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  1. Credit for this game goes to @Aerisand who started this PVP. Disclaimer: A large part of this is @Briniel's star introduction to Monkey Taming, digivolved for efficiency. TL;DR: For Tamers coming back, the changelog is at the bottom of the post. This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. CONCEPTS The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: Productive Brick For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). Halfassed Brick If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer. Monkey Poop If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground (procrastination anyone?). Be honest with yourself. If you didn't finish your bricks for the day, any bricks not laid become monkey poop... Of course, if you manage to procrastinate for longer than you were supposed to have time for, feel free to add more poop, lol. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild! About taking breaks You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that EXPERIMENTAL: Alternative way to track Productive Bricks For rewarding task completion instead of time a.k.a. "I always forget to track time". Reveal hidden contents Estimate the amount of bricks needed for each task you need to get done (blocks of 30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey). After completing a task, you may enter the estimated amount of bricks instead of counting the actual time it took to finish it. Remember to still count halfassed bricks and monkey poop. If you notice a task took a lot more Productive Bricks than you estimated, add more bricks to your total. If you notice a task took a lot less Productive Bricks than you estimated, use the middle point between the actual amount and estimate. (Why: daunting tasks probably weigh more) DIFFICULTY MODES Choose your own mode. Easy: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop = The original system Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop = Against halfassing! Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop = Like a boss JOIN US If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress! In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: Write your name and difficulty mode. Enter the planned amount of bricks - for each day. You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to enter the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey poop) *For those coming back, what's different: We've added a spot for Week 0. It won't count towards points but it may help in getting started, testing things, or just doing something so you won't lose momentum.
  2. When we procrastinate on our goals, we are basically putting off our lives. I read this sentence the other day, and it felt like a slap in the face. It has inspired me to come back, full energy, full focus. I know I can do it, I just need to center myself in the one task at hand at every moment, instead of thinking "I will do it tomorrow/next week/when nice weather is back/when the end of the world comes". Goals. 1. I AM The Wolverine. 2. Use of weapon of mass destruction. 3. 1 zenhabit.
  3. Hello! I'm Severine. I've been here for just over a year. I've had both successes and failures, and lately I've started to feel like they're cancelling each other out and the result is stagnation. It's why I took last challenge off and just did a battle log instead: I was messing up most of the challenges in a repeating pattern, stuck in a rut. I'm basically working on all the same fitness/health stuff I was working on last year. I don't like it and it's frustrating. And let me be honest: the problem is not lack of knowledge. The problem is not lack of time or equipment. The problem is follow-through, adherence, discipline, and persistence. The problem is me repeatedly making excuses and finding reasons not to do the stuff I know I need to do. The time away from challenges was helpful and I feel ready to tackle a challenge again. And the theme came to mind sort of by accident: something that keeps coming up in my threads is the fact that my grandma is a badass who I really love and respect despite her flaws, and many of my problems would be solved by listening to the things she used to tell me when I was a kid. A recent picture of my mum and grandma. At the time they were 54 and 82: My grandmother and I are extremely close - she basically raised me, and I lived with her instead of my mother for a long time. My childhood was complicated and the details aren't relevant here, but suffice it to say my grandmother was more like a mother to me, and my mother was more like an irresponsible older sister. So what's the advice I need to follow? Well, my situation is that I know what I need to do and the problem is just bloody doing it. And here's what my grandma would say about that: 1. Cultivate Self-Command Grandma is a big fan of what she calls self-command: "doing what needs to be done without stopping to think about whether you want to do it or not." My grandma had many years in her life when the question of what she wanted was not something she had the luxury of considering. It made her miserable sometimes, and she had some terrible coping mechanisms, but she always did what needed to be done. And I should be able to avoid misery and other bad side-effects, because my situation right now is so much more fortunate than hers was back then. More than anything else right now, I need to cultivate self-command. I have found in the past that it's self-perpetuating, and various scientific studies have shown the same: we have a finite amount of willpower in a given day, but over time our pool of available willpower is something that increases with use. This means doing the things I know I need to do every day: Exercise every day, even if it's just a half hour walk (1 POINT) Morning routine (glass of water, stretching, Hobonichi) (1 POINT) Track my food (1 POINT) It also means tackling procrastination: every day I need to cross one thing off my to-do list. I get 1 POINT for doing anything on the list and 1 BONUS POINT if the thing I do is something I really don't feel like doing. 2. Reject the Victim Mentality I remember so vividly when I was 13 and something really bad had just happened to the family, and I was pretty distraught. And my grandmother was consoling me in a very loving way. But then when she started to talk about me going back to school the next day I started to cry and said I couldn't. I said I could get a note and everyone would understand because of what had happened. And she said, "Oh yes, everyone would understand. But many times in your life you will have to choose whether you want to be someone whose failures are understandable given what you've been through, or someone whose successes are surprising given what you've been through." I have never forgotten that, and although I do believe in having compassion for yourself, I think that sometimes the strongest expression of self-love is expecting the best of ourselves, believing that we're capable of carrying on despite difficulties, and pushing ourselves to be better than anyone would expect given the circumstances. This part of the challenge is mostly about anxiety. I have it, and it's a problem. But I don't want to let it define me or limit me. I don't want to become less capable or more fragile. And currently it is affecting my health adversely, because I have emotional eating issues and a lot of why I'm overweight is that when I'm stressed or anxious or sad, my impulse is to eat for comfort. I'm in therapy, which is helping, and I just started meditating a couple weeks ago and I am finding that useful too. So here's how this will work: Going to therapy once per week is worth 5 POINTS (except the one week I'll be on vacation, which doesn't count) Meditating is worth 1 POINT every day Every day I am tempted by emotional eating and I do something else to cope instead (music, tea, walking, writing, etc.) I get 1 BONUS POINT. 3. Face Up To My Mistakes If past challenges have taught me anything, it's that I am going to have days when I screw up. My past pattern is a lot like this: things start off well. I feel awesome and I'm engaged in the challenge and my enthusiasm is high. Then something happens and I miss a day or two of goals, and then I feel guilty because I am no longer perfect. (Perfectionism is a real problem for me). So I decide I'll just not post until I get myself back on track and can report success instead of failures...but being absent from the boards and having lost my streak of perfection makes it easier for me to feel like it's okay to make exceptions and fail some more. And then I avoid the forums more because of the guilt. Sometimes by the end of the challenge I'm posting on everyone else's thread but not my own. My grandmother made a lot of mistakes in her life. Serious ones that, in some cases, really hurt people. I remember as I grew up and found out stuff about her past, I really struggled with integrating it into my image of the woman I knew, who was very different. She was ashamed, but she never hid it or denied it or tried to get people not to talk about it. She believed it was important to face it, to bear the discomfort of confronting it and the pay the price for her previous actions by letting people know about what she had done. She also had an immense amount of compassion for people who had screwed up: she believed in second chances and helping people make amends. She volunteered in prisons, and she took homeless acquaintances and friends-of-friends who were detoxing into her home for weeks or months at a time, to help get them back on their feet. She understands fallibility and she understands that people are complex and that you can't completely judge a person based on a single moment or action. So the final requirement is that I post every day, no matter what is happening, and report on how that day went. 1 POINT per day and, although this may sound counter-intuitive, I get 1 BONUS POINT for reporting in on any day when I have met less than 50% of my goals. Okay! So that's the challenge. I'm going to make another post with details of my grandma's life for those who are curious. Also I will continue to update my battle log if there are details specific to OCR training - I'm working to get ready to run the Fenway Spartan Spring in November!
