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  1. aka i watched Netflix's Wednesday and had it confirmed that being aroace does not rule out being just really quite, how you say? hmmmm,,,, pathetic for her, your honor. anyway. So yeah for this challenge we are going to Nevermore Academy. Currently lacking the spoons for any kind of real write-up so, *handwaves* Classes: - Penn Foster Medical Billing/Coding and Bookkeeping. I will finish one....'book'? 'Module'? of each by the end of the month (of January) - ASL. I will complete Module 1 of Lingvago by the end of the month. - Spanish. I will complete Spanish 1 on Memrise by the end of the challenge. - Extra-Curricular. Wednesday had to choose a club to join. She went with beekeeping. I'm going to interpret it as a socially-oriented goal though. Pass will be mailing a letter to a penpal but any time spent with friends/checking in in a social capacity will count. - Fencing. Wednesday studies the blade, i will study uhhhh *checks notes* the treadmill. And whatever else strikes my fancy at the gym. Three times a week to beat Bianca. - Writing Time. Wednesday devotes an hour a day to writing her novel. I'll start with 30 minutes and work my way up. - Epic Cello Solo: I will practice my Kalimba twice a week. (it's something) - Psychic Visions. BUDGETING. After paying bills/rent (i do this online) i will make a withdrawal each Friday and divide the cash between labeled envelopes in my room. I suspect i can squirrel away $1000 in a month since i've had a raise but we'll say $500 to begin with just to be sure. *whispers* also take my meds <.< Which is all plenty except that we also have TWO SPECIAL EVENTs, neither of which have actually been decided yet but we have THE POE CUP: Which will be an exercise/fitness-related mini challenge probably around the midway point, and THE RAVE'N BALL: A social/funtime mini challenge that'll just be to pick something to go do one weekend by myself. Going to see a show/movie/concert/visiting a museum or the zoo, litrally anything. i also have a little deck of mini-mini quest cards that i can draw once a day for a few bonus points. They're all really quick and easy things. Points accrued go toward Not Getting Expelled From Nevermore and also more importantly to Solving The Mystery/Beating the Hyde and all that so, here we go happy 2023
  2. Sticking with Snowspire for my challenge soundtrack this month. Next month it will probably be something a bit more up-tempo, maybe even Solanaceae, thanks for the recommendation to @Rurik Harrgath! This challenge is part of an ongoing trek to the 5Peaks BC race at Alice Lake in April. Mr. Radost and I will head over to the mainland and crash with our buddy in Vancouver who last-minute registered to join me on one of my Island trail races this past summer, then all drive up together for the race. I've been imagining the training as a grand cross-country trek and wrote a little story about how I got off-track last challenge. This challenge I have some ground to make up, but I think my goals are solid, so...this might look a little familiar. Physical Discipline All in a day's march - run at least once per week. I will be hitting the trails every Saturday, or making time on another day if I know Saturday is too busy. Combat training - do at least two workouts per week. Could be continuing the Darebee Hero's Journey, Zombies!Run home workouts (have to finish Dragon Flight!), or 20 minutes of RingFit Adventure/Just Dance (thanks, Santa!). Mental Discipline Strengthen the shine - celebrate immediately every time I choose a veggie or movement snack instead of junk food. Check out my last challenge for an explanation of where this comes from and why. This was a tough one last challenge, I know I can do better. I need to make that good choice more often, and I need to follow through and actually do the celebration, not just think about it and then tell myself "yeah, but it's not like this is actually an awesome thing to celebrate..." Sharpen vision - one hour of painting or gardening per week. I'd really like to be doing more painting...which means I need to actually set aside time to do it, right? I do have some garden tasks that need to happen before spring planting, so that's the one activity that may bump this one. Both come under Mental Discipline because they help ground me when I'm struggling with executive dysfunction. Adventure? Decipher ancient mysteries - over the whole challenge, complete one set of hexipuffs from already-spun yarn, and spin one skein from the next puff of fibre. Long ago, I started a modular fibrecraft project: a Beekeeper's Quilt that I would knit out of handspun yarn. I realized this week that the project will be 10 years old this year! I'm not going to dream of an extreme goal like finishing it (I have probably 32/300 puffs made, haha), but I am committing to working on it regularly again this year. Say 'yes' to Plot Hooks - schedule two fun activities for this month. The past four years have been stressful. I was working 3 jobs, then 2 jobs/back at school, then one job + school during pandemic, and now back to pandemic + 2 jobs (which only add up to about 38 hours/week, but one of them is fairly high stress). I've definitely been hermiting in my home blanket fort. But this winter I decided to start seeking adventure. The important ones were going to the ballet (Nutcracker! Including one of the kids I've looked after for the past 11 years!) and sending hand-made Solstice cards to some pocket friends. Small adventures by some standards, but adventures nonetheless! I even inspired Mr. Radost to grab his own Plot Hook and register for a dance class at the local rec centre! So I'm going to find at least two novel activities I can say yes to during this challenge. Bonus: learn from the Hawk - watch two videos from the Painting Big Patreon collection during the challenge.
  3. For Christmas, I received a new kettlebell and a pair of dumbbells! I asked for a 15 lb. kettlebell. I already have one, but wanted two of the same weight. I just got back from a spur of the moment mini vacation to San Antonio, and my head is still spinning a bit, but I decided to just put some of my thoughts out there. My ideal goal is to think it through all carefully, and roughly plan out some goals for the entire year, but that hasn't happened. So, here is my not perfect, but still doing something challenge. I may adapt it a bit later. 1. Fitness I wrote my own program - a first for me. It is more lifting weights than I have done before , and I'm excited. My plan is to have Monday be leg day, Tuesday arm, Thursday whole body. I'd also like to do some Literal Immortality workouts, some rowing, and walking. I'm not scheduling that. Part of it is weather dependent and time dependent. 2.Weight. I'd like to lose some of the extra pounds I've put on. In times past, I super focused on it, and calorie counting worked for me. But, now that just turns into a rebound of eating all the things. So, I'm trying something new. 1) Continue with the skills I've worked on before- eating slow, using my senses to enjoy me meal, having no distractions with snacks, balanced plate 2) Upping my protein a bit. I'm pretty good at this, but I'd like to see the effect on my hunger, if I focus on getting protein. The plan is to eat 40 grams at breakfast, and the day's total to be 120 grams. Some days it may be a bit more , some days a bit less. I can track on MFP, or in my head, whichever seems to be working 3) Measure: Twice a week take measurements. Some of the weight I've gained is muscle. Yay! Taking measurements helps me to remember this, and have a good way to track beside the scale. Weigh myself_ ideally every day, so I can see the trend, but at least days a week. I need to keep track of these measurements in Onenote 3) Last Year I read James Clear's books Atomic Habits. He has some great ideas, and at the end of each chapter, he gives some assignments, I want to do some. I'm not putting down a specific goal here, because I'm not sure how long it will take. But, at the end of each week, I want to be able to post on here that I have done something. 4) Re doing the guest room. I've been working on making my guest room pretty, and I'd like to do some on that this challenge .
