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  1. Last challenge, @Tanktimus the Encourager and @fleaball had an interesting discussion about rewiring your brain by picking an archetype that you want to emulate. It wasn't immediately obvious to me what kind of archetype I would pick if I followed the process, so I thought about it for a while and eventually realized that all of the archetypes I thought of had one thing in common: they were guardians. And when I had that realization, a lot of other things clicked into place: I scored "guardian" on the reebok be more human test a while back (I think) I keep coming back to the mantra "courage, honor, self restraint" I ALMOST NEVER get angry about anything and avoid conflict, except if someone is mean to my little sister or something So it works. The qualities of a guardian I admire and want to emulate include: A relentless, headstrong commitment to hard work and self improvement - to the point of stubborn refusal to compromise on any goal Faith that if they trust the process and do the work they will gain the skills they need Genuinely interested in and attentive to other people (as long as they're not trying to enter a forbidden realm) In their developmental years, they learn & grow alongside peers on the same journey, engaging actively in their training As they gain skill, they gladly guide & nurture others and think nothing of it Takes delight in the simple things in life. A happy day is just talking and being heard, and confirming our present happiness. Driven by the urge to help others Peaceful/zen except when defending others or facing obstacles Completely willing to fight with people when provoked Loyal to their people Honest Brave despite fears. Always. Focused outward - interested in other people and events around them and being in the world as their primary way of interacting with the world Physically balanced between strength/agility/endurance Examples of guardians: Pretty much every Tamora Pierce heroine ever, but especially Alanna from The Lioness Quartet and Kel from The Protector of the Small Dragons. Dragons protecting princesses and elder/mother dragons looking after their tribe/family The leader/seer/healer of a tribe who makes decisions based on how to protect their people Keepers of lore/wisdom/secrets/hidden places who do their jobs at all costs Monsters guarding the entrances to hidden realms Knights Priestesses Gargoyles? Background Every challenge this year, I am focusing on just one new habit. There are 10 challenges in the year, so by the end of the year I'll have TEN NEW HEALTHY HABITS. Challenge 1: Walk every day and/or aim for 16 miles per week Challenge 2: Morning routines Challenge 3: Eat a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch every day Also, my theme for this year is honesty. That doesn't just mean honest in the sense of not lying. It means facing into things when I'm feeling the urge to withdraw because I'm self-conscious. It means being true to myself even when I want to act differently because I'm afraid people won't like me. It means showing up and doing the work even though I want to procrastinate or avoid it because something stresses me out. It means honestly making the effort. It means listening to my body and listening to my heart. It means feeling my feelings. I feel like 70% of my anxiety in life comes from situations in which I'm not being fully honest. And if I can learn to embrace that honesty, I can drastically improve my life. @Ensi made a comment a while back about how she just needs to be honest and brave, and I still think about that. Courage, honor, self restraint. Challenge Goal So in general this challenge is about getting into the habit of acting like a guardian. But obviously I need something more specific than that to work towards. So, two things: 1. Start every morning with a mantra/affirmation/whatever that I am a guardian, to help set the tone for the day 2. Work. I started working from home full time in April, and I've been struggling with switching to and from work mode. I'm also working on a very stressful project at the moment that has me really nervous and self-conscious. So, like a guardian, I want to face into the work. I want to relentlessly and uncompromisingly work hard every work day. I want to stop delaying the hardest things for last because of stress. I want to be driven by how I can help other people with my work. Honesty. Courage, honor, self restraint. And so on. Other Things So, they aren't goals, but I'll also talk about a million other fitness/health things that I work on, including: Aikido Running GMB Elements program Bodyweight strength workouts OCRs Yoga Food habits - eating primalish Reading Mediation Spending challenges Previous challenge habits: walking, morning routines, smoothie/salads Icebreaker I read a book a while back about a family that gave up sugar, including honey, fruit juice, and artificial sweeteners, for an entire year. Once per month, they would have a dessert that contained sugar. But that's it. Each family member could also pick a single thing with sugar in it to keep for the year. They chose things like wine, soda, and jelly. So I'm curious. If you had to do a challenge where you could only eat one thing with sugar for a WHOLE YEAR, what would you pick? I'm personally torn between ketchup and tea lattes.
