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  1. This is January 8th 2018, I have not yet thought about my "Good resolutions" for the year. I just came back from 2 weeks of vacations during which I did nothing but what I wanted, search for serenity and truth and introspected while trying to identify what I want from life. I know 2 things: - Currently my life is NOT what I want my life to be - It will NOT magically change by itself, I need to plan / think / act in order to get what I want My vacations were good to identify what I want from life (hint: less work, more TIME, the one thing no one can buy), so now I need to plan HOW to get there. In 2018 I will likely have to or want to: - Change jobs - Change countries - Find more people who share my values and my sense of humor - Have time for ME - Do what is good for ME This is a tall order and I thus need time to see how I will get there. So I will take January to plan how to do that without sacrificing good habits. As a "side", I also want to get back on track with nutrition after 2 weeks of just "eat whatever you want, see or are offered". I have not dared weighting myself yet, but I am pretty sure I gained weight. So this first challenge of 2018 will be spent closing down unfinished business and planning for the rest of the year. These are 4 key questions and 1 norm question I should answer: - (Norm question) What mix of nutritional restriction and exertion do I want to have in my life? * What will be my weight/health goal? * How much do I want to restrict food, versus make smart nutritional choices? * How much exercise do I want to do on a regular basis and what is the place of strength training in there? Should I try PT? - What kind of job do I want? * What responsibilities, level of management? * What type of future do I want to have beyond this job? * What do I like to do at work? - Where should I live? * What country/city will enable me to be happy and have time for me, while not making me uncomfortable? (also offers a job which meets the conditions above) * How do I manage to be close to my family, independent and safe? * Where can I entertain myself, meet people (see next point!) and learn in the same place? - How do I meet new people (despite being afraid of meeting new people and having a terrible track record a meeting new people)? (Note: New people is considered as a large group, but I would also like to meet people who specifically share the same values as I do and also have some common ideas regarding humor or having fun, aka people who read but also enjoy music and imaginary worlds) * What activities should I try and do to meet new people ? * What places should I try to go to meet new people? * What should I do to ensure I continue meeting people once I met them for the first time? - How do I make sure I make myself happy beyond work? (aka happy things) * What makes me really happy? (Hint: Binge watching reruns does not qualify, Discovering a new season of GoT may) * How do I set time aside to do these things? * In an ideal world, how do I share these things and times with people? - How do I make sure I do the right thing for me? (aka reasonable things) * What are the right things? (Especially in terms of nutrition and exercise, but also in keeping or not people in my life) * How do I make sure to do them 80% of the time without making myself miserable? (How do I make them work with the happy things?) * How do I ensure I do not feel bad, feel guilty or worse ashamed if I am not doing these things? I will try to think about these things and test some ideas out this month and throughout the year, to see what works and what does not, and come up with a plan. Weekly goals: - By Jan 14: Establish norms for nutrition and exercise. Focus on 1 key question and identify answers - By Jan 21: Test answers for 1 key question and identify answers for a second KQ. Identify people who can help with answers (e.g., professionals such as headhunters and coaches, friends, family members) - By Jan 28: Test answers for 2 key questions and identify answers for a third KQ. Start discussing potential answers with key people to see what they think - By Feb 4: Test answers for 3 key questions and start finding answers for a fourth one. Start writing down what it means and how it is shaping up to be. After Feb 4, there will be unanswered questions. Live with it. Life cannot be planned .
