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  1. This challenge I'm going to work on re-establishing habits that I've let slide, or continuing progress from last challenge. 1. Pre-Fuel for success! Eat enough food. Eat high-value foods. Drink juice and protein shakes when I can't eat. (specific goals for this one will depend on what my Dr wants me to work on each week.) 2. French book work Goal will be for 4 20 minute sessions per week. (not 80 minute sessions.... *side-eyes french number system*) Gotta build from the last challenge, as I can really see the value of this in how fast I'm learning! 3. Play! Start practicing my staff spinning and tricking in the mornings again. Just dabble, play around with stuff I've allready learned. Get back in the habit of moving in the morning. I messed around with animal flow a bit a few months ago and that was RAD, so I'd like to play with that a bit too. 4. Un-F my house Several years ago, I organized my entire house acordding to my ADHD and it actually STAYED CLEAN for years. I just moved to a new apartment and I neglected to set it up this way in favor of "asthetic". Guess what? My house has never been less astheticly pleasing, as everything I own is on every flat surface all the time. The plan is to setup a good system again. Also, I have a whole extra room in this apartment! And I have always wanted? A BATTLE ROOM. So in the process of Un-Fing my house, I want to set that room up for excercise and maybe also painting. My "activities" room. I was feeling kind of stressed by my tally system last challenge, so I'm not really going to "Track" things the same this time. I'll keep updates on how the things are going, but I'm not going to assign numerical values to things (except the time spent studying.)
  2. I’m back again! For the last few months, I’ve been struggling to keep up with like, basic life skills, so participating in challenges has been kind of off the table. This year, I’ve decided to work towards a group of year-long goals and structure my challenges around them. I started a Daily Battle Log to declare my intentions for the year, and to keep track of my progress during times when I don’t feal up for participating in a structured challenge. I’m going to start of slow with some non-overly-ambitious goals. Almost every one of my goals is something I’m aiming for making a daily habit. The only one I’m not looking to have be a permanent daily thing is French movies, just because I don’t normally have that much screen time. I’m going to be increasing my screen time during this challenge as a French practice, and probably for 3-5 months I’m planning to watch more TV and movies than usualy to practice my comprehension, but in general, I don’t plan to watch TV every day (more like once a week.) So otherwise, all my goals are smooth, lightweight changes that I’m looking to incorporate long-term. French goal #1: Immersion. Only watch French TV/Movies I really need to work on my auditory comprehension, and the only way to do that is to listen to stuff. I found Masha et Michka on youtube which is Masha and the bear. It’s a weird as heck kids show that I’ve already watched in Russian (I think it’s originally russian?) and there’s apparently a french version. I also borrowed Les Mysterieuses cities d’or and La Princesse Astronaute from a friend of mine, both of which are pretty fast/complicated for me and I miss a lot of the dialogue, but I’m highly invested in the plot of both of them so i’m motivated to pay attention. I’m hoping that after watching them through once, the second time I’ll pick up more and understand it better. I also got a handful of my favorite movies (pacific rim, lilo and stitch, treasure planet) in French, and I’m going to look to see if I can find original trilogy star wars in french. Scoring for this one was a little hard to decide on, as I don’t have a set amount of TV I watch, But i’ve decided on 1 point per half hour of French screen time, with a goal of 5 points per week and 20 points as a perfect score for the challenge. If I wimp out and watch something in English or Spanish, I’ll deduct a point. French goal #2: Putting in the work. 20 minutes per day of Book Work. I gotta do my book work and put in my time with this one. I’ve found I really like “workbook” structure, so I got a Schaum’s outline of french grammar. I also researched the best french text books and ordered one from aanother library. I need to sit down at my table, put on some background noise, and fully focus on this for 20 minutes. Ideally this will be daily, but I’m going to give myself a goal of 20 sessions during the challenge (a leeway of 2 days a week to have scheduling issues) Be a supple beast: STREEEEETTTCHHH Working towards my splits goal for this year, I need to stretch every day. I’ll increase this time in future challenges, but for this slow start, I am aiming for 5 sessions per week of at least 10 minutes each. 1 point for each stretching session, 20 points for full challenge. Brain Recalibration: Do something artistic every day. I tried watercolor for the first time during a work program that we just started (it’s for the public, but while we’re running the program, we participate.) It was so much fun and I actually ran overtime because I got so into the painting I didn’t even notice the time going by. I told my therapist about it because our session was literally right after the program, and she said it sounds like I should really continue doing art. I have essentially no artistic ability, but I want to start doing art as often as possible. Just a little sketch of my breakfast or even just coloring in a coloring book for a few minutes before bed. Anything that gets me into the chilled out, flow state. Scoring is, again, going to have a little leeway (2 days per week) because I don’t want this to feal like a chore. This is supposed to be something to decompress and relax me. 1 point for each time I sit down to do anything artistic. 2 points for sitting down to a big project, say spending a sunday afternoon for 3hrs doing a painting on canvas. Goal is for 5 points per week, 20 points for total challenge. Zero Week goals: Aquire paintbrushes and paint and stuf to paint on. Find a follow-along stretching video on youtube that I actually like. Get my textbook from interlibrary loan. Stockpile french movies and TV shows.
