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  1. The creepy guy in the corner turned out to be a Ranger named Strider. He doesn't look like much, but he did save us from the Riders, so I guess I trust him. Bree has become too dangerous to linger; Strider has offered to lead us into the Wild in search of Gandalf. This challenge sort of falls at an awkward time, so I am going to divide my goals into 2 phases to match what real life will look like. I will basically be in survival mode because NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is coming! Health goals will be dialed back a bit, with more focus on self-care while I attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I will be including zero week both before and after the challenge to make a 7-week super challenge. Phase 1 (Preptober): Into the Wild: Move 30+ minutes a day. Each half hour counts as 1 mile traveled toward Weathertop. Movement can include really anything, and should probably include some deep cleaning before November. Second breakfast: Make ahead and freeze food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, etc to minimize food stress for November. I am not trying to prep 90 meals or anything, but 30 meals or so would be a good start. Write: Flesh out character profiles for antagonist and supporting characters; nail down Act 2 plot holes Phase 2 (NaNoWriMo November): Into the Wild: No change. Movement may shift to more outdoor activities to reduce stress/inspire. I don't expect to reach Weathertop. Midgewater Marsh is a practical goal. Second breakfast: While I will be continuing to keep an eye on my caloric intake using results from last challenge, in light of the stress of WriMo and the numerous birthdays, holidays, etc in this period, I have decided to turn back the dial a bit. I am bringing back the popular eat the rainbow challenge. Eat 10 servings of fruits/veggies per week. Write: 50,000 words in 30 days means I need to write as close to 1700 words per day as I can or 11,700 words per week. 🥵 Here we go!
  2. Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in. I return, considerably worse for wear, after a disastrous second half of 2021, ready to make 2022 my bitch co-exist peacefully with 2022. My circumstances have changed quite a bit since I was last here, I left my job and after some self-examination, a lot of tequila, and pointed counseling from the sainted @deftona, I have decided that I am not going to look for another career for some time, possibly ever. I have spent 53 years wrestling with late-stage capitalism, and other than caring for my mother (and my cats), I have decided to cut my responsibilities to the bone and prioritise having fun. So here are my goals for this challenge cycle, which will last 3 challenges/3 months (-ish), at which point I will re-evaluate my new hemp-wearing, sandal-footed, freewheeling lifestyle and see if I want to go back to being a corporate drone or if I can continue to make it, after all. hahaha who are we kidding, I expect to go completely fucking feral and never return to civilization. BURN YOUR NECKTIES AND JOIN ME. Anyway. On to the goals. *please note that this challenge is more about recovering from chronic workaholism and stress, not like counting macros and things, so it may be boring. Apologies in advance. Goal 1: Mornings in nature I don't currently use an alarm clock (my bed is next to an east facing window) but I'm going to set my alarm clock with some nature sounds to wake me up just before sunrise so I can have my coffee and meditation/quiet time as the sun rises. I like to do a quick 15-minute yoga routine in the mornings as well, and once the weather warms up a bit I'll do those things on my patio. Goal 2: Animal magnetism Spend 15 minutes daily playing with my older cat, who tends to get less attention because she's the aloof one. Do something for my wildlife garden daily, which can be as simple as filling the bird feeders or more complicated. I really want to build an owl nesting box this year and hang it in the woods right by the house so we can see the owls that live in the woods. Goal 3: IRL people Meet up with a friend once a week, and talk to at least two people, every day. When work went completely bananapants last summer I spent whole days locked in my office talking to no one, and I have a lot of social ground to make up. I missed the whole hot girl summer! UNACCEPTABLE. Goal 4: Rekindle my sense of wonder I want to get out at least once a week and do something that makes me feel like there is a world beyond spreadsheets and deadlines (not that I really have those anymore, but I'm still recovering). I have a small list of micro-adventures to start with that are all fairly local and low-cost and I will start doing those once a week. This past weekend I went to Savannah and did a bunch of hiking and mountain biking which was great.