  2. Obvious joke out of the way first: Joking aside, all I really want out of the next four weeks is a recovery of my inner equilibrium. I've been firing on full burn since July, and despite my repeated efforts to slow things down, it just hasn't been happening. Mostly because, as I'm well aware, I haven't been doing enough to MAKE it happen. It's time to shed the excuses and bring my mind back into harmony. We all have busy lives, and yet I'm pretty sure most people have a higher sanity level than I do right now. I need to remember that I'm an introvert and that it's okay to skip things and say no sometimes. On the bright side, some major events are now gone by. My sister was successfully married last Friday, and my major fix-it project for the year (my decaying section of roof) is nearly complete. I have a meditation textbook that requires study, and I need to spend some time focusing on what skills I already have to help bring my mind back under control and stop feeling like I'm constantly stretched beyond my limits. Still working on the concrete goals, but I will have some this time. On the Kung Fu front, I may be testing for my orange belt sometime in the near future (like, next week or two). Frankly, I'm not sure I'm qualified, especially in my endurance, as my attendance at class has been sparse lately and my exercise outside of that has been basically nil... but if Sifu thinks I'm ready, I'm willing to push myself. I've been very focused on making all of my stances better lately, so hopefully that improvement will show. Speaking of which, I'm gonna go for a walk. ======================================================= Okay, real goals time: I'm stealing the basis of @Luciana Valerosa Culming's unicode checkmark system to track this time, because this challenge is basically going to be all about meditation. I want my sanity back, and short of running off into the forest somewhere for a long time to live in utter solitude, I think a solid meditation habit might be the only way to do it. Unicode: ✔✘☐ Meditation Week 1: ✔☐☐☐☐ Week 2: ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Week 3: ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Week 4: ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ I'll be editing this to track how I do. ✘ means no meditation that day, ✔ means I sat for at least one 10 minute session during that day, means I sat for >20 minutes in a single session. On the bright side, I'm already off to a decent start, because I actually took 30 minutes today. Not nearly all of it was totally focused, but that's okay. Study Week 1: ✔ Week 2: ☐ Week 3: ☐ Week 4: ☐ This part is all about reading The Mind Illuminated by Dr. John Yates. I'd like to read at least a chapter a week, and really absorb it. Turns out, part 1 is all about establishing a regular practice. Funny, isn't it? Turns out I already did the reading for this week, so I should be right on track. No stretch goals for this one, just pass/fail. I want to understand parts 1-3 and get a start on part 4 before the end of the challenge. The first few chapters will all tie together, so it will be good for me to have at least parts 1, 2 and 3 in my head as I'm establishing my practice over these next four weeks. Entering into Part 4 at the end will give me a look ahead. If I do this, by mid-November I should be starting to feel more focused and less scatter-brained. But I'll have to actually do it and not make excuses. I've already fought off a bunch of excuses (when will I find time?! there's no way I can do this consistently enough to matter! etc, etc) so I'm a little ahead of the game. Here goes.
  3. This is the last month of school (I teach middle and high school) and testing season is on full throttle. On top of that there's all the various end-of-year activities, student & teacher requirements, last minute change of plans, final grades, meetings and general craziness. In one word: stressful. Which brings me to this month's personal challenge: finding peace within the chaos. Main Quest: Inner Peace I do realize this is not as quantifiable as a specific type of exercise, but I'll do my best to assess how I'm doing throughout the month. For this I will strive to take things as they come my way with as little resistance or friction as possible. My aim is to "go with it" as it were and not stress about whatever the situation is. I can remind myself that in the whole scheme of things, it'll be all right. (10pts@2/day) To help in this endeavor I will continue with some of the physical activities I implemented during the last challenge as I really enjoyed the routine. Sub Quest 1: Movement Rebounder jogging - X5 per week (5pts) Hand Weights - x5 per week (5pts) Plank - x3 per week (3pts) This part should be easy. I've got the rebounder/weight routine down last month and really enjoyed how it made me feel. I do it when I get home from school before anything else. Having it here keeps me from slacking on those days where I really want to. I'm also adding the plank this month to improve my time and tighten the core. Sub Quest 2: Quieting the Mind QiGong / T'ai Chi session - x1 per weekend (2pts) Sit quietly and count breath to 20+ - x2 per week (4pts) As much as I've always wanted to try meditation, this is really hard for me as I always feel like there's something else I need to be doing right now, so the challenge is to take the time to slow down and simply breath. I'm giving myself the most points for sitting quietly because this is going to be the hardest to follow through. Level Up Character points: Total points possible: 132 Main Q is about learning to let things be = points for WIS Q1 is the physical = this will earn points for STR & STA Q2 - QiGong and T'ai Chi increase agility = DEX - meditation calms the mind and makes one grounded = CHA I haven't completely figured out this whole point system so any suggestions are appreciated. I'm counting on adding 10 pts to my character and going to Level 2 once this challenge successfully completed (90%+), or should I do an A,B, C thing? What's more common? Again, suggestions welcomed. Ok, I think this is good for now.
