Chicken Coop Built Get Fence Installed Spellstrike: Strength Training, 2-3x per week Since the house projects and outdoor projects are so physically intensive, and I'm sore from them more often or not, my goal will be to strength train 2-3x per week depending on projects. If I'm not sore, or doig a physically intensive project, I have to work out though Shoveling counts, too, if we get 32" again, that's for sure. Spellbooks: Planning and Journaling 8:45 Nightly Arcane Pool: Nightly Yoga, after spellbooks Tomorrow I'll get everything scheduled on the calendar for the upcoming zero week. That's it for now!
  2. The morning started out great. Scalyfreak woke up in the Temple of Iron, safe and sound and well rested. She ate her breakfast, washed in the basin behind the altar and refilled her water skin from the stream. She dressed for the road, packed up her belongings, and begun the days travels. She barely made it half a mile before the storm hit. Heavy rain that soon turned into hail, gusts of wind so strong she struggles to stay upright, and (bizarrely) the roar of thunder. As if this wasn't bad enough, when the next bolt lightning streaks across the sky the silhouette of Stress-Hydra appears on the horizon, several of her heads turned in Scalyfreak's direction; smiling. Screw this. Scalyfreak turns and traces her path back though the forest... through the mud and water and winds, until she reaches the Temple of Iron again and crawls in, her legs too unsteady to be trusted in the powerful winds that have turned the hail from an inconvenience into pummeling experience. The unmistakable hissing and stomping of Stress-Hydra draws nearer, but the monster thankfully is too far away to be able to do anything as Scalyfreak finally manages to close the temple doors, despite the wind's best efforts to slam them open. The silence inside the temple feels eerie and unsettling by contrast to the outside, but the calm doesn't last for long... Scalyfreak yelps in frightened surprise when the entire building begins to sway, and curls up underneath altar, both arms wrapped around her head for protection while she waits for the earth quake to pass. The temple may be safe... but the rest of the world is in complete disarray. Before diving straight this challenge period, here's a brief “intro” for anyone who doesn't know me very well: Earlier this week, I learned the hard way that being absolutely brilliant at my job did not actually make me immune to the cost savings driven layoffs happening at work. I'm officially “on the books” until the end of February, and will continue to get paid during this period. There is also a severance thing that gives more money to help me out while looking for a new employer, and a bunch of stuff I need to do and deal with... they helpfully emailed me a checklist, that Husband and I spent today going over together, to make sure I'm getting every single little crumb these ungrateful weasels owe me. So now I need to find a new job. Happy fucking birthday to me. (I may be a little bitter. I'm working on it.) Recover HP (physical health) Continue going for walks every day and the gym three days per week. Absolutely do not use this as an excuse to stop taking care of my body. Restore Mana (mental health) Meditation has been upgraded from “necessary” to “critical”. Being unemployed is rocket fuel on The Flame of Anxiety. Regenerate Stamina (emotional bandwidth) Actively resist the temptation to sink into over-analysis and bitterness. Nothing can change what happened, but I can change how it affects me by choosing what to focus on, and what I think about what happened. And I will not let this ruin all the hard work I have put into my mental health. My former employer does not deserve that kind of power over me.
  3. Hello. Thank you all for having me still. I'm so tired. But I keep taking steps. Funny how much energy you have in you when you believe there's more. Saturday a friend comes over to help me with moving stuff. Last leg. Getting bed frames from ikea. 2 oneperson to have, well, a huge bed ahhh, and also going to get things to be able to make them into a couch idea and to be able to sleep separately, maybe with a screen or so, when I have someone over for visit. Until I build a circle in my new living space most of my friends still live a decent amount of time away. The big question: will I finally feel safe and secure enough to get a gym membership?! lol Challenge goals are keep breathing. Keep moving and laughing. Keep bobbing and weaving the negative. Keep seeking out the people and activities that give me energy. Breaking the cycle.
  4. Spring is near for those of us in the northern hemisphere, so I think a spring themed challenge is appropriate. The key word for this challenge is NOURISHMENT. An account I follow on Instagram, Noble King Wolf, posted a quote that has stuck with me: "I don't want satisfaction. I need nourishment." That is my overarching goal for this challenge: to be nourished. Goal 1: Nourish My Soul speak gratitude: say a brief prayer of gratitude upon waking re-instate a morning devotional practice (reading/listening, prayer/meditation) daily gratitude journaling: write down at least three things I am grateful for every day practice at least one act of random kindness every day spend at least 30 minutes outside in nature, preferably near trees and water Goal 2: Nourish My Heart spend quality time with wife and kids; include physical touch (hugs, high fives, snuggling, etc.) speak at least one compliment to my wife daily practice at least one romantic gesture for my wife daily spend time daily reflecting on things that I love listen to music that lifts my heart Goal 3: Nourish My Body move my body in fun, dynamic, and challenging ways that feel good eat foods that nourish rather than satisfy (i.e. nutritious whole foods with simple ingredients, no "empty calories") savor what I eat and drink; use all of my senses to truly enjoy it drink more water; no seriously, drink more water listen closely to my body's signals: eat when I feel hungry, rest when I feel tired, be alert when I feel stressed/overwhelmed/irritated/anxious Goal 4: Nourish My Mind read something for at least 20 minutes per day listen to informative and/or inspiring podcasts read at least one scholarly/educational article every day complete the daily requirements on Duolingo complete the daily requirements on Elevate
  5. The Way of the Jellyfish I’m looking to be able to absorb and go with the flow, no matter what plot twist or power surge comes my way. And, speaking of power surges, I saw meaningful discharges over the course of the last challenge, in the form of messages I sent out and messages I received from my body. Electric fences pack a huge wallop. Conflict is inevitable; combat is a choice. When we are in a position of power, we can choose to act from a place of agency and authority, in elastic response to, and in harmony with, the ocean of chaos and outrage around us, without losing our boundaries. This is the goal. It will require detangling how I have woven the story of my Self with threads (and at times knots) of others, unwinding my habits, tendencies, and fears. This will not be easy or simple, and it will likely be the beginning of a lifetime of weaving who I am in the world. The Details The spreadsheet is much slimmer this round. Constitution: Acupuncture. Rest. This is enough. Strength: Go to work. Do PT. Dexterity: Emotional Balance. Public Transit. Wisdom: Debt Payments. Emergency fund. Taxes. Oh My. Intelligence: Finish the Overdue Paper and turn it in. Charisma: Connect with others. Cultivate a genuine support network. Beginning Stats Constitution 2 Strength 3 Dexterity 4 Wisdom 4 Intelligence 3 Charisma 2
