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  1. Good day fellow Rebels. Last challenge, I made some observations about goals that were lacking, and I selected three: reading, breathing (specifically Wim Hof Method breathing) and journaling. The other goals have essentially become daily habits now because they have been part of my routine for quite some time. So if you have been following me for a while, assume that the rest of my usual daily habits and routines that have been mentioned in the past are now expected. And so I begin: Goal 1: Read Harder and More Often -- I love to read. I love books. I have all the traits of a bibliophile. However, I'm not very disciplined, and I struggle to focus and pay attention when I read. I know this is normal and nothing to be ashamed of, but it still bothers me. I'm also a very picky reader, like... picky to a fault. Yes, some of it is because I have standards, and because I value my time, so I struggle to read something that just... isn't very good. But, if I'm honest, much of this pickiness has led me to make unfair assumptions about various genres, authors, and forms of writing. So, I have decided to take on the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge, as well as to set an ambitious but doable reading goal of 50 books in 2021. I have a few strategies for helping meet this goal: read every day for at least 30 minutes put my phone on the charger on the other side of the room while reading select and read books from the Read Harder Challenge first audiobooks, children's books, and poetry collections totally count towards the 50 goal Goal 2: Breathe Harder and More Mindfully -- I have practiced the WHM in the past, and many of the elements have stuck like glue, specifically the cold showers and cold exposure (going outside shirtless and shoeless in the cold, taking long hikes in the snow with no shirt, etc.), but the breathing (which, if I'm not mistaken Wim himself said is the most important part of the method) has just been a struggle to fit into my daily routine. It's not that I don't want to; in fact, I really enjoy it and feel great every time. It's almost like my brain says, "Dude... It's breathing. We do that al the time. Just skip it." And so, I end up skipping it. However, I noticed last challenge that I was filling that gap of time normally reserved for WHM breathing with mindless scrolling of Instagram or Facebook. So, for this challenge I will work to fit WHM breathing into my morning routine, just as I was before. Below are my strategies for meeting this goal: schedule a time for breathwork, after prayer/devotional time but before workout and cold shower: 0445 Mon-Fri, Sat/Sun time varies use the app and/or music or a guided audio or video to make the experience more interactive at least three rotations; time is not as important as impact, so be mindful of the impact of each inhale and exhale, as well as how your body feels during and after each rotation Goal 3: Journal More -- In addition to loving to read, I also love to write (or at least I used to love it in that I used to write a lot because I wanted to, not because it was a requirement or a chore). I need to get back to that love, but in practical ways that don't make it feel like a task or just something else to check off on my daily to-do list. I used to keep a journal regularly, writing just a few paragraphs a day, recording my thoughts and my feelings and occasionally sharing favorite poems or song lyrics or lines from movies and TV shows. And sometimes I would draw (not very well, but it brought me joy). I need to get back to that less prescribed and more open journaling practice because if it feels to rigid or more like a "have to," I won't do it. Instead, it should be a "get to." I get to journal every day. So below are my strategies for meeting this goal: journal every morning before starting my day and at the end of the day: Mon-Fri right before leaving for work (0630) and before bed (2100); Sat/Sun times vary aesthetics matter; use a notebook that you want to write in and a utensil you want to write with in order to feel encouraged to do so make it brief but important and free flowing, not prescribed or stilted; just express yourself freely and openly without judgement keep it secret; keep it safe (you knew I wouldn't get out of this challenge without at least one LotR reference) And there you have it. My goals for this challenge. Sorry it doesn't have any creative theming or anything, but I knew these areas needed to be refined and strengthened, so that was my main purpose. And of course, you can expect plenty of nerdiness to arise in the form of cool gifs and memes and quotes.
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