  3. I decided to reset this challenge. It's Week 0 and I'm struggling. Not because the challenge itself was hard, and I plan on keeping on with those goals. But I think it put me in a negative mindset and you know, Week 0 was hard. I don't think the rest of the challenge will be as hard as week 0, but I'm already so very tired. So the previous goals are in the spoilers and are still relevant, but it's time to bring out a fresh piece of paper and make some new marks. Taking Charge of my Time: wrapping up each week on Friday mornings. Paying bills, answering emails, filing, and making notes of what I want to accomplish in the next week Silent time- I need time that is quiet. Living with a blind person, there is always noise in this house. Music, audiobooks, Mom and Dad talking, talking, talking. I need quiet time. That was the best part about working out in the yard. It was so quiet. I just need an hour of quiet for my brain to just rest from the constant stimulation. Time to work- I'd like to get all the exercise and chores done in the morning, and just focus on my illustration in the afternoons. I think that I'll work better if I have shorter days anyway. I got so much done in the yard and that was two hours a day. If I can do that with illustration for 4 hours a day, I think I can get a couple dummies done by the end of summer.
  4. Losing weight is boring and it’s not fun. It’s a lot more fun to read a book in bed until 1am while eating candy bars. I think to myself “If I just did these things, I could lose weight. So... We’ll see if I’m right 1. If I stopped eating after dinner. I eat snacks after dinner. Usually like another whole dinner’s worth of snacks. and those 1am candy bars? It’s one of my favorite things in life. But it’s so rotten for me. I eat too much, I have heartburn and have trouble sleeping, and then I wake up grouchy and sugar-hungover and sleep-deprived. So it’s so much more than just the calories, but damn, those calories. If I stopped eating, I’d cut calories dramatically without starving myself, and I’d sleep better. 2. If i just did the workout. I hate working out. It’s hard. I hate the feeling of my fat getting in the way of my body moving. I hate it! I hate how hard it is to breathe and that feeling of panic that “Oh shit, I’m gonna die right now” as I’m just trying to walk around the neighborhood. But working out will help me be stronger, and the more I do it, the easier it will be. And yeah. It’s boring as hell, but I don’t want to find out how exciting a heart attack is. 3. If I managed stress better We all know I suck at stress management. I mean. Y’all. I suck at stress management. I’m going to start with an hour every day just for myself. Where I turn my phone off, shut the door, and ignore the universe. It doesn’t matter what I do in that hour. Whether I’m working or relaxing, that hour is just for me and everyone else has to wait. Except for two days a week when I take four hours off to myself, and it’s best if they are in a row. It doesn’t have to be a weekend, it can be Wednesday and Thursday, but I need two days where I have an afternoon completely to myself to log off, shut the door, and recharge. My family is on board with this plan. So I am gonna do all these things for this challenge and report back in, and at the end of challenge I’ll get weighed and we can see how effective it is!
  5. Good morning! It's a new challenge! I'm so excited! YAY! Remember when you could click and drag to adjust the size of things you posted here? Ah, those were the days. So for this challenge, I'll be following the wisdom of Mr. Rogers and take my time when I do things. I tend to rush through everything, and when I can do things well and fast, that's perfectly okay, but when I'm making mistakes, am distracted, or can't really remember what's going on because I just muppet flailed my way through the day, then it's time to slow down. I'm going to focus especially on slowing down during meals, taking a deep breath before making decisions, and just allowing myself the time to get things done right. So the second part of this plan is to write down a master to-do list, pick a few items from that list and just get them done. Take my time, get it done. I think often I find myself rushing through many things because I'm overwhelmed with a sense of things needing to be done without having a direction. Having a list will allow me to focus on what I'm doing without getting distracted by "Oh no, I need to remember to do this!" For some big tasks that are easy to procrastinate, I'll choose them, set a deadline, and then get it done. And the final part of this challenge will be meditation. I didn't do this last time. When I did, I felt a lot better and in control of the day. Just to take some time, sit down and just breathe. Be at peace, calm myself and clear my mind. I'll do this in the mornings because as soon as I leave my bedroom, the day will be noisy and distracting, so I want to give myself an advantage from the start. tl,dr Stop rushing through tasks Make a list, get it done Meditate each morning
  6. My plan this time is to do sort of an anti-challenge. Externalizing my goals has not particularly been helpful as of late. I have many things I'm working on, but mostly right now I'm just trying to control my stress. The only goal from the last challenge that I actually hit successfully was taking a night for myself each week, but it's been so helpful that I'm going to keep it up. Other than that, I'm prepping for a tournament on 5/6 and our yearly public demo on 5/19, so lots of Kung Fu stuff in the near future. Also trying to hit a minimum of 10 workouts per month and log them in my work health program. I've been taking the dog on trail hikes each week and hitting the loop at my office for half-hour walks on top of my usual Kung Fu/Tai Chi nights. Also, I finished playing The Evil Within yesterday! The final episode won't go up for another several weeks, but at least I'm done playing it! Time to just keep on keepin' on. Hope the month goes well for everyone.