  6. I respawned fairly recently and, since it was mid-challenge, have been posting in a battle log, trying to figure out what I'm doing. Tl;dr: I have some chronic health issues (hEDS/MCAS/POTS type stuff) but have been feeling fairly well through luck/lifestyle stuff recently. I would like to continue feeling ok (or even better) and also ideally lose 20-25 pounds. What I learned from my battle log and efforts so far this year is that my exercise goal was working better than any of the others due to a combination of 1) actually enjoying the activities, 2) gamified tracking and 3) progress I could easily see. So, for this challenge, I'm trying to redesign my other goals around a similar fun-centered approach. 1. Exercise I have a Halo Band tracker that gives me an automatic goal of 150 "movement points" weekly, which apparently comes from WHO fitness recommendations. Meeting that goal has been motivating but not too difficult, so I plan to keep that up. Methods: - 3 sessions per week of either bicycling or going to the climbing gym (hopefully improving my performance in those activities) - (optional) doing a few squats and lunges (to strengthen my not-that-great-knee) and also some plank on other days - generally taking other opportunities for physical activity and trying not to be too sedentary 2. Food I've been counting calories, but I don't love that for various reasons and have only lost about five pounds so far, anyway. So, I recently downloaded a nutrivore nutrient tracker (the image I'm attaching only shows part of it), and have been experimenting with it. It's pretty hard to get all these nutrients (and, I think that if I did manage to do it I would also be at a pretty high number of calories) but I could certainly do a lot better than I did last week and displace a lot of unhealthy food choices. So, my second goal is to focus on nutrition. Methods: - experiment with healthy recipes and prep food I actually want to eat - generally try to fill up on nutrient-dense foods first - use the nutrient tracker, try to complete as much as reasonably possible 3. Qigong/Meditation I really want to have a daily meditation practice, for stress reduction/health as well as other reasons. My usual goal is 30 min per day of seated meditation, as well as a daily qigong practice that takes about 15 minutes (and also counts toward my exercise goals). I'm not currently good at meeting these goals, so these are my current ideas to make it more pleasant/feasible: - allow a shortened version of qigong practice (about 5 minutes) if I'm not feeling it - allow guided meditation or self-hypnosis recordings if I'm not feeling the standard seated meditation - create and use a tracker for this, too, so I can see my progress 4. Sleep My fitness tracker also tracks sleep, and this has helped me to realize that my sleep is just...bad. I'm usually in bed for a decent number of hours, but I'm a very light sleeper and sometimes have trouble falling (or staying) asleep. As much as I kind of want to hold on to one of my few remaining health vices (being a night owl), I'm guessing this is really not good for my ongoing health issues – so, I'm adding a goal of improving my sleep score. I'm also not sure what to do about this, but my current ideas include: - really try hard to actually turn the lights out eight hours before I have to wake up for work (recently got partner on board with this) - set up the most ideal sleep situation with plenty of wiggle room, darkness, weighted blanket, water, etc. - take melatonin if I'm tossing and turning I do use a dream journal and am pretty inspired by dream content for my creative projects, so I'm trying to keep that in mind as another thing that could help me get motivated about this. Anyway, I may have gotten carried away with detail there, but I'm trying hard to think about what will help. In short, my goals for this challenge are: - try to meet my fitness tracker activity goals - try to improve my fitness tracker sleep score - eat more delicious and nutritious foods - build a very basic daily qigong and meditation habit
  7. Excited to be returning from a hiatus! Here's my last challenge:
  8. Darci here. Been around these parts since December 2021, though I really never kept up with much. I've been a part of Nerd Fitness Academy since August of 2017 and NF Prime since November 2021. And I've fallen of the wagon many times. I've been off the wagon far far far more often than I've been on it. So I decided wagons aren't my thing. Since I'm not on a wagon, I'm left with whatever is on hand. Which, honestly, is my own two feet. Fortunately my feet aren't located on my hands or I'd be in some real trouble here. I digress. Going on foot is slow, but it's movement and I've found slow is best. The reason I fell of the damn wagon is because it was simply going too fast. Why not slow it down a bit and get my bearings? Things I want to focus on in 2023: 1. Journaling I have 3 journals, each providing something different: A Mystic's Guide To 2023: This journal allows me to write one thing I'm grateful for, check in with my mood, check off (yes or no) on food, workout, sleep, water, and nutrition (food = calories, nutrition = was it healthy), a daily mantra, sleep journal, ritual/meditation time, scripting my day, 3-6-9 manifestation, and a check in for the day using "one thing did I do to move forward today" The Witches Planner 2023: A daily check in with a spot to write things out (I usually write down what's heavy on my mind to get it on paper and out of my head), notes, to-do, and something I'm happy about that day. It also has a spot to write out weekly goals, positive thoughts, notes, budget, and main focus of the week with a spot at the end of the week to reflect. This planner provides a spot to reflect on each of the seasonal "holidays" or sabbats (Imbolc/midwinter, Ostara/spring equinox, Beltane/May day, Litha/Summer Solstice, Lughnasadh/First harvest, Mabon/Autumn Equinox, Samhain/Halloween/New year, Yule/Winter Solstice). I like this to help me reconnect with the seasons The Sisters Enchanted Lunar Planner 2023: This is where I write my current mantra/lunar intention daily. It provides a spot for tarot/oracle pulls or just writing out lunar intentions and sun goals for each full and new moon. I've spent the money already. I need to get my money's worth by actually using these planners. I'm a little over one month in of using them and so it's time to put it out into the universe that I shall continue for the next 10+ months left of the year. 2. Nutrition I have MyFitnessPal and use it often. I need to keep checking in on calories to be sure I stay in deficit. I don't typically control my dinner options so I need to track those ASAP so I may adjust my lunches and occasional breakfasts accordingly. I also loved fasting. Having an intense (to me) workout before work in the morning but trying to fast until lunch, 4-5 hours later doesn't always work out. Again, dinner is not in my control and happens after I'm off work anyway. So the goal is to fast whenever possible and be kind to myself when I'm simply too hungry to keep fasting on. When I need to eat after a workout, I will focus on protein (my current go-to is hard boiled eggs) I also want to become re-aquainted with my body. Years of not listening to it has caused me to no longer understand what it is telling me. I need to learn my hunger cues vs cravings/boredom/emotions/stress. I need to eat slower so I can give my body a chance to tell me I'm satisfied, not full or overstuffed. I also need to be able to recognize that signal and not be confused or miss it entirely. 