  3. I’ve never done a daily battle log thread, and I’m not sure if I’m going to use it “properly” as I’ll most likely be doing the bulk of my updates in my four week challenges. But I wanted to start a thread I could refer back to regarding my big picture, year long goals of what I want to achieve by the end of 2019, and updates of how I’m moving forward towards them. If I’m not doing a challenge (missed the start date, felt like too much pressure, Ect) I’ll try to keep updating in here to keep momentum going. The title is a reference to the fact that due to my synesthesia (associating colors and numbers) 2019 is a very nice bright shade of yellow. So I’m going to make it a good year. My big goals: Atain a B1 level in French I have many reasons for this, practical and personal. I live in an area that’s bilingual French/English. More than Half of the customers at my job speak French. My coworkers first languages are all French. I am able to get by because my small town is pretty anglophone and almost everyone ALSO speaks at least a little English (and I have about a two year olds ability in French and we get by) But there’s definitely like 15% of our customers that don’t speak any English and I struggle. I want to be able to really serve our full customer base in a complete way. I’m sick of having to ask coworkers to help me translate things. Since I’ve started working there, job descriptions have come to say “bilingual French/English mandatory” I’m not going to LOSE my job over this, but it’s telling to know that if I was reapplying to my job now, I wouldn’t get hired. I have one coworker who hates me, and one of the things she complains about is my lack of French. I want to prove her wrong (petty reasons count!) I have a friend who is francophone and although her English is fantastic, I want to talk with her in her FIRST language. Also her family only speaks French and her mom just seems SO NICE and I want to talk to her SO BADLY??! My area is pretty anglophone but the town nearby where ALL the fun things are is super francophone. I want to go take art classes and parkour classes and all this super fun classes and workshops but they are all in French. I set B1 as my level goal because it will be a comfortable level for conversing and functioning, and also because a B1 score is usually a requirement for college studies and if I decide to go take some courses at the CÉGEP I’ll need that level of proficiency. On a bigger picture note, I’ve always wanted to be fluent in at minimum five languages. French was never on that list, but given where I’m living now, it seems only logical that it become one of my five languages. So working on this goal is working towards my big picture life long “who I want to be as a person” goals. Improve my mental health I wish I had a better SMART goal for this, but I’m kind of new to the idea of my mental health and I don’t really know what specific things I can work towards. This wasn’t really something I’d realized I needed to work on until recently. I had a really, really bad last summer. One of my friends has been saying for the last two years that I should really consider therapy (one late, sleep deprived night she got me talking about stuff I don’t usually discuss. I told her like 2% of my history and she was like “sweetheart that’s some pretty serious trauma” and I was thinking lol yikes that’s nothing.) I finally caved and went to a psychologist and I found out I really do have a lot of things to work on (apparently having suicidal thoughts multiple times every day is not something everyone does?) I’ve been diagnosed with C-PTSD which is a subtype of ptsd, and the treatment is very long but there IS treatment. For years I’ve oscillated between “there’s nothing wrong with me” and “I’m so fundamentally flawed there’s not point in trying to fix it” but I’ve finally come to “there’s definitely stuff wrong, but I can do something about it” I don’t really have any specific goals, but it’s important to me that I keep working and making steps toward improving in this area. This past summer was very bad and I barely survived it. I don’t want to slide back to that again. Loose set of ongoing goals: Continue going to therapy regirally Stick with/improve my meditation habit Have regular, ideally daily, physical activity that involves skill-building Pursue potential medication (this is nearly always an early part of treatment to go on meds temporarily until the skills to cope are developed in therapy- I’ve hated the idea of meds but as part of a bigger picture treatment, I’m trying to be more open) Get a pet or volunteer with animals Cultivate my friendships Increase my cardio to be able to run for one hour straight This one isn’t really a running goal, but the running aspect is more of a benchmark to test. I do enjoy running, but I wouldn’t call myself a “runner” as my main sport. However, cardio is my weak area in everything I do (parkour, staff spinning, hockey) I hate having to stop my skill practice because I’m wheezing. I want to improve my stamina both by doing these sports more intensely and also by running, to the point where I can run for one hour straight without having to stop for a walk break. I know I can accomplish this easily in this year if I don’t slack, as when I finished zombies run 5k, I was running 50 minutes straight, and that’s an 8 week program. I haven’t run in like....months so I’m starting from scratch, but I can do it. Since I’ve moved to the frozen north, my outdoor sport has been basically zero