  2. So, I am choosing one habit per challenge this year and focusing specifically on developing and exploring that one habit. Then each challenge, I am maintaining the old habits while tackling a new one. At the end of the year, if all goes well, I will have TEN GREAT HABITS. Challenge 1: Walking daily (aiming for 16 miles per week) Challenge 2: Morning routine Challenge 3.... It's food time. Here are some misc. things about me and food: So, that's me and food in a nutshell. What works for me seems to be limiting my food enough that it's a little boring, and getting plenty of fiber/vegetables. It's a challenge because food is also such a hobby for me that I don't want to limit it in that way. So I think what I need to do is somehow find a balance. And I want to avoid setting excessive rules or tracking overly much, because even when it works, I don't think it's totally sustainable. And I want healthy eating to become something I do on autopilot, just like exercise is. So. I think for this challenge, I'm going to experiment with a hypothesis. The blog nomeatathlete mentions this concept at one point: I think there's something to this. Although I'll add protein to the salads because I'm not aiming for no meat. So, I want to experiment. If I have a smoothie every morning and a salad for lunch every day, then eat whatever I feel like for snacks and dinner, will that balance me out? Details The smoothies and salads can vary, obviously. I have a basic green smoothie formula I use a lot, but I can also just tinker with other options. I have a roasted veggie salad recipe and a cobb salad recipe I really like. I'll need more variety than that to keep salads interesting, so please do share if you have any favorite salads! I do want to experiment with black bean pasta salad, but loaded with lots of veggies. Oh, and there's that Mediterranean salad I like too. So that's 4. And thai steak salad with goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. I think I'll use the term "salad" loosely here. Like, if I make a ton of ratatouille or something, that's a large pile of vegetables, which is basically a salad. I can also make an omelette and chop it up on top of a salad. I just need enough variety that I'm not like "ughh, salad" after a few days of this. I like craisins on a salad. And caesar with avocado. And so on and so on. Mark over at MDA also eats a big ass salad for lunch every day, and swears by it, so there's another basis for this to work. The other thing I kind of want to do is build up my salad database. When I have a tasty salad somewhere, I want to figure out how to recreate it at home. I've had two at the cafe where they hold a gaming meetup that I really liked - a spinach bacon salad with tomatoes, creamy balsamic, and sunflower seeds, and a caprese salad with tomato and mozz and balsamic glaze on greens. I haven't quite figured out a good creamy balsamic dressing yet. Or a balsamic glaze. Dressing is going to be the key to success here. Other good ones I've had...there's one I don't remember that well, but I think it had arugula and goat cheese and some sort of crispy topping that didn't feel super unhealthy. Hrm. And there was one at a pub with figs, portobello mushrooms, and either feta or goat cheese, which was also amazing. Planning There are a few things I need to prepare for. What if I don't want breakfast one day? Does skipping the smoothie and just having a banana mid-morning count against me? I don't think it should. That will be allowed. And also, I think there will be times when I just really want some eggs or some pancakes. Or get a chance to go out for breakfast and have something other than a smoothie. And I think for now I'll just observe what happens without judgement if it does. I'll see how often this variance actually happens, and then adjust from there if I need to. There's also travel. It's harder to make a smoothie when I'm staying with friends or the boyfriend. I guess I can do it at the boyfriend's. Although sometimes we don't eat breakfast and lunch is our first meal of the day. I'm not worried about the time with friends. It's not so common that it's an issue. The time with the boyfriend will need some care though. We both like eating out as a hobby, so it's hard to say I'm just going to have a salad, especially when there are so many salads I don't really like at restaurants. So, I'm not sure. I don't want this to turn into deprivation or forcing myself to eat a mediocre salad when there's something else amazing in front of me. It might be dangerous, but I kind of want to play this by ear too. Maybe have a salad for at least one meal out of every three days I'm with him? Or maybe focus on just getting a certain quantity of vegetables in general? Or on eating paleoish? I don't know yet. There will probably also be times when I end up having something other than the planned salad for lunch. In those cases, I think I'll just try to adjust by having it for dinner instead. I don't like eating salad for dinner unless it's amazing, so I won't plan for this to happen. I'll just be prepared to adapt when it does. Other Stuff So none of this is a specific goal, but I have other ongoing habits / fitness stuff that I'll often report on here: Yoga 3 workouts / week 2 runs / week Meditation Shopping ban running Jan - March (and maybe longer) - no eating out unless travelling or socially, no shopping unless I need to replace something that runs out Aikido
  3. This time around, I'll be tackling a morning routine. How I spend the morning really sets the tone for the day, so every day I want to think about what kind of story I want my day to have and let the morning routine help put me on that path. (Actually I just like Oasis and wanted to make it fit shhhh) For any new friends who follow this challenge - I am focusing on developing one new habit per challenge, for a total of 10 habits for the 10 challenges scheduled this year. I made some great progress on a morning routine last challenge, completely unintentionally. My mobility work has filled up my mornings in a lovely, relaxed sort of way that works really well. The problem is that depending on the day ahead, I don't have consistent mornings right now. On Monday-Wednesday I'm pretty consistent because I wake up and go into the office at the same time. But on Thursday-Friday I usually work from home, which means that I can sleep in, which means that I usually skip the full routine. And the same issue pops up on weekends, but not always. I've had trouble establishing morning routines in the past because I tried to be too restrictive. The morning routine can, and should change depending on the story for each new day. So my challenge this time around is to figure out how to: Have some sort of morning routines and rituals that set the tone for the day Allow for variation while keeping the essential habit in place Still get to sleep in enough on days where my schedule allows My laptop battery is almost dead, so I'll post more about what this means and how I can measure it later. I will also be continuing with some things that are not actual challenge goals, but that I will report on here: Continuing to track my walking mileage each week, as a continuation of last challenge's habit forming. 