3. Workouts I need movement. I need to be consistent with getting my butt out of bed so I can get some type of workout in. Currently working on The FeelGood Plan by Dalton Wong & Kate Faithfull-Williams. I'm in the market for a kettlebell and have printed out the NF Kettlebell Workout. I have the NF Bodyweight Workout. I have a rowing machine and a stationary bike. I have 2 pups that love walks. I have a yoga mat and youtube at my disposal. I have more than enough resources to get in a decent workout one way or another. 3 days a week is my minimum goal though my current workout schedule from The FeelGood Plan has me doing 4 days a week of workouts with Saturday being a "fun activity". 4. PE Licensure I am due to take my PE Exam this year, pass it, and get licensed as a Professional Engineer. I cannot get promoted nor can I get a significant raise until I do so or I'll max out my current level's pay range. I also am not eligible for annual bonuses for the company until I get promoted at least 1 more level up so that's a pretty good motivator. In addition, my company is offering a nice little bonus for taking, passing, and getting licensed as a PE while employed with them. I'll take that! Many financial motivators. I have a copy of one of the practice tests. I have most of my college engineering books and notes to refer back to. I simply need to DO the thing. My goal is to spend about an hour each week studying. First, take the practice exam and grade myself. Then note down what concepts I need to re-learn and study. Then, create a study plan and actually follow it. Once I get to the study plan portion, I need to schedule the test (it is currently $375 to schedule so I don't want to set myself up for failure. Especially since I can only take it 4 times a year until I pass). One hour every week. That's it. Just do the thing. Take the thing. Pass the thing. License the self. 5. Finances I need to get my budget up to date and keep it up to date. I need to actually stick to my budget every month and not buy unnecessary items or think I have extra money to spend when that extra should be going towards a debt payment. I need to focus on paying off debt and maintain my debt payoff tracker to keep myself motivated on it. Simple as that. Budget. Don't spend what's not in budget (or update budget for unexpected, but necessary, expenses). Pay excess towards debt. To get started: 1. I've managed to journal for the month of January. One month down, 11 more to go. The habit has started, now I need to keep it. I also need to determine how I'm going to continue it when I'm traveling and don't want to pack 3 giant journals everywhere I go. I might just have to digitize them for those times. Look at that, already found a solution. 2. I've been fairly good about keeping to my one NF Prime "Resolution Rescue" resolution I made: check in with myself before eating to ensure I'm truly hungry and not just bored/stressed/emotional or it's a habit to eat at that time. I've also been mindful about what I'm eating for the most part. Moreso than normal and that's a small step, but a step in the right direction nonetheless. 3. I've only missed 1 workout prior to today due to just plain being a lazy bum. I've missed 2 overall, the second one being today (2/6/2023) as I did my scheduled workout Thursday and Friday followed by unscheduled "functional fitness" on Saturday and Sunday in the form of moving my friends from one house to another and all the heavy lifting that goes with moving. My schedule was to work out today and tomorrow but there's no way I could successfully do 5 days in a row at that intensity and not a) burn out and b) potentially injure myself. Tomorrow is cardio, which usually means the rower, and I'll likely knock that out before my scheduled rest day Wednesday. Overall, the longest I've been consistent with workouts. Ever. That's a win. 4. I bought the practice test and it's sitting on my work desk. I've made a step-by-step guide and set out a goal to do it. 5. I have a budget. I need to update it, but it's there. All my bills and debt are listed. Simply need to fill it in. Other random notes: I'm on a Lara Croft kick, as in I'm idolizing her and wanting to play Tomb Raider (though I don't have my PS4 hooked up and I need to be spending my time more wisely than becoming addicted to video games again). Yet, today I'm feeling a little less Adventurer/Lara and a little more Ranger. I bounce between them daily. Maybe I'm both? Maybe I'll finally discover which I lean more towards this year? For now, I claim both. I also have a bit of Druid in me. I'm slowly introducing homesteading into my life. I need to plan my garden and start getting things prepared for this year. I love the idea of learning Herbalism. Nature is my best therapy. Yoga is something I don't particularly like, but I always come back to like a calling. And I have done a tiny bit of Tai Chi in the past and loved it. Once my current 2023 goals become a lifestyle that takes absolutely no thought, I might re-introduce Tai Chi to my life. We shall see. Baby steps here. Yoga will suffice. I have a goal of 12 books in 12 months. I'm behind right now in February's reading but I plan to spend this evening catching up while the man watches his show. I'm trying to make reading a before bed routine. It, unfortunately, hasn't helped with my budget as I've been purchasing books to keep up this goal. It all started as a way to get back to reading when I wanted to read, but felt I didn't have time combined with the goal of getting off electronics before bed to help me sleep better. Win win, except for my wallet. I prefer tangible books to ebooks, but man, ebooks are GREAT for the wallet. I'm a stepmom to 3 kids. One lives with us permanently and he turns 18 in March, graduates (hopefully) in May then he's living with us while he works and saves up to move out on his own. The other two, who are younger, come during the summer. Memorial day weekend until the first weekend in August. Those are the tough months. I have 2 additional kids I want to get as much possible quality time with and we definitely travel or get out of the house every possible second we can. Doesn't bode well for many of my goals. So here's to that challenge. Hopefully between the month already completed and the next 4-ish months before they arrive I've made these goals more of a lifestyle thing and they come naturally and easily rather than the current to-do list that makes it challenging at times to complete. If you've read this far, congratulations. Your reward is to stop "listening" to me babble on endlessly. Sorry 'bout that. Let's hope this is finally the year I keep up with things. If not, it's the year I've managed to keep up with something, anything, for a month at least.