  4. Hello friends! My name is Sky, and most of the time, I don't feel very good! I have anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and a thyroid gland that may or may not be working correctly; I am overweight and don't exercise; I don't often take time to cook varied, whole foods that I enjoy; much of my life is unplanned and disorganized; and I spend much of my time dissatisfied with my appearance, achievements, wardrobe, and daily accomplishments. I'm really a ball of fun, let me tell ya. But this is the season for taking stock and making plans for things to improve in the new year; and this year, I would like to take steps to help my body and mind feel better. In the Big Picture, "feeling good," to me, would look like: Having energy most days to complete, not only my necessary tasks, but also after-work projects or activities that I want to do. Having a workout routine that I perform regularly, which helps me be functionally strong for daily life and increases my sense of well-being. Creating and maintaining a daily, weekly, and monthly routine for my household cleaning, storage, shopping, and chores that keeps my home reasonably clean and frees up mental energy from making those decisions intermittently. Regularly cooking healthy meals, rich in vegetables and protein, that I enjoy making and eating. Being able to travel and do most things without IBS symptoms. Developing and implementing spiritual, mental, and emotional habits that help me be gratefully grounded in the present, and spend less time worrying about the future. Intentionally making progress toward my big goals like buying a home, buying a car, writing a book, planting a garden, upgrading my wardrobe, etc. Regularly engaging in creative endeavors I enjoy (writing, photography, needlecrafts, desktop publishing) and sharing some of that work with others. Having a happy, thriving relationship with my husband that's nourished through conversation, play, intimacy, exploration, teamwork, and working toward shared goals. Cultivating and prioritizing a daily Bible study and prayer practice, including striving to apply what I learn to my daily life and consistently worshiping and studying with other Christians. Making space for giving back to others, through hosting, donating, volunteering, visiting, and messaging. So in a nutshell: I want to have more physical and emotional energy, make space for things I enjoy, support a nourished body and mind, and have tangible and intangible resources to share with my family and community. This is, obviously, MUCH more than a challenge-long or even year-long project. Striving for this state of being is more of a lifelong pursuit and a process of giving myself grace and patience when life looks much different than that ideal. But at the same time, I can make meaningful steps toward each of these aspirations, and I can build a lifestyle that supports my feeling good more often than not. Now, the kicker is, I've been setting short-term goals related to this Big Picture list for the last few months, and I just ... don't do them. I start out feeling convinced that my small efforts won't make a difference, that I can't achieve the things I want to do, that I don't deserve success, and so on. So before I start haphazardly reaching for my kettlebell or adding a bunch of vegetables to my grocery list, I want to work on mindset and realistic goals. Here's my breakdown for the five weeks of this challenge: Week 1: Mindset Write down 7 affirmations and save one for each day, either on my bulletin board IRL or here on NF. Identify key values associated with my goals (i.e., hospitality, courage, openness, self-honesty, trust) and orient the affirmations around these. Find Bible verses related to these values and copy them down along with the affirmations. Create a vision board with images that remind me of these values, affirmations and verses, and print it and use it as a desktop wallpaper. Week 2: Break it down Organize my Big Goals into similar topics / areas. Select either a handful or all of the Big Goals and figure out 3-4 smaller steps to move me toward these goals (for example, if the goal is "buy a house," one smaller goal could be "talk to Eamon about a realistic down payment and calculate how much to save each month toward this amount"). Week 3: Take steps Select one small-step goal from each topic area and add to my daily habit tracker. Try to perform the small goals consistently for the whole week. Week 4: Reflect Pause to figure out what's working and what isn't, without judgment - if it's not working, either it isn't really a high priority to me, or else I need to try a different tactic. For things that aren't important, let them go! There are plenty of other things to focus on! Week 5: On my way! After reflecting and adjusting, add updated goals to habit tracker and try to consistently perform them for the week. Do something fun to celebrate progress! I'm seeing a lot of things on social media about taking it slow in 2023 and not pushing so hard to set goals; but honestly, I kind of did that in 2022, easing into my new life as a newlywed wife in a new state, and I'm feeling ready to push and stretch myself again. This feels like a lot but I'm feeling good about it. (One last thing that's floating around in the back of my head this challenge, which I have mentioned in previous challenges and likely won't be able to refrain from mentioning in this one, is that my husband Eamon and I have been casually trying to conceive for the last few months; so in addition to riding the rollercoaster of "Is it happening this month?", I'm working hard in therapy to unpack my fears, hopes, expectations, and goals for parenthood while I work on these other goals. Ideally I will limit how much I brain dump / vent / rant about that in this space, but also, I'd rather do that than get triggered and go off on my loved ones who are trying to help me, which is what I've been struggling with lately, so ... no guarantees. ) I'm glad you're here and I'm excited to discover some health, vitality and joy together in 2023!
  5. HAPPY NEW YEAR (almost!) 2023...a BIG year for me and my career. February a huge project happens, it has been postponed twice due to covid, and now it is happening, im slightly terrified. Then in September 2023, another huge project!! Starting to wonder why I do these things to myself its a massive stress and strain... anxiety through the roof. Unsure WHY there is so much anxiety there, maybe thats something to look into? Towards the end of 2023, I want to start to think about funding to support myself to make new artwork. What can that be/what do i want to create/how does it link to my projects/how can i be as ambitious as possible and push boundaries? I will start to think about this in the summer i guess. AND I am continuing with my Masters course. I have postponed things till the summer, till after the big project in Feb. Summer i have a teeny bit of time to focus on the course, before the September project. So goals for 2023 .... Lose 60 pounds (Lose weight, address self-hatred, improve fitness and health) My weight is holding me back, i ache, i self loathe, my confidence is zero, self esteem even lower. Getting healthy is a priority. (5lb per month) Address self-hatred, work on affirmations and accept the love that comes my way. Get strong and fitter, see the doctor when I am poorly, check my liver function and blood pressure etc through the year. Walk Bronze daily (30 mins minimum) Begin a kettlebell programme (10 mins per day) Focus on daily lunches (this is where I fall down usually) Track calories initially to see where going wrong/right Drink 2 large bottles of water daily Daily weigh-in and track on app Explore new walks (Bronze is getting a little older now (7 months!) and I would like to find new / longer walks to explore and build up fitness levels) One new walking route per week Post about the walk on Instagram for accountability Meditation With the stress of work related things, I need to keep grounded and relaxed. My anxiety can be very overwhelming and I want to focus on being present. Use Balance app to partake in guided meditation daily Build up to daily meditations (start with 3 days per week - Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday) 10 minutes meditations (can do more than one on set day!) Read more books Concentration levels is a problem for me due to ADHD brain. I strive for more books though, so I am making it a focus for 2023. Read 5 pages minimum 5 days a week Focus on short stories to get into the habit if needed Track on goodreads (this didnt help in the past but i want to try again) Read 10 books this year minimum Artwork Just to keep the creative juices flowing, this is just for fun! Keep using the film camera and capture moments One drawing per week minimum (on paper or iPad) Share drawings and photos on Instagram for accountability Family Dad died suddenly in 2020 and me, mum and sister struggle every day with the grief. I worry about them Visit my mum more often Plan things with mum and sister to look forward to Don't get so overwhelmed with work that i put off visits THESE ARE MY MAIN GOALS! And goals that will hopefully help me to succeed in work things, and Masters things... by being present and focused and healthy, i can do better work (etc) So..... if you are STILL here.... Challenge goals are as follows. Track calories daily to check where i can improve Make a list of breakfast/lunch/dinners and order shopping Daily walks with Bronze (30 mins minimum) Daily 10 mins kettlebell circuit Drink 2 large bottles of water daily Four new walks throughout this months challenge Meditate 3 days a week (10 mins) Read 5 pages of a book minimum (5 days a week - don't need set days, just get it done !) Use Good Reads to track Create 4 new drawings Ring mum weekly and visit once during the challenge So this seems a lot of stuff, but I am not putting pressure on myself, this is a guide to help me achieve things. If you read till the end, thank you Your continued support means the world to me and I appreciate all of you so much. Sal x
  6. Baselines Once again I've created a Roadmap for 2023 and posted in my Battle log. It'll be the foundation and outline for all of my challenges this year, hopefully getting me to the desired destination. I didn't get to the destination last year but I did get closer in some respects. Here's to hoping for a little bit closer this time around the sun. The foundation for this year is sticking to some daily and weekly goals, regardless of other challenge goals. Some of these goals are old hat and some are new. I won't be able to just jump in and hit all these goals from the get go; that's why it's a roadmap. It's a journey. For this challenge I'll just start by sticking to the basics and measuring my baselines. However this challenge turns out, I expect the end of the year to be an improvement. Dailies Start the day with water (or other non soda approved liquids) Fast 15 hours Eat a freggy Move daily Read Tidy for 5 minutes (or purge 1 item) Weeklies Meal Plan Batch cook 150 minutes cardio strength train 2x Stretch/yoga 2x In addition to the daily and weekly goals, I'll also be exploring lifehacks to help manage pitfalls that derail from my lifestyle. Any occurrence of one of the pitfalls triggers a life hack. Once triggered, I must attempt some means of balancing that pitfall with my lifestyle goals. Then simply record and reflect here. My pitfalls: Eating out Order light (ish) Go Slow and Check in Each Only Half Ditch the Fries/Sides The 8 Fry Rule food days Stick to the Basics Pizza Just Don't Do it Family Time Holidays Fast and Freggy.