  7. “Fustercluck Noun A fucked up clusterfuck.” Sometimes you just have to embrace the bad situation and run with it. Enemy sets your legs on fire? Awesome, time to kick him in the head and knock seven shades of shit out of him. Sure, it’s gonna sting a little and your trousers will be pretty much ruined, but can your opponent stand against you and your fiery legs? Nope. Well, my legs are on fire and I’m ready to fight back. I have no solid plan and that’s why I’ve come back to the Rangers. This is not going to be peaceful, this is not going to be stress free, this is going to be erratic and stressful and ultimately rewarding. The situation is this: It’s three weeks and a day until I have to be out of this current flat. I have no permanent accommodation lined up. Except. I have applied for three additional flats after my last viewing trip, and according to the agent who showed me around I should know within a week whether or not I’ve been successful on any of them. We’ll say a week on Monday given that it’s a weekend. So my plan is to play the short game. One week segments, each week based entirely on how the last worked out. I’m giving myself a health meter [+-------------------] (currently sitting at 5%) A social meter [++------------------] (currently sitting at 10%) And a stress meter [++++++++++----------] (currently sitting at 50%) And hoping that the visual aid will provide even the tiniest kick up the ass. Do I know what counts as stress/health/social added or taken away? Nope. Just gonna wing it. Do I know what happens if I hit zero health/social or max stress? Nope. It probably won’t be a good thing. Do I know what happens if I max out health? Well, I’ll probably be happier. Do I know what happens if I max out social? Oversocialisation, most likely. Do I know what happens if my stress hits zero? ...it won’t, but we’ll see. And now for the important part. The goals. Or more accurately, my one goal: to undo the damage my intense stressing is doing to me. And that brings me to week one (which is technically 23rd-1st). My waiting period. I have only three guidelines: Sleep between the hours of 10pm and 7am (variable with morning shifts) Eat. Stress belly has made me lose my appetite and that has an impact on everything Socialise. Do not drift away. This is pretty much the only social outlet I have right now and I sorely need it (plus you guys are amazing and when I drift away I do miss you all) I’m taking each day as it comes, and when I have my answer about my applications I’ll know how to structure week number two, and so on and so forth. In case it isn’t blindingly obvious, this is me flailing. Normal service should resume next challenge…
  8. Simplicity 1. Get stuff done = work + earn (2 pts) 2. Sleep on time = in bed @11:30 (1 pt) 3. Hold back on spending = only needs (2 pts) = 5 pts / day 25 days total for 125 max points
  9. "But lonely, lost girls like us can rescue ourselves.: I've been obsessed with this show since it was first aired. If people in my life haven't heard of it, they better empty their bladder and strap in for eight hours of television, because it's gonna be marathon time. I picked this as a theme because it has a lot of really powerful messages, and a lot of really hard ones, too. Just Your Standard Magic Bean Contract I have to have important paperwork done by February 16th of this month. I intend to do one piece a day of all this week, starting 2/1. Next Monday, 2/8, the forms will be complete and ready to be notarized. I will make copies that afternoon and deliver them, along with all registry and receipt copies. After it's in, we will work on taxes, which will need to be accounted for but can be added onto the forms when complete. +2 WIS After the 16th, I will have a new project. +2 WIS Go for Walkies! When one of your party members starts out as a dog, well...you do what you have to do. 25 minutes on the treadmill with alternating days. When that same dog gets gold-plated, suddenly, you're hauling a lot of weight. 2 sets of gallon rows, walking lunges, and squats on alternating days. +2 END/STR possible. Love is to Eat Anything Fluffy! Wolf has a troubled relationship with food. I feel that, Wolf. I do. While he wants to gorge on shepherdess and warm milk, I want to eat all the carbs and lots of juice, too. I need to eat more natural/keto than I have been. I blame my bad habits on being unemployed and depressed. My troubled relationship with food sometimes means that even if there is food in the house that I like, I resist eating, until I make myself sick. I need to not do that. The aim here is to eat natural/keto 2x a day. If that means I'm back to protein shakes at breakfast and eggs for dinner, that's still a positive. +4 CON Visit the Kissing Town With Valentine's falling during this challenge, I thought it would be fun to include this. Ifrit has been a near saint during the last few months, supporting me and lifting me up. I'd like for us to either get out of the house or do something planned once a week (even if that means sitting down and catching up on Netflix, so long as it's an active choice.). We're planing on seeing a movie next Friday, to start. After that, I'll try to come up with things ahead of time. His schedule is quite firmly on graves, and mine is up in the air. This goal will be edited to reflect any time available.
