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  1. "In the Beginning" by David Whyte Sometimes simplicity rises like a blossom of fire from the white silk of your own skin. You were there in the beginning you heard the story, you heard the merciless and tender words telling you where you had to go. Exile is never easy and the journey itself leaves a bitter taste. But then, when you heard that voice, you had to go. You couldn't sit by the fire, you couldn't live so close to the live flame of that compassion you had to go out in the world and make it your own so you could come back with that flame in your voice, saying listen... this warmth, this unbearable light, this fearful love... It is all here, it is all here. For this challenge, I will be recovering, both from an impact injury to my back after running a 15 mile race and to my heart after some changes to the dynamic of our family (no, I'm not getting divorced). I decided to follow the advice I've been given several times when I have felt overwhelmed. Keep it simple... Simple Morning Routine: 0445 wakeup read (scripture, poetry, philosophy, etc.) meditate/pray get grounded (bare feet on the earth) Simple Workout: 20 minutes a day of any activity my body can handle without pain (yoga, walking, stretching, etc.) Simple Nutrition: eat real foods with simple ingredients drink simply: water, tea, coffee, juice (no energy drinks, sodas, store-bought protein drinks, etc.) And that's it. No pressure to "get it right," just the basics. I really need low-stress right now (or is low-impact a better word?). (edited to add the "drink simply" goal)
  2. We're going old-school this challenge. I am back on my game with 3+1 format, outlines, and checklists. In so many ways, I feel like I'm back where I started in 2012, and I'm taking my cues from the Universe about where my energy and focus needs to be: gym, healing, and my studies, just like my original challenges. Yep, everything else is still here and waiting: finances, legal stuff with my daughter, daily housework and life management. Here's the thing though: I don't care. I mean, I care enough and it will be dealt with as it arises, but it is not my focus, not anymore. I almost named this the IDGAF challenge. Still might. Tracking, because I like it, and it helps me stay present, centered in here and now, and also because I spend too much time on Twitter. Tracking my challenge is a much better way to engage with myself and my community. See something that you're doing too? If you want a daily accountability buddy, give me a shout. Nothing sophisticated and no shame, just simple "did you eat yet" or swimming emoji and reinforcement. Meages and I did this for sleep a million years ago, and it was fantastically helpful. Also, random #reasonsnottoquit, because I need them. Possible drop of random #HeidiKoan, because I need to remember them. Mind Maybe classes, maybe not. Figure that out. Read 1 book from the dissertation shelf each week .(Edited 8/3. There is no need for this structure or this focus. There are many things waiting, including the dissertation shelf. If I get to them, great. If other things are tugging at my sleeve, I'll deal with those.) Writing. I've fallen out of the daily writing habit and I need it back. Bonus: there's a fantastic bakery 3/4 mile away that I can walk to and then take over a table while I write. Body Eat Make something and eat it every day. Saturday vegetable pickup Weekly instacart for gap items and meatballs Wellness Wednesdays: Milk Acupuncture or Massage Everything after this is bonus, because I keep forgetting how deeply exhausted I am. The gym, daily. Anything below counts for bodywork. One star for going, because I'm not really motivated by stars, I'm motivated by results. Restore: sauna and hot tub and steam room. Daily weigh in Build: swim, weights, core exercises Walking. When I walk, I discover things. I don't know why, but it's true anyway. Back to that, preferably daily. For consideration: Flexibility: there's a free yoga class downtown twice a week, Monday evening and Friday morning. Friday was always my favorite. It would be neat to go again. Bonus: it's .75 mile away from the Loft, so walking is a real Possibility. Soul *Meditation. Five minutes? Fifty minutes? All good. Focusing more on #reasonsnottoquit and #HeidiKoans than on a formal practice. At some point I want to (re)consider (re)joining a T'ai Chi/ Qi Gong / Aikido class. This is not that challenge. *Sleep. I go back and forth on putting this at Body instead of Soul, but there's something going on with my Spirit that requires a lot of rest.