  7. Hey y'all. Welcome to my challenge. First, some background. I have Bipolar II, which is mostly depression with the occasional period of hypo-mania. I'm pretty well medicated, and have been very stable for about the last 8 years or so. For me, this means that my mood still trends up and down, but not very far beyond the normal range for average humans, whatever that means. In other words, I'm mostly okay most of the time, but there are still cycles. I've gotten pretty good at recognizing them over the years, and there is a seasonal component as well, in that the onset of winter usually triggers depression. That's where I am now. A lot of you have had or currently have depression, so you know what it's about. For those of you who haven't, count your blessings. It's a bit different for different people, but for me it means that I don't want to do things that I usually want to do, and I don't enjoy the things that I usually enjoy when I do them. I'm also plagued by feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, although the meds help to keep this from going too far. So that's the situation. It is extremely difficult to stay motivated for things like controlling my eating and exercising regularly, which have been my main two areas of focus for most of my time here at NF. I'm not sure how to make a challenge out of this. But I'm here, and that's not nothing. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
  8. First Challenge for the New Year! I'm really excited about getting a fresh start. SMART Goals for Challenge 2023.01 Keep Moving- I'm not ready to let go of squats yet. Also, with traveling, I wanted something I could do standing up. Much like last challenge, it's great if I do more, but this is my new baseline. Also like last time, there is no schedule, I'll just shoot for everyday and rest when I need it. 50 squats 50 calf raises 50 standing twists Wrist PT Stay hydrated- 56oz of water daily. Unsweetened hot tea is also acceptable in these frigid times. emoji tracking! X is missed days Week 0-XXXXXX Week 1-XXXX F.U.N. Habits: (Flexible, Uplifting, Numberless) Practice Love and Kindness when I want to stress eat. This is when I take a deep breath and think "I wish myself peace of mind. I wish myself contentment." and when I'm frustrated or pissed off at someone else, I do the same for them I breathe in and think "I wish this person peace of mind and contentment." because it reminds me not only to view that person as a human being and not a source of irritation, and I can address their stupid jerk behavior with less anger and more self-care.
  9. Consistency was something I really worked on when I got back to the forums lo back in 2015. Consistency will serve me well now. I'm making it a focus this challenge because there are many things upcoming that will disrupt routine and make consistency difficult. I joined the YMCA in December, hoping to get acclimated to this particular gym and to get through initial DOMS before the resolutioners hit in January. This has been successful. A typical week looks like this: No workout on Sunday but get steps (7k) in thanks to work Lift on Monday Walk on Tuesday Lift on Wednesday Focus on getting steps at work on Thursday and Friday Rest Saturday. Zero week and week 1 of this week are not typical. Little Bit has been sick, and while we are hoping she gets over it soon, it is a variable. There is a family get together on the 28th, though that's in the evening. Also, Little Bit is home all week. If I can lift Monday and Wednesday, all is well and good. If I can't lift Monday, I'll shoot for Tuesday, and shift Wednesday's workout to Saturday. Same goes if I can lift Monday but Not Wednesday. Week 1 Little Bit is off from day school on Monday But Sra. Tanque and I have to work. Coordinating care with my parents (driving there and back) may complicate matters, but I'll shoot for the same contingency plan as zero week. The other variable is the New Years Resolution crowd all month long. I'm not avoiding the gym, but I am expecting to need some flexibility on my part for January while I'm at the gym. So, the plan is lift days on Mondays and Wednesdays, Walks on Tuesdays, being active at work Sundays, Thursdays and Fridays, and using Saturday as a catch-up day if needed.
  10. Happy New Year, my nerds. Not to brag, but I knocked the Holiday Challenge out of the park. So we're going to carry that momentum into 2023 and keep on keepin' on. In 2022 I was introduced to Critical Role by our fantastic discord crew, then ended up joining a D&D campaign for the first time in about a decade, again thanks to those wonderful discord nerds. So in honor of my return to TTRPG, my 2023 challenges will be a tour through the D&D classes, starting with the Bard. Song of Rest Sometimes in the winter when I can't spend as much time outside as I like, my mind starts to get a bit loud. Music helps quiet it, so like any true bard, I'm making sure I don't neglect my instruments. Piano: 35 min/week progressing through my exercise book. I chose that time because it breaks down to 5 min/day, but it doesn't actually matter what chunks the time ends up being in. I'm not going to set a particular progress goal here, as I don't want to rush through lessons I might be struggling with just to hit the deadline, so the only real goal is to be further along in the book than I am right now. Guitar: Also shooting for 35min/week for the same reason. Main focus here is going to be fingerpicking, with the goal of being able to play Into The West by the end of the challenge. Trombone: My first musical love, and I don't want Petunia (yes, my trombone has a name) to think I've forgotten about her. At some point I'd like to join a band again, though the timeline on that is a bit nebulous. My technique/ability hasn't faded too much, it's mostly a matter of getting my lips back in shape. The goal for this challenge is to play 1 hour/week with the aim of being able to play that full hour in one sitting by the end. Bardic Inspiration My challenges are always more successful when I regularly hang out on the forums to inspire and be inspired. So this goal is simple - post something in my thread at least 5 days/week, and every time I post on my thread, go comment on at least one other thread. College of Valor - Battle Magic The Player's Handbook describes College of Valor Bards as "daring skalds," so obviously I have to include them in this challenge. They specialize in combat, so this will be my workout goal. Working out is another great coping tool for me to keep my mind orderly. Plus, who doesn't like being strong? I've been sitting on this 5x5 workout program that I cobbled together from a few different sources for over a year now, and I'm finally going to run it. It alternates push/pull days, with the main lifts (OHP and squat on push, chin ups and deadlift on pull) being done in straight sets of 5x5 and then finishing with a circuit of accessories for the opposite lifts. The goal is 3-4workouts/week with a total of 16 workouts this challenge. I haven't done any full body lifting programs in a while, so I'm going to start pretty light, but add weight fairly steadily to ramp up to challenging workouts. College of Glamour - Unmasked With a little prompting from my spiritual director, I've decided to take a closer look at the Enneagram. I've played around with it a bit in the past, but never gotten too much out of it. I found it more helpful for considering how other people approach the world than unpacking my own stuff. But I finally shelled out the big bucks ($12) to take the Enneagram Institute's RHETI test instead of doing free ones, and I think I have been mistyping myself as a 5 when I am actually a 3. Which makes sense, because as someone who seeks achievement and self-improvement, one of the things I value is new knowledge and information. To be honest with you, I'm not very happy about being a 3, which is why I'm pretty sure I am one. One of the most reliable ways to type yourself is to read a description of the weaknesses of each number and see which one makes you the most uncomfortable, and I really don't like reading through the various descriptions of unhealthy 3s. So what does this all have to do with College of Glamour Bards, you ask? Here is the description from D&D Beyond: This is actually a really great analogy for how I feel about being a 3. Healthy 3s are often inspiring leaders. At less healthy levels, they often become controlling and manipulative. I was definitely an unhealthy 3 when I was younger, and kind of a bully. I've put a lot of effort into learning to be kinder and gentler with people, and I think I've made pretty good progress in that area. But I've also been operating more like a 9 as far as conflict avoidance and not really stepping into my full potential. So for this challenge, I am going to start working on the process of embracing the strengths of being a 3 and accepting and addressing the weaknesses that come along with it. To do this, I am going to finish reading a book I got for Christmas, The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher Heuertz; keep digging around on the Enneagram Institute's website; and also bring all this up with my spiritual director in our January meeting. I might also revisit The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron, as last time I read it I didn't find it nearly as helpful as most people apparently do, but I was also mistyping myself at the time. If I don't get to it this challenge, I'll bump it to next challenge. And that's it, my plan for blasting into 2023 and owning it with the power of song.