  9. This challenge is all about fine-tuning habits, breaking up large blocks into smaller modules, and building in agility. Previous challenges have a common theme -- I get into a groove, and then get interrupted. I find a good time for my workout...someone else thinks that's a great time for their meeting. I find a good staple for my lunch kit...someone else decides not to stock that item any more. I find a spot for meditation...someone else decides I look lonely and could use some company. The world is dynamic, so I have to be more agile. Another common thread in those past challenges is that I have tended to program in large blocks: workout once per day, eat twice per day, sleep x to y, meditate z amount of time. I've wanted to nail it all down. But that's what blows up, and worse...that's what I also get bored with. This time, we're breaking it into smaller bites. BODY Fuel: work toward macro balance and calorie targets. I've set my calorie intake to target BMR + workout calories, with an understanding that every single monitor overestimates workout calories. Still, I'll keep packing my early meal, logging both meals, and cutting off snacks 2 hours before bed. Hydrate properly! Work: Here's where the smaller pieces start. This time we'll try morning Pilates, so that lunch only needs the run (continuing the heart rate focused MAF routine, so these are easy runs). This will also give me two chances at getting something in, so interruptions won't necessarily cost me a whole day's workout. Mon-Tues, rest on Wed, Thu-Fri, recover on weekends. HEART Play: Work through the fretboard course on bass (I dug out the guidebook, so just need that 10-minute minimum 5x weekly). Do something for self-care twice weekly. I have sucked at this...working on it. Love: Mindful listening practice continues: look at the talking face! The second piece: respond to the emotional need in the talking, and not necessarily the concrete one. There are already a thousand little pieces to this one. SOUL Grow: This is another small-pieces area. I need to use pomodoro much more frequently, and with more intention. So: identify the daily task, and work on it with gentle intentionality during the pomodoro sessions. Pray: Continue daily meditation, but add in grounding at key times. A short list of such keys: before driving, before a meeting or phone call, before eating, before exercising. Again, many opportunities so that missing one long sit doesn't derail the intention. REST: Down by 10:00, up by 5:30. Eat restfully. Walk between pomodoros at work.
  10. Slaying dragons, vanquishing evil or just being a bad ass is hard work and requires preparation of the mind, body and soul. Preparation can be done in two ways, haphazardly, or well thought out and methodically. The former usually results in failure, the latter if done right can lead to success. This druid (now warrior) seeks to be an all around bad ass and looks to the warriors before her to learn how to train smart and hard for the adventures to come. Training regiment: Getting strong of body requires that you actually train. For the next 5 weeks my training schedule with a local warrior will be : Tuesdays after work Fridays before noon Sundays at home by 2 PM These sessions will be mostly lifting heavy things with some overall body conditioning mixed in. (I am hitting 2 out 3 of these days currently so this goal is only the addition of Sundays) Meal planning: Successful regular training requires well balanced meals. In our manor we have implemented monthly meal plans to help remove decision fatigue around what to eat, cook or buy. Each meal for the next 5 weeks will continue to include at least one serving of: Fruits Vegetables Protein Complex Carbohydrate 12 oz of water To allow for some flexibility, one cheat meal per meal time (so one for breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner for a total of 3) is allowed each week. (I am currently hitting these goals for 80% of my meals.) Mental Health/Rest Rest is essential to training and mental health hardens the mind for the adventure ahead. For the next 5 weeks this will include Bed before 11 PM. The digital devices will be placed across the room or removed entirely. (Rest) Wake when the bird alarm chirps and get out of bed (6:30 AM). Journal/mediate/yoga (Mental Health) Move every hour during mental tasks/work day (Mental Health) Ask others to do tasks in our manor that need to be completed so I have space/time to focus on rest and mental health. (Rest and mental health) (The first three bullets here are carry overs from the last challenge. The fourth one is new and one I have been trying to do more of) Creative outlets Training all the time isn’t fun. Therefore fun should be had in other spaces. For this challenge some fun things I could do: Writing creatively. I am going to try the 5 week world building challenge. I have been dwelling on some ideas that I need to get down and the excuse “I am not good at writing creatively” doesn’t do me any favors. The new mindset here is “Creative writing is a muscle just like my biceps and needs to be worked”. Getting a weekly date night with the hubs or hanging with friends. We used to do this a lot and I miss it. It allowed us to connect and get out of the house. D&D. I am the GM for our current campaign. This is a newer muscle I have been building. Learning French. We have a trip to France this summer and I don’t want to sound like a complete idiot. I am using Duolingo currently and we have a close friend who is also fluent that I would like to ask for help in speaking at least the basics. Tracking/Measuring Progress For Training regiment, I will be taking measurements before and after the challenge. For meals I will continue tracking in MyFitnessPal For rest and mental health I will continue journaling my progress here. For creative fun I will get at least week one and week two date/meet up with friends on the calendar by the start of the challenge.