  4. I'm Snarkyfishguts, and I'm new to the Druids. Hi everyone! I like the Druids because after reading about the general aims of the group, I thought "that aligns with my goals!" I took some time off from nerdfitness (and a lot of my life) to take care of myself. My PCOS was out of control, I was severely depressed, and I didn't know how to fix it, I just knew I had to stop rushing forward, look around me and address what was happening in my life at that moment. Sparing you the details, I eventually got my PCOS under control, my depression is a very low level, and I'm dealing with my everyday life with a healthier mindset. In some ways I feel stronger than ever, and in others, I feel fragile. I think it's a promising place to be. My goal for 2016 is to live in a healthy way. I'd like to lose weight, sure, but just eating well, sleeping well, living well is the priority for me right now. And this month, I'm going to start slow for my goals 1. Stretch everyday. I want to be someone who is flexible! 2. Take care of my feet. My feet are very sad looking. I want them to look pretty and feel soft even though it's mid-winter. 3. Clean out my closet. I feel a tightness in my chest when I open my closet. I want to feel like I can breathe when I open it up That's it. It's a small beginning but I'm excited to get started again
  5. Coping through Hoping “What do you want out of life? That is your hope.†I've been stressing over my actions and decisions without bothering to take the time to pin down exactly what ends I hope to accomplish in life. This... is madness... and also exhausting! Time to slow down, calm down, and find my inner peace. Enter my new challenge: MAIN QUEST: Discover Hope. Goals: 1. Awaken to Hope I've scheduled a date every morning at 6:00 am for the next six weeks with God. This is where I connect with Hope and awaken to possibilities. It's time to see myself through God's eyes and ask that He establish my ways. Maybe I'll get some clarity on future plans here... and if not, there is still peace to be won! 2. Gloved Shovel I've seen too many posts about people working with sledgehammers to NOT attempt it. The shovelglove website recommends 14 minutes a day. Week one will find me at half that – 7 minutes, 3 times a week - adding minutes through the challenge as I feel ready. Oh, and I'm using a ten pounder to start out. 3. Meal Manifesto Last challenge I did 21 days gluten, dairy, and sugar free and saw no relief from my stomach / GI issues. I've since read that it could take months, not weeks, to clear up my digestive trouble. That challenge now continues, with a few more suspicious foods cut from my diet. I'll also be journaling to record my food and feelings. Life Quest: 1. Authoring Hope I really benefit from writing: putting pen to paper helps me think through problems and is inspiring. I will write every night to remind myself that my hope is in Christ. Hope doesn't rise or fall on my own failures and shortcomings. Motivation: God can comfort my heart and establish me. (2Th 2:16-17 ESV) “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.â€
  6. As my sixth challenge, I'm looking to recenter and bring clarity back to my lift. I joined Nerd Fitness back in August on 2013 with a mission in mind, and I have lost the path toward that goals. The wilderness I'm wandering in isn't where I want to be, and while not all journeys are fraught with danger, this one is. I need to take some time to look inward and focus on the things that bring me happiness, strength, honor, wisdom and peace. Main Quest: Drop to 8% BF, eliminate stomach fat. Squat 1.5x Bodyweight, Deadlift 2x bodyweight. OHP, Bench and Row 1x bodyweight. This continues to be my overarching body goal. I'm getting pretty close, but this challenge I am adding an addition to it. I'm focusing more on mental and spiritual health this challenge, rather than just fitness. In order to hit this goal I am driving forward with several sub goals, which will be worked into this challenge. Steadily increase my Squat, Deadlift and Pull Ups in weight and number.Do Salmon Ladder Pull-Ups. Because... seriously.I also want to, eventually, get my mile-run speed down to 7 