  11. So I joined in for the last challenge and then promptly had to leave town for a very exhausting trip back east. For those of you that have been following along: The passage of time has brought some big changes for our protagonist. She has left her much loved desert in search of less arid pastures. To get there she has to cross a mountain range, traveling overland, with no horse, and carrying a heavy load. After taking a long time to find a rhythm, shes cleared the talus field and reached a saddle. Gaining the ridge will come in the weeks to come, but good little mountaineers know the most dangerous part is the descent. After spending a long time on the ridge, coming down will require the most care, before hopefully reaching hills, and woods, and the river delta on the other side. Not my image, but this is what the ridge on Snowmass looks like. I was there 2015 and went back 2017 for the summit. I'll hit the mid-way part of this pregnancy in a couple weeks, during this challenge. Things are mostly ok, but babysitting my core/abs/what have you, to keep my old scar tissue's lack of stretchiness from pulling apart other parts of my midsection has been a constant problem. When I exercise regularly, just the right amount, I can keep everything behaving itself. When I don't, the scar tissue wins and my mid line hurts in all the wrong ways. It doesn't help that apparently becoming a rounder human happens faster in the second pregnancy and we just got back from a 9 day trip in which no workouts were had. Last week I DID make it to the gym three times. Yesterday I was able to ride my bike in the trainer in the basement for an hour and doing some core exercises on the floor. I have recovered the ability to do some legs-only dead bug and alternating legs work that was causing trouble about 7 weeks ago. This is mostly a neurological thing, where I have been practicing keeping the motions working properly. Goals for the January challenge: 1. Get a workout 5 days a week - this could be a climb+lift combination or a bike trainer + core work combination. If I have a chance to do something outdoors for a big endurance day, yay! (This will happen this week while the university is closed for the week, but unclear after that.) 1b. Protect my core 2. Eat well - for me this means pile on the veggies and protein and avoid the easy carbs. I gained more weight last month than I probably should have (although there is some debate about giant sneakers being on/off) and while it's not a huge deal, cookies as an emergency snack aren't doing me any favors beyond a little energy. I got a new cookbook for Christmas, so I'm hoping there's a little more excitement to cook new things. 3. Manage work time and expectations and guilt around getting "enough" done while still taking care of my workouts. If I don't stay in shape everything else will be so much worse - the scars, the stretching, the post-surgery recovery, my mental health, everything. It's worth having a wonky work schedule to make it happen. 4. Something something mental health. We'll see how this goes.
  12. ...but, like, me, not where I'm living. Done enough of that recently, and will almost certainly be doing more of it in the future*, but for the moment I'm ok where I am (physically located, I mean). I had an insane end to 2022. Tons of stuff going on, most of it good, but it was nuts and super stressful, and I broke. Again. Because I never really managed to put myself back together after the first time it happened. Anyway. I want and need to keep things simple. I also heard a really interesting podcast about diet and exercise. Apparently there are some studies (that I haven't got a link to but could probably find if people were interested) showing that one of the best ways to clean up your diet is to start exercising! Like, if you start doing exercise, you will eat healthier without having to think about it, you just want to eat better stuff. And honestly, that kind of tracks with my experience. So, my goal for this challenge, and probably the rest of the year as well, is going to be do some form of intentional movement for at least 20 minutes every day unless I'm sick. 3 days are going to be derby, 2 are going to be weight lifting, and the other 2 are whatever I feel like (very late edit: 3 days are weight lifting, actually). Unless my schedule gets messed up. Which it will at some point. Then all bets are off, and it's going to be whatever I can manage, even if it's marching in place. I should be able to do that without increasing my stress too much, and 3/7 of it is already my base schedule, so that's cool. Here's to a good year, whatever it holds! *work has been sending signals that we're going to be moving to Florida at some point in the future for about a year now. And yes, I've been in my current job for not quite 2 years at this point. But in the last couple of weeks, there has been some stuff said that makes me think they are likely to want that to happen sooner rather than later. My manager is guessing it'll happen within a year or so. I have very mixed feelings about that, for a great many reasons, but do I wish we could get a definitive answer because the not-knowing is adding to my stress load. And yes, I am fully aware it would be better if I just assumed it wasn't going to happen until I hear otherwise, but that's not how my brain works, unfortunately.