for 9 months of the year, and that’s not enough to build stamina. I’ve now bought myself some solid winter outdoor gear and I’m ready to start just going out there anyway. Restart and complete zombies run 5k Do lots of stamina skate drills Basically if it’s warmer than -16 and the wind isn’t blowing, I GO. Develop some plan for when it IS colder than -16 and still doing SOMETHING inside to keep the habit flowing. Finally get my splits Getting full front splits (striving towards middle splits too, but I’m farther away in that one) is my specific and measurable goal. I’m about six inches off with my left leg and four inches off with my right. I think this is realistic and attainable in a year. Big picture reasons for this is that I need to stretch every day for injury prevention. I’m super, super tight in my entire body but mostly hips and shoulders. Because of this my body is not very resilient to issues in my sports and the slightest mishap can cause injury and it’s super frustrating. (Also, I learned that this muscle tightness is a symptom of my C-PTSD and regular stretching is part of my treatment plan so it’s also working on goal number 2. Multitasking for the win!) Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  4. . . . . . . . . Yeah, so, back in February, my depression and anxiety got...way out of hand, and i ran from...as many places as i could, really. Things got really bad, and i spent a lot of time wishful-thinking about suicide. Realized i have some resentment issues, some abandonment issues, some undefined issues. Thoughts and feelings about the world, about myself, that i don't know what to do with yet. There was a difficult situation in the family, and i'm wholly convinced it was God who carried us through it. I've read some books (The Screwtape Letters, some historical fiction, some historical nonfiction), done loads of research on a wide variety of topics, finished a quilt that was started by my late grandma, been freaked out about the chocolate industry, and, for the past month, have been fostering four kittens on a part-time basis. ( that first and that last have been so helpful ) Also, mom and i started going to church again. My situation hasn't really changed - i haven't contacted a doctor or gotten a job or any of the Big Things i thought i wouldn't come back until getting done. The dark thoughts still come and go, the feelings still flare up, but...it's time to try another Challenge, if the Rangers will have me back. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ My goals are routine-based, pass-or-fail, and built on some of the things i've discovered make me feel better: Daily Morning Stretch 10 Squats each time i leave my desk Daily Scripture Writing/Devotion Time Memrise/Duolingo/Khan Academy Assignments Workout- Final Girl from Darebee, generally. Finish one writing assignment daily. Minimum 3 water ( my cup is 32oz ) Bonus points for cutting sugar from tea Another thing i've realized makes me feel better is, weirdly enough, fasting? Having only water/tea all day and then one good meal in the evening. But it won't be a rule so much as a guideline.
  5. >> Citizen Balsquith, Big Brother has been watching you for some time now << >> We know that you are trying to be a good citizen but we have noticed that you are falling behind in some areas << >> Big Brother is your friend, therefore he will be paying especial attention to you in the future << I have enjoyed failing abysmally to slay some dragons over the past couple of challenges (actually enjoying much more success than the results would suggest), but it has occurred to me that I have lost track of many things and without knowing where I stand it makes it difficult to make positive changes. Therefore, in this challenge I will be doing a lot of tracking and if that goes well and highlights anything interesting I will make some changes. The goals of this challenge are: 1. Big Brother knows that you hit the snooze button! - Get up to alarm everyday 2. Big Brother wants to see your commitment to being the best citizen possible! - Make a daily task list 3. Big Brother knows exactly what is in your stomach! - Food logging daily 4. Big Brother knows that you didn’t need to spend that! - Track expenditure daily 5. Big Brother knows why your German is not improving! - Practise German daily 6. Big brother is always watching you! - Bad habits – record when tempted
  6. Akari

    Akaris Challenge

    Mache einen Plan, sei ein großes Licht. Mache einen zweiten Plan, doch gehen tun sie beide nicht! (Bertold Brecht) One of my fellow students loved these words and never tired of repeating them. Englisch translation: Make a plan, be a great light. Make a second plan, but they aren’t working both. 1. Find a room to rent. Because I do an apprenticeship in a town to farm away from my parent’s house to drive each day, I have to find a room where I can stay. Currently I live in a student’s home, but have to leave at the end of this month. Don’t laugh about this quest. It’s really difficult to find anything in this damn city. Either there are at least 20 other who want to rent exactly the same room you want or it’s simply too expensive. 