  4. Wait, am I posting a challenge early? How is this possible? I will consider this one tiny skirmish won in my long-running war against procrastination. Procrastination is a major obstacle to many if not most of my long-term goals. I find myself putting off even simple, straightforward tasks like reading my mail (most of which is junk) and paying the bills. The result? Piles of papers on my desks (at home and at work), overwhelmed e-mail inboxes, overstuffed closets, and a lot of stress as I scramble at the last minute to get things done on time. De-cluttering, getting rid of unimportant and unhelpful things (including attitudes and behaviors as well as material things) will provide an environment that is less stressful and that helps me focus on doing what I need and/or want to do now and hopefully decrease the appeal of procrastination. The other obstacle I'm struggling against recently is inertia, or perhaps a bit of complacency? For years I had a mostly very healthy diet, exercised extremely regularly, and had remarkably low stress levels, without having to put much effort into it. In the last year or so, all of that has melted away. Substantially increased stress at my job, even worse increased stress for my husband at his job, and unexpected health problems have left me anxious, stress eating, and mindlessly surfing the web before exercise and/or sleep (in other words, my procrastination is worse than ever). At the same time, I've realized that as I get older my body just can't bounce back like it did in my younger years. It's time to admit that what I've always done isn't working for me anymore (although this challenge will incorporate goals that have been successful in previous challenges) and start a more systematic approach to my health and life. So here goes: Goal 1: Get rid of cookies. This will hopefully be a fairly easy one to help me build some momentum. It refers only to the cookies in our break/lunch room at work. I had given them up completely for a while, but they seem to have crept back in to my diet. I'll count the number of days I eat cookies out of the number of possible cookie-eating days (week 0 will be easy because I'll only be at work for lunch one day due to travel, which presents all kinds of other healthy eating challenges...). Starting the challenge at 0/17, the plan is to keep it there. Goal 2: Get rid of mental clutter. This is an extension of my meditation goal from the last challenge I did, and helps me manage stress, sleep better, and make better decisions. I will finish day 7 of the 7 day introductory meditations in the Calm app today. It's helpful, but consistency is key. Since I'm starting today this will be a 35 day challenge, so the goal is to meditate 35 days. Starting at 0/35. Goal 3: Get rid of physical clutter. I'm debating I briefly debated whether it would be better to make this a process goal (spend x amount of time each week working on it) vs an outcome goal (have my desks at work and at home cleared of all the piles of papers by the end of the challenge. Knowing my procrastinating tendencies, I would probably put if off to the last minute, get all stressed out, and dump piles of paper into a drawer somewhere. So a process goal it is. I will spend one hour a week at home and one hour a week at work dealing with paper. Looking at this week's schedule, I already know it probably won't happen before I leave town, but I will allow myself to make up the time during the next four weeks. Starting the challenge at 0/5 hours at home, 0/5 hours at work. Goal 4: Get enough sleep. This probably means getting rid of some idle internet time. If I get enough sleep I feel better, am more productive, and make better decisions. The goal is lights out at least 8 hours before the alarm will go off in the morning. Starting the challenge at 0/35 nights.
  5. TL;DR: For Tamers coming back, the changelog is at the bottom of the post. Sorry this was posted a bit late! This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. CONCEPTS The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: Productive Brick For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). Halfassed Brick If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer. Monkey Poop If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground (procrastination anyone?). Be honest with yourself. If you didn't finish your bricks for the day, any bricks not laid become monkey poop... Of course, if you manage to procrastinate for longer than you were supposed to have time for, feel free to add more poop, lol. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild! About taking breaks You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that EXPERIMENTAL: Alternative way to track Productive Bricks For rewarding task completion instead of time a.k.a. "I always forget to track time". DIFFICULTY MODES Choose your own mode. Easy: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop = The original system Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop = Against halfassing! Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop = Like a boss JOIN US If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress! In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: Write your name and difficulty mode. Enter the planned amount of bricks - for each day. You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to enter the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey poop) Week 0 doesn't count, it's just there to keep the flow going *For those coming back, what's different: No changes made, let me know if you have any suggestions!
  6. TL;DR: For Tamers coming back, the changelog is at the bottom of the post. This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. CONCEPTS The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: Productive Brick For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). Halfassed Brick If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer. Monkey Poop If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground (procrastination anyone?). Be honest with yourself. If you didn't finish your bricks for the day, any bricks not laid become monkey poop... Of course, if you manage to procrastinate for longer than you were supposed to have time for, feel free to add more poop, lol. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild! About taking breaks You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that EXPERIMENTAL: Alternative way to track Productive Bricks For rewarding task completion instead of time a.k.a. "I always forget to track time". DIFFICULTY MODES Choose your own mode. Easy: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop = The original system Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop = Against halfassing! Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop = Like a boss JOIN US If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress! In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: Write your name and difficulty mode. Enter the planned amount of bricks - for each day. You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to enter the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey poop) Week 0 doesn't count, it's just there to keep the flow going *For those coming back, what's different: No changes made, let me know if you have any suggestions!
  7. Disclaimer: A large part of this is @Briniel's star introduction to Monkey Taming, digivolved for efficiency. TL;DR: For Tamers coming back, the changelog is at the bottom of the post. This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. CONCEPTS The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: Productive Brick For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). Halfassed Brick If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer. Monkey Poop If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground (procrastination anyone?). Be honest with yourself. If you didn't finish your bricks for the day, any bricks not laid become monkey poop... Of course, if you manage to procrastinate for longer than you were supposed to have time for, feel free to add more poop, lol. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild! About taking breaks You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that EXPERIMENTAL: Alternative way to track Productive Bricks For rewarding task completion instead of time a.k.a. "I always forget to track time". DIFFICULTY MODES Choose your own mode. Easy: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop = The original system Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop = Against halfassing! Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop = Like a boss JOIN US If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress! In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: Write your name and difficulty mode. Enter the planned amount of bricks - for each day. You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to enter the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey poop) Week 0 doesn't count, it's just there to keep the flow going *For those coming back, what's different: No changes made, let me know if you have any suggestions! @IAmInfinite @Akari @fitnessgurl
  8. Disclaimer: A large part of this is @Briniel's star introduction to Monkey Taming, digivolved for efficiency. TL;DR: For Tamers coming back, the changelog is at the bottom of the post. This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. CONCEPTS The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: Productive Brick For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). Halfassed Brick If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer. Monkey Poop If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground (procrastination anyone?). Be honest with yourself. If you didn't finish your bricks for the day, any bricks not laid become monkey poop... Of course, if you manage to procrastinate for longer than you were supposed to have time for, feel free to add more poop, lol. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild! About taking breaks You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that EXPERIMENTAL: Alternative way to track Productive Bricks For rewarding task completion instead of time a.k.a. "I always forget to track time". DIFFICULTY MODES Choose your own mode. Easy: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop = The original system Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop = Against halfassing! Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop = Like a boss JOIN US If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress! In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: Write your name and difficulty mode. Enter the planned amount of bricks - for each day. You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to enter the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey poop) *For those coming back, what's different: We've added a spot for Week 0. It won't count towards points but it may help in getting started, testing things, or just doing something so you won't lose momentum. @IAmInfinite @Akari @fitnessgurl