minutes solid. I'm starting this challenge two days late because PAX East was last weekend and I got the dreaded con crud, so I'm a bit under the weather. That means no gym, but a focus on eating right and resting. So let's get on with it. Quest 1: Rest [Con] This one is simple - get enough sleep. I haven't been sleeping much lately and I need to get back into a solid rhythm/pattern of rest. This means focusing on my morning and evening routines, getting at least 7 hours of sleep at night and waking up before the sun every morning. Morning - Wake up before the sun, drink a glass of water, stretch and do pull ups, push ups and lunges - 3 sets of 3. Drink first cup of coffee. Check email, Facebook, Twitter, webcomics and blogs within first hour of waking up. Shower, make breakfast, drink second cup of coffee. Finish up routine Internet things within second hour of waking up. Start working. Evening - Eat dinner before sunset. Turn off screens at least 30 minutes before sleep, light candles and lamps and read till at least 7 hours before sunrise - go to bed. That's it - easy enough, right? Quest 2: Meditate [Wis] My goal this challenge is to meditate for at least 5-15 minutes every day. This can be at any time during the day - meditation on a schedule doesn't work for me. Furthermore, this needs to be zazen meditation, not any other kind. Focused on breathing and mindfulness. Quest 3: Eat Right [Con] Get my eating on track, drink less and go primal. This is more or less habit for me, but lately I've been drinking more and caring about my food less. So, as part of this challenge I need to get back into tracking my food on MyFitnessPal, as this helps keep me accountable. Negative points for more than 3 drinks a week and for any non-primal foods I imbibe. Must track every meal on MyFitnessPal every day. Life Quest: Explore my ancestral heritage [Cha] I've been exploring Asatru - the religion of the vikings - recently, and I want to learn more and delve deeper into the community in my area. I'm attending a May Day Blot on April 26, and participation here, as well as weekly devotionals and research are the quest here. This is as basic as honoring the gods and my ancestors once a week, and doing some reading on Asatru, the Eddas and other materials. Fitness Quest: Workout [str] Keeping steady with my fitness goals as well - My final quest is to continue working out. I did a deload in my Stronglifts program and I'm going to start from there, working on progressive loading back up to my primary strength goals. So the prerequisites for this quest are lifting, moving and doing yoga three times a week. Onward!
  7. HAI! xo I'm fairly new to Nerd Fitness. I signed up for the Academy and was majorly confused because apparently there are two forum communities: Academy and Rebellion. I coughed up a difficult $100 for the Academy, but I like the vibe of Rebellion more so here I am! (Here's my intro "Hi, hi" post<--) I'm exhausted from work and dreading waking up at the crack of dawn tomorrow but I'm even more excited to start my challenge!! (I realize that I'm starting in the middle of a challenge already in progress but I couldn't wait until the 14th!! Sorry, administrators ) MAIN QUEST: Achieve balance and inner peace while improving health and fitness. MISSION #1: Complete beginner body weight workout at least 3x/week.MISSION #2: Meditate every morning and night.MISSION #3: Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.MISSION #4 (I know the rules said 3, but I couldn't help myself, I hope this isn't considered cheating): Taiji Zen at least 2x/week.)MISSION #5: Yoga at least 2x/week.LIFE QUEST: Get driver's license and buy a car. My race is a half human/half spirit dragon (I know this is like totally random and off the wall, but it's actually inspired by a graphic novel I hope to publish one day. I figured making my main character my fitness alter ego would inspire me even more!). My class/profession is a druid with aspirations to evolve into a monk. MOTIVATION: I want to live the longest, healthiest, and spiritually balanced life possible so I may experience the world at its entirety.
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