2. Japanese I do the Rosetta Stone course to learn Japanese. Love the concept of learning with pictures, spoken word, written word and no translation. I have to admit that I’m cheating by using the content of the english course too. It’s not always clear understandable what is meant, so this helps a lot. Quest: 2 Chapters per week (that’s around 4 hours work) 3. Learn Touch Typing I’m forced to do this, because my company wants it. Each week I have to do a 1 min typing test and show that I improved. I learned typing through Learning-by-doing and always used just the right hand, while looking on the keyboard. When I type what I think then I have more than 200 keystrokes per minute. In a typing test where I have to type a text that I can see, I do 175 keys/min with one hand. I already improved my two hand writing. I am now at 160 keys/min, but with looking sometimes on the keyboard. (For comparison: Physical border is at 750 keys/ min and a good writer can do 200 – 400 key/min.) My fellow apprentice manages to do 250 keys/min. So the goal for now is to get at least as good as him. Quest: 20 min practice per day Btw: I’m not typing this text with 10 fingers. Yes I should, but I can’t concentrate atm at my fingers AND on what I want to type. 4. Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet I’m curious if this diet is really working, so I try it out now. It hurts that I’m not allowed to eat fresh bread, but I will survive it. Once in a week I’m allowed to eat everything. What I don’t survive is drinking coffee without milk. One positive effect this diet had already: I’m eating regularly. (I started it Sunday.) Quest: Sa-Do Slow Carb Food Fr Eat what u want 5. Workout I’ve found a little app with a 30 day challenge. The workouts are similar to Steve’s beginner workout and each day has a couple of repetitions more. Quest: Each day 1 workout 6. Running The goal is 3 km without stop. In Order to do so I use the free workouts of the Freeletics Running App. For somebody with literally no condition like me the workouts are good to start somewhere. And because they track the time of each run, you see a progress. Quest: Running 3 days per week 7. English I want to improve my English. When I bought the books for my apprenticeship, I bought a used English practice book too. It’s for the 9th year of school and has a lot of exercises, mainly for the tenses. I always had problems with English grammar. Actually, I hated English in school. Now I hate to watch original English series in german. Quest: 1/2-1hour per week doing exercises 8. Swedish I know I’m crazy, but I rly want to learn this language too. Quest: 1 chapter per week 9. Learn for apprenticeship 28.09. Great Homework in English (that’s 20% of the final result at the end of the year) Done 28.10. Class test in “Production” 10. Keep the room tidy My room was always a mess since childhood. I tend to let everything fall at the first free place I see, not where it would make sense to put it. When I had stopped studying I needed to move back home and take my whole household with me. Some time before I found Marie Kondos concept of tidying up. In one sentence: Throw everything away what doesn’t spark joy. (what makes you happy, or what isn’t important, like contracts.) Before I moved I did exactly what she told. Back at home, I had fewer items than before and still the same messy room. Then our WLAN router said goodbye and I had 3 days no real internet. (I had just my Smartphone left without enough data volume to watch movies or League of Legends streams). So I cleaned my room while listening to the 4-hour audiobook “The Life-changing Magic of tidying up”. (It’s still on YouTube, if somebody is curious.) My room in Göttingen is currently tidy. Quest: Keep it! All at a glance: Tasks: - Find a room to rent Done. - Learn for apprenticeship Daily: - Touch typing (20 min per day) - Workout Habit: - Slow Carb Diet (6 days slow carb, 1 day all u want to eat) - Keep the room tidy. Weekly: - Japanese (2 Chapters per week) - Swedish (1 Chapter per week) - Running (3 times in a week) - English (1/2-1hour) I’ll see if I can do this all or if I want too many things at once. At the end of each week, I’ll give a report.
  7. So, last challenge I finished the Couch to 5k program. I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but after talking with one of my coworkers who is planning on this and doing some planning myself, I want to run the LA Marathon next year. The 2017 race will be on March 19. My plan right now is to spend a few weeks doing some speed work and getting really comfortable with running 5k, then doing the Bridge to 10k program, spending a few weeks doing speed work and increasing my weekly mileage and getting really comfortable at that distance, then starting a marathon training program. Something very beginner based and focused on just finishing rather than speed. It'll be my second one, I did the Marine Corps Marathon a few years ago (2013 I think?). It seems appropriate that my first marathon was on the East Coast, very close to where I grew up, and now my second one will be in my new city. I actually want to do the Conquer LA challenge, which would be running the Santa Monica Classic in September, than the Pasadena Half Marathon in January, and finally the LA Marathon in March. Barring an injury or some unforeseen difficulty, I feel confident that if I just pace myself and listen to my body and don't push myself too far too fast, I can do it. I've always preferred long distance running and am itching to get back into it. So, that's my long-term goal right now. For this challenge, I want to get really comfortable with 5k before moving on, work on my speed, do more cross-training, and work on my diet a bit more. So...... Goal one: Run four days a week. The runs will be a mix of long, slower runs and shorter speed workouts. I haven't