  9. Fitnessgurl steps across the border; entering the Land of the Undone. She looks around at the chaos & whips out a notebook & pen with lightening speed. It's time to get started. Smiling grimly, she opens up her notebook; deciding where to begin. This time, she WILL succeed! She writes down her goals: Goals: 1. Exercise 3x/week 2. Eat one healthy meal a day 3. Practice Lectio Divina every day 4. M-F electronics off by 8:30pm 5. Complete daily task list 6. Be creative every day
  10. Disclaimer: A large part of this is @Briniel's star introduction to Monkey Taming, digivolved for efficiency. TL;DR: For Tamers coming back, the changelog is at the bottom of the post. This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. CONCEPTS The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: Productive Brick For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). Halfassed Brick If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer. Monkey Poop If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground (procrastination anyone?). Be honest with yourself. If you didn't finish your bricks for the day, any bricks not laid become monkey poop... Of course, if you manage to procrastinate for longer than you were supposed to have time for, feel free to add more poop, lol. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild! About taking breaks You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that EXPERIMENTAL: Alternative way to track Productive Bricks For rewarding task completion instead of time a.k.a. "I always forget to track time". DIFFICULTY MODES Choose your own mode. Easy: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop = The original system Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop = Against halfassing! Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop = Like a boss JOIN US If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress! In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: Write your name and difficulty mode. Enter the planned amount of bricks - for each day. You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to enter the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey poop) *For those coming back, what's different: If you don't finish your bricks for the day, any bricks not laid become monkey poop. Of course, if you manage to procrastinate for longer than you were supposed to have time for, feel free to add more poop, lol. There's an experimental alternative way to track Productive Bricks, for anyone to try out. It involves rewarding the completion of tasks more than the duration a.k.a. "I always forget to track time". Details right above the difficulty modes. Let us know if you plan to use it! @fitnessgurl @maegs @Schaengel @Mad Hatter @fiOWNya @~RedStone~ @lucky fire dragon @jmk @LadyShello
  11. Disclaimer: A large part of this is @Briniel's star introduction to Monkey Taming, digivolved for efficiency. TL;DR: For Tamers coming back, the changelog is at the bottom of the post. This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. Write down the time and tasks here in this thread. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. CONCEPTS The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: Productive Brick For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). Halfassed Brick If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer. Monkey Poop If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground. Be honest with yourself. Everyone needs to have genuine fun regularly. How is fun genuine? You know you deserve it, you made time for it, and you're not procrastinating! But if you haven't finished your bricks, it becomes monkey poop... Track the monkey poop while you haven't finished with the productive bricks. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild! About taking breaks You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that EXPERIMENTAL: Alternative way to track Productive Bricks For rewarding task completion instead of time. Estimate the amount of bricks needed for each task you need to get done (blocks of 30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey). After completing a task, you may enter the estimated amount of bricks instead of counting the actual time it took to finish it. Remember to still count halfassed bricks and monkey poop. If you notice a task took a lot more Productive Bricks than you estimated, use the actual amount. If you notice a task took a lot less Productive Bricks than you estimated, use the middle point between the actual amount and estimate. (Why: daunting tasks probably weigh more) DIFFICULTY MODES Choose your own mode. Easy: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop = The original system Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop = Against halfassing! Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop = Like a boss JOIN US If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress! In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: Write your name and difficulty mode. Enter the planned amount of bricks - for each day. You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to enter the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey poop) *For those coming back, what's different: There's an experimental alternative way to track Productive Bricks, for anyone to try out (I will!). It involves rewarding the completion of tasks more than the duration. Details right above the "difficulty modes". Let us know if you plan to use it!
  12. Disclaimer: A large part of this is @Briniel's star introduction to Monkey Taming, digivolved for efficiency. TL;DR: For Tamers coming back, the changelog is at the bottom of the post. This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. Write down the time and tasks here in this thread. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. CONCEPTS The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: Productive Brick For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). Halfassed Brick If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer. Monkey Poop If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground. Be honest with yourself. Everyone needs to have genuine fun regularly. How is fun genuine? You know you deserve it, you made time for it, and you're not procrastinating! But if you haven't finished your bricks, it becomes monkey poop... Track the monkey poop while you haven't finished with the productive bricks. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild! About taking breaks You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that DIFFICULTY MODES Choose your own mode. Easy: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop = The original system Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop = Against halfassing! Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop = Like a boss JOIN US If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress! In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: Write your name and difficulty mode. Write the planned amount of bricks - for each day. You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to write the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey poop) *For those coming back, what's different: No more planning free time before we've finished laying our productive bricks. The only monkey stuff we'll be tracking is poop. Ew. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more and are free to go wild! The difficulty mode names have been changed for the sake of our brains.
  13. By the end of last challenge, I had started not to slack off so much on my job search and interview prep, but I really want to light a fire under this thing, so I need to stop getting distracted. To that end, I don't have a running goal this challenge, and my other goals are pretty tame. Goals Lift 3 times a week; keep going with 5x5 on heavy days. My higher-volume workouts take a while, but I am hoping they will show results. This basically takes up all of my Monday evening, so I will have to be diligent about making good use of the rest of my time. I will also have to be diligent about eating enough to support it, but I'm not doing a diet goal, because I don't feel like spending a bunch of time obsessing over a diet change right now. This is worth 3 STR. Do mobility work twice a week. I don't want to lose too much flexibility, but an important side benefit is that this gives me something to get up for on Saturday morning so that I don't waste half the day in bed. This is worth 3 DEX. Do not watch season 4 of Silicon Valley or season 3 of Bojack Horseman or start any new TV shows during the challenge. I just finished season 3 of OITNB, primarily last Saturday, and that was like a day of interview prep time down the drain. This is worth 2 WIS. Perform job seeking activities 8 hours a week. I know that my previous challenges were for 6 hours, and that didn't always go so well. But my habits have gotten a little better lately, and if I want to get ready in a short amount of time, this needs to become the main thing I do besides working and lifting. I hopefully won't become more of a hermit than I already am, so I intend the main casualties of this effort to be TV watching, web browsing, and possibly personal projects. This is worth a whopping 4 WIS and 3 CHA. See you on the other side.