  3. Snow Falling on Warm Ground When I sit Let the thoughts come. Welcome them even! With an open heart, I can receive them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am work, Let the chaos come. Welcome it even! With a centered heart, I can embrace it Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am play, Let the obstacles come. Welcome them even! With a calm heart, I can resolve them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am in the world, Let the difficulties come. Welcome them even! With a full heart, I can release them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. This is a mindset challenge. My goals are about restoring my heart and spirit after a long and difficult dark night of the soul, one that feels as though it is finally beginning to recede. What I learned on my path through Hell is that I have no enemies; there is no fight. I am an agent of the Spirit. Simplicity: storage unit; monthly housekeeping; local food subscription for 2021. Peace: the path forward to togetherness with Vivian; continued thoughts and efforts with the boys; meditation. Integrity: the dance with the job*; begin doctoral classes Restore: acupuncture; massage therapy; milk and honey and yummy goodness; meditation. Initiative: paralegal for those facing eviction; research proposal for honesty project Teamwork: rely on my advocates, the attorney and TheTherapistsThree; maintain contact with my Jedi Council; the morning call; and the Forum Friendship.
  4. I'm keeping things really simple this challenge. I've had a problem with overthinking everything, making things too complicated, and then becoming overwhelmed by the complexity. So, the action plan is to simplify everything and stop getting in my head so much. 1. Jogging or rucking 3 times/week. I've spent too much time trying to come up with perfect workout circuits, and then the whole thing becomes so complicated that I end up not actually working out. So, instead, I'll be jogging. I still don't love jogging, but there's something appealingly simple about just firing up Zombies, Run, putting on music, and going. If I don't feel up to a run, then I can always toss 10 lb in a backpack for a nice walk. I also pass 4 sets of pull up bars on my jogging route, so I will intersperse 10+ pull ups into my jogging sessions. 2. Batch cooking: Rather than having to think each day about all of my meals and then feeling too lazy or overwhelmed to cook something, I'll make sure I always have plenty of healthy leftovers. The goal is that whenever I run out of or am too bored with my leftovers, I need to fire up the crock pot and make another batch meal within a day. 3. Piano: I still need to record songs, and I still tend to be too perfectionistic about everything. In order to relax a bit more about being a perfectionist, I'm going to post at least 3 piano videos before the challenge is over. It doesn't matter if the songs are a mess. I just have to post something. To be fair, I do need things to be fairly polished, but I also record my "real stuff" on Garage Band, and thus can fix minor mistakes. So, there's no reason to aim for 100% perfection on everything. 4. Procrastination stuff: I've been dragging my feet and coming up with every excuse not to finish a few things. And I need to stop. I have a list in my head of maybe 6 things that I have been failing to finish. By the end of the challenge, I will tackle and complete at least 3 of those tasks. 5. Cleaning: I need to clean more. But telling myself to just clean means it doesn't happen. In the spirit of keeping things simple, I will once again return to Flylady and just follow her plans, with substitutions if I don't find the daily task relevant for my house. I'll still hopefully get into the parkour gym a couple times over the course of the challenge. I'm in a bit of a holding pattern with the parkour, since the gym I prefer is temporarily closed (they're moving to a new location), and I just don't overly care for the other gym.
  5. Heidi

    Heidi: Bloom

    Bloom My challenges are usually about measuring what I am going to do, and that’s all good.But this time I’m doing something a little different -- I’m going to report on what I do.I’m not interested in giving myself grief or being all judgey -- I’m interested in seeing what I do that is on-target, a check-in to see where I am at the habit level. I have a suspicion that it’s lots higher than I am giving myself credit for.So this time around, I am celebrating my successes. I’m looking forward to seeing how I’m doing with physical and emotional wellness, educational balance, and financial fitness. (See what I did there? That’s a 3+1 old school formula.)