quite worked out a training plan yet. I want to say I'll just wing it, but I do much better with a set schedule for my training. I'll figure out a structured plan in the next couple days. Goal two: One non-running based cross-training exercise per week. This was one of my goals last challenge, and I did it two out of the four weeks, so I'm including it again this time. I just went on my first hike last week and loved it, so I will definitely be doing more of those. I'd also like to do some strength training, especially core-strengthening workouts to supplement all the running. Goal three: Cut candy and sweets down to one day a week. Last challenge I actually went the whole four weeks without eating french fries, which is still kind of blowing my mind. I have noticed a real issue I have with chocolate though, and that issue is that I always want it. I work at a Walgreens, so those of you who live near them know that in addition to medicine, housewares, and makeup, I am constantly surrounded by candy. Luckily we've finally gotten rid of all the clearance Valentine's candy, so I won't be tempted by giant boxes of chocolate marked down to 30 cents. I may potentially change this goal to sweets only twice a week if I feel myself really going crazy, but I want to at least try for once a week first. I surprised myself with the fries last time, maybe I'll surprise myself with chocolate this time. And while chocolate is my main vice, I don't want to end up replacing chocolate with Starburst or whatever, so it's all candy and ice cream and super sugary desserts in general. Healthier actual fruit-based treats are okay. Life goal: Daily Spanish practice! Thanks to 18ck's Portuguese goal last time, I've been getting back into my Spanish practice, but I'm still not doing as much as I should. So at least once I day I'll do some kind of Spanish language lesson. I live and work in neighborhoods with large Spanish-speaking populations, so I hear it and get opportunities to use what I know all the time. There's no excuse to not keep up with learning more. No lie, as soon as I finished typing that sentence I got an alert on my phone from Duolingo that says "These reminders don't seem to be working. We'll stop sending them for now." No, Duolingo, keep reminding me to practice! I'm sorry I've been neglecting you! So, that's what I've got planned. In personal life news, my dad starts chemo for his colon cancer tomorrow. It's a low-dose treatment, and supposed to be easier to tolerate than more rigorous treatments, but still. It's going to be rough for him and rough for me because I live on the opposite side of the country and can't be there to help take care of him when he's sick. He and my mom both said they'll keep me updated but I am 100% sure they're not going to be totally honest with me about how he's feeling all the time. It'll be either five or six weeks, Dad told me five and Mom told me six so I'm not actually sure which. The plus side is he may not need surgery or any additional treatment after this. Fingers crossed! I don't want to end this post on that downer note, so I'll just say I'm excited for this new challenge! Yay for healthy lifestyle changes! And eventual long distance running! And learning foreign languages! Let's do it!
  8. Balsquith: Out in the wilderness I am in the wilderness at the moment, not literally, but in a state of discontent where I don’t really know where I am at the moment or where I am going – a.k.a. the wilderness. Clearly I got into this wilderness somehow and I can find my way through it somehow too. Whilst the way out isn’t clear to me at the moment, it is clear to me that I am not going to find my way out by stopping moving and wallowing in my discontent – I need to keep myself moving forward Goal 1: Limit sugar There is no sugar in the wilderness (except for maybe some fruit and honey if you are lucky). My main vices in this department are: Biscuits and sweets when there are some of them in the department (this happens almost every evening) Occasional burst of hunger at work (and no suitable healthier snack to hand) leading to a trip to the bakery (this happens 1-2 times a week) I will aim for 5 days out of 7 where I stay away from sugar. Goal 2: Everyday fitness Out in the wilderness you can’t afford to make excuses about not being able to exercise; you need to be fit enough to tackle whatever comes at you. In the past I have been full of excuses about why I can’t exercise: I can’t exercise in the evening as my girlfriend is watching tv and it is strange and demotivating to be working out in the area next to the couch at the same time. I can’t exercise in the kitchen in the morning before my girlfriend gets up as there is not enough space and the floor is slippery.There is some truth in both of these statements, but neither of them is really a reason why I shouldn’t do any exercise at all. I will aim to exercise daily in the morning in the kitchen, this will be either: · 7 minute burpee test (I managed 52 last Saturday as a challenge baseline) · Plank workout. Goal 3: Meeting new people / improving relationships The wilderness is a lonely place; strength in numbers and companionship are the best ways to survive. I am quite bad a keeping in touch with friends and family. I am also quite bad at getting myself out in the world and meeting new people. I don't mind being on my own, but I also greatly enjoy being around my friends. Unfortunately most of my friends seem to have left so I am a little bit back to square one. This goal