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Happy New Year Nerds! I'm so excited to be getting going with this challenge. I took a break from NF over the holidays because I hurt my back and I was just generally stressing out over too many things. But I didn't fall off the wagon tooooo hard and my back is all better and I had a lot of time to think about how I wanted to start off the new year. I'm honestly looking forward to this year more than any past years I can remember basically since I was in high school. After a year and a half I am finally starting to not be constantly depressed about my grandfather's death, I am much more financially stable than I have ever been in my adult life, and I got a new long term project at work that I am really excited about. Also things happening this year that will make this year even more awesome: 1) The boyfriend and I are going to Alaska in July 2) I'm going to Camp Nerd Fitness!!! Squeeeeeeeee 3) My roommates are moving out in February and the boyfriend and I will finally have our very own apartment for the first time ever! 4) We're getting a new cat! In the break I took over the holidays I had a lot of time to think, and I realized a few things about myself and my goals that I think will help make this a really successful year. Firstly, I am constantly getting frustrated with my cleaning goals because I feel like I never make any progress. I've come to the realization that our apartment is completely at capacity with 2 couples and a cat and A LOT OF STUFF. So I'm going to stop beating myself up about this situation, do my best to make sure everything doesn't go to hell, and once the roommates move out stick to a cleaning schedule I've been dying to do forever, but it will then be 100% under my control, instead of trying to do stuff and having it completely negated by other people's doings. I also realized I absolutely need a morning and evening routine. I feel so much better throughout the day when I didn't get up and rush out the door like a mad woman, and I imagine an evening routine will help me deal with my sleep issues. Finally, I realized that I've been saying I'm going to start Stronglifts for over 6 months now. It's freakin' time! I've been resisting because I have always absolutely hated gyms. But... I'm going to just do it. I've been wanting this for so long. So I will start with super super low KB weights (like I'm talking 5lb) and increase by 2.5lbs (because those are the fractional weights I have), and then once I hit 40lb I'll suck it up join a gym and start using barbells, at that point I'd be increasing by 2lbs each workout, as this is what the Stronglifts program reccommends for women. And, without further ado, my challenge: MISSIONS Grading on all 3 of these are pure percentage of completed out of possible, rounded to the nearest 0.5 point. 1. Routines Do my morning and evening routines 5x/week each minimum. Possible Stat Points: 5 CHA Morning MeditateJournaling (I've made my own that's basically a version of the Five Minute Journal tailored more for me. It includes an area for dream journaling and an area to write about my meditation experience that day, it actually seems like a fantastic idea and I highly recommend checking it out) Evening: No electronics the hour before I have to go to bedPick Out Clothes for the Next Day (I find this usually gives me so much stress in the AM)Sleep by 7 hours before I have to wake upJournaling 2. Morning Workouts Possible Stat Points: 5 DEX I will either run or do yoga in before meditating in the morning, 5x/week. I have a feeling I will probably lean towards yoga most of the time, but maybe I'll get ambitious. 3. Evening Workouts Possible Stat Points: 3 STR/2 STA Stronglifts 3x/week Foam Rolling 2x/week DIET CHALLENGE Cook More Food Possible Stat Points: 5 CON I need to go back to basics with this. I always struggle with my food, and in general I do eat healthy when I cook for myself but when I am with my family or eating out it's just basically an all cheese all the time show. Which is bad in so many ways. So instead of restricting myself from eating things, I am going to look at it in a different way. 4 dinners a week will be a home cooked meal! This includes leftovers and batch cooking, so if I just want to make one meal enough for 4 dinners that's fine too. Grading will be pure percentage of completed cooked meals out of a possible 24, rounded to the nearest 0.5 points. LIFE CHALLENGE No More Beer! All the Scotch Possible Stat Points: 5 CON So this method may sound a little nuts, but I've done it before and it works. I drink so many extra empty calories from beer. I drink beer on board game night with friends, I drink beer or wine when I come home from work to unwind, and all that adds up to a lot of carbs for no reason. I also do it a little mechanically, like oh I'm at my friends and everyone is having beer I'll have one too. I love drinking and relaxing, so I'm not saying I want to stop drinking completely, I don't see a need for that right now at all. What I'm going to do is restrict myself to only drinking scotch. I LOVE scotch. Like a lot. But, I am not going to pound back 4 of them just for the hell of it like beer. I can't drink scotch without drinking it slowly and with intent, and enjoying every sip. Plus one teeny glass packs the same punch as a whole beer with a lot less calories. And since scotch is on the pricier side I'll be much more likely not to drink it just because. I'll allow myself one beer every two weeks. This way if someone comes along with a ridiculously awesome new microbrew I'll never get to try again I can try it guilt free. This one will be graded by beers over the limit. For a 6 week challenge I'll be allowed 3 beers total. For every beer over this limit my grade will drop: 0 beers over: A (5 points) > 3 beers over: B (3 points) > 6 beers over: C (1 point) < 6 beers over: F (0 points) And that's that!