  6. Greetings. Although my last challenge attempt went relatively well, my goal keeping and tracking became inconsistent once school resumed. And even though last challenge, I said that I was trying to minimize the number of goals, I am going to try to take it even farther this time around. So, here it goes. Sleep I will sleep. By the end of the challenge, I want to be asleep by 10:30pm each night. I will taper bedtime in hopes of becoming consistent. Similarly, I will taper wake up times until I am able to wake up each day by 7am. This has been a goal of mine for years and, even though I experience a pretty significant physical response to a lack of sleep (seizures) and even though I worked as a sleep professional for nearly 10 years, I haven't been able to maintain a regular sleep schedule for more than a few months. I am hoping that this will be step one on my journey towards a year of rest. Diet I am going to reduce my fast food intake to 1x per week. I have gone several weeks in a row with no fast food, but then something happens and I end up eating all of the fast food. I want to eventually get to the point that I just do not eat fast food. Ever. Totally doable, but one step at a time. And that's it. I was going to limit it to just sleep and sleep will be my primary goal. Both diet and sleep are challenging goals as it requires so many things. To sleep, I need to have my work finished on time, I need to exercise earlier in the day, I need to limit eating and drinking caffeine later in the day, I need to wake up in the morning, I need to kick the dogs off of my bed if they are keeping me awake and sleep in the guest room if sleeping with others limits my sleep, and I need to stay asleep during the entire period of time. But when I get sleep, I have so much more energy, my mood is improved, and every thing seems so much easier. Also, no seizures. In terms of eating fast food, the greatest support I can give myself is limiting driving and eating before I leave the house. These things require planning, prepping at night, and waking up early in the morning. Plan to Maximize Chances of Success -I will go to sleep no matter what. If things are not completed, I will suffer those consequences instead of the consequences that result from not sleeping. I will, obviously, try to get all of the things done early enough so I do not have to make such choices, but just in case. -I will ask for support from my lady friend. It turns out that living with another person can influence your habits and routines. I do not know that I can do this without her support. Fortunately, she is an exceptionally supportive person. -I will try to take the bus to school to prevent opportunities for fast food eating, increase early exercise (adds 2 miles to walking each day), and provides an opportunity to do school work so I do not have to do it at home (and so doing work does not compete with sleep). Alright. That's it! Wish me luck!
  7. Keep It Simple, Stupid I can't remember what coach, teacher or professor I first heard this from, but it's my mantra for this challenge. I liked how my first challenge gave me a place to outline my goals and keep myself accountable. I want to keep up my training and nutrition, but my life is pretty chaotic at the moment, so I am going to keep my goals loose and simple. Training - Squat 2x per week & Bench 2x per week. I'll be doing accessory lifts and deadlifting when I can. Nutrition - Track meals 6/7 days per week and meet the following goals: 2700-3000 calories 200+ grams of protein 25-30% of my calories from fat Life Goals 1. Read The Art of Lifting & The Science of Lifting (2 ebooks) by Greg Nuckols and Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich 2. Stop biting my finger nails - I'll be taking weekly pictures for myself to track my progress. I'm dealing with a lot of anxiety right now and this is my number one nervous habit that I'm going to kick.
  8. She's back! Let's just say the Slayer has been dealing with some ramifications of old wounds. You survive a battle, you're golden, right? Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I've discovered over the past couple of weeks that just because a battle is over and a vamp is dead doesn't mean you're finished fighting. As it turns out, some wounds go farther than skin deep. Around a year ago, I finally slayed a Master that had been looming large over my life. It's only been recently that I've realized how much I'm still letting him affect me, so now, I have to intentionally work through getting back into my Slayer groove. So, naturally, time for a new 4-week challenge. Thanks for the support, rebels! Health goals: Get back into my morning routine. I was doing yoga every day for a while and I was feeling amazing. Then I stopped. My ultimate goal is to get back into doing it every day, but baby steps, right? I'm going back to working on doing yoga three times a week. Now that the weather's finally getting nicer, I want to some of them outside whenever possible, and in the morning, whenever possible. My days always go better that way. Take control of my eating habits. I did a Whole 30 and it was completely amazing. I felt awesome, I looked awesome, and I felt totally in control of my relationship with food. That has deteriorated significantly. I want to eat 10 Whole 30 compliant meals a week -- again, it's a baby step. I'm going to do another Whole 30 next month, but it's actually harder to do half in and half out! Work more movement into my days. A friend recently challenged me to a "Workweek Hustle" on Fitbit, and I'm realizing how few steps I'm getting. My goal on the app is 10,000 steps a day, but since I've been averaging closer to 5,000, I'm going to go in the middle and say 7,000 is my goal for the challenge. Oh, and hey, if you're on Fitbit, let me know and let's connect! Life goal: Remember that "fictional" guide I'm writing? I'm taking a step back from that, but I am working on an actual, practical guide to taking control of your life. I'm an obsessive reader of productivity and life development books and blogs, so I figured I should put all that knowledge to good use. My goal for this challenge is to get the guide finished and launched, and to get five people to buy it. Starting small so that I can go big later! I can't tell you how much I appreciate the support. Anything I can help with? Let me know! And I'll keep you updated with the ebook as I go! Keep kicking vampire ass!