  10. Well I'm a few days late to the party thanks to a giant city-closing snow storm and a whole slew of medical non-sense, but I'm here. This challenge is not going to be a normal challenge for me. I absolutely just need to focus on stress management and deal with whatever is thrown at me over the next few weeks. Even if things turn out best case scenario, I will have a lot going on, and self care is going to be very important. STAY SANE: Get my diet in order. I lost 5 lbs last challenge and I'd like to keep that momentum going. But let's be honest here - i don't eat when I'm stressed. Not "I don't eat well," just, I don't eat. So I'm going to focus on trying to keep my diet as healthy and normal as possible, while actually making a conscious effort to keep eating. - Eat! - Make good food choices - Don't eat crap I didn't bring to work (occasional popcorn allowed if I'm not eating enough) Strength Train Regularly. I feel better when I work out. I am going to be making up time at work from medical appointments and this massive snow storm. But I need to make an effort to stay active. - Exercise! Aiming for any kind, 2x a week. Preferably weight lifting Work on Decluttering My House. I made some good progress on decluttering last challenge. My kitchen is looking a million times better. I still have some areas that need work in there, as well as most of the rest of the house (eep!). Decluttering is something that takes my mind off stress and brings me peace. I need to keep it up in some form, even while dealing with life. - Get rid of something significant and measureable every week! MOTIVATION "You're going to go through touch times - that's life. But I say, 'Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.' See the positive in negative events." "Be strong when you are weak, brave when you are scared, and humble when you are victorious" PROGRESS
  11. Back in the Druids for this challenge, to focus on stress management and life balance. I usually do a storytelling aspect to my challenge, but because I will be doing a lot of writing for NaNoWriMo, I am going to take a break from Jym's story for this one. It feels more like a chore than a game for now. I'm going to try the "Combo Style" of challenge this time, as invented by Luciana Valerosa Culming. I'm actually modifying it a little bit to work better for myself. Since I'm seeking balance, it seemed like a really great way to make sure I'm doing all the things I need to, without being overwhelmed! As all of my challenges are, at their core, this is a habit-building challenge. The main focus is on what I'm calling "skillful actions" - habits that I do for their own sake (enjoyment of doing them), but that will also help me get closer to long-term goals. These are Meditation, Drawing (preferably every day, but less during NaNo), and Working Out with Will (3x per week). I also have some "keystone habits" that, while not necessarily fun to do, are things that I know will really help me to reach my goals and be more productive. These are Waking Up Without Snoozing, Counting Calories, and my Bedtime Ritual. I have a long list of other things that need to be accomplished (or done repeatedly, in some cases) that will fill out my list. Finally, I found it useful to have a list of things that I need to do at least once a week, to avoid letting them slip for too long. In keeping with the fighting game theme, I will call the combo that includes the last of these items for the week a "finishing move". How to score: Each day has the potential for a single "combo", the power of which is determined by how complicated the combo is. More things completed makes a stronger combo, but a broader variety of things accomplished is stronger than several of one type of move. Various "enemies" need to be defeated by a certain number of combos, or by certain types of combos. The enemies have a time constraint to defeat them in (usually 1 week), and if they are not defeated by then, I lose the round and must move on to the next enemy. The number of slain foes by the end of the challenge will determine my score. Combo lists: 5 or more moves combined make a combo. A combo is required to break the enemy's shield; otherwise, moves only do half damage. (So 4 moves would do 2 damage.) There are multipliers for diversity: Combine 2 lists: 1.2x multiplier Combine 3 lists: 1.3x multiplier Combine 4 lists: 1.4x multiplier Combine 5 lists: 1.5x multiplier Combine 6 lists: 1.6x multiplier Combine 7 lists: 1.7x multiplier Combine 8 lists: PERFECT COMBO! 