  13. Hello and happy new year, Nerds! I'm going to keep this challenge to ONE thing, because if I can get this ONE thing in order, other things will start to fall in place easier. I also really need to take my Lyme recovery seriously, and additional goals just feel like they'd be too much right now. I've learned my lesson my last few challenges trying to do too much! So - instead of aiming to do decent at a few goals, I'm going to laser focus in on one thing: Spezzy needs to lift. So lift I shall. THE GOAL: 6x a week training - at least 4x/week must be strength The other sessions can be rowing, hiking, yoga, etc. I will keep up my morning walks, but they don't count towards this. The garage gym isn't complete, but it's set up enough where I can use it, so no excuses here. We even got some temporary propane heating that's working great in this super cold weather so I can't complain about it being too cold. Hoping to get the squat rack and platform built tomorrow but if I don't, front squats are a good alternative. And that's it! P.S. I heard that visualizing your goals is helpful, so: BEFORE CHALLENGE: AFTER CHALLENGE okay byeeeeeeee
  14. 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: 🌩🌥☀ 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: 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: 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: 🛠 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! ) 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. Thanks for your company and support in this coming year! Sincerely, Maerad
  15. The Chronicles of Rhovaniel, Dúnedain Ranger Volume One: Wintering The Winter Solstice, marking the beginning of Winter, has come. The days will grow steadily longer, yet for now the long nights and cold winds reign. This is well. It is the natural ebb of the seasons, a time to look within, to seek rest and prepare for the year ahead. Hello and welcome, brave adventurers, to my Battle Log/Challenge amalgamation. For some reason, winter has truly captured my imagination at the moment. Maybe it’s because we had a few days of snow followed by a week in the Lake District that fell on the Winter Solstice, where the sun was down and it was dark as night by 4pm (in the South of the UK, we get a little bit more usually). But I was more aware of it and decided that it aligns well with both my desire to live a little more in tune with the rhythm of the seasons, my sense of turning everything into an adventure and also where I find myself at the moment: Needing rest, to seek healing for some physical ailments and to train. Train for the coming adventures. So, this is Volume One of my Year’s challenges. The Chronicles if you will. I am borrowing heavily from the great rangers on here that go before me: @Tanktimus the Encourager’s consistency challenges have been an inspiration, as has @Rurik Harrgath's sheer badassery and thematic challenges. I’m fairly sure I’m stealing the Chronicles idea from him too. My apologies. It would be a Battle Log, but I’m a social introvert and I wanna hang out with all the adventurers in the challenges With that in mind, I’ll try and link this first one in the start of all subsequent challenges, as another inspirational ranger has done (talkin’ bout you, @Jarric, and your goal setting). And those goals will focus mostly on the season. A mix of skill work, studying, training and just for fun goals. This Winter, the Goals are Thus (Runs till March 20, which google tells me is the ‘true’ start of Spring). I'll give updates on these when and where I can, but essentially this is it. No 'smart' goals here, just a slow and quiet onward progress. Rhovaniel’s Winter Goals - Read by candlelight at least 3 times - Read the Ranger’s Apprentice, book 1 - Read the Ranger’s Apprentice, book 2 - Re-read The Fellowship of the Rings - Re-Read The Two Towers - Re-Read the Return of the King - Watch all 3 Hobbit and all 3 LOTR films (/6) - See doctor about leg pain and be able to run again (and hike!) - See doctor and try to sort out my sinuses (maybe even regain my sense of smell?) - Be able to run 1 mile by Spring - Reach 77-78kg by the Spring - Finish knitting cardigan - Read stock book and start training on stocks - Repair jeans - Plan and sew one project to completion - Finish chapter 2 of Masters in History (my deadline is actually the end of Feb for this) - Plan 2023 Spring/Summer Adventures - Start writing again, in the small cracks of time I can find amongst other projects.
  16. "A Tarnished of no renown. Cross the fog, to the Lands Between, to stand before the Elden Ring... and become the Elden Lord." Challenge Inspiration: Although I've only just dipped my toes into the immersive, expansive world of Dark Souls and by extension, its spiritual successor the MMO Elden Ring, what bleak, grim darkness and unusual imagery of its mythlore I've seen feels like a metaphor for the trials and tribulations of life itself, and to a lesser extent the woebegone struggles of depression and mental health even above and beyond that. Surely the concept of failing over and over until one sees the order of things through the chaos of strife, crushed and torn asunder but finding the grace to rise once more after each crushing defeat, to eventually overcome your foes is the perfect analogy for these chronicles I've written about life in this mortal shell... isn't it? With that in mind, allow me to introduce myself here as Rurik, the Hexbane, Ashen One and Blood Hunter unextraordinaire; an enigmatic Tarnished swordsman of little renown but raised beneath a mantle of deep potential... if one may but seize it. Is he destined to reforge the Elden Ring and become Elden Lord, or shall he fall beneath the blades of the dark, mighty foes of The Lands Between time and again unending? In this 5-week challenge, we shall find out. Taken from my Battle Log: MAIN QUESTS: [HATRED]: Three garage gym workouts per week. [VIGOR]: Row 5 minutes or more 5 times per week. [DISCIPLINE]: Check-in on the Forums 4 times per week. [BLOOD ALCHEMY]: Don't eat like an Asshole (Every. Single. Day.) Let it begin then.
  17. I’m Ranger Hal. I hike, snowshoe, scramble, climb (in theory, although not recently), and do search and rescue. My current issue is that I’m not working out enough recently to keep up with the other people who want to do those things. There have been a number of trips over the last few years where I have either been turned away because the leader didn’t think my conditioning level was where it needed to be or I decided not to even ask because I didn’t think I could keep up. They say that the best workout for hiking is hiking, but that doesn’t help when I’m tired after work and it’s dark before 5pm. Occasional weeknight hikes happened, but it wasn’t regular. So I need something for when I’m not motivated enough to drag myself to some trailhead in the dark and rain (which is most of the time). I think I was maybe focusing on some of the wrong things in my last few challenges because the last one sort of fizzled back in August. I still did some things between then and now, including getting out for a few night hikes, but towards November, the weather got yucky and things got busy with SAR trainings, Advent, holidays, etc., and I wasn’t exercising that much. Somehow, at the beginning of December, I stumbled onto a new Darebee program, Fit December, which had a workout for each day of the month. So I gave it a try, and I really like the way I can do it from the space next to my computer (where I spend most of my free evening time anyway) and that the workouts are daily so I don’t need to remember which days I'm supposed to workout. Coincidentally, the program ends the day before the new challenge starts, so I’ll need a new program. I have decided on the Darebee 90 Days of Action program. I’m a little worried that it won’t have enough cardio for the type of adventures I want to go on, but it does have some cardio workouts and something every day is better than nothing, so we’ll see how it goes. I probably need to do more hiking, particularly on the weekends if I don’t have some other adventure already scheduled (or unscheduled in the case of SAR). I’m not going to plan anything as part of this challenge, but I think I will focus on getting enough sleep during the week so I’m rested for weekend adventures. I’m also going to focus on hydrating. My lips have been pretty chapped the last few weeks which suggests I’m not getting enough water. Challenge 1) Workout: every day using the 90 Days of Action program. 2) Sleep: 8 hours per night, in bed by 11pm. 3) Hydrate: minimum of 1.5L of water per day.