is about keeping in touch better with friends and family and possibly cultivating some new friendships. I have 4 main tasks I want to put into action: 1. Make/send a birthday card to my Dad 2. Send a get well soon card to my friend who had a skiing accident 3. Send 'Happy Easter' cards to those friends (who I haven't contacted for a while) who find the day significant 4. Join/attend a drawing class Goal 4: Learn the language of the wilderness. Lots of people in the wilderness speak my language - but it isn't their language. Maybe learning this language will help me to feel more that I belong and can do simple things - it might even open up routes which I haven't seen before that lead me out of the wilderness. I live in Austria but I speak English all day. I am not a very confident person when it comes to languages so when my broken German comes out it is usually answered by English. In principle there is nothing wrong here, communication was accomplished, but it doesn't feel right to me. I live here and I should speak the language, I am not a tourist so it leaves me feeling like I don't really belong here. I want to use this goal to push my German study forward but also to challenge myself to show so courage and actually get out there and try to use the language even if it is met by an answer in English. 30 minutes focused study = 1 point Using German (courage) = 3 points Pass mark for the week = 10 points
  9. Last challenge actually went pretty well! Well, compared to the previous three which I bailed on. I'm planning to now chain this plus the next three challenges as part of an overarching, semester long challenge. I have several semester long goals, as well as specific ones I'll try to achieve in February. I'm also making my challenge run Feb 1 - Feb 28, so it's a solid 4 weeks rather than 26 days. Semester Goals: 1. Maintain my weight all semester (196.8 lbs on Feb 1). 2. Workout 3x/week all semester 3. Work with a personal trainer at least 1 session to fix my lifting form (so I don't mess up my back trying to deadlift again) 4. Work on my flexibility this term, goal to be able to finally touch my toes by the end of May. 5. Crack a 9:30 mile this term. The next four challenges will be building to/supporting these goals (also up on my EQ page linked in sig). Feb Challenge Goals: Many of these are recycled goals from last time that are either habits I'm still trying to build, or things I didn't do that need more grinding. 1. Stretch daily. Aiming for perfect completion this time since I'm trying to make this an automatic, unconscious habit. 28 possible, graded straight percentage. 2. Workout 3x/week. No day restrictions. What counts: running at least 1.5 mile, bodyweight circuits (pushups/squats/planks) from last challenge, lifting (once I work with a trainer), or any BJJ/Muay Thai training group work. Like the stretching, this one is about grinding on the habit formation more so than any specific performance goal (though the mile runs will be working towards cracking that mile time goal ultimately) 12 possible, graded straight percentage. 3. Cut out sugar and desserts (building in a single exception for a pre-planned event on Valentine's Day - otherwise, no sugar). 28 possible, graded straight percentage. 4. [edited goal] Work on Mandarin EdX course every day. Realized that the goal of "finish this lesson" was too big, so I'm bite-sizing it. Besides with language learning you can't grind it, have to consistently practice. So "working on" Mandarin course means doing any of the following: watching one of the lesson videos, completing a worksheet, flipping through my flashcards, completing the lesson quiz, completing any other specified assignment. I may not finish the whole course in this challenge, but hopefully will actually make progress as opposed to last time. 28 possible.
  10. Having fallen in love with a beautiful Dutch woman and her accepting my marriage proposal it would behoove me to learn more Dutch. Goal 1: 20xp per day in Dutch Duolingo. My general wellbeing and ability to learn are greatly enhanced when I meditate. Therefore I have also prioritized a once daily silent meditation session. Goal 2: Meditate once daily for 10 minutes. These things are not difficult but consistency will be the key to my empowerment and future success.
  11. Hi rebels, Anyone of you using Duolingo to learn a language? Want to connect with me? I am looking for a few active language learners to add to my leaderboard for a bit of motivation and friendly competition. I'm currently learning Spanish, but your language of choice doesn't matter as Duolingo works with XP. Fun tidbit about Duolingo: they're currently working on Klingon (Star Trek) as well as Dothraki (Game of Thrones) to add to the list of available languages. If you're on Duolingo, I'd appreciate a connect: https://www.duolingo.com/Chris2Brooks