  14. Guess who just realized that the new challenge started yesterday? Yes, it's me, the woman who is so sleep deprived and stressed out that she currently has the executive functioning capacities of a fetal gerbil. Last challenge I waffled a bit before deciding to stay in the Rebels, but this time I have zero mental resources to dedicate to making the decision of which guild to join AND I'm already late so I'm staying here out of pure inertia and also because there are many cool people floating about in the Rebel guild. I'm looking at you, @Dagger and @durfette and @Jane Eyre Is My Patronus and @Butternut and @Bookish Badger and @Rebel_Timelord and @tienlong and all the other great rebels I have yet to get to know. So here's my current situation: I am extremely busy with work and am probably going to be working 7 days a week until the farming season quiets down a little (hopefully September??) I'm contemplating a big life change which requires preparation and introspection I'm trying to lose weight and increase fitness while not fucking up any of the other things in my life Also I want to maintain my friendships and relationships and still have time to do normal life things like, you know, sleep and vacuum and mow the lawn Also also I like these forums and want to have time to check them more regularly than I have in the past couple weeks So obviously that's hilarious and totally all doable simultaneously, right? Right. Yeah, that image is not leading into a paragraph where I display wisdom about the impracticality of all this and scale back to something more reasonable. That is actually my plan. So without further ado, my goals: 1. Prevent the collapse of my healthy eating habits: continue to track food every day and keep calories in target range of 1800-2200 averaged over the month Historically I tend to overeat and eat really crap foods when stressed out so I really need to stay vigilant on this. My last two challenges helped me keep my eating on track, and I need to maintain that. 2. Stay on top of giant mountain of work tasks without going insane: limit at-work hours to 60 hours/week With farming, no matter how much work you do there is always more to do. I need to fight the perfectionism and triage to focus on the tasks with the largest impact on yield. I want to limit work to 60 hours per week maximum and always do the most important tasks first and other stuff only if there's time. For this I am counting work I do at home like accounting and emails. 3. Fitness routine: keep climbing, start running I rock climb with friends once every week, usually on Thursdays. I want to keep that up and also try to add in C25K (using the Zombies Run app), which I attempted last challenge but ended up not having time for. I think if I make it more of a focus, I can do it. It'll just require a bit of planning and willpower. 4. Check the forums twice per week Self explanatory. This place is good for my motivation and helps me be more introspective. It's valuable and it's worth making time for and I care about the other people I've met on here and I want to show them the same support and thoughtful encouragement they've shown me. 5. Be a good relationshipper: make time for the people who count This is going to be tricky to track because I loathe quantifying or scheduling authentic social interactions. Basically what I want to do is set time aside 2-3 times a week to just be fully present for the people I love. It can be sitting around talking, or going for a long walk, or snuggles or a nice dinner together or whatever. I will probably evaluate my success by asking the people in question whether they noticed an improvement over last month. 6. Prepare for big changes ahead: I'm going to make a separate post about the backstory and reasoning behind this, but the TLDR version is that I'm very seriously considering going back to school. I already have two degrees (undergrad in Latin and Ancient Greek language and literature, and a law degree) but I've been working in organic agriculture for years and I find myself more and more interested in botany and the scientific side of plants. I'm considering going back to school for biology/botany and redirecting my career more toward the science of plants, as opposed to the practical task of growing them and selling them to people. This requires a variety of work and planning, ranging from investigating program options to getting my transcripts evaluated for transfer credits to working out timing and budget issues to starting to refresh my memory on things like organic chemistry that I haven't thought about in ages. I'm not yet sure what concrete goal to set here. I'll ponder further and update when I have a better idea. Okay, let's do this!
  15. I've been procrastinating posting my challenge because, well, nothing interesting is really coming to me. Things in general are a little chaotic right now. I'm dealing with a fair bit of uncertainty, and some other life goals are getting all the attention. But this is still pretty important to me, so let's get to it. I'll be on land for most of the first half of this one, which is good news because it means I have more options. The bad news is that the first week is in Texas, so it won't be pleasant. Then it's back to Alaska for a few days in the mountains, and then back to sea for the remainder. That right there is enough to make this a pretty demanding challenge logistically, so I'm not going to get too ambitious this time. I'll have much more opportunity-wise in the near future (details on that to come later ). Run 60 miles. Not too easy, not particularly hard. There will be sweltering heat, mountains, trails and vicious wildlife – everything we've all come to expect – what more could you ask for? Push, Pull Changing this one around a bit. 500 Push-ups, maintaining proficiency. Some kind of non-routine core workout, once a week, 2 points each for 8 points total. Doesn't have to be much, but enough to provide some benefit. 1 point if it's lame. As a bonus, I'll throw in some pull-ups whenever the opportunity presents itself. Not gonna track these this time. Stretch 18 points total, awarded as follows... I miss yoga, so I'm aiming for twice a week, 2 points each for a good routine. I'm going to keep up with some of the back exercises I started working on last time. Once a week, 2 points each time. I'm setting the goal at only 18 points to account for travel and ship life getting in the way. Strength 22 points total. Sticking with the same workouts as in the previous few challenges, 3 times a week at 2 points each, also with allowance for a missed day. Boni 1) I dragged one my bikes out of storage for while I'm in Texas. 2 bonus points if I can log 60 miles while I'm here (1 week). 2) I've been noticing a lot of folks incorporating art into their challenges – writing, drawing, painting, etc. I don't really do much of those things, but while I'm in Texas, I do have my guitars with me. No promises, but if I can get to it, maybe I'll share a recording.
  16. This is my second challenge! I'm still in the Rebel forum because I keep waffling on which guild is the best fit for me. If you're curious about me, here's the short version: I'm a language and history and biology nerd who lives in Boston and runs an organic farm for a living. Well, technically two farms but that's not the short version. I used to work in law and was really sedentary, but then I lost a lot of weight (about 90 pounds) and switched careers and became a reasonably active and healthy person. However, I still have unresolved food and body image issues of various kinds. Once I "succeeded," I got complacent, and then my eating was crap and some of the weight started reappearing despite my continued high activity levels. I don't want to regain what I lost, so I'm here to get my shit back together and continue progressing toward my ultimate goals. In the broadest terms, my ultimate goals are (1) achieving and maintaining a high level of fitness and athleticism which I use to do a wide variety of fun and interesting stuff (2) eating healthy food and (3) resolving my food and body dysmorphia issues. That's epic quest type stuff, but I hope to make incremental progress in the right direction with every challenge. I love rock climbing, hiking and walking, canoeing, camping, and basically most outdoor things. I have dabbled in weight lifting and really enjoy it although I suck at it due to never buckling down and I have a lot of anxiety about proper form. I also really like bodyweight workouts (one of my goals is to be able to do pullups someday), and I'm interested in learning pole dancing. What else? Oh, one of my life goals is to complete C25K and then run the entirety of a 5K (no walking). I'm interested in becoming more flexible and possibly trying yoga (which I have never done) at some point. Can you see why I'm having trouble choosing a guild?? My first challenge was a great success, except for the sidequest life goal to write 500 words a day, which I spectacularly bombed. I want to maintain the good habits that made May a happy, healthy, and productive month for me, and also ADD MORE STUFF because of course I want to add more stuff. Adding more goals to an established and stable routine! What could possibly go wrong, right? RIGHT? THE CHALLENGE THAT COULD NOT POSSIBLY GO WRONG 1. Don't Be A Moron PART 1 - Track food and stay in calorie target range Technically this is two things BUT they are two things I have a lot of experience doing (from my big weight loss years back) and I killed this stuff during my last challenge. I track all my food using an app and my target calorie range is somewhere between 1800-2100 averaged over the four weeks. This goal should be easy - it's just about maintaining what I'm already doing. 2. Don't Be A Moron PART 2 - Reduce stress by conquering procrastination This is another repeat goal from last time because it was incredibly helpful for me. I will accomplish at least one thing off my (giant) to-do list every day, over and above my normal daily responsibilities at home and at work. I am a procrastinator, and when I have a lot of shit to do it makes me incredibly anxious, and those two things are a terrible combination. Basically I avoid stuff, get anxious about how much there is to do, anxiety makes me more avoidant, which makes the list longer which increases the anxiety, etc. NO MORE! Last month this goal was a huge win for me - I got shit done, felt good, and noticeably lowered my stress levels which in turn helps me accomplish my other goals. 3. But Not Being A Moron Isn't Quite Sufficient, Now Is It? - Try new physical activities that I've been wanting to try I'm going to try a couple things that are on my goal list this month: Zombies, Run! Couch to 5K - I started this once upon a time but never finished. I love the story and I have successfully run a full mile without stopping before (I think it was like 14 minutes though which is like...the same speed as I can walk) so I feel like it should be possible for me to do a 5K with training, but let's be honest - I'm terrified by the idea because I've never seen myself as someone who could actually run. That was for other people, fit people. Nevermind that I played soccer and all sorts of other shit that involved running - that didn't count because...oh, right, my body image issues. UGH. So I'm going to do it because it's scary and because I honestly probably can. Pending organization and such, @fleaball is going to be doing C25K at the sameish time and that'll be helpful for motivation. Pole dancing - This is something I have been wanting to try for a while now. I absolutely love dancing and bodyweight stuff, and one of the queer bars I sometimes go to here in Boston occasionally has really impressive pole dancers. It's a cool combination of dance, acrobatics, strength, and bodyweight badassery. I signed up for a class with this guy and I'm nervous but excited. I'm not picturing a new career here, just something fun that'll make me better at climbing and hopefully also help me combat ongoing body image brainweasels. For this goal, the only requirement is that I give these things an honest try and see how I feel about them during the four weeks. 4. Fight Brainweasels - Body Image/Food Issues This is pretty unstructured but it's definitely something I have on my mind right now. I have had food and body image issues for a really, really long time. Like I remember leaving for school one day in grade 2, walking halfway there and realizing that I looked so fat in my shorts that I had to go home and change. GRADE 2. I was a normal sized kid with enormous body confidence issues that my mum and grandmother, free of malice though they certainly were, compounded exponentially. By the time I was in middle school I probably spent at least a couple hours a day thinking/worrying about food and my body. Here is a picture of me when I was 13 that led to me not wearing shorts again for something ridiculous like 5 years. Looking back, it feels insane--now I just see an average, decently healthy little girl--but at the time I was horrified by this picture and I really only saw ugliness. Anyway. I've gotten a lot better, to say the least, but my history with weight and fitness has always been tainted by these issues, and even now they're still a problem. For example: I work a physical job and am excellent at it, I rock climb, I love walking and hiking, I play pick-up sports with friends...and I still have a hard time daring to think of myself as an athletic person. I lost a lot of weight but still struggle with stress eating and I definitely don't see myself as having a healthy relationship with food. So although I've gotten better at coping and doing the right things, the underlying issues and worries need to be addressed. I should probably see a therapist to help me work through some of this stuff, eventually, but for now I'd just like to make an effort to be aware of this stuff and post about it in here. If I can do 2 posts a week on that topic, I'll call this goal a success. That's probably more than enough for one challenge, especially since I'm still going to be rock climbing at least once a week and working in the field all day. WISH ME LUCK!