  9. Poison Ivy Because this fits me... Friends wedding will be happening this challenge, have to finish the centerpieces for this I will be taking Zumba teacher training this month as well...that will be next challenge I start having classes Going to try and reach 10,000 steps per day, at least 6,000 minimum Will be doing yoga 2 days a week at work Will be doing one lesson a day, at least one unit a week till I get my class finished Keep it clean will be the theme of my eating, since I can't outrun my fork and it will keep everything from getting derailed...that is just a given, not an official part of the challenge Work is going to be crazy this month, I am taking on the cleaning of the Medical Office Building in addition to what I'm already responsible for, have to get staff in place and trained by mid-month. Changes coming in the kitchen again, trying to get it back on track and fully staffed so it's not a chaotic. I don't want to have to choose between working out and doing homework so I'm cutting way back till schoolwork is done...I have two months to finish this! My youngest will be here for a week mid-month (yay!) for spring break...this is the same week of the instructor class and wedding...nothing like getting it all done at once... I also want to try and keep up with my friends better on here, because I miss you guys!!
  10. I was extremely happy with my last challenge. Success in all areas. But, the days since then had been crappy. I know I shouldn’t blame others, but G** D*** how much I hate sugar right now…. All my newly formed habits have gone down the drain at a remarkable pace. I have binged and eaten sugar, and I haven’t meditated, rehabbed or read practically anything. WTF. This has to end. Now. This challenge will have another form than my previous one. I have recently read “The happiness trap†(great book btw) and in it there is an exercise where you find your values. What is a value? “Values are your heart’s deepest desires for how you want to behave as a human being. Values are not about what you want to get or achieve; they are about how you want to behave or act on an ongoing basis. “ I think I have found mine. Or at least some values . I have identified 5 values and after these six weeks, hopefully I will be closer to find out if these are “the ones†. Adventure Simplicity Mindfulness Wellness Growth/Wisdom I will focus on 1 of these every week, but have the others in mind as well. I will not track as much as I did last challenge, and I haven’t decided exactly what to do, but I think things will be clearer….. Will post a update on Sunday.
  11. After a unfortunate level of inactivity on my part with the rebellion I am creeping in the back door here a couple days after the challenge starts... I fell off the last challenge hard and haven't been back on the forums since :-(. My last post was on Jan 20...bleh. Life got ridiculously busy and I've been falling behind in just about everything: gym stuff, nutrition, socially, personal goals. Pretty much I'm just consumed by work lately but that's pretty okay by me ( my work life involves lots of personal development so at least we are moving forward) Here are my goals over the next 6 weeks: 1. Level Up my Lifting Why: My gym life has fallen off pretty bad. My lifts are stagnant, my progress is minimal, and those two things alone will prevent me from becoming a total badass (which is my destiny). So I am going to focus on getting back to basics. Goal: Lift 3 times per week - Squat, Deadlift, Bench, Overhead Press Here is my routine: Day A - Handstand, Front Squat, Bench, Rows, Pullups Day B - Handstand, Squat, OH Press, Pullups Day C - Handstand, Front Squat, Deadlift, Bench Not rocket science. Make it to the gym. Increase weight. Side note: I can't lift without eating healthy. My diet has been sub-par lately. Since I don't have an actual goal or method of measuring success for meal prep, this is my reminder that I need to eat healthy. Just make enough dinner each night to have a health lunch the next day and don't forget to keep food in the house (use Instacart when feeling incredibly lazy or busy) 2. Engrain new Routines into my Schedule Why: I'm on a mission to become a hyper-productive entrepreneur. In order to do so I need to have systems in place to that allow me to focus my energy on tasks that have the most impact without wasting much energy on the little things. So I'm testing this new routine into my life: Day Start: Morning Routine 16 oz Lemon Water Health - Delicious way to start the day. Lemon water is hydrating, gets your metabolism started, and sends a signal to my brain it's time to wake the fuck up Take Meds - Allergy Medicine keeps me from death Brush Teeth - Lovely Teeth 20 pushups - get the blood flowing Meditation - 10 minutes When I do this consistently my focus increases, energy increases, consciousness increases. Journal - reflect on day, week, emotions, life, thoughts, Make Coffee - So good Look Over - Monthly, Weekly and Daily MIT (Most Important Task) in Task Management Get to Work Knock out the First MITMorning Work: Creative/Makers Work - Sales/Marketing Lunch Break: Get away from all work. Read, eat, nap, whatever. Afternoon work: Administrative work - meetings, emails, Urgent/Important tasks Afternoon Break: Take a walk, gym, whatever Evening work or social time: get some more stuff done or clock out and see some friends. Or maybe see some friends while working...all things are possible Night Routine: Review Day Report on Habits Plan for next day Eat Dinner, Make Lunch for next day Brush Teeth Plan 3 MIT for Day Read/Journal 30 minutes Double Check Alarm Sleepy Time If this is super interesting to you by any chance I didn't make it up on my own. I totally stole it from a friend of mine. You can read all about it here. This guy is a badass. 3. Convert my Life into Digital format Why: For months I've been telling myself I have to find a new organizational system to keep track of everything. My ways of pen and paper just don't cut it anymore with everything that I have to keep up with on a day to day schedule. I found an answer using two pieces of software: Omnifocus and Evernote. (you can see a great example here). This will not be easy to integrate but if I work really hard I can get everything going in six weeks, so this is a perfect place to do this. And that's it. If I can finish out this challenge and do just these three things, my life will look dramatically different than it does now because I will be more focused, more organized, stronger, and better. Now it's time to do the work. And remember...