  12. Oh hey, it's been exactly 1 year since I tried a challenge (and failed to complete that challenge). But, four weeks seems far more manageable, and fits beautifully into my schedule, so let's give this another go. 2015 was a hectic year - I started grad school, which has been amazing. This meant I had to leave my Muay Thai gym I was training at due to both money and time reasons (I'm still in the same city, but my school schedule conflicted with the classes there). Fortunately I found people in my grad program who used to train BJJ and Muay Thai, and so was able to get in a few workout sessions with them last semester. I also now have access to the school gym for weightlifting. Neither better nor worse then, just different. However, January is a term break so my training group isn't around, and there's no classes so I'm not going to campus very often. I risk spending this break just eating leftover Christmas cookies and watching Netflix; trying to use this challenge to do a little bit more than just that! Overarching Goal: Use January to build basic habits to carry me through the rest of the year, and keep in decent enough shape to train with my ad hoc martial arts group in the spring semester. GOALS 1. Daily Stretching. Do each of these three stretches for at least five breaths, at least once per day: Hamstring stretch (forward fold)Hip flexor stretch (kneeling hip flexor stretch)Calf stretch (lunge against wall)This is one I'd like to build on in future challenges, and by the end of the year be stretching more of me, 3x/day. But, starting small and manageable. Total possible: 26 Grading will be a straight percentage of days achieved it. 2. Bodyweight Exercises. 3x/week on M/W/F. Choosing those specific days since those are the days I'll be able to work out next semester, so I want to get into the habit of exercising those days now to make it easier to keep going once classes start again. Just doing bodyweight squats, knee pushups, and planks to keep it simple and something I can do at home if I don't go to the campus gym. Squats: ladder sets from 15 down to 5 (15 reps, 14 reps, 13 reps, etc - aiming to increase starting reps by 1 each week so by end of challenge doing 19-18-17 down to 9)Knee Pushups: ladder sets from 10 down to 1 (goal by end is to be doing full pushups for 5 reps through 1 rep)Planks: ladder sets from 60 seconds to 10 secondsTotal possible: 12 Grading: 80% will be number of workouts accomplished, period. 20% will be how many were on the correct days of the week (i.e. if I do 10 workouts, but only 8 were on MWF as planned, I'll give myself an 8/10 in that section of the grade). Upping squat reps and knee pushups to real pushups is a nice to have, but that's more to keep the exercises interesting and won't count for grading. 3. Food Logging. Just collecting data and trying to be more mindful of what I'm eating to start the year. I'm not planning on making major diet changes right now, but want to get a baseline of what I'm eating now. Total possible: 26 Grading is a straight percentage of days achieved it. 4. Life Goal - Complete EdX Mandarin Course. I'm going to China over spring break (!!) The only New Year's resolution I made for myself was a) visit 3 countries this year, and have a conversation in the local language everywhere I go (can be very brief and very basic, but should be an actual exchange with a native speaker). So to that end, I want to finish all six lessons of this course (https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:MandarinX+MX101x+3T2015/info) in this challenge to get the basics down. Total possible: 6 lessons Grading is a straight percentage of how many lessons I complete within the challenge. Let's see how this goes!
  13. I would love to go to Italy. I have been there twice on student trips as a chaperon. It is inspiring sight seeing but I would like to go there to study and interact with people beyond the bus driver and the tour guides. I love learning new things and I admire others who are multilingual so I am turning this challenge into a language learning challenge. I am taking a break from lifting and running because I am dealing with some health issues. I am pursuing treatment and it is best for me to stop heavy lifting of any kind So figuring out a new form of exercise is also a goal of mine. I would also like to develop my creativity further and I think my next step is learning to clear my mind. This is a concept from a TED Talk by David Allen. He talks about clearing space in your head to give move for creative thoughts. That means keeping nothing on your mind; clear away the chatter, the shopping list, the to do lists, the conversations in your head. Write things down and get out of your head. Be in the moment and do one thing at a time; be mindful. I am a person who has multiple projects going on with clutter in my head and in my surroundings. Time to clear away the insignificant and inconsequential. I want quality over quantity in my life. This challenge: #1 Practice Italian each day using Duolingo & Memrise Find one native speaker to have a conversation with in Italian. Read one article in Italian each week. (6 articles) Watch one movie in Italian during this challenge. Save $50 each week toward a study trip to Italy. $300 into savings. (A summer art history class in Rome is a possibility) #2 Health issues, diet and exercise Hormone reset diet is back on. Limit sugar, no red meats, no alcohol, one pound of veggies per day Daily water is a must! Three bottles a day Take supplements Schedule appointment and surgery Find a low impact exercise that I can enjoy #3 Clearing clutter Brain dumping - Write down all the things roaming in my brain. Get them out of my head and on paper. Immediate action - Single action items should be done the moment they pop into my head. Meditation - 30 minute of meditation to clear away remaining thoughts Throw out or give away unused, unneeded and unnecessary papers, clothes, books, etc.. (Flylady 27 fling boogie) Well this is it "sfida a vivere una vita bella" my challenge to live a beautiful life; Do things I enjoy, appreciate the body I have been given and clear out the things that don't matter.