3 workouts + 2 runs per week Daily meditation Mobility work The 31 day yoga revolution challenge + Wednesday night yoga class (to the end of February) Aikido 2x/week 3 month shopping ban through March, with pre-defined rules and exceptions. This month is espcially important to me, because it will be my 3rd year doing Frugal February, though I've extended it to three months this time. I have to buy a bridesmaid's dress this month for a wedding I'll be in this summer, and pay aikido federation annual dues I bought a birthday present for my sister No eating out, unless it's social or on the road I can replace anything that breaks or runs out I can buy any gear that I decide I need for the winter Spartan race I'll be doing in March
  4. Ok, now that I've completed OPERATION STOBAL, I'm ready to start focusing on one main goal/habit per challenge. We have 10 challenges this year, so that's TEN awesome new habits I can build into my life. This month, I'm going to focus on walking 16 miles/week. I used to do that as a main challenge goal, and I eventually stopped tracking it once it became a habit. I still walk regularly, but over time my mileage has gone down. I think walking is a foundational habit that supports everything else, so I want to reestablish a good walking base. I'm debating whether I want to count running mileage towards the distance goal or not. Thoughts? I'll be travelling for a work conference on 1/9-1/13 (and probably networking into the evening ugh) so that week's overall mileage may be lower and that's ok. Other things for January: Continue Headspace meditation streak (2 months to go for that 365 day achievement!) Sign up for a weekly yoga class on Wednesday nights (this will free up some mental space so I don't have to worry about squeezing in yoga throughout the week and can do other mobility stuff on mornings/evenings) Continue 2 runs per week, building them up towards 5K each and getting used to running in the snow Continue 3 workouts/week Instead of my annual "frugal February" this year I think I'm going to do a 3 month shopping ban from Jan-March Shopping ban details: I'm currently still on Pacific Time so I'm going to be easing myself back onto Eastern Standard Time this week. Plus, I'm in my usual post-vacation funk where I feel really lonely with fewer friends around. So, I'll be a bit forgiving with myself about morning routines and workout intensity as I get back into the swing of things (but I will still work out). Let's do an icebreaker! Nobody I know in real life will admit to having a new years resolution, which is so boring! I'm not a big resolution person myself, but I always have some sort of goals going on, and I love to hear about what other people are working on. My 2017 resolution is to have a friggin' dining table before the end of the year. I live in a studio with no room for one currently, so that will either involve moving or a serious change of furnishing. What about you guys?
  5. I'm back from vacation and needing a serious re-boot. Vacation was awesome, but also filled with beer, moscow mules, cake, pizza, burgers, chips... you get the picture! Time to cleanse the crap and reestablish routines. Pokemon Go was released during the trip and I've joined Team Mystic. I didn't have a theme prepared this time so this one seemed like an obvious choice given the hype train and it plays nicely with my walking/step goal. Updates will be a minimum of couple of times per week. I'd like to do daily, but no guarantees. GOALS: Lapras (water type): HYDRATE! Only water to drink for the duration of the challenge. Iced green tea will be allowed. One beer allowed each Friday and Saturday evening. Hypno (psychic type): MEDITATE! I've been keeping up with my Headspace through the whole vacation! (it was not easy! *pats back*). Keep up my meditation run streak throughout the challenge. I will need to decide about spending the money to continue the Headspace subscription or find something new. Marowak (ground type): WALK! I'm going to do walking a bit different this time and try to revert to my fitbit step counting days. It just kept me moving a bit more all day long rather than just concentrating on one walk per day. Goal will be progressive. Week 1, 7000 steps/day. Week 2, 8,000 steps/day. Week 3, 9,000 steps/day. Week 4, 10,000 steps/day. This should be completely do-able. Hitmoncha (fighting type): STRENGTH! Desperately need to get back to a routine. This may be a work in progress as I'd like to get in some strength, yoga, and mobility workouts but don't want to work out every day. Minimum 3 workouts per week of some sort. Biggest goal is to find a routine that hits all those areas that works for me and my schedule. Jigglypuff (/normalfairy type): MINIMIZE AND CLEAN! I'm going to throw all this under one roof (so to speak), but continue minimizing, shopping ban, and general adulting. The last few challenges I've focused on this quite a lot and I will continue my work, but general adulting/cleaning needs to improve around here. Mostly it's just me being lazy and not cleaning often enough. It's not a fun job, but I need to find a way to treat myself for getting it done or some other incentivizing. I'm open to ideas. GO!!!!! I think it will be fun to include some running Pokemon Go dialogue as well. It was hard to get much Pokemon'ing done on vacation but as of right now I'm Level 7 and have 28 in my Pokedex. I caught Pikachu in my living room last night. It's been super fun since we got home last night because the church next door to us is a Pokestop. The front porch people watching is going to be SUPREME. In fact, a little part of the side of my house is IN Pokemon Go. I'm such a nerd. haha! I haven't done anything with gyms yet. Still learning. I'll update my thread with new catches when I update. Anyone else playing?
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