  18. 2023 road map Last year I decided that, rather than post my road map for the year in a battle log and then forget about it, that I would put it at the top of my first challenge for the year, and then repeat it in every subsequent challenge. That worked fairly well, so I'm sticking with it. I also decided last year to divide the things that are important to me into 5 pillars, and map each of those pillars onto a D&D stat. For how that went you can see my 2022 wrap up here, but the final result was as follows: Level 17 Wood Elf Ranger STR: 12 - CON: 10 - CHA: 3 - SAN: 7 - INT: 11 This year I'll be following a very similar format, trying to earn points to increase those stats as much as possible. I'll also be including some specific benchmarks within some of the pillars - not necessarily goals to hit (though I might well have challenge goals working towards them), but to see what I can tick off by the end of the year. Exercise (Strength) This pillar is all about the physical activities I do, be that OCR, climbing, crossfit, running, swimming, whatever. It also encompasses activity that enables those things, like yoga, physio, foam rolling etc. I don't separate between STR and DEX, because I don't really think that makes sense for the kind of things I do. Specific benchmarks I'd like to hit: Complete Strong Viking in June Complete Man vs Mountain in September Climb a font 7A Climb a font 6A outside Get reliable ring muscle ups Get reliable bar muscle ups Handwalk 12ft Learn to kip up Squatmas: 50 reps at 75% bodyweight, unbroken Deadliftmas: 50 reps at 100% bodyweight unbroken I also need to plan out a few more OCRs, maybe a triathlon or aquathlon. I'd like to do a novice strongman competition too. Nutrition (Constitution) This is about putting the right things in my body (hey, if a joke ain't broke, don't fix it). That includes food, obviously, but also alcohol and caffeine, not smoking, basically whatever I consume. Currently I'm trying to bulk up a bit, and at the moment I anticipate cycling cutting and bulking for the year. Creativity (Charisma) This is a stat I didn't hit much all year, so I'm really keen to boost this stat in 2023. I think being creative is really good for me, and it's something I want to do more of. In order to enable this I'll probably also need to redress my work/life balance, to give me some more creative energy. This includes drawing/art, music, and D&D stuff. Specific benchmarks: Publish some of my own D&D content online Be prepared (enough) for every session of my D&D campaign Complete Inktober this year If I reduce my working days, use the extra day creatively Self-care (Sanity) 2022 was a trying year, and 2023 is definitely going to have its challenges (though fewer of them would be nice). With that in mind I need to keep on with the little things that keep my mind in check - brushing my teeth, keeping in touch with friends, tidying my house, getting out of work on time. I got most of my points in this last year from brushing my teeth, a habit I hope I may have finally cracked (at the age of 33!). This year I want to get more points in this stat, and get them from more different activities. Specific benchmarks: Sort out the outhouse, and run power down there Get a price for the porch Paint my office Go away with friends Learning (Intelligence) I like learning stuff for pleasure, and I need to do it for work. This encompasses my professional qualifications, language learning (currently learning Dutch and French), and anything else I want to study. Specific benchmarks: Complete professional qualification Achieve extra qualification status Converse in French with a francophone Converse in Dutch in The Netherlands * * * Under the hood Each challenge goal will have stats assigned to it, which I earn on successful completion, and over the course of the year I want to get all of my stats as high as possible. My character level is determined by XP (and has been for possibly all of my years on NF) - each stat point is worth 5XP and I level up every 100XP. There's no requirement to hit all of the stats every month, I can mix and match depending on what I need at the time. Each month I will budget £250 as a bet against my goals. On pay day I will split that money. For the percentage of success I've had on my goals since the previous pay day I get to keep the money in my savings or spend it on something nice. For the percentages of goals I fail I have to transfer that money as an extra payment off my mortgage. The idea is that if I'm not improving future Jarric by hitting my goals I'll improve things for him by reducing his debt instead. This runs payday to payday, rather than with the challenge cycle, because it ensures that I actually have the money to pay the bet when it's due. * * * Here's a recap of last challenge, if you're interested: * * * Bringing the party together For my first challenge of the year, I have lots of things I want to do. Too many, objectively speaking. I'm going to give them all a go and see what comes of it, but in order to try and make it manageable I'm going to do a little bit of a lot of things. Some goals are natural daily habits, and they will stay as daily goals. For the other goals I will only try to hit them once per week, even if they're things that that I'd like to complete 3, 4, or 5 times per week. This gives me a list of weekly challenges and a list of daily challenges. Each of the challenges is themed on a role you might find in a D&D party, because of course they are. Daily: The muscle The documancer The face The translator The chronologist Weekly: The cartographer The camp maker The field medic The second storey specialist The muscle [+2 CON] It's bulking time! The aim is to increase my body weight by 0.25% each week (about 0.4lbs at the moment). In order to do that I will set my target calories for the week, and divide by 8 to give myself a daily target plus a floating 8th day for beer/snacks/whatever. I will also track protein daily, with a loose goal to eat at least 150g each day. I don't have a way of weighing myself that precisely, so the plan is that if I lose weight in a given week I'll up my calorie target, and if I don't gain at least 1lb for 3 consecutive weigh-ins I'll also increase my calorie target. I'll set my calorie goal on day one of this challenge, when I've weighed in. The documancer [+2 INT] I have two more 3,500-word essays to write in order to complete my current professional qualification, get new letters after my name, and earn some time off studying! Last challenge I did naff all, so I want to get back on this before I get close to the deadlines for these. I also find that working on this daily, even if it's only 10 minutes of editing stuff, it's much easier to pick it up and remember what I'm writing about. The face [+1 SAN] Brush my teeth, twice daily, use electric brush and interdental brushes in the evening. Simple. This has been going dangerously well for the last couple of challenges, so here's hoping it continues. The translator [+1 INT] Practice both French and Dutch daily. This can be in any form, though I suspect that Dutch will largely be on Duolingo, and French will be a mixture of Language Transfer, Duolingo, and the Duolingo podcast. If anyone has other suggestions for resources though, I'm all ears! The chronologist [+1 SAN] This is a new goal, about work/life balance. I've been working late a lot, and then feeling knackered and stressed, and then I don't want to go to work in the morning and I get in late. It's a horrible, stressful cycle. There's a lot of things that are stressful about my job right now, but this is the one thing I have real control over if I choose to exercise it. Arrive at work by 08:35 every day. Have logged off from work by 17:30 every day. Weekends and days off don't count, obviously. The cartographer [+1 CHA] I haven't done a lot of drawing in the last few months, and I miss it. Also, I really need a CHA goal! I'd love to do this almost every day, but the goal right now is to spend time drawing something once per week. My pathfinder games (where I play an elf artist, who actually is the party's cartographer, and take a lot of my notes in sketches) don't count towards this goal. Other than that I can draw anything. One thing I'd like to do at some point is to draw the characters who represent my goals. Anything counts though, even just a few minutes of doodling. The camp maker [+1 SAN] It is just possible that I should occasionally clean my house. Something about hygiene, dust mite allergy, clutter stress, embarrassment when people come over, I don't know. Anyway, I want to spend a few minutes cleaning the house every week. Normal maintenance things I do, like washing clothes and dishes, don't count. Maybe I should hoover something? The field medic [+1 STR] In order to not get injured, I need to take care of myself. The goal is to do some intentional physio, stretching, foam rolling, or something like that at least once per week. Again, I'd like to do this 4-5 times per week, but once is the goal for now. The second storey specialist [+1 STR] When I was wrapping up 2022, I identified that bouldering was something I had really improved at, and would like to keep improving at. I can only climb once per week right now, but I get a lot of useful cross-training at my gym. The one thing I'm really not getting though is crimp grip strength, so this goal is to hangboard once per week. Ok, this post is quite long enough. Lets go!
  19. Happy New Year!!! (I know, posting it now is early, but figured I'd get this up so I don't forget. ) I'm excited for this year and what is to come! I've got my 2023 goals up in my battle log and ready for tackling some goals. I hope y'all have had a great holiday season. We had a nice time with family for Christmas, though Christmas day BabyG and I were sick. Thankfully, we are both starting to feel better. Tuesday we were at my grandparents' and they pulled out a video they had found from when I was not quite 2 years old. That was so much fun to see! Crazy how fast time flies! Goals: - I'd like to really limit my screen time and focus more on spending time with different hobbies and things. Especially since we're hoping to have a house this year (2023) and I'll have more responsibilities around the house than just taking care of our little space. - I would also like to limit my sugar intake. It's been really bad, especially with the holidays. Eventually I'd like to work on junk foods in general, but figured I'd start slow. - This one is more of a "sidequest" type goal, but I'd like to check the Inktober52 prompts whenever they're posted and see if that's something I plan on participating in this year. I had planned on it this past year, but ended up not doing it. If I decide to participate, I'd like to work out a plan for what that will look like. -------------------------------------------------- Looking forward to the challenge and working towards a healthier lifestyle!
