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  1. A couple of days late due to travel, but I am happy to pounce upon a new challenge. What to expect: Ambitious goals that I will profit from pursuing even if I don't succeed 100% Charts and graphs Random photos Enthusiasm and optimism but also probably some snark Musings on assorted tangents Also, fair warning to the visually minded among you: I have changed my user icon to a custom avatar I had designed by an artist I love. Sorry for any discombobulation. And now the question that matters: what am I up to this time? Three things! 1. NOT EATING CHOCOLATE You know those people in multi-decade toxic codependent relationships with shitty partners who are nothing but bad news for them, but inexplicably they keep getting sucked back in? That is the story of Severine and chocolate. Chocolate is kind of an asshole who has never had anything but a negative experience on my life, health, self-esteem, etc. and offers me so very little in return (most of the time I barely enjoy it; it's more compulsion/addiction than anything). Yet, it's been so hard for me to stay broken up with chocolate. It took me a long, long, long time to realize that moderation simply does not work for me with chocolate. On the bright side, I have given up chocolate completely twice in my life (once for more than six months!). Both times, it was an unequivocal and drastic improvement, positive in every single way. Yet, due I think to inadequate awareness of the challenges of maintaining that policy, and attendant lack of planning on my part, I stumbled back into chocolate's sinister embrace both times. So, let's repeat what worked so well and iterate on it to solve the problems that arose last time. I will be tracking this, reflecting on it, and working to make a durable long-term plan with necessary contingencies. 2. IMPROVING MY HANDWRITING I don't think it's any secret that I love notebooks, journalling by hand, doodling, etc. As such, I probably pay more attention to my handwriting than is standard. It has been bothering me for quite a while that my handwriting seems to be getting sloppier. The reason isn't mysterious: I don't write by hand anywhere near as much as I used to, and my muscle memory isn't what it was. Plus, I am often in a rush when writing these days (sometimes for legit reasons like needing to note things down during a video call, but often just because I am impatient), which just makes things worse. And then not loving my handwriting means I write less...which means worse handwriting. Vicious cycle. I'll post a separate post with a 'before' sample. Good handwriting is often incorrectly associated with being smart or organized, but it's a physical skill, and it responds to physical training, not thoughts or intentions or strategies. Just as I would need to do strength training if I wanted to get better at lifting things, I need to do handwriting drills/practice to improve my handwriting. My goal is to do this for a short period of time every day, probably about 10 minutes. I will periodically post the progress. I am confident that I will see a concrete improvement over the duration of the challenge. This is important for me because I really enjoy writing by hand - I do it for stress relief and creativity and fun and the neurological benefits (esp. with regard to learning), and I want to feel completely positive about it, not have this lingering dissatisfaction with my physical handwriting skill decreasing my enjoyment. 3. USING MY EXPENSIVE ELLIPTICAL BECAUSE COME ON SEVERINE I have probably mentioned that I find it difficult to spend money on anything that isn't strictly necessary. We bought the elliptical recently for very good reasons, but the consciousness of its cost is still kind of needling at me, and I know from experience that the more I use it, the better I will feel about the purchase. So I'd like to try and get into the habit of using it every day, even if it's not for that long. As such, I'm setting myself a goal of at least 15 minutes on the elliptical every day unless I'm too sick for it to be advisable (hopefully this will not happen). C'est parti!