  11. Right-o. This is a challenge during which I am full on going to channel the science of breath. However, the flu knocked me down on Wednesday afternoon. So what my exact plan is is still floating in the air. I had started doing random exercises to get rid of tension at home, along with dancing. Pretty weird slowly seeing glimpses of who I am. Who I was becoming at around 17-18 coming back to me. Pre-pandemic me. 6-7 year old me. I will piece myself together ❣️
  12. The liturgical calendar marks this as the season of Lent, my favorite season of the Church year, one marked by dedication and gratitude. Through mindful application of ourselves and our spirit, the Way opens before us, as if lit by small lights that bolster us in our efforts. This is the Way. Last challenge I took stock of where I am, of what worked and what didn’t. This round I’m applying a bit of a honing blade, sloughing off that which doesn’t serve me and narrowing my focus and efforts onto what does. Also last challenge I resurrected the old-school skills tree, marking my progress in somewhat less-than-orthodox ways, but meaningful ones nonetheless. I’m interested to see what comes of this next segment, and would like to level up a point in each. Sometimes the Universe gives me the opportunity to level up a second point as well. Constitution: This is wellness, and includes Acupuncture, gym time, good food, and plenty of water and sleep. It also includes the apartment work that I’ve been doing, because being at home while I’m at home is a comfort and an anchor. Strength: Go to work, each day and every day. I know this seems simple. It’s not as easy as it sounds, physically, and I’m seven months into a six-week contract. Being a contractor has a lot of uncertainty with it, so part of my job is also cultivating and nurturing having my job. (See Dexterity) Additionally, my doctor as given me a PT regimen beyond the routine walking. I’ll be doing exercises with bands in the hopes that additional physical strength will help relieve some of the tension and inflammation that is everywhere all the time. Dexterity: Lots of emotional balance going on between the job and the relationship with my daughter. It feels like significant moments are on the horizon for each. Any movement stat also has to take into consideration transportation, which is once again in the Challenge column. I’m hoping to get more fluent with public transit this round. For everything else, there is Uber. Wisdom: Speaking of balance, there’s also perspective. This is the “choose well” portion of keeping my center and being able to choose well during the chaos. It’s also about lightening my debt load. I’d loaded up some debts with scary interest rates over the last couple years, and I’m grateful I was able to leverage my way out of a bad situation, and now it’s time to put that behind me as swiftly and neatly as possible, without wrecking anything else. Possible bonuses to other stats as well. Intelligence: The class wraps up this challenge, and I’m glad I’m taking an accelerated course. Also, there’s a fair amount of work that gets to be done for the dissertation. Before I take on the next project, there’s a lingering, overdue paper that I really want to finish up and move on from, probably next challenge, but definite bonus sparkles if I get it done this round. Charisma: Alliances and support. We aren’t meant to be on this path alone. Thanks for being here.
  13. Non scale goals for the next 5-6 months: (So I can remember) Be strong and mentally flexible for all the opportunities that jump my way Be strong enough to move into a new apartment, and adopt 2 cats simultaneously (fyi I haven't owned a furry pet in almost 10 year, and any breathing pet in 5+ years). Go to ValleyFair (local Amusement park) with no worries of fitting in rides and keep up with my 6'4 brother (I'm 5'11 but damn last year I had drink an energy drink or 2 just to keep up) This challenge goals: -Start bedtime routine 7/8 pm (I wake up at 5 am... so need the extra time to chill) -"Move the Body" - Workout twice a week, trying to get 15 mins of "meaningful movement" everyday -Balanced Plates /Weekly meal plan: Eat mostly from home with "NF balanced plate" All these goals I realize fall under self care. I also have the "meditation goal" but that right now ties with the bedtime routine. End of the last challenge I found I was having a harder time to go to bed at 7 pm due to the quiet brings up the trauma. I am working with someone on this, but doesn't help that some nights I am just broken. That I'm looking forward to getting cats to help with the loneliness that I've been dealing with. Cats are a bit delayed on owning due to needing to move to an apartment that allows them (the perk is also a bigger apartment for myself).
  14. I'm figuring out life post Lyme, I'm getting better, but with all of my successes and failures over the last few years I've realized one major thing: there is a direct correlation between the time I spend outside in nature and my health. I'm not only happiest when I'm outside, but when I'm getting at least two sessions of outside time a day, I'm also more productive at work, excited for other things in life, and actually want to lift. An example is that while this last challenge has not been perfect, it was a whole lot better than the last ones - the first half was good because I was getting outside, but then I was excited about lifting and was focusing more on getting in the gym than getting outside, and then I barely saw the sun for a month because of it and my mental health tanked and I got hit with the sads hard. As soon as I started focusing on getting outside in the afternoon again, within a few days I was feeling like a human again. Turns out, I need the sun, and you can not, in fact, catch it and bottle it for when is convenient for you. I keep fighting the fact that I am a druid because I want to be a warrior, and Ive always really liked the Magus as someone I aspire to be due to the skill in fighting AND learning. But maybe also I'm fighting the fact that I'm a druid because I'm not a druid. I'm a Nature Bonded Magus. Now, I'm not saying I'm not going to be lifting. au contrair - I have a lot of plans. I'm gonna put myself through Nature Bonded Magus "School". Which means everything I do is a part of learning how to be a nature bonded magus. (If we want to talk in habit building and James Clear here, everything I do will be a vote for who I want to be). And that will include lifting because I have to be strong to wield my sword This challenge is my "awakening" challenge, a la Link in the Shrine of Resurrection. A tutorial level, or my freshman year. Whatever you want to call it. I am waking up in the middle of the woods in my pajamas, and I have to forage for a stick to protect myself, and then practice my skills until I'm good enough to earn real clothes and a wooden sword🙂 *I am aware, different game, not the shrine of resurrection, but i'm about to make all the reminder noises on my phone "Hey! Listen!", and this gif was easier to find. And how am I going to do that? Exactly how I've been successful in the past in every time period of my life that I have had a lot I want to do: I will schedule everything, and stick to the schedule. If it is a goal, it will be on the calendar. Also, having a solidified work schedule would be really good for me. The daylight goes away too fast, and I have time blindness with my ADHD - so reminders will be key here, too. I've already got my schedule set up in an app with reminders, I just need to update with challenge theme names. I am using anchor tasks and habit stacking for techniques as those have worked really well before. These are the "Classes" that will appear on my calendar: (I am THEMING THIS, but I am in no way trying to make a real playable character. I'm making my IRL character) Terrain Mastery/Woodland Stride: (Anything outside, gardening, building the chicken coop, setting up the rabbits, etc - work outside, going for a walk, Stomping through the woods, exploring -->7am and 4pm - morning and before it gets dark out. This is the most important goal of all of them. Spellstrike: Training - Strength / Rowing / Gym stuff. --> 1215pm daily during the work week Spellbooks: Planning and Journaling --> 8pm every night Arcane Pool: yoga, mediation, other things that bring me energy that I need to do. This is a part of my going to bed sequence. --> 10pm every night Druidic Herbalism: An actual nutrition course --> one evening/week That's 6 classes, which is more than enough for a whole semester, let alone a 5 week challenge. I also have my non-magus school tasks already planned out and on the calendar - work, eating, sleep, fun time, and the insane amount of doctors appointments I have coming up. It’s all there. With time I can be more flexible, but until I get into these habits, I need to just follow it exactly. I modify the schedule flexibility the night before, so this is realistic. So that is the goal: follow the schedule. One goal. Well, kind of two because part of Spellbooks is daily revisiting the schedule and checking in with Rurik about the next day to make sure everything is still good (which I think will be a good skill for us to develop, too, so im excited about that). Feeling very ready, and surprisingly encouraged after last challenge. And that's it! Good luck, nerds