  17. The Republic and the Jedi Order are in engaged in active conflict. 6 Months ago contact was lost to 47 different worlds in the outer rim. The expedition force sent to investigate also disappeared. Shortly after this contact to an additional 18 worlds was lost. This time the republic and the jedi order sent mixed task force of regular troops and jedi. Above an unnamed desert plant the task force was ambushed by much larger fleet. The surviving jedi reported that multiple very strong dark side users were in command of the attacking fleet. The battle took about 4 hours and only 3 task force ships could make it back to republican space. At same time the number of terrorist attacks rose significantly. The attacks grew also way more vicious. They are almost always directed towards places or persons of strategic importance to the republic. About 4 Months ago rumors started spreading among frontline troops that the attackers were the descendants of the old sith empire. The empire last attacked the republic 1000 years ago and unto this point was nothing more than a story to scare the children. But rumors stuck and keep growing... The republic and the order are holding the line for the moment but are desperate for fresh troops. More Recruits and Padawan candidates are reaching coruscant daily and are put into training as fast as possible... Week 1: In the first week of basic training the new students of the order are learning the following new things: * Protection against sith mind control techniques (i will install a website and app blocker solution at my phone and desktop) * They get their first course about the war and what they are fighting for (i will do the mindset quests in the academy) * Also it is made sure that they are well rested for the fights to come (7 hours of sleep every night, if the next day is a work day i'm in bed by 11:45, on work days i'm on my way to work ) * they also have to meditate each day and work three times a week with the training remotes (10 minutes meditation and 40 double handed swings 3x peer Week) Week 2: The second week will be filled with a tripp to ireland aehm the frontlines(vacation: nothing planned here) Week 3: While maintaining the training from week 1 during week three the students are required to help out in temple library. A reorganization of the library is nessecary, to make it easier to find information about the sith empire(sell 5 five books (ebay, facebook)) * The students also started learning about how the force helps the to improve their physical abilities (Read the academy nutrition chapter and start the quests) Week 4: By the end of week four the students will be assaigned to masters in various branches of the order to continue their training. But before that they have to study strategy. Especially how the republic collects money to fund the war and how it deploys it's conventional troops (sell 5 five books (ebay, facebook), buy plane ticket to nf meetup in scotland) and they have to finish the studies of manipulating their physical bodies. For the republic!
  18. Disclaimer: A large part of this is @Briniel's star introduction to Monkey Taming, digivolved for efficiency. This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. Concepts taken from this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com A point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - Figure out which bricks to lay Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - Figure out when to lay the bricks Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. Write down the time and tasks here in this thread. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successful. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - Lay bricks and earn points When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. CONCEPTS The goal is to score higher than the monkey. Your score depends on how you lay your bricks: Productive Brick For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the point. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). Halfassed Brick If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park and your points will suffer. Monkey Poop If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrounds, the monkey gets points instead. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground. Be honest with yourself. Monkey Brick (New) Everyone needs to have genuine fun regularly. How is fun genuine? You know you deserve it, you made time for it, and you're not procrastinating! If it doesn't fit into genuine fun, it becomes monkey poop... Track those monkey bricks while you haven't finished with the productive bricks. Once the productive bricks are all done that day, you don't have to track any more monkey bricks (unless you want to, because you hadn't had fun time yet and it won't turn into poop!) About taking breaks You can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 min and have a 10 min break. Taken from the Pomodoro Technique ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensely to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that DIFFICULTY MODES Choose your own mode. Normal: +1 point per brick, +0.5 points per halfassed brick, x5 monkey points per monkey poop = The original system Hard: +1 point per brick, +0.0 points per halfassed brick , x5 monkey points per monkey poop = Against halfassing! Kong: +1 point per brick, -0.5 points per halfassed brick, x8 monkey points per monkey poop = Like a boss If you want to join the Monkey Tamers, let us know what you're planning to build, and join our colorful Google Spreadsheet for tracking your progress! In the spreadsheet, all you need to do is fill in the black squares: Write your name and difficulty mode. Write the planned amount of bricks and monkey bricks (a.k.a. fun) - that you plan for each day. You can fill those as days go by, just make sure to write the planned amount before actually starting to lay bricks. Write the amount of bricks laid where they belong (productive bricks, halfassed bricks, monkey bricks)
  19. I'm new to Nerd Fitness (oh hai!) but not to being a nerd or caring about fitness. I found the forums just as this challenge was about to begin, and I know from experience that the thing I need is accountability and tracking in order to get my habits on track. I'm hoping I'll find some interesting people along the way. Main Goal: Right now my main focus is weight loss. A few years back I lost a large amount of weight by tracking my food and getting in better shape. I'm still in good shape, and I work a physical job and get regular exercise, but despite my activity the weight is coming back gradually because I'm being a moron. I let myself get complacent and stopped tracking my food, and despite my periodic ability to fool myself into thinking otherwise, it's been proven time and again that for me, no tracking = eating crap. No amount of activity can counterbalance eating a pint of B&J for dinner, which is something I do mindlessly when not tracking, and never seem to do when tracking makes me stop and think about it. So no more of that nonsense: I need to get back to tracking, because I refuse to be yet another story of someone losing weight and then regaining it all. Challenge Goal #1: Track all my food This should be easy as long as I don't let myself act like a moron and blow it off. I tracked my food for years and I know exactly how to do it. It takes me less than 10 minutes per day. It's just a matter of following through. A: 25 days or more tracked --- B: 20-25 days tracked --- C: Fewer than 20 days tracked Challenge Goal #2: Eat average of 1800 calories per day I don't try to eat exactly the same amount every day, because overly rigid rules make me rebel and some days I'm hungrier than others. But I want my average to be about 1800 calories daily. I burn about 2600ish calories daily between work and exercise, so that'd create a reasonable deficit for the weight loss I want. A: Monthly average within 100 calories of target --- B: Average within 200 calories of target --- C: Average within 300 calories of target Challenge Goal #3: Tackle procrastination, which leads to stress, which leads to chocolate I need to get at least 1 thing off my to-do list every single day (over and above normal daily obligations). It might sound weird to consider this part of my weight loss goal, but I know myself: if I'm stressed out and overwhelmed I'm much more prone to mindless snacking, binge eating, and other bad food decisions. I own a small business and manage another business part-time, and when you add household and social obligations I have a hell of a lot of stuff going on. I'm a procrastinator, and when I let things pile up I get more anxious and avoidant and it's a vicious cycle. When I get stuff done, however, I feel successful and it takes pressure off and builds momentum for me to get even more stuff done. A: 25 productive days or more --- B: 20-25 productive days --- C: Fewer than 20 productive days Life Goal: Write 500+ words every day I am calmer and happier when I write regularly. It doesn't really matter what it is - journals, fiction, rants about current events - everything counts.