  2. I cant believe I've not done a doctor who challenge yet! Going back to a point system. Worked well in previous ones. I'l figure out what my goal for a week is during the first few days of 0 week. Quest 0 Drink (uninfected) water! Water: Ideally I will be around 85 oz a day, but minimum 64 The easiest quest I ever do, and yet when it's not one I just don't get the water intake needed. it's why its quest 0 instead of actually being one of my 3. More here for accountability, not for Quest 1: Food stuff. This is still a little TBD. Thought about another whole 30, not really a good time for that. Thought about trying Herbalife, not too sure about that. need to figure out something I do know it will involve eating better than fish fingers and custard! Quest 2: Make the adipose go away (AKA Strength Mobility & Practice) Still finalizing this. I want to start doing some body weight workouts, or light free weights. Some yoga to keep up flexibility. And just overall slowly starting to get in better shape. Hopefully by the end of this challenge we'll have the tandem, but not including that until we know when we're getting it. Yoga- _ Points Body weight workout _ points Walking min 30 mins_ points 1 form 5 times _ points 1 set of animal techniques _ points Quest 3 Do something creative! This can be handwriting, or costuming. Also going to include reading on this. Going to be getting my Spencerian Script practice book in the next week or so. 1 point for every 10 mins of handwriting Tracking Spreadsheet Cheers! and
  3. It took me a couple tries to figure out how I was going to share this image with you but this is my NF Challenge for myself. It's imperfect because that's just how life is sometimes. I'm The Most Loathed and I've done a few challenges and been keeping a battle log lately. I've decided to jump into a challenge because it's been a while since I've done one and because I've dealt with a lot of change in recent weeks and am working on trying to settle into habits one again. First, the big ass photo above. These are my quests for the challenge. They come in the categories of Social, Training and Writing. If I decide to add more, I'll add more but those are my baselines. Training I've been working out for years. It hasn't always been perfect, it hasn't always been good, but it's been there. My new schedule has really cramped my training schedule so I'm trying to reestablish the habit. I teach fitness classes on Tuesday and Wednesday. Saturday I take a fitness class but at least once a month, sometimes twice a month I teach that class instead. It's a mixed class so it's not really my normal level of intensity. When I'm not training I'm trying to balance my relationships versus my need to train. In a magical world where I had all the time in the world, I'd work out everyday but I know enough by now to leave at least one day empty and also to realize that it's quite likely that at least one additional training session per week will get blown up. In addition, when I write the training program for my classes each week, I like to give it a trial run, so that's one more workout eaten right there. I'm trying to trail three times a week, outside of classes. I know I'm going to be traveling one week so that's 9 sessions. I'm giving myself one session of mercy. I have noticed that my mobility has suffered in recent months. The best fix that I know for this is Active Release, foam rolling for most people. I also get a marathon stick and a lacrosse ball involved but the principle is the same. So, I'm going to challenge myself to do two sessions of this per week, during the challenge as well. Writing I've made a choice to improve my handwriting. To take some the of the drudgery out of that I have bought two refillable fountain pens and some nice paper. My fountain pens are bottom of the price spectrum for refillables, a pair of Pilot Metropolitans, one in a medium nib and one in a fine nib. I also bought a Retro 51 rollerball pen for times when that's the right choice. I bought some Rhodia A5 dotpads for the fountain pens and that's what you see in the image above. I've been working on my printing and it's gotten better but I have lots of practice ahead of me. So far it's largely been just free form writing which is a good opportunity to pratice writing and just clear my head. What I've not been doing are deliberate exercises like just repeating a letter and really trying to get it right. I have 28 days and 26 letters. I feel like I should give the whole alphabet a go in lower case. Next challenge I can try uper case. I also got me a penpal. It's not on the list specifically because writing to him will fall under the freeform writing. I've had three penpals in my life now. Sometime back in middle school or so we were assigned one from another school. In college I got a german penpal because I was studying german. She wanted to practice her English (which was pretty close to as good as mine) and I wanted to practice my German (which had a long ways to go to fluency). Now, this guy who live down in Georgia. I sent my first letter yesterday and am awaiting my own first letter. Social I'm a nerd just like most of you. I'm quite content to not talk to people. When I do they often do things like ask about my family or weekend. I sometimes respond but don't bother to ask in return, which I think is the social norm. To try and make myself take a more active interest, I'm going to try and learn the names of the family members of my three closest coworkers. I have no idea how I'll go about it but I'm going to try. Also, because I'm now teaching these classes, I'm going to try and learn several of the attendees names. I've picked up a few already but being able to call anyone by name seems like a good skill to have I'm taking a trip during this challenge This heading one compounding factor to this challenge is tha the week of the 20th, I'll be running around the Rocky Mountains with some friends. I've attempted to account for this in my calculations but we'll just see how this plays. I've never taken a vacation with another couple before. I know the other husband has ambitions of summitting fourteeners but I also think he's physically less prepared than he thinks. I also think he may try to push on regardless. Deliberately Excluded I'm not trying to do everything, here are some things that i'm not doing this challenge although they may just come up from time to time. Diet - I'm not following a specific diet. I tend to eat paleo-ish but I've not been particularly dialed in of late. I'm just going to try and keep myself below 210 and call it good enough, especially with a trip in here. I will likely mention what I eat at times but I'm not tracking anything here. Meditation - I got on a good kick of meditation several months back. It lasted about three months before I just dropped it. At some point I'd like to get back to the habit but for now it's not on the radar. Classes/Instruction - I don't have any goals around the act of teaching my classes. I will definitely talk about it but I'm not trying to measure it.