  20. For those who are new or behind, my main goal is weight loss, for health reasons as well as I want to look good naked, and fit in clothes I used to. I love 5Ks and kettlebells. I'm struggling with this goal because it doesn't get easier when you get older. (W) I work from home, (3 jobs) as an accountant, so making sure I have enough movement in my day as well as not eating "all the unhealthy things" is important. It's very easy to lose track of how much time I've been sitting trying to solve an issue. Not having "all the unhealthy things" in the house also helps. I use a 5K training plan that I’ve used in the past, 3 days of intervals and 1 - 2 of strength/cross training days, I may graduate to the 10K and half marathon plans this year, I may not. I just want to keep moving. ( R )I struggle to get enough sleep so that shall remain on the list until it's no longer a struggle. (E) I found a ‘diet’ plan, the Dr. that came up with its target audience is post-menopausal women. It’s really a combination of several different things like IF, Low Carb/Keto, and Macros. The common denominator is calorie reduction, of course, unless you burn more than you take in, nothing is going to work! My biggest issue is I get tired of trying to figure it all out and do a lot better when someone just tells me how and when to do it, so I’m putting this on easy mode until I lose the weight! So far I’m down 11 lbs. (S) I want to hit at least 7500 steps a day, once this becomes habit I’ll raise it (T) Tracking the things that I eat with an app makes hitting macros and the calorie goal easier, this is in conjunction with E, even though I can eat and not track, doing both is better (L) I’ve been learning Spanish on Duolingo, because this country scares me and I may want to move abroad one day. I also want to learn to play guitar, since I have one collecting dust in my room and it will not learn to play itself. There are plenty of free videos on how to do this on YouTube. Learning something, at least once a week (Duolingo goal is daily) will count towards this. (E) Extra things that make life worth living, date nights with D, 5k’s or more that I may do, motorcycle rides, FL trips, and life events will go here. Checking in to hold myself accountable is key to this being successful, I don't want to have to post bad news here. I plan on posting daily to make sure I'm on track where I need to be The Plan... Workout - Intervals/Kettlebells Rest - Sleep (7 hours a night) Eat - Stick to macros and don’t make excuses to eat the unhealthy things Steps - Hitting my 7500 steps a day goal Track - using Cronometer Learn - Duolingo, other stuff Extra - Rides, 5k's, events, and life Update - Daily Done - Not Done -
  21. RAISE THE BAR !!!! ^CHORD This challenge is going to be about raising the bar! And that includes working on the F bar chord in guitar too, because boy - that thing is a little punk. For a long time NF challenger, it's very easy to get into the place of just doing the same old same old. And that's great. But it's time for me to add a few rings to my tree trunk, -er, I am talking about 'growth', not putting weight on lol! I've coasted a bit and want to get back into growing as a person; improving myself physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally. That's too much to try and do all at once, so we'll break it down into smaller things that get focused on per challenge. When one gets leveled up, we work on the next, and so on. I am also setting a long term goal here, in writing. I want to compose and record an original song before I am 50. (Honestly, I think I can nail that one far before the expiration date, but I didn't want to feel pressured - I want to enjoy the learning process, so we're setting this out there a few years.) Now for the list of longer term things I want to start working on over the next few months. Understand Starpuck, be the best Starpuck I can be. Step 1: Read "The Road Back to You" (An Enneagram Thingy) Conquer fear of change, and move out into my own place - be it an apartment or a house. Step 1: Rework budgets, set savings goals and plans, use envelope method for 'allowance/eating out'. Find guitar teacher, take a short term session of lessons. Step 1: Reach out to Perry's music. Stop judging teachers by awful pictures, lol! Go meet them. 5 WEEK CHALLENGE GOALS Goal #1 - FOOD! In 5/4 Timing - What? This means, aim to eat 5 times through the day, with quarter note sized meals lol. I was debating if I wanted to track calories, but coming from a total free for all, I don't want to swing too hard to the other end of the spectrum. I think just being mindful will get me back to a good 'starting point'. Plan: Eat Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Snack each day. Avoid adding extra snacks, especially in the evening or on weekends. Track It: Must note when I overdo the snacks, otherwise, each day assumed to have been 'in time' with the band. Goal #2 - Groove and Move - This is about keeping my physical body up to snuff. I want to be healthy and active long term, and that means putting in the work now. I also have noticed that over the past several years, the better my nutrition and sleep have been, the less illness I've had to face. That seems like one heck of a perk there. Groove is for strength training (not that I'm doing grease the groove) and Move is for any other intentional movement. I want to keep my cardio/pulmonary working well too, so getting heart rate up and lungs kicking is a goal, but it can be chill like walking or hiking too. (Not that either of those will be happening during the midst of winter. Plan: 2-3 Strength Days / Week. (Winter means less options for cardio, so a great time to increase strength days to 3.) 2+ other activity days. Track It: Yeah. Easy track here. Did I do them, or skip them? Goal #3 - Pick, Pluck, and Pen - This is the creative ensemble. It covers my music practice, which, I have set a pretty decent achievable goal of 2 hours / instrument per week, and 3 hours of art. I often go over, but this allows me to still hit targets on weeks that have extra changes in the line up, or outings, or hiccups that make practicing harder. Plan: 2 hours / week of guitar, bass and piano. 3 hours of art. Track It: Use Timelog app to keep track of this. Great app! 10/10 would recommend. General To Do's - Boldness, Books and Budgets - This final goal is just to track that I am remembering and paying attention to Step 1's of some of the longer term goals. I don't want to put "weekly" rules and requirements on this, so they will just be general to do's, and check marks that I am, in fact, putting some time and thought into them. Continue search for guitar lessons, check Perry's out. Local is a + and they are cheapest I've found. Read the book. Take it slow. Add notes in the side or on Post-Its. Use this to continue to sort out my challenges and learn to overcome my repeat hurdles. Create budget. Set up house savings / move money monthly into this. Create envelopes and use them. (app, or actual cash?) Start planning for 2023 vacations. (Hawaii still on radar?) Smaller trip / via car somewhere. Start working on the audio interface and software. Take it slow. Don't panic. Also - after original excitement about this theme, lol, I might change it in a week or so. My mood is all over the place right now! LOL. Short Bio
  22. Woohoo! I LOVE New Year's and resolutions and the whole nine yards, though honestly I was a bit too tired this year to really enjoy it the way I normally do - which feels extra insulting this year, since it was one of the rare years where New Year's Day is on a Sunday which are my absolute favorite years because everything is brand new at the same time, if that makes sense? A new year always starts with a new month, of course, but to also start that with a brand new week is more unusual. Anyway, so I'm hoping to start my new grad program by the end of this month - still waiting to hear from the university, which is starting to make me anxious. If they get everything processed in time, I will be starting a class on Spanish-language music with one of my favorite undergrad professors I'm back at work as of yesterday, but I didn't plan or grade over break, so I still have a few days of hard work to knock out before I can start on any longer term work projects. Health-wise, my IVF transfer got postponed - yet ANOTHER ovarian cyst producing estrogen and fucking with my reproductive system in such a way that the doctors can't do anything except try to kill it off - but they think this one looks more cooperative and might clear out with my next period so we'll hopefully know in another 7-10 days. Also, my kid went to his pre-kindergarten check-up yesterday and he grew 4 inches since last year's appointment! The doctor was impressed since apparently the average for kids his age is more like 2.5 inches. Honestly my resolutions aren't wildly different for a change - for the first time in a long time, I'm really just making further progress on longer-than-one-year-anyway type goals. Quest One: Movement 1: I'm going to keep walking and maybe add in some very short running. I joined a challenge where the goal is to walk the equivalent of one mile every day (though it's totally cool to not walk every day but walk more than a mile - which will very much be my plan, between schedule and January weather nonsense). So for this challenge, that would be 35 miles. 