  20. Quest 1: Count kalories aiming for Week 1: Count calories, it's all right to be a Little over the goal Week 2: Try to stay under 1650 kcal Week 3: Try to stay in beetween my range 1500-1650 kcal week 4: The same as week 3 + have a look at your protein, fat, sugar, ... Counted my calories every day = A Six days = B five days = C I still hate it. But I gained some weight back and I want to step on the break now. Somehow I don't seem to be able to eat reasonable, when I don't remind myself to eat mindfully from time to time. Quest 2: Daily study Aiming for 500 words a day on 5 days a week. I'll rate the week on Sunday evening 7pm. (Sunday isn't there to get all the words in. So no all nighters on Sunday.) 2500+ words by Sunday, written on more than 4 days = A+ 2000+ words by Sunday, written on more than 3 days = B 1500+ words = C 0 to 1500 words = D So I'm aiming for 2500 words a week. I'll test this goal out during week zero. If I want to have a day without writing I'll have to write in advance. No free days beforehand and than trying to compensate beginning in week 1. This week I took a free day on Monday, because I needed a break after the last paper. But later this challenge I don't want to get in the Habit of postponing my writing and than writing all Weekend. Quest 3: Daily exercise At least tibetans and walking or getting a 60 - 90 minute workout in on at least five days a week. One Restday is allowed. Soon I want to start swimming again. I also recently started Capoeira. Therefore I should try to attend the lessons. This Goal leads me to my Side Quest. Side Quest: 1)Time Management needs a plan! I'll have a look on my week at the beginning of each week or the Sunday before and make adjustments to my plans accordingly. This will include time for studying, me-time and workouts. 2) Help brutalbears with some runs/fast walks this challenge. Week Zero: Monday: Go to university and relax. Tuesday: Go to university, Tai Chi lesson, grocery Shopping, get some more writing done and make up for yesterday. Wednesday: Go to the library and get some more writing done, me-time in the evening: dancing. Jay! Thursday: I'll meet my role playing Group around noon and we use this national Holiday for gaming. They are doing a part without me first, so I'll write on my paper than. A friend will therefore lend me his room for an hour. I should plan a walk and doing my Tibetans. Friday: Go to university, finish my writing for the week, do some of my homework for next week. I should go to Capoeira today, because I can't make it on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday would just too hard, if I go dancing afterwards. Saturday: Medievil market Sunday: Manga and Anime Convention in Ludwigshafen. (I guess there will be a lot of Walking on Saturday and Sunday. So I don't plan an additional walk.) Week One: Monday: RESTDAY Tuesday: University + Tai Chi Wednesday: Short strength Training session + Capoeira Thursday: Capoeira Friday: School Project + Capoeira (?! depends on how my Project turns out.) Saturday: Get the rest of the writing done. Sunday: Skype, get in touch with people + housework Monday: Medievil market in Phillipsburg (At least we hope this one will happen. Another Option wouöd be to go Saturday.)
  21. Goals for this Challenge no sweets meditation drink at least 3l a day floss teeth 5 Tibetans freggies daily studying follow my workout plan ZERO WEEK GAME So this challenge will be slightly different. I have so many different hobbies and things I want to do. I just never can’t decide what of these things to do. So because I’m a roleplaying nerd, I’ll let the dice decide. Like my combo system I’ll have one goal from each category again. 1. Train my brain 2. Housework/Workouts 3. Life goals I’ll replace some of the housework goals with workouts as soon as they are done. I was ill last challenge and don’t want to have a workout every day in the first week. So I’ll role three D10 for every day of the week and determine which goals I have to focus on this day. That doesn’t mean I can’t do anything else from the list, too. And hopefully I get some fencing in again. Oh and I finally updated my measurements. So my boobs shrinked. o.O
  22. Hello to everyone out there who wants to get stuff done!! This group is for those of us who suffer from procrastination, "the action of delaying or postponing something". Or, more specifically "the act of ruining your own life for no apparent reason". I thought it would be a good idea to get together with other serial-procrastinators and tackle this bad habit together. I also thought it would be an awesome idea to use this brilliant article on waitbutwhy.com to create a point based game to beat the instant gratification monkeys, help our rational decision makers get out of the dark playground through the dark woods and help both of them enjoy themselves on happy playground territory (or the rainbow of flow, if we get lucky) together. If that sentences didn't make any sense to you, go read the article (including part 2). Do it now. Don't wait until later. (Unless you're procrastinating from some other thing you should be doing right now, then do that thing first and read the article right after that.) So, now that we're all on the same page and know what's going on and who keeps us from our goals, let's teach our rational decision makers how to tame a dragon monkey!!! Monkey Tamers United Step 1 - figure out which bricks to lay. Take a task that you find yourself procrastinating on a LOT but that is actually really important to you. If you've done some challenges you probably know which of your quests give you the most trouble. If you don't, go by what's written in the article or decide for yourself. You could even chose several things if you're feeling confident. Just make sure you have a clear plan of what task it is that you will not procrastinate on any longer. Then break it down into smaller tasks, if necessary. The idea is to end up with nice 30 minute bricks that you can lay down one after the other. Make sure you phrase those tasks in a non-icky way. Step 2 - figure out when to lay the bricks. Designate a certain timeframe for brick laying. It could be an hour at 9am every day, or wednesdays from 6-8 pm or any other timeframe that works for you. Write down the time and tasks here in this thread. These first two steps are supposed to be a tool to help you be successfull. If you'd rather go at it without the planning or in between doing other stuff, that's totally fine. Step 3 - lay bricks (and earn points). When the time comes to lay your bricks, put them down. For every brick (30 minutes of focused work, not disturbed by the monkey), you will get one point. For the next brick you lay, you'll get 2 points (yay, bonus points!). The next brick is worth 3 points. And so on. It does not matter if you lay these bricks right after the other or if you do other (productive) stuff in between. As long as you stay our of the dark playground, it's all good and you get more points on every new brick you lay that day. Even if you over-estimated the size of your bricks and still have work left after 30 minutes, don't fret, you still get the points. Adjust your brick sizes for next time (or live with the fact that you won't finish the task with one brick... it's up to you). If you're not happy with how you set the brick, because the monkey and rational decision maker kept dragging you in and out of the dark woods, you'll end up in mixed feeling park. You get 0.5 points for the effort you put in, but your bonus counter is reset to zero. So the next productive brick will again only yield 1 point. If the monkey should manage to take over the steering wheel so much that you can't lay the brick at all and end up in the dark playgrouns, the monkey gets 5 points and your counter is reset to zero. Of course this is all up to your reasoning, but I think you'll know whether you're in the dark woods or the dark playground. Be honest with yourself. If you need to, you can take scheduled 5 minute breaks every brick (so you'll work 25 minutes, then have a 5 minute break. Or you could work 50 minutes and have a 10 minute break. If you know the pomodoro method, you know where this is coming from ). Just remember that the monkey will do his very best to drag you out of the woods during break time. It might help to have a plan for how you spend the break. Do what works best for you. It might also help immensly to actually set a timer that lets you know when it's time for bricks and time for breaks. There's lots of apps for that So, to recap the point system: 1st 30 productive minutes - 1 pt2nd 30 productive minutes - 2 pts3rd 30 prodcutive minutes - 3 pts ...30 half-assed minutes - 0.5 pts, counter reset30 monkey minutes - 5 pts for the monkeys, counter reset (should this double as well? not sure yet)At the end of every day, post your score of how many points you earned and how many points the monkey earned and reset your bonus points counter. I will add the numbers to the counter in the second post. The goal is, of course, to earn more points than the monkeys do. You can see it as a collective effort or you can calculate the percentage of time spend in the dark woods vs. the dark playground (ommiting the half-assed bricks for simplicity) and try to beat other people's scores. Whatever motivates you the most If you want to join in, just post your plans and score here. If you have any suggestions, feedback, ideas, just let me know. I think this system might work well, but I'll be more than happy to build in any means to make it even more awesome Also, if you know of other ressources on procrastination or anything you think might be helpful for your team mates, plase share, I'll make a collection of links in the third post. And of course, any experiences, ideas, strategies, funny gifs shared are more than welcome That's it for now. I can't wait to see how this will go