  4. I feel like I've been drifting for quite awhile now. Keeping it simple to 2 things, so I can focus on them. Everything else I know I should be doing not going to take up challenge space for it right now. so taking inspiration from some of my new favorite shows over the next few challenges. This challenge- Lian Yu. Train 30 mins daily- this can take many forms. Stretching, core work, strength work, cardio, , practicing forms. Have quite time/meditation at least 5 mins at least 3 days a week
  5. Main Quest. My main quest is to develop my confidence and physical health/fitness to the point where my low self esteem no longer holds me back from living life the way I'd like to. This challenge I'll be keeping things pretty simple by taking better care of my body, teaching it to move better, and doing a crap load of pushups. Quest 1 - Movement Training. +3 DEX Mobility/stretching every day Practice parkour rolls 3 times a week Quest 2 - Increase Pushups. +2 STR, +1 STA Continuing my quest to reach 100 pushups in 5 sets, this challenge the goal is 75. That means an improvement of 6 reps in 4 weeks. As always, this will be measured in a once-weekly test. Quest 3 - Get better rest. +3 CON Laptop off by 21:30 Sunday-Thursday. Basically any night I need to wake up for work the next day. This will probably include a couple of Friday's as I pick up extra hours most Saturdays these days. No caffeine after 4PM. This used to be a strict rule of mine but I've let it slide recently. Quest 4 (life quest) - Earning my pen license. +1 WIS Continuing on from my last quest, I'll be working my way towards actual grown-up handwriting by practising handwriting 3 times each week. Grading A (100%), B (75%), C (50%), D (25%), F (0%) Quest 1: 4 weeks success in each part (A) 3 weeks success in each part (B) 2 weeks success in each part (C) 1 week success in each part (D), 0 weeks success in each part (F) Quest 2: 75 reps (A) 74 reps (B) 73 reps (C) 72 reps (D) 71 or less reps (F) Quest 3: 0 failed days during challenge (A) 3 or less failed days (B) 4-7 failed days (C) 8-11 failed days (D), 12 or more failed days (F) Quest 4: 4 weeks success (A) 3 weeks success (B) 2 weeks success (C) 1 week success (D), 0 weeks success (F)
  6. Let it be known that 2016 is the year of asskickery. Yes, that's a word. Shut up. Main Quest. My main quest is to develop my confidence and physical health/fitness to the point where my low self esteem no longer holds me back from living life the way I'd like to. Main Objective for this 4WC. Make a start on working towards my fitness goals for this year - check the spoiler section in my sig for details. Quest 1 - Bringin' flexy back. +4 DEX Inspired by reading this article on NF, and the fact that my flexibility is pretty disproportionate to the rest of my overall health. I will do at least two minutes of stretching every day. Quest 2 - The ever present pushup goal. +4 STR, +1 STA Nothing new here, I'm aiming to increase the amount of pushups I can do in 5 sets by 1 rep each week until I get to 100. My previous record was 60, so this challenge I aim to reach 64 push-ups in five sets. Increase pushups by 1 rep each week. Quest 3 - This totally counts as Jedi training. +2 STA, +1 CON, +1 STR Yeah, blame Star Wars for this one. I've always wanted to be able to do handstands but have a fear of being upside down. This also applies to my goal of being able to do forwards and backwards rolls. It's gonna be a long process of baby steps which I'll start by doing wall plank practice 4 times a week. Quest 4 (life quest) - Earning my pen license. +1 CHA, +1 WIS My handwriting is embarrassing. Not just messy, I could deal with messy, and I swear it's getting worse. Time to sort it out. For this challenge I will practice handwriting 3 times a week. Grading - Weekly pass/fail system Each quest will be assessed on a pass/fail basis each week. At the end of the challenge stat points will be awarded based on a percentage system. 4 Weeks success = A (100%) 3 Weeks success = B (75%) 2 Weeks success = C (50%) 1 Weeks success = D (25%) 0 Weeks success = F (0%)
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