2x multiplier! Example: A+B+Y+Y+Special 5 moves, utilizing 4 lists, is 5 x 1.4 = 7 total damage. If I also earned my 4th star for the week on that day, it would be 14 damage!! Special Moves (consider each to be its own 'list'): x Counting Calories x Bedtime Ritual (by 10:00pm) x Wake Without Snoozing x Socialization List A: Housework o Organize/Minimize an area o Vaccuum o Get Groceries o Take out Trash o Cat Care (trim nails, etc) o (Other) List B: Creativity o NaNoWriMo (1666+ words in a day) o Draw something o Scan drawings o Update Art Blogs o (Other) List X: Self-Care o Meditation o Playing Video Games o Reading for Fun o Relaxation o Watching TV with Will o Baking o (Other) List Y: Exercise and Health o Working out with William. (3x per week) o Going for a Walk o Resisting Fast Food (actively choosing not to get any) o Made Dinner o Drank 16+ cups of liquid o (Other) Finishing Moves: (A star () is earned for each of these done during a week; once 4 stars are earned, the day's combo is a FINISHING MOVE that multiplies the total combo by 2! Failing to earn 4 stars in the week resets the counter to 0 for the next week.) 1) Run dish machine and EMPTY IT. (Both parts are necessary to count as a complete move.) 2) Clean litter box 3) Do something special for spouse (date night, etc) 4) Submit time sheet (because I keep forgetting to do this and annoying the financial department.) Trophies: Tutorial Slime Christmas Slime Corporate Zombie Procrastination Demon #1 Victors: Procrastination Demon #2 Writer's Clock
  12. Challenge 15 My goal this challenge is to have a positive attitude, no matter what. I expect there to be quite a bit of WHAT! and *&%$@#%^&^!!!! this challenge. Today started off with proof I am right. I am making smoothies for breakfast on days my partner and I both work early. (I always work 8-5, he is not a morning person). This time I went to use the frozen strawberries to make space in the freezer and save time not cutting up fresh berries. Bad move. The strawberries went from mostly stuck together to one big lump when I added liquid. The blender made bad noises and stopped moving. Poking with a spatula did not help. Rather than getting upset, I considered how I could turn a lumpy mess of frozen fruit, yogurt, milk and protein powder into something edible. I did not have time to let it sit and thaw. So I transferred it to a fridge container to deal with tomorrow. I put together a new smoothie with fresh fruit. The blender still did not work [damn! It belonged to my grandmother and is probably more than 50 years old! How dare it break down!]. So I transferred the mix to my Cuisinart. After all, the spatula was already full of smoothie. That worked. So I got to work having had my breakfast in the car. Good thing I was fortified because my early start person told me that one of the team had called in with a sick kid. We are already desperately short this week with three open positions, one person on maternity leave, one in training and two on vacation today. With one more out we are at less than half staff. At this point we are already in over our heads. All we can do is swim faster. So I redid the schedule and gave the two senior people an extra hour each. I already had an extra hour. I also plan to stay late to help my late shift person from 5:00-5:30. I was busy helping a customer until 20 minutes into my lunch hour. I decided that I would be better off taking the rest of the hour to take a quick walk and eat lunch rather than try to do half my scheduled workout. I am planning on going to aikido this evening. Better to work harder over lunch than to get behind and miss practice again. Observations (what I learned in my previous challenges) Food: I eat treats when I am feeling stressed.Eating too many treats makes me gain weightI have been stalled at my current weight for the last year.The only way I am going to lose the next 5 lbs is to put all my skills to use:Get enough sleepCook healthy food ahead of timeMake good choices on how I spend my timeMeditation helps me let go of stress and see more optionsTell myself positive stories about coping with difficult things (it is only stress if I make it stress) Exercise: My knees are vastly happier when I do PT exercises on a weekly basisTaking fish oil also seems to helpDoing aikido makes me a much happier personI could use more cardio and endurance training, but that can wait.Life goals: Give myself credit for getting things done and not beat myself up for the things I decide not to make fit. Take full responsibility for my choices. Fun time is important. Probably more important than checking off items on my to-do list. I can survive my work being busier than it has been in years and come out of the next six weeks healthier and happier.
