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  1. Welcome, my fellow nerds, to my eighth step in a healthier direction! I've been keeping my focus on small habits to practice consistency since my history of falling out with exercise stems from losing momentum. I also want to avoid burnout, so I'm doing my best to make my goals fun. Apparently (based on the length of what I've composed here) more fun means more details? lol XD For context: I've been playing various iterations of Animal Crossing for 15+ years, and last fall Cid gave me the Switch version New Horizons. I anticipated the immediate obsessive reaction I would have to playing it, so I postponed until I finally started it a little over a week ago. One of the new features I like in this new version is the Nook Miles+ Rewards that give you a bonus reward for doing the first five tasks, and if you want to continue playing, more rewards without a bonus will spawn as you complete the tasks in hand. Ahead, I've got a list of the Nook Miles+ Reward challenge names from ACNH, a list of the exercises done in the plaza of ACNH, and all my numerous wordy thoughts on how I intend to adapt the challenges into my own goals so that if I put them all on Index cards and shuffle them into a deck I'll have a random draw of which five goals will get a double point bonus for getting done. XD I'm sharing the list of the tasks so that anyone can pick as they please. My picks are whichever I can pair with my personal goals. If you join me in this ACNH-themed 5-week challenge, you are neither limited to my selected tasks nor to my interpretations of what I do to accomplish them. Tbh, I am not entirely sure the list is complete despite being found online since I noticed a few missing, and tacked them on at the end. Even so it's pretty long. The first thing that made me consider this theme for my 5-week challenge was the stretching that can be done as a daily activity in game. I want to scale back my goals so that I have a daily goal to do that warm-up first thing in the morning, and/or last thing at night. I don't have the ability to do it in the video game because I don't have the joy cons, but I do have the ability to do the exercises without the game giving me credit for it. So I've compiled the list of stretches used in the little exercise. That being said, I already know I'm including the "Stretch to Refresh" challenge because it's already a goal I want to accomplish every day - even if I don't pull the index card. It can be a warm-up for other exercises, but I am going to consider just doing these warm-ups their own goal in attempt to promote motion. I will keep track of my daily streak in my attempt to do the stretches every day. My next thought is the fact that my coloring project I originally included as one of my crafty options for my Artificer goals *never* got touched in all of January. But I *do* want to color and draw. My solution is to disguise it in a less daunting facade. I'm using "Chop Down a Tree" as a goal to sharpen one pencil. That puts me in the place where I can use said pencils. In the same theme, "Plant a tree" would be a challenge to draw something, and "Plant a fruit tree" would be to color something. I could also include "Chop 10 Wood" as a journal prompt or letter-writing assignment. "Talk to 3 neighbors" immediately goes into the ranks with little creative thought needed. So long as I make contact with three friends by the end of the day, this goal will be met. To be honest, that's a very necessary goal at this time. I can try spreading it out to one per mealtime if reaching out to three at once seems daunting. I'll include the DIY project challenges, but strangely enough, not for my quilt. XD I'm thinking "Make 3 DIY projects" could be writing for 30 minutes (maybe in sprint mode), and "Customize 2 things" could be editing for 20 minutes (or contemplative writing). That way I get started on the second draft. It's not going to revise itself. XD I *do* want to include my quilt as a goal, though. I think it'd be a good match with "Pop a Balloon" (because needles and pins are sharp?), and the goal could be to get a thread's length of quilting done. "Sell 10 Seashells" fits with an activity I've already been spending some time doing: sifting through my phone's gallery, trying to delete the excessive hoards of saved images. I'll also apply "Sell 20 Weeds" to this task because I move files around while I sift through them. "Sell 20 weeds" is moving 20 images to trash or folders, and "Sell 10 shells" is moving 10 to trash. Another aspect of sifting through my folders of pictures is sharing them. "Sell 5 fruits" can be sharing 5 pictures with friends. "Sell a hot item" could be sharing a picture on Facebook. I feel like the goals for catching bugs and fish would be a funny way to get points for eating fruits and vegetables. The goal of catching 5 fish would be to have an abundance of vegetables at my meal. The goal of catching 1 fish could be to go and get an unusual veggie (we almost always have carrots, onions, or bell peppers, but we do like plenty of other veggies that a diverse array is viable... potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, celery, asparagus, salads, corn, etc.) Likewise, for fruit, catching 5 bugs would be to have an abundance of fruit, and catching 1 bug would be to get one that I don't usually have on hand (I love so many fruits, that it's basically anything except apples which I almost always grab for an addition to my lunches). "Water 8 flowers" should definitely be to use my enormous Hufflepuff cauldron mug for my water. XD That thing hydrates like magic. But I don't know what "Planting 3 flowers" would be in that sense, so it may not make it into the challenge. That fine - it wouldn't be the only challenge that I liked but didn't have a goal to align the challenge with. I haven't made any of my index cards yet. 18 things to do is a lot, but I wonder if I might just get standard points for each task until I have made the index cards? Can't get a x2 bonus until there's an index card to pull? I've already had a few days to make them, but maybe I'll get them made this week, or slowly as I go, or I'll never have them made to pull and still get ridiculous point counts despite having no bonus. XD I'm basically just trying to make something that sounds fun. It looks like I put a lot of effort into pairing my things with an existing list, but I really am just going with whatever sounds reasonable to me. I hope it doesn't come across as too zany or hard to follow. And to avoid the broken link emojis, I'll just be keeping track of the Nook Miles I earn? I'm hoping taking credit for a lot of small successes this month helps me keep doing things I like. Have a beautiful day! Sincerely, Maerad