  15. New life at springtime leads to a new long-term focus. I spent much of last year trying things on, rebuilding the habit of regular workouts, food consciousness, and intentionality in multiple areas. I feel that, especially over the past several weeks, I've landed on a road that I want to follow for a while. Here's the plan: BODY: Fuel: Continue focus on balancing macros and setting caloric intake for my target body composition. This involves packing lunch every day, cooking at home 5 days a week, and maintaining healthy hydration. We've decided to continue "Dry January," and I'm allllmost ready to drop another cup of coffee each day. Work: 45-minute heart rate run followed by 30-minute Pilates, 4x weekly on M-T & Th-F. Wednesday is full rest; Saturday and Sunday are 5k walks. HEART: Play: Bass practice for 15 minutes, at least 5 times weekly. 2 self-care activities each week. Love: Practice listening before speaking. I want to cultivate a practice of seeking 3 times to understand before speaking, unless waiting that long would make the conversation weird. Obviously this requires mindfulness, and I know it will be a growing edge, but I'll take it into meditation. SOUL: Grow: Study metta, stoicism, and other topics related to the above goals. This is primarily through Audible on my commute. The challenge part? Turn off NPR, and actually listen. Buy the paper book when I need to take notes, and then....take the notes. Pray: Metta meditation or contemplative prayer for 15 minutes every day. My cue is to sit after my morning water bottle and before my second cup of coffee. I remembered the cue today, but had an event disrupt the intention. Still, remembering the cue is telling me it's a good cue, so I'm going to stick with that intention. I'll also reserve the "just before sleep" window for a secondary window, with hopes to grow into twice daily sessions. REST: Honor the Wednesday rest day. Go to sleep by 10 (preferably earlier) (don't do the stupid crossword on the phone!). Relax while eating, and don't feed the face like it's dying. Off and running...see you on the mat!
  16. Happy to do my 8th challenge here! Check out my last challenge:
  17. Procrastination is persistent. After walking briskly for most of the day, stepping off the path, taking short cuts and doubling back to hide her tracks, the tall demon is still behind Scalyfreak, gradully drawing closer and showing no signs of giving up. This is a problem, because while demons do not tire Scalyfreak does, and walking for an entire day without a break is exhausting. Walking through the night will be even more of a problem, because demons don't need sleep either, and all the inconvenient consequences of uninterrupted day-long exertion are making themselves known... heavy legs, slow reflexes, an inability to stay focused, and very noise is unexpected and unnerving. This can't continue. Scalyfreak needs to rest, to eat and sleep, and she needs to do it in a place where the demon can't get to her while she sleeps. Fortunately, the forest she's walking through now is familiar to Scalyfreak, and her tired legs find an unexpected small burst of energy to carry her faster towards her destination. The paved path comes into view, swept clean and maintained as always, and the marble building the path leads to is clear of vines and weeds, well repaired, and with the doors wide open and welcoming to all tied travelers. Scalyfreak eagerly crosses the threshold and enters the temple hall with a sigh of relief. The dim light is warm and soothing, the clear air is calming and helps Scalyfreak relax as she sets her bedroll on the floor right below the altar and devours some of the rations in her backpack. She also drinks deeply from her water skin, knowing she will be able to fill it from the well behind the altar before she leaves. Soon enough Scalyfreak settles in for the night and falls asleep, all worries about Procrastination forgotten because for tonight at least she is safe. After all, no demon can enter the Temple of Iron. Before diving into the “few and small” goals for this challenge period, here's a brief “intro” for anyone who doesn't know me very well: After time off from work, life, and challenges, I am finally posting my new challenge. It's about halfway into the challenge period, or thereabouts, so I'm more for less on track with how I normally do these things. Recover HP (physical health) This goal will have two parts: Walk every day, with or without the Happy Sidekick. Lift things. Specifically, barbell things … it's time to reestablish the gym habit. To meet this goal, I need to actually go to the gym at least three out of seven evenings in a week. Restore Mana (Mental Health) Same goal as last challenge – meditate every day. I have a history of really struggling to remember to do this on days that are not work days, so taken three week off from work over the holidays really interfered with this habit.. Regenerate Stamina (emotional bandwidth) Also same goal as the last challenge: Deliberately do at least one thing every day for no other reason than because I know I will enjoy it. I predict that a lot of this will involve the Feisty Sidekick, simply because he craves attention and affection, and playing with a kitten is good for Mana recovery as well as Stamina.
  18. My Happy New Year I’ve been blessed in abundance in 2022, with the end of the year glittering with moments of miracles and love. That doesn’t mean it was easy, or simple, or that there isn’t work left to do. In many ways, this land of abundance is alien, and I’m making my way into 2023 a little star-struck from it all, and with no small amount of culture shock. How to live in this space, amplify it and honor it? How to make sure I don’t squander the gifts with a scarcity mindset, or from anxiety? How can I go forward in love? This is a time of having set down the weapons; the sword stands at rest in its scabbard; the bow has been unstrung. There is no fight and I have no enemies. The Way forward is one of gentleness, a time of tending to my Self and my Spirit as I would tend a newly-laid garden bed, rich and fertile. In the lunar calendar, this is the end of the year, a time when all things should be squared away, buttoned up, and arguments ironed out. For the Celts, this was a time of looking forward as the earth tilts towards the light, culminating in Imbolc, a time to sweep the house and set the fields to right for the coming gifts of Spring. The Christian liturgical calendar brings Epiphany, a time of revelation and gifts, the joy of the end of waiting in the dark, the manifestation of the miracle. These traditions focus on looking at our everyday lives in ways that we can prepare for the coming abundance, making ourselves ready to receive very real blessings. This challenge, the goal is to take stock, see what’s what, and make a plan from there. Will there be a spreadsheet? Possibly, but the numbers are less important than the measurement. Because the universe loves me and wants me to be happy.