  13. Challenge 14 Over the last few weeks I have noticed several things that make me go “Hmmmmmmâ€. Some are obvious and others may take more work. Let's start with the painfully obvious. Three to six months ago my knees did not hurt. I danced without problems at a ball in January and another one in March. In the last couple months my knees have reverted to their previous cranky state. What does the evidence show? [#1 – keeping a log is valuable] Knee PT exercise sessions September 10 October 12 November 8 December 9 January 9 February 11 March 8 April 7 May 5 I started slacking off when my knees were feeling good. I know better, but I let other things take precedence. Goal: Get through the whole PT series (14 exercises = 2 hours + stretching) at least once a week. The next thing to do on open days is shoulder PT which includes a lot of core exercises. If I am good about getting back to speed with these, I will add in upper body work again. The last time I did pushups was at the end of April. <bows head in shame> + 5 STR + 3 DEX The next set of clues are clear but there is more than one suspect. I am showing signs of stress. Clues include sleeping poorly, lack of focus, no interest in creative activities, playing a lot of sudoku (totally risk-free gaming anyone?) and nervous habits. Some of the stress is real and some is self-inflicted. I could buy more salads and do less cleaning and the world would not end. I like my cooking but in reality there are lots of other options. Just because I want to do a thing does not mean I need to do it. Looking at the real side first, work is going to be extremely busy over the next two months. The challenge starts with my team of 15 down by two – one left and one out on maternity leave. Another person is leaving after this week and a fourth person will be leaving the first week of July. On the good side, we already have a list of promising candidates to interview. The best case scenario is that we like the people coming for in-person interviews next week AND get permission to fill both newly vacated positions. That permission may be slow in coming. Under the best case we have new people starting training the beginning of July. That means another person will be doing training instead of regular work most of the time for three weeks. (Spread across the team, not actually a single person). So we will be down by a third. Plus people out for vacations. Chances are good that I will be putting in extra hours and dealing with more challenging customer situations every week. Goals: - Use non-food rewards to be nice to myself. Go soak in the hot tub after work if I am tense. Buy cafeteria food to save time. Listen to music when I am working on projects.- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep = slack. I will cope with stress much better when I am rested. This means going to bed on time. - Meditate. Meditation time may be the only time in the day when I am not planning or doing something. Make this a priority. - Practice aikido. Nothing is as good for blowing off stress as flinging people around the room. Fantasy-induced stress: I have visions of a perfect house and garden. Of me having plenty of time to read, make things and play music. Under other circumstances this might be inspirational. Right now I need to remove all emotional weight from these dreams. Goal: Choose things to do on a daily basis adjusting for reality as needed. Ask “will doing this make me happier?†Cleaning the slime out of the crisper is not a fun job, but having it done will indeed make me happier. Going out with my family or friends will make me feel better - the dishes can wait.Take time to do fun things anyway. There will be days when it feels like all I do from morning to night is be responsible (Wednesdays, I'm looking at you). Give myself permission to do fun things in between all the work.+ 5 WIS + 2 CON
  14. Name: Hammlin "Hammi" Race: Wood Elf | Class: Footpath Ranger Leader Level: 19 (STR):44.25 (DEX):41.25 (STA):32 (CON):31.25 (WIS):31.5 (CHA):27.25 Motivation: The last 6 week challenge for me kind of ended abruptly in the beginning of January. I was feeling weak all the time, exhausted, and just not myself. I felt like my depression was kicking in, and like all the dark from daylight savings time was sucking the life out of me. Turns out, after nearly 2 years of trying, I'm pregnant. And exhausted. So this challenge, is devoted to moving more and staying healthy so that the Bacon Bit is growing inside me grows and grows and becomes healthy and strong! Main Quest: Be Healthy for Bacon Bits (baby) (Feb 23 - Apr 5) Missions: 1. Walk. Every day. 5,000 steps. This isn't a ton, considering I am a hiker, but with my energy level being slim to none, even with a B vitamin, 5k is a big deal for me. 2. Water. Drinking more, my doctor wants me drinking 4+ of my water bottle a day. 3. Nutrition. I don't have cravings or morning sickness, thank God, but I do have some slight aversions. I am trying to be more mindful about getting enough good food and am trying to avoid the glutens. Life Quest: 4. Stress Management. I need to stay even keeled and not let little things get to me. Going to explore yoga and meditation with Mr. Ham, to see what works best for me. I won't be tracking or grading myself. I just need to be mindful and focused right now. I don't need one more thing to do or feel bad about, if I forget. Bonus: - I recently made it onto the Safety Team. Yay!