  23. Welcome back for another episode of the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It seems like forever ago that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I have been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 126 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). So what is my story? Well, I’ve been here before. I kicked a lot of butt progressing through 22 challenges since 2012, until middle of 2015. After struggling to maintain a presence here through the first half of 2015, I struck out on my own as I had conquered many obstacles here, learned many lessons, and felt I was ready to implement a new accountability strategy for I had developed a strong supporting cast in real life to keep me accountable. Alas, a back injury and a "layoff" crumbled all my plans. I am on the road to recovery for both. In October, I started a new job only three weeks after my old one ended. The growing pains are over and now I feel entrenched in my new world. In October and November, I took a lot of time off from fitness to allow my back to heal. In December, I started physical therapy to strengthen my back. I have occasional flare ups, but for the most part, I have my body functioning like its old self. Well, an out-of-shape and over-weight old self. It is like I am back at square one, or Level 1 for my character here. But it is not like my character died and I have a new one. My knowledge and experience is retained. Instead of hitting the reset button, I'll jump to World 2 complete with new challenges and obstacles. Old foes may come back, but they will require new techniques to defeat them. I am still a Jedi in training, learning from the old masters, studying the new practices, and constantly improving. Challenge Lesson: "Your focus determines your reality." Qui-Gon Jinn, Jedi Master, drops this very lesson on Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace when he said, "Always remember, your focus determines your reality." A few years ago, I went on travel for work to Lakehurst, New Jersey. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the hotels were either booked with displaced people or FEMA workers. Lucky for me, I have a friend in the area unaffected by the storm and with his beer fridge fully stocked! It’s not the Government per diem hotel I’m used to with a king-sized bed, HD TV, and access to a gym and pool. Instead, I sleep on a pull-out couch sharing the room with a crated dog. Later in the night, I find I also share the bed with a cat, who decided to make me head a nice pillow. Since the cat woke me up, I decide to roll over to check the time: 2:13. Facing the kitchen doorway now, I see a light coming from an open refrigerator. There is nobody there, but its contents are distributed all over the floor. Then, a pair of bare feet inch out of the fridge followed by the rest of a young boy, my friend’s youngest son Harry. The boy freezes upon seeing me. We stare at each other with me trying to figure out why the boy has emptied the fridge on the floor, while the boy appears to be trying to figure out an explanation. “What are you doing?†“You should see this.†“See what?†“The back of the fridge… come over here.†Being careful not to step on any of the precariously stacked food, I move toward the fridge. There appears to be an open door inside. Not a butter door or freezer door… more like a closet door. I get closer and lean to see inside. “There is a zoo inside your fridge!†“Shhh! You’ll wake everyone.†“Why is there a zoo inside your fridge?†Harry shrugs his shoulders at the question and crawls inside. I shrug my shoulders and follow. The first zoo animal we see is a purple gorilla. “Whatever you do… do not touch the purple gorilla.†“Huh?†“DON’T TOUCH THE PURPLE GORILLA!†“Alright, alright. I got it.†“Ok. I’m going to bed. Can you clean up for me?†“Whatever, kid, I’m going in.†And with that, I go into the zoo and Harry goes into the kitchen on his way to bed. I look over the animals, which seem pretty normal except for exceptional colors. The purple gorilla appears docile and friendly. I briefly ponder Harry’s warning as I continue down a path leading to the rest of the zoo. Losing track of time as I view all the animals, I eventually find my way back to the gorilla, which is now asleep. While looking at the pleasant, sleeping gorilla, I remember how docile and friendly it was. I wonder, “What could Harry possibly be worried about?†I reach through the bars, hesitate for a moment, and pet the gorilla’s fluffy purple fur. Not a twitch or a tremble from the animal. I pull my hand away and head for the door. Not two steps into my stride, that I hear an earsplitting roar from behind me. I turn to see an angry, fierce gorilla roaring while showing his long, sharp teeth. I stumble backwards a little bit before I realize that the beast is in a cage, but not for long. The animal displays incredible strength bending the iron bars apart like they were clay. I scream an expletive and run for the door, diving through and landing face first in a leftover apple pie. Standing up quickly, I turn to run to the living room tripping over a jar of pickles, then regaining my balance by stepping into a half-eaten cake, but my next step is on top of a carton of milk which just explodes spilling milk and me all over floor. Not waiting to see if the gorilla will follow me through the door, I clamor to my feet, stumble into the living room, and climb under the pull-out bed. I hear the purple gorilla stomp into the living room in a huff followed by the sound of furniture being tossed around. Then silence. I listen intently. The convertible couch lifts off the floor and flies across the room revealing the huge, monstrous gorilla. I lock eyes with the purple beast as I lie on floor, quivering and crying as I await my death. The gorilla roars like thunder pounding its chest. Then it reaches for me with one large open hand… and pats me on the head. “Tag, you’re it.†Remember, your focus determines your reality. Our minds establish routines and habits based on what we experience. Human instinct is to believe what we see, but we will also interpret what we think we see and what we expect to see. Reality isn’t always what we think it is or expect it to be. People used to think that the world was flat, the Earth was at the center of the universe, and the moon was made out of cheese. Scientific breakthroughs are found by changing a perception through a very controlled experiment to test a hypothesis. There is a story about six blind men who were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant's body. One feels a leg says it’s is like a pillar; one feels the tail says it’s like a rope; one feels the trunk it’s like a tree branch; one feels the ear says it’s like a hand fan; one feels the belly it’s like a wall; and one feels the tusk says it’s like a solid pipe. Each is only experiencing a piece of the puzzle. Together, they can complete the puzzle. We get a follow-up lesson from Obi-Wan Kenobi in Return of the Jedi: In this part of the conversation, Obi-Wan is explaining how perception frames how you think and what you think. The things we believe are true have a foundation built from our perception or view. It is difficult for us to believe in anything without an experience to back it up whether it is first, second, or third hand. These beliefs give us a background for comparison, a springboard for decision making, and a basis for logic. If something appears true from one perceptive, but false from another, then one can encounter difficulty whether someone is hiding your family's past from you or whether you are counting squares in an IQ test puzzle. The difficulty is from seeing only a portion instead of the entire thing. There is a story about six blind men who were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant's body. One feels a leg and says that it is like a pillar; one feels the tail and says that it’s like a rope; one feels the trunk and says that it’s like a tree branch; one feels the ear and says that it’s like a hand fan; one feels the belly and says that it’s like a wall; and one feels the tusk and says that it’s like a solid pipe. Each is only experiencing a piece of the puzzle. Together, they can complete the puzzle. I’ll let 1932 Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg summarize my thoughts. “We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.