  12. CHALLENGE: FEB 23RD - APRIL 5TH Okay, so third times a charm people! This will be the third challenge I've started since joining NF. But as of yet I have never made it all the way to the end of the six weeks. Boooooo! But I am forever an optimist. And stubborn. Ridiculously stubborn. So here I am giving it another go. Because my main quest in life is to become a ninja. I want to be able to use the world as my playground, and I want my body to be my weapon. I just need to stop sabotaging myself!! With all that it would be silly of me not to realize that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result is the sign of insanity. And I am not crazy *shifty eyes* So, looking back on previous attempts I have come to three conclusions: I over complicate things I don't plan well I tend to dive head first and ask questions later. I have always been an extreme person by nature. I either have to go all in or not at all. Each challenge I have made it a little further each time. So I know I can do this. I just have to be smart about how I go about it. Challenge 1 I made it two weeks Challenge 2 I made it four weeks Challenge 3 will see me complete the full 6 weeks!!! GOALS This challenge my goals are simple, and focus around weekly targets not daily so that I don't set myself up for failure. If I have one bad day I can still make it up. My all or nothing attitude makes it hard to accept failure. The goals are also all based around habit building techniques because my previous challenges have all been railroaded by old, crappy habits. Crappy habits that have seen me over the past few years put on almost an extra 20kgs from when I finished university. NOT ANYMORE! Time to get back to basics. Starting small this time. So, here are my goals: 1. Track my food 5 days a week [+3 CON] A: 30 Days (+3)B: >25 Days (+2.5)C: >20 Days (+2)D: >15 Days (+1.5)E: <10 Days (Seriously? Did you even try)2. 70,000 steps a week (+4 STA) A: 420,000 (+3)B: >350,000 (+2.5)C: >280,000 (+2)D: >210,000 (+1.5)E: <140,000 (Seriously?)3. Bikram Yoga x2 a week (+3 DEX) A: 12 Classes (+2)B: >10 Classes (+1.5)C: >8 Classes (+1)D: >6 Days (+.5)E: <4 Days (Go home) RECRUIT MINI CHALLENGES Recruit Goal Week One-Smart Goals: +1 WIS (CHECK) Make goals that are: S = Specific M = Measurable A = Attainable/Achievable R = Realistic/Reasonable T = Timeouts Week 2 Mini - Making Friends +1 CHA (CHECK) Part 1 - Updating your signature Part 2: Join an accountability group Part 3: Support your fellow L1's WEEK 3 Mini - The Library +1 CON (CHECK) Part 1: Pinpoint the quest in your journey that is giving you the most uphill (or one that you're struggling to achieve) Part 2: Search through NF (forums or articles) to find one that is able to offer some assistance Part 3: Apply it to your challenge (no collecting underpants here). I am starting back at the beginning and rebuilding new foundations. Brick by brick, little by little. Side note: My lovely hubby in all his supportive wisdom bought me a Fitbit over the weekend so if anyone wants to add me and follow my progress my username is Jezarean. PM Me if you want to be friends LET'S DO THIS!!
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