  15. So this is my first challenge for a few months now, and my first challenge with the Druids. I came to a point where I decided I need to work on exercising my mind at least as much as my body (perhaps more). I've noticed a definite decline in my mental resiliency, my ability to cope with stress and continue to be effective in my life. This is a liability, as I have two rather stressful (though rewarding) purposes in my life: being a parent, and what I do for a living. Goal 1 - Meditation: The plan here is to establish a habit of making time for meditation. Start small, and then hopefully expand to something greater. I will start with taking the time to meditate a minimum of twice per week. By the end of the challenge, I would like this to be at least four times per week. I'm not going to worry too much about how long each meditation session is at this point. Perhaps this will be a specific goal in a future challenge. Goal 2 - Expand knowledge base: I've started a number of books on mindfulness and meditation, but haven't read any of them in their entirety. The plan is to finally read one from start to finish. I've chosen Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki, mainly because I own a copy, and what little bit I have read has been rather enjoyable. - Update: I have instead selected Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana as my read for this challenge. After doing a little research, this book appears to be more directly related to my goal....understanding some basic "nuts and bolts" of mindfulness, without any of the mystical stuff. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind can come later. Goal 3 - Keep up the hard work: This is the somewhat non-druid part. Despite being away from Nerd Fitness for a few months, I have kept up most of the good fitness habits I established (or at least replaced some with new ones). This goal simply relates to keeping it up. I've decided to classify the the routines I do into two categories: focus and physical. - Focus: These are the workouts that I feel are more mind over matter. Yoga comes to mind as the one I do most often right now. However, I would also consider archery, which I tend to practice more in the warmer months, as a very focus-oriented workout. The plan here is to do two focus related routines per week. - Physical: These are the workouts that make me sweat. Boxing is the one I am most interested in right now. I do boxing workouts at home (I have a heavy bag in the basement) and at a local gym. I also like to run and cross country ski, but haven't done much of either lately. Running has been hard on me in the cold weather, as I tend to become sick for a day or two if I run more than two miles, and I haven't been able to bring myself to run indoors (on treadmills) as of yet. I'd love to be out skiing, but we haven't had decent snow since November, so that is on hold indefinitely. So boxing has been my go to workout. It's intense, and it's indoors. The plan is to keep up at least two physical related routines per week. Bonus: I've seen some use going to bed at a decent time as a bonus goal, and I think I'll borrow that idea. Plan is to go to bed no later than 10:30 PM each night.
  16. Another new challenge, another fresh start! And speaking of fresh starts, I am starting a new job one week from today! I am very excited, but also quite nervous, as I know it is going to be a huge change from what I'm used to, and I will have so much to learn. That, combined with the inherent stresses of the holiday season, mean that I really need to keep my mental state managed, and not resort to eating and drinking my stresses away (especially since it's not so much "away" as it is "later"). GOAL ONE: Eat like a reasonable human being who is perfectly aware of what foods don't agree with her. Because I am that thing I said. I am going to stick with the same metrics goal I had last time, because I really do feel best when I eat like that. I really, really, really need to remind wheat that he is not welcome also, because I know eating it makes me feel crappy, but I do it anyways. And particularly as the holiday baking starts appearing everywhere, I could use a little extra self-control - I don't even LIKE cookies... I just like Christmas, and somehow that translates into eating cookies. And whatnot. 1. Eat less than 120 grams of carbs per day 2. Eat 80 grams or more of protein per day 3. Don't eat any wheat! (Not going to stress about small amounts, like in sauces and stuff, but no bread or baking.) 1 point per item per day = 21 possible points per week. A : 120pts+ B : 105pts+ C : 90pts+ D : 75pts+ F : <75pts GOAL TWO: Yoga, yoga, yoga! Simple. Do a minimum of 15 minutes of yoga. Every single day. For scoring purposes, I'll give myself one day off per week, but still aiming for 7. Self-guided, use a video, go to a drop-in class, whatever. A: 35pts+ B : 30pts+ C : 25pts+ D : 20pts+ F : <20pts GOAL THREE: Prepare outfit and lunch for work the night before. This will both help keep my meals on track, and reduce the stress that is a hectic morning. 2 possible points per work day. A: 55pts+ B : 50pts+ C : 45pts+ D : 40pts+ F : <40pts GOAL FOUR: As usual, I am going to try to make as many Christmas gifts as possible. I have had the horrid realization that this means I will have to make a minimum of 3 gifts per week if I'm going to get through my list! Time to get started... A : 18 gifts B : 15 gifts C : 12 gifts D : 9 gifts F : <9 gifts So there we have it. A challenge which will (hopefully) keep me on track, calm, cool and not a crazy person. Let's do it!
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