†To understand any new concept or situation, search for the other perceptions or points of view. If you ask the same questions and use the same methods, then you should expect the same answers. Try something different, or even unusual, to get a better view on reality. There is a saying about not understanding until you've been in someone else's shoes. When you are confronted with an idea you do not understand or a problem which you cannot solve, try changing your shoes, because your perception determines your reality and reality is more than meets the eye. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 2 Challenge: FITNESS: Work Up a Sweat! – 340 minutes of conditioning training for the entire challenge. DEX +2, STA +2 The weekly plan is 60 minutes of racquetball on Friday and two 10 minute fast walks. I added an extra 20 minutes to work in. Fast walks can be replaced by jogging, swimming, biking, or rowing (haven't done since my injury, but may be ready to test) depending on what I feel like doing. Stretch and Strengthen – 700 minutes of exercises and stretches for the entire challenge. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 40 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises (therapist or gym) and 20 minutes of other strength training. This plan leaves me 20 minutes extra to account for. DIET:Weight Control - Lose 4 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 170 lbs. CON +3 I got below 170 lbs last challenge. I need to maintain that and continue to lose more. I'm giving myself a reward for getting this one. If I get both, then I'll buy myself a new Star Wars or NY Jets hoodie. If I don't get either, then I have to donate one old hoodie. I know it's not drastic, but it is a start. I have made progress. I haven't had a Dr. Pepper since 2/21. I'm not planning to stay away completely, but I am going to keep from drinking it regularly. I will see how many more days I can go without though. LIFE:Get Stuff Done - Complete 12 Tasks or Projects from any of the following areas: Toastmasters, Jedi Training, Work, House Work, Home Renovation, Auto Maintenance, Family Activities (to keep it diverse, no more than 3 from any one category) WIS +3, CHA +2 I have a lot on my plate with a bunch of started-but-not-finished projects and tasks, then other stuff lingering for me to crack, but I keep putting off because of what I already have. I need to get some check-completes and build momentum for other projects. Less procrastinating and more doing.
  24. Subtitlted: Wonder Woman battles the Dark Playground and the Clutter that attempts to control her life Since joining NF I’ve been able to take control of my food choices and my fitness. I obviously still struggle with these but I have come a long way in building good habits. I've lost 80 pounds since joining and started doing new activities that I never would have dreamed of before. Life is getting pretty awesome. But now that I have accomplished so much and have a different mindset in those areas, there are some other negative habits I am ready to tackle. Boring Backstory Present Day: So I found this article on Briniel’s last challenge. The way it portrays procrastination is really helpful in visualizing and tackling this bad habit. I spend too much time in the Dark Playground and never focus on the work in the Dark Woods. I should be able to get more done and have more time to actually enjoy my free time in the Happy Playground. using this metaphor really helps me visualize the enemy and work on this habit. Tied up with this habit of procrastination is my tendency to create clutter and then procrastinate its demise. Tackling these habits also aligns with my 2016 roadmap. Battling procrastination will not only help me be more productive but it should allow for more actual free time to do some of the epic quests things I never seem to have time for. My other goals aren’t really changing. Eat. Lift. Ruck. Sleep. Fight Villains. Repeat. Bulletproof Bracelets Macros. Calories under 1600, at least 100g protein, preferably 120g carbs or less but this is not as strict. All subject to change. And change it has. I'm going to use this challenge to try and unlock my macros for optimal performance. Attempt #1: Stay at 1600 calories except for recovery days. Recovery days will be 1700 calories. Also, per trainer, use all the calories. If I have calories leftover at the end of the day, use them...but use them well. Amazonian Strength Lift 3 days a week (and whatever else the trainer throws at me) Lasso of Truth Ruck 3 days a week, still no distance or time requirement. Just get out there. Tiara Battle the Dark Playground. I identify so much with this article on procrastination. My biggest issues are either just putting things off that have to get done until the Panic Monster comes out or I ‘multitask’ by doing some of my work with the TV on in the background or pretend that I can play Sims at the same time. Each week I'll make a To-Do list for each category in my Passion Planner and prioritize. I know I can’t just jump in and be productive all the time so my goal will be to spend at least 5 tomatoes a week on my to-do list items without distractions. The goal here is to train the instant gratification monkey to behave with little time-outs in the Dark Woods so i can get some work done. The Dark Playground Based on my 2016 roadmap these are the items that I need to spend more time on: · Reading - I have not yet selected a book for this challenge... · Keeping the house tidy (Fly Lady) · KonMari – This challenge’s focus is books. (I’m a little frightened) · Being productive o Being prepared for class o Boy Scout treasurer duties o Personal paperwork and tasks o Being less distracted at work Some rules and exceptions: Villain Face-Off Battle Since my fitness and diet goals are pretty consistent there will be a heavy emphasis on productivity. As in the past, each villain has 2 categories of goals that are required to defeat them. Other NF rebels sign up to represent a villain. Each week, I’ll randomly select a villain and both myself and the villain will select a goal in each category. Highest score or closest to 100% wins the Face-Off. I award myself 1 stat point for every win (or draw) representing the skill that best matches the goal category. This challenge’s villains: Pick Your Own Villain!!! In order to sign up, please select a DC villain and sign up with your name and your villain’s name on the sign up sheet. Posting your own villain pic is optional. Please limit yourself to existing villains, thanks. Also, select your categories.. At least 1 category must be Epic Quest or General Health. For the second goal you can also select from Food, Strength, or Conditioning. We will each pick our own goals, but the villain picks the category. Wonder Woman does not get to pick her villain’s strengths so she must be able to defeat whatever presents itself.
  25. Time for a new challenge! Fitness goal one is a continuation of a goal from last challenge: to do yoga 3x/week for the whole month. Now, though, I'm upping the ante to 5x/week, because my real goal is every day, but this gives me a little wiggle room for when life gets in the way. Self forgiveness is good. Fitness goal two is also a continuation: this one was eating veggies with at least two meals a day. I'm going to up this to three servings per day, though this could occur in any permutation (so I could have two at lunch and one at dinner, for example). Fitness goal three: more taking control of my diet. I will strive to eat 14 meals a week with no grains (and grainy snacks would have to attach themselves to a meal). Life goal: finish my rewrite, for real this time. I'll be breaking this down into subgoals for myself, but I'll start here.When I'm having trouble sticking to my goals, I think about the laying brick analogy in the incredible Wait But Why series on procrastination (which you really must read if you haven't). This month, I'm focusing on laying bricks one day, one meal, one workout at a time. Because laying bricks one at a time is the only way you can build a house.
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