  19. Been doing a lot of reflecting. Having your Saturnalia festivities interrupted by having to evacuate the house due to pipes busting will do that. Mostly just seems to be an appropriate moment in my life to get back into the challenges. I experienced something of a mini-mental breakdown last week that had me staring at my basement wall from the time I clocked out of work until going to bed that night. I think I just broke under the stress. I've been existing as a Work Completion Machine(tm) in some capacity or another since I began my career change. At the time, it made sense to prioritize building my reputation as a guy who got shit done. That, and my anxiety never let me shake the fear that I was always just one wrong step away from being thrown out on my ass. And then there was my relationships, also mostly driven by fear. Will I get kicked out of the tribe for being too liberal? Or not liberal enough? Or for being an atheist? For speaking my mind? Because I didn't bring a casserole or a bottle of wine to the dinner party? In other words, I kept putting everyone and everything else ahead of myself. To the point where, when my therapist, a few sessions back, asked me what my values were, I had no answer for her. I've lost track of my identity. And, at the same time, I find it leaking out everywhere. I inject my identity and my ego into conversations so much that every interaction feels like one of those ninja course challenges where I'm trying to verbally dash across the spinning log to say all the right things, crack the right jokes, and not offend the wrong sensibilities. My social interactions become this weird dance where I'm both trying to shield my ego from danger while also ordering it to dance for other people's entertainment. That changes now. This challenge is dedicated to me. I'm putting my own mask first. I'm looking out for my needs and my wants. And I'm starting by taking on my demons. I might turn this into a narrative. Could be fun. A sort of demon hunter thriller. At least build in some form of gamification. We'll see. For now, this challenge is still a work in progress. Challenge Goals. By 2/4/2023 (end of challenge): 1. 170 minutes meditated (5 mins per challenge day less 2 cheat days). 2. 10 salads prepared (2 per week). 3. 2 braises prepared. 4. 2 bicycle trips. 5. No more than 12 video game hours. 6. Update NF daily. 40 hours extra work (i.e. work in addition to my usual 40) by the end of the challenge. -------------------------- Challenge progress: 1. 26/170 minutes meditated. 2. 2/10 salads prepared. 3. 1/2 braises prepared. 4. 0/2 bicycle trips completed. 5. 8/12 video game hours. 6. 5/40 extra work hours. Last updated: 1/8/2023.
  20. I kinda oopsed out of the last challenge. I started strong, immediately got pregnant (so far so good) and lost momentum. This challenge is all about trying to put a gentle effort in the right direction with both mind and body. Food: Our restaurant eating and spending is going a little off the deep end. Goal is to make a meal plan every Sunday. Bonus points for sticking to the meal plan, but we do so much better when we HAVE one even without 100% adherence. I'm a little nervous about this because my appetite has been unpredictable, and some days I just have a craving and I will probably cry if I can't have it. Other days I absolutely cannot eat something that is put in front of me. Sometimes it's a meat, sometimes a veggie, sometimes something strongly scented of garlic or cardamom or some random thing. But a huge part of having a plan is the husband knowing what he's gonna be eating, because I am usually happy to dig something out of the small hoard of generally "safe" foods we've been buying to make sure I'll almost always eat SOMETHING. Me eating yogurt and apples one night, a real home-cooked meal the next and buttered pasta the third is probably better than rotating between takeout pizza, takeout Thai, takeout Indian and takeout burgers, especially since some of those come with sugary drinks. Exercise: My endurance has definitely taken a nosedive. I'd like to work up to either a walk or prenatal yoga every morning. Week 1: yoga Monday. Week 2: Add walk Thursday. Week 3: Add yoga Friday. Week 4: Add walk Tuesday. Week 5: Add yoga Wednesday. Don't worry about duration. If it's a 2 minute walk or yoga that's totally fine. Mental: Stick to meditation. I've had a miscarriage earlier in the year, and meditation along with just kind of a low-info diet with regards to pregnancy has been keeping me more level than I even was last pregnancy pre-loss (I was a total wreck psychologically all the way from the positive test through confirmation of a non-growing fetus; ironically I felt better after than confirmation that before... I'm always better with an actual bad thing happened than a possible one. Anyway.). My goal is simply to meditate a minimum of once daily for around 10 minutes. I use the headspace app, just because I find guidance useful. I had completed their support after miscarriage series and trying to conceive series just before I got pregnant, did the pregnancy series in the last 30 days, and now plan to re-do the basics packs and maybe some of the advancing your practice packs or whatever before revisiting the pregnancy series. However, I want to remind myself to be flexible and be willing to seek and drop in to a different series or one-off if I feel that's what I need in order to maintain the most calm mental state I can reach. Bonus goal: I'm always tired. If I need a nap, take a nap.
  21. I went over all of the warm-up exercises with my physiotherapist, so it's time to work them into my routine somewhere. I'm enjoying the content of my job, but it's a bit of a mental warfare there socially. Part of me wonders if the reason why I'm not starting to look for job openings is because it's giving me the hits I need while I'm detoxing from my familial abuse cycles. And, just like that, by writing it out, I realize: asking the question is answering it. Alright. I guess I'll start looking to create mental space to start browsing vacancies.