  2. Happy New Year, Rebels! I will be challenging myself to give attention to the four aspects of my own activities in the same way that my story needs to have some balanced perspective of its four protagonists. Barbarian/Ekaterina: ⚑🌩πŸŒ₯β˜€ I need to be doing my bodyweight exercises because I want to continue improving my strength before the time comes for my efforts to be rewarded with my original long-term goal of buying a bike. Ranger/Varsha: πŸŒ³πŸŒΏπŸŒ±πŸƒ I need to keep a daily activity level going as well so it's not as hard to get up and do my exercises on my body weight exercise days. I know I don't want to walk, but maybe I can do more GMB movement exercises to improve my mobility. Wizard/Paige: πŸ“šπŸ“•πŸ“–πŸ“‹ I have written a book that must undergo my own scrutiny and revision before it's ready for sharing with outsiders for spotting problems I'm too close to see. I want to use the first long weekend to read it for the first time like a reader who's seen nothing but a back-cover synopsis. Fingers crossed that I'll find a lot to love about it. 🀞 Artificer/Alidavai: πŸ› πŸ”§πŸ”¨πŸ“ I have crafts that are partly done, and I want to give them time and attention in order to make progress and potentially finish them. This includes the rainbow scarf which now has about 75-80% of a skein left to add, the next bite of my pixel quilt for which I need to prepare the four nibbles' pieces, a drawing of Ekaterina that's been waiting nearly three months for me to continue coloring it, and a Vox Machina puzzle I got for Cidran that I suggested we should do together the next time the table gets cleared. I want to pick up one of these tasks every night instead of getting stuck on my phone. I've got four emojis for each so I can attribute a rating of 0%, 50%, 100%, and 110% when I go above and beyond. (Why are the barbarian's emojis stormy weather? Because she's a storm aura barbarian! πŸ˜ƒ) That sums up my goals for this challenge. I'm excited about this, and hope my guild choices inspire others I've seen use these five-week challenges for non-athletic goals. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your company and support in this coming year! Sincerely, Maerad
  3. Woohoo! It's almost here - 2022!! The magical year of so many promises. Looking for a new house, graduating from graduate school, starting IVF (the doctor is giving us just under an 80% chance of being pregnant by the end of 2022 based on our current test numbers, which we feel really good about, so let's pray that he's right and our time has finally come!!). It could be a doozy but it should, hopefully, be the year where Things Are Finally Starting To Look Up. Especially given my now-only-newish job going so well thus far, it's hard not to be at least a little optimistic even if I'm so far in the weeds right now that it's not something I spend much time or energy expressing. Plus I always love New Year's Eve/Day anyway - it's such a sense of the blank page for me. Literally anything could happen! The possibilities are open and endless! You never know what might be in store for you down the road and I find it very exciting πŸ˜„ With that said, I am still in the weeds until December 17th, which is the final day of the semester for both my workplace and my grad class. But while I did a terrible job of posting last challenge, I honestly surprised myself a little bit at how well I could follow my super simplistic challenge, so I'm going to keep the same basic idea but turn it up just one single notch for this short follow-up: Quest 1: Eating Eating not-box food didn't do as much for my weight as I was hoping it would, though it certainly didn't hurt either. The other big change my doctor suggested was eating more chicken, cheese, and potatoes, but I honestly already eat a good amount of chicken and cheese, so I'm choosing to focus in on potatoes. This should be especially easy because I have probably 8-ish pounds of potatoes in my pantry right now (my husband misunderstood how many I wanted for the Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and bought just over twice as many as I expected), along with leftover mashed potatoes anyway because the recipe claimed it made 8 servings, which I thought would be great for 6 adults and 2 little kids, but holy bajesus everyone had a good sized serving and there's more than half the mash left... So my goal is going to be to eat potatoes at least once a week every week between now and New Year's (5 weeks). New recipes are welcome but not required. Also potatoes don't have to be the centerpiece of the meal but they do have to be reasonably present - like roasted root veggies with a burger would count since our "roasted roots" is usually a little more than half potato anyway. Also, as a side note, this morning's weight was up to 132! Not enough for me to celebrate yet, considering that's still well within my range of normal fluctuations, but I'm mildly hopeful. Quest 2: Exercise This will actually probably be the hardest one for me. A combo of anemia (which leads to low energy), a crazy schedule, and sheer inertia makes this daunting as heck, and honestly I was scraping the bottom of the barrel last challenge for passes here. With that in mind, I'm going to keep my original goal of "literally anything even slightly extra physical once a week" and add in at least one yoga session - should be easy if I tell my husband to bother me into doing at least one with him at some point! - and at least one weights session. By which I mean "probably just one or two sets of something, probably tricep rows (I think is what they're called?)". I'm not a weightlifter by any means but I do want to increase my archery draw weight and running likely needs to wait a bit longer anyway (needing to gain weight + arthritic knee that doesn't like cold = not a great idea right now unless something changes), plus that wouldn't take terribly long or a ton of energy. So I think those are both doable, even if I shove them in after the 17th. But you'd best believe I'm letting myself double dip and count the yoga and weightlifting as my "thing" that week if I need to! Quest 3: Life Same base idea as quest 2, I'm just repeating last challenge and barely bumping it up a tiny notch: Literally anything at all once a week (probably going for being social on here - I'm unofficially going to try to start responding more to folks on here, which is a struggle for me - working on my son's quilt, baking Christmas cookies, or watching amusing YouTube videos) plus getting to at least row #7 of my son's quilt. I'm about halfway through row #4 so this shouldn't be too difficult I think and my kid is super impatient/excited for it so I want to make sure I'm at least making reasonable progress on it to show him. Again, I'm totally allowed to double dip here - I get to count quilt work time as my "thing" that week when needed. Trying to "start" today to keep what tiny bit of momentum I have going, though I wouldn't expect any kind of useful update tomorrow (toddler ninja class + grad school deadline tonight = probably just going to work and go to bed). Wish me luck!!
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