2: I do want to start diversifying my workouts some and protect against injury, but I suck even more at doing-something-other-than-walking-or-running workouts, so I'm starting stupid low: a single yoga workout. Legit. Just one. Get your butt going, self. (May not be able to do this for about 2 weeks depending on when the transfer gets moved to, but that still gives me a ridiculous abundance of time to get it done before that) Quest Two: Nutrition 1: Cook twice. One of these recipes must use cabbage - it's a new vegetable to me actually and I have a few possible recipes already from my primary cooking app plus my new Korean cookbook 2: Keep cutting down the Diet Coke - one max per day with a goal of 8 days with none at all this challenge 3: Try the partial replacement strategy for at least one week! I found this via a social media video from one of my favorite fitness guys, Ben Carpenter. Basically the idea is that you can eat whatever the heck you want as long as you eat it with or after something healthier that you also like. For example, if you like carrots, eat a few before you eat pizza under the idea that it will help you eat less pizza without the mental stress of not being "allowed" to eat as much pizza as you normally would want. Quest Three: Work/Languages 1: Spanish work! Goals here are: -20+ word daily journal -watch 5 intermediate or advanced videos (theoretically 1 per week) -read to chapter 12 (or more) in my new Spanish book, Gaby perdida y encontrada 2: Continue weekly Instagram posts 3: get Spanish 2 Unit 4 put together (can be done largely as I go, since the unit begins on Monday and runs through Feb. 8th) 4: enter at least one grade for each class every week. Falling behind on grading kills me at the end of every semester, so I need to keep it continuously churning here at the beginning Quest Four: Home/Hobbies 1. finish the log cabin quilt top. I still can't believe I didn't get this done over break - I really and truly thought I would - but I only have 6 more pieces, surely I can knock that out...??? 2. Organize part of my sewing room. I'm starting with the one wall that is arguably the most needed (as it's the primary pathway to walk around the room) and is also the least crammed with random stuff. I'm hoping to be able to at least start another area too, but...baby steps, right? 3. patch sweatpants - I have the same tiny hole in the front but now there is also a small rip just below the butt. Since they are much loved, warm, but 99%-never-out-of-the-house pants, I'm probably just going to patch them with giant fleece squares and just look silly 4. try to get a bit on top of the finances by keeping a very close eye on my credit card spending. I swear to the gods I keep thinking I'm making headway and the next month it's somehow even higher? So I'm going to try my damnedest to keep credit card spending under $200 (randomly guessing at what might make a good limit here, so it's very open to change). This will include necessary purchases as well as superfluous ones but does NOT count stuff that I buy with cash or direct cash transfers from our bank account, since the goal is to lower the credit card debt. (First 3 days update to come either tonight or tomorrow morning, we'll see how much time I have after grading some leftover final exams)
  23. Life has been crazy. Life will continue to be crazy. Crazy is my new norm, but I don't have to let it get to me. For 2023 I have some major goals that have moved from that "nice to have" category to the "my health depends on this goal" category. I am working to come back from surgeries the last two years, with a new diagnosis (today) that will need another couple of minor surgeries to resolve. My body is moving into menapause and becoming more stable, but it is also approaching the age in which my mother and grandmother started having other health issues. And to top it off my blood work shows me to be borderline Type 2 diabetic. My health must be my priority!!! It doesn't hurt that I turn 50 this summer and my vanity won't let me look and feel like I do now at that major milestone. The plan is nothing I haven't tried before, but now I have more medical oversight and help. Accountability is a good thing for me! Food - I must go low carb, doctors' orders. Exercise - my strength and cardio need to improve continue BJJ 3 times a week strength/core classes twice a week get on the bike twice a week (it can be while I read as a reward!) Stretching to regain my flexibility and mobility Self Care - stress management, taking time for me, saying no and more!!! I have been playing with tarot cards (I got a deck for the hoidays) and I'm asking questions for myself. Its been fun and informative. My daughter did a reading for me a few months ago it struck a chord with me. So I plan on playing with the cards over this year and might even make that my divine theme...
  24. Doll Parts Hello and welcome to 2023! All my challenges this year will be geared up towards achieving my overarching goals from my RoadMap. The focus on this challenge will be all about my body, and treating it with gentle kindness as if I were a doll. Weeks of festive debauchery have taken their toll on me and I feel like I am rotting from the inside out so this challenge will be about taking care of myself, easing myself gently into 2023, making myself feel awesome as well as starting as I mean to go on with my yearly goals. Boom or Bust Goals for this challenge cycle: Goal 1 – Eat <2001 calories Goal 2 – Eat 5 portions of freggies per day Goal 3 – drink 2 litres of water per day Goal 4 – Set up a Snack box in the evening Goal 5 – Daily yoga practice of at least 10 minutes. Goal 6 – Moisturise my whole body on a daily basis. Goal 7 – Facial skincare routine (cleansing, toning, moisturising, maybe a bit of Gua Sha if I can learn how to do it properly)
  25. I've decided to start off the year with a "back to basics" challenge, focusing on a very few things to rebuild momentum and consistency before students and grandson start the tug of war over my calendar. I want to change body composition and push back against both muscle and bone density loss. At the moment, I am relatively healthy. I want to regain some of the strength I had 20 years ago, when I could do pull ups, run a 5K, and deadlift 85+ pounds. I want to be a good example for the next generations AND I want to play and have fun (with grandkids and other people). #1 priority is to build up strength and add muscle. Measurable goals for the challenge: 85 pounds x 3 x 8 lat pulldown 4.1 mph jog 5K 15 assisted pull-ups 30 pushups (some will be scaled probably) 45 air squats #2 priority is to lose fat. Strategy is to eat protein, fruits, vegetables, and lean dairy while making sure I do strength training at least 2 x per week (preferably 3 times per week). I am planning to continue using WW to track and manage the energy intake/outgo balance. It works for me, and I don't want to make any infrastructure changes right now. For the challenge, I'm tracking only two things: WW points and daily exercise. I liked logging with emojis here, and I have made a grid to include in my planner as well. Having it right in front of me so that I can see trends over the year will .... I hope ..... encourage consistency. I love to mark things off lists. For food tracking: = stayed in daily points, = blue dot range, = maintaining weekly buffer, = I logged everything, = I logged some, = unplanned break For exercise: = ran, = crossfit, = strength training, = exercise class, = walking, = yoga It seems simple, but routines fell apart at the end of the last full challenge. My weight has not gone up too much: 154.8 as of today. My strength, however, did take a dip on most measures. I'm hoping that the gym won't be too busy .... and the CrossFit group is still meeting regularly but a little earlier in the afternoon, which I am hoping means that we can get the equipment we need.
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