  22. Behind my home there is a field, and beyond the field a hill named Gloria. The last in a line, it’s not high or beautiful, but the sun sets on it in autumn and bathes it in orange and purple. A creek flows over it from the low mountains further distant, breaking out to a low waterfall that pools and trails off along the edge of the meadow. In dreams I sit at the edge of the pool, watching the water tumble down, waiting for peace to wash over me. Today, I decided to go searching for it. Passing behind the cascade I see an opening, no larger than a door, tucked behind a rocky outcrop. I step in and find myself in a narrow passage, gently ascending, which turns sharply to the right after several feet and then curves in a near-perfect semicircle back to the left, like a giant question mark carved in the sandstone. Reaching the end of the arc, I find myself in a small circular antechamber. A fire is set in the center of the room, keeping it warm and bright. Large, smooth benches are carved into the stone on either side, their backs blending seamlessly the walls forming a dome high overhead. Directly opposite the tunnel, another doorway stands flanked by delicately carved columns. Passing through the second doorway, I find myself what must have started as a natural grotto but has been carved out to form three perfectly cubic chambers. The center, where I stand, is empty – the floor level, swept clean, with natural light spilling in from above. This, I know, is a space suited for movement, for testing and strengthening the body. To my right, another chamber practically glows with a verdant green. A small tree has taken root there, fed by a small rivulet that trickles in from the opening above. The tree bears sweet yellow fruit, and I know this to be a place of rest and nourishment. To the left opens a study, complete with bookshelves, two leather chairs, and a small fireplace of its own; a perfect space for inquiry and contemplation. I’m not surprised to see this – somehow I’ve known that this place is mine. Somehow I know that, though the rooms are tended by an elderly man and refreshed daily by a boy of no more than ten years, I am the only one who has ever been here. Somehow I know that this is not a home, but a sanctuary. I resolve to return, and awaken. ______________________ The disciplines for winter (2 challenges) look like this: Body Fuel – macro balance, hydration, coffee reduction, resting with 14/10 intermittent fasting Work – 2 runs weekly, 2 Pilates sessions weekly, 2 long walks weekly, 1 full rest day (workouts at least 30 minutes plus dynamic warmup and 10-minute yoga cooldown) Heart Play – Daily bass guitar practice, self-care practice 2x weekly Love – 1 “love language” practice for a family member daily Spirit Grow – Daily learning in Duolingo and/or professional or growth reading Pray – Daily metta practice or meditation/contemplative prayer Rest – At least 7 hours sleep per night, 1 full rest day per week Accountability: Weekly weigh-in on Sunday just to track progress (long-term goal is moving toward ideal weight of about 190...the delta is about 15 pounds at the moment) Weekly scorecard posted here.
  23. Jié Xī ( the rebel formerly known as Magdalena Ravenclaw) attempts her first 12 Week Year (over the next 3 NFR challenges). Shortly before the New Year, I discovered the book, The 12 Week Year. While I am applying it mostly to business goals, I am also going to use it to attempt to achieve my fitness goals. I have to have a Week Accountability Meeting (which means log in here at least weekly and report on my progress). It is also suggested to have a Daily Huddle (which would be logging in daily just long enough to say if I accomplished the previous day's goals). Main 12 Week Quest : Zip My Coat(s). Not sure what weight/pounds that will be, but I am trying to focus on something less abstract and more profitable than seeing a number on the scale. I like coats the way many women like shoes. But I've gained weight after 2 kids (now 4 and 6) and though I lost 30 of the 60 gained during pregnancy, I'd like to get the rest off and get back into most of my nicer clothes. But, I recently realized why I have failed at my weight loss attempts for the past 4 years. It's because I am no longer fat / in the obese category as I was for 4 years. I'm not thin by any means (I'm in the overweight category), but I don't hate what I see anymore in the mirror, so the discomfort of not snacking or enjoying pizza does not outweigh the discomfort of not liking my reflection. So in other words my "long-term vision" (lose weight) which is suppossed to keep me motivated and focused on my goal (of not snacking) isn't working because my actual goal is "don't be fat" and I achieved it. With that in mind, my new goals are more fitness oriented. I will be 45 this year, and while writing my 5, 10, and 15 year vision (for 12 Week Year) of who and where I want to be, I realized my goal is to maintain (or up) my current level of fitness. We went to the zoo the other day, and while my mom and MiL went to the restroom, I ran up and down 3 flights of stairs. I want to be able to do that at 50, 55, and 60. I don't want age to stop me at anything fitness-wise. So, I need to get stronger and more flexible (which is part of this 12 week year goal) and then maintain that level of strength and flexibility. But working on that should by default help me achieve weight loss as well and so my goal is to be able to zip my puffer coat and button my 2 wool coats. Maybe, I will take pictures of how much they won't close. Side Quest/Warrior Goal: Do one complete pull up (or chin up). I've never done either one in my adult life (now in my 40's), and I have an old shoulder injury in the left and new shoulder injury I've only just recovered from in the right. So, in the event that a pull up is unrealistic to achieve in 12 weeks, I am leaving myself the chin up option. Also, I usually get up from the floor by doing split squat, putting both hands of my front knee, and pushing up with an old lady groan. No more. I watched a YouTube video on how to get up from the floor gracefully and have incorporated that into my lower body routine. The video pointed out that I have poor ankle mobility, so I will be incorporating an ankle mobility workout into my lower body routine. Side Quest/Druid Goal: Touch my toes. I've never done this in my adult life either. From sitting, my hands are about just past my knees (wrists over knees). From standing, my back is flat as a table (would like for my chest to touch my thighs). Again, I have no idea if this is a realistic goal or not. But there is bound to be flexibility improvements if I actually do yoga 3+ days a week (compared to 3x a year, which is about the norm for me). Any improvement would be nice. I have two yoga routines (one is a 10 minute full body, the other is a 12 minute leg and hip focus). I've also taken up Tai Chi Sword (I have two swords complete with tassels) and am really enjoying it. I tried a Tai Chi workout without the swords and it was boring / too slow. But put swords in my hands and I can do slow and deliberate like a boss, lol. But the TCS is not actually part of my goal. It's more a fun hobby that I took up that compliments my fitness goals.
  24. Totally fell off the NF map in 2022, but more importantly, not off the cliff when it came to many of my goals! After a few too many health things, including closing out the year getting over COVID, I'm ready for some new beginnings. Body: I want to continue to cement my fitness goal as functional movement and increases when they come, rather than the more unhealthy cultural goals I implicitly hold. A. Continue 2-3 strength workouts per week; continue daily walks Goal: Introduce a flexibility program 3 times per week. B. Became too impulsive. Goal: Limit fast food, aiming for no more than once per week; fruit and/or vegetable per meal Mind Goal: Daily reading, professionally and leisurely Spirit: continued contemplative prayer Goal: New daily devotional pattern of reading and prayer Bonus Goal: I have begun a writing project. Spend three days a week, minimum, an hour each day.
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