  14. So....here we are. I completed my first challenge, but didn't do as well as I'd hoped. The two weeks in between have been......worse. Now I'm here to commit to myself and make sure that I start this challenge on a more serious, but reasonable, note. Let's get to it: My background: 28 year old female, living in South Korea. I'm an Elementary English teacher for another month and a half, then I'm off to start a new job as a university professor in Seoul. I enjoy movies, reading, art, and cooking. During this challenge, I will not only be starting a new job, but also finding and moving into a new apartment. There's also a week's vacation in there. So, there will be a fair bit of stress, I'm sure. Why did I choose Nerd Fitness? I'm tired of being unhealthy, fat, and unable to do so many things I want to do. I remember being able to run, climb trees, or walk uphill without being winded for five minutes. Main Goal: Commit to a healthy lifestyle and actually get under 80kgs this time. I will do this by completing these: 1) Stop smoking This is really important. As much as I've tried to quit so many times before, I really want to do it this time. Today is actually day 1 without, and I'm doing great so far. I just need to keep doing it. If I'm really serious about getting healthy, this is the best thing to do to get that started. I know that smoking affects every aspect of my health and in general is pretty yucky, so the time is now. 2) Commit to moving everyday So far I've been doing a 30-day yoga challenge, and I finished day 13 today. I'm getting used to having a routine and looking forward to it. I've also been making sure that I'm walking for at least 30 minutes a day. I'm glad that I've started this routine already, and I'd like to make sure that I keep doing it throughout this challenge. 3) No takeout This was the same in my last challenge, but I'm hoping I do better on this goal this time. More cooking at home, less processed food, and more control over what goes through my body. Not so much of a diet, per say, but more control over everything. Bonus Round!!!! 1) Studying Korean This was also part of my last challenge, but I didn't keep to it the best....or really at all. So, this time it's on my list again. Whether it be making a blog post in Korean, studying vocab, or at least one grammatical rule, I must keep to it every day. I'm here with the adventurers to start my fitness adventure! Make me accountable and help me out! Thanks for reading.
  15. Watch this space... coming Okay one super challenge coming right up. My last challenge was an entree, a little taster to get me in the mood. I wasn't very disciplined and I didn't hold myself accountable for much. I still see at as a success because I'm in a lot better place than I was motivation wise now. Variety is the spice of life I have been reading Mark's Daily Apple again regularly and I'm a big fan of his exercise philosophy. Of course it is similar to Steve's philosophy of... have some fun!! I have joined a gym near my work and I plan to work my way through all the classes and do something different every time I'm there. I'm not in the mood for a rigid workout plan right now, I just want to get moving regularly in all sorts of a different ways. So far I've used the treadmills, the bikes and done a class that uses the barbell to do squats, presses etc along to music. I really enjoyed that even though I couldn't walk properly for a week after the first session I did (even with only using 1.25kg plates on the bar). The second time I did it was a lot better though. I also have kettlebells at home and I have the Zombies Run! app, so whether I'm running, swimming, lifting or cycling I have no excuse not to be doing something. 3 exercise activities a week, moving slowly, sometimes fast. Scoring will be a simple pass or fail for the week Running on clean fuel Okay so I want to lose some body fat (don't we all). I am currently 86.6 kg and my big goal would be to get under 70kg, but that is a side effect of my actions, not an action itself. Losing it is 80% what I eat so I will be eating 80% primal. No processed junk, no soft drink. I will be using to MFP to log as much as I can and I will use the following guidelines to aim for: <150g of carbs per day >100g of protein <1500 cals Superhero skills level up This one is actually a 12 week challenge but the first half will fall during this challenge so I will roll it in here. I will be learning to speak Cantonese. My goal is to be fluent enough to hold a conversation in 12 weeks. In order to do this I will be: - 2 hours of one on one tutoring on italki.com - 1 hour per day of practice Score log: Exercise sessions: 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/42 80% Primal days: 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/42 Cantonese 1 hr sessions: 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/42 Ready. Set. Go!
  16. I'll fill this first post out more when I'm home, but here are my goals for this challenge, just to get them out there. Goal 1: Recover from the holidays...and then some What this looks like: Body fat goal: 26.25%Start of challenge: 28.27%Where I ended in 2014: 26.97%How much I need to reduce beyond 2014 levels: 0.72%Waist size goal: 38.5"Start of challenge: 39.75"Where I ended in 2014: 38.75"How much I need to reduce beyond 2014 levels: 0.25"Supported through maintaining an 80/20 Paleo diet. Having all my Non-Paleo Tokens (NPTs) for meals and snacks in one pot during the last challenge hindered me a little I think, so I'm going to separate them out and have different banks for each. So that means I start the challenge with 25 Meal NPTs and 17 Snack NPTs.If by some miracle, I blow past these goals, I have stretch goals in mind that I'll introduce when/if the time comes. Goal 2: The Superhero Trajectory What this looks like: Gym time 2-3 times per week. I'm currently still doing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles workout, but I'm not necessarily tied to that. However, they are superheroes I can admire. Supplement with Days 5-46 of the PLP 60-day challenge. I started doing PLP on January 1st, so why not use that to my advantage!Further supplement workouts with trying out HIIT on off-days, 1-2 times per week.Goal 3: "Cure" my apartment What this looks like: Participate in "The January Cure," modified to suit my needs.Continue to lighten the load by getting rid of 50-100 more pounds of "stuff."Goal 4: Become multi-lingual What this looks like: Practice French at least 5 times per week using the DuoLingo website/app.Bonus points if I can get a 40 day streak on DuoLingo (starting from today)!I did technically start my challenge on Monday, and I definitely used some NPTs over the past few days so my bank is currently at 22 Meal NPTs and 13 Snack NPTs.
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