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  1. I hope everyone had an awesome holiday. This was a tough one for me personally because it was our first without Papaw. But it ended up being drama-free, and I was surprised to find myself less concerned about gifts and money and instead enjoying time with family and friends. My challenge set-up this time may be edited later as ideas/problems/concerns arise. I plan to continue certain daily habits, such as early rising, prayer, getting outside/earthing/stretching in the morning, Bible study, etc. but they probably won't be mentioned in the challenge goals below. As promised, this challenge will be LOTR themed, focusing mostly on the book series (but with plenty of gifs, pics, vids, memes, etc. from all sources). Each goal is named after a poem/song from the Lord of the Rings book series. Quest 1: The Road Goes Ever On (Walking/Hiking) walk at least 10,000 steps per day at least one 30 minute mindful/adventure walk per day at least one 30 minute hike per week Quest 2: The Riddle of Strider (Strength/Fitness/Nutrition) at least 3 bodyweight/Spartan/HIIT style strength workouts per week at least 1 day per week of 4 all-out 80+ yard sprints (with 10 second rests between each) at least 2 5ks per week (aim for every Saturday and Wednesday) eat whole food/Paleo as often as possible (aim for 2/3 meals per day) intermittent fasting at least 5 days per week (not eating before 11:00am) drink at least 64oz of water per day every day Quest 3: I Sit Beside the Fire and Think (Meditation/Mindfulness/Study) meditate at least 20 minutes every day read at least 20 minutes every day (Bible and LOTR, of course) at least 1 outdoor ("beside the fire") meditation per week (Fri, Sat, or Sun?) at least one language session/lesson using Duolingo Quest 4: Song of Beren and Luthien (Love/Affection) at least 30 minutes uninterrupted time per day with my queen at least 1 "date night" per week with my queen (don't be picky about this; the key is to spend time alone together) speak the top love languages of my queen (acts of service, quality time, and words of affirmation) to bed with my queen every night, even if this means moving princess Arabella to another bed (see past challenges)
  2. First, some mood music: It's time to take it to the next level. Soulcon Team Juliet begins Monday, November 27th. I have been invited to join the Warrior Elite Challenge that starts at the end of January, so I need to be prepared. Below are the Soulcon Challenge Objectives: Pray the Lord's Prayer out loud, on your knees, every day No carbs after 3pm from grains and breads (sweet potatoes, vegetables, and berries are allowed) Track your caloric intake except on feast days Drink at least 64oz of water a day Exercise at least 30 minutes 5 days a week Run, walk or crawl two 5ks a week Before you leave home for the day do 40 pushups (or as many as you can) <---- I may be substituting burpees here. Sleep 6-8 hours a night (excluding feast days) Evangelism: Talk to at least 10 people you don't know about your faith There are also weekly physical challenges: Week 1: Test-In Week Max Push-ups in 2 minutes 2 min rest Max Sit-ups in 2 minutes 2 min rest Run, walk, or crawl a 5k (who crawls a 5k?) Make sure to record your 5k time, push-up, and sit-up count to challenge yourself on Week 6 Week 2: Max Week Monday: Push-up Day You have 24 hours to do as many push-ups as possible. Wednesday: Sit-up Day You have 24 hours to do as many sit-ups as possible. Friday: Bodyweight Squat Day You have 24 hours to do as many squats as possible. Week 3: Fast Week Have one fast day with at least one person on your team (this team consists of a Facebook group). On this day, you will drink only water and black coffee. Week 4: Hell Week This week you are limited to fruit, veggies (including sweet potatoes, not white potatoes), lean proteins, unsalted nuts, and protein powders (no milk added, only water). Also, no weight training this week, just daily push-ups and any bodyweight training you desire. Push yourself as hard as possible, and have a healthy competition with the guys on your team. You can keep track of: miles from jogging or walking miles from cycling miles on the elliptical Additionally, I have some personal goals and objectives that will supplement the ones above: Body: Spartan-style workout at least three days/week (bodyweight stuff, carrying buckets of rocks, tubs of water, etc.) Primal Body Reboot movements daily. Cold showers daily. Lift at least twice/week. Walk at least 10,000 steps/day Eat whole foods for at least two meals/day. No junk food for the duration of this challenge. Practice throwing knives at least once/week. Mind: Finish at least one book/week. Listen to at least one informative podcast/week. Read at least one scholarly article/week about any topic of choice. Heart: Hug and kiss wife and kids before leaving home for work. Call parents daily. Message or call at least one Soulcon brother daily. Greet people on campus when passing them. Soul: Study scripture using the SPACE method (to be explained in a later post). Pray throughout the day, either spoken or unspoken. Meditate daily; this could include WHM breathing or some variation. Spend at least 30 minutes/day in nature. So there it is. Very similar to past challenges, and I know it seems like a lot. But if you know me, you know it's not impossible. I need to be challenged again to push myself.
  3. I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things. This year is my year, and I'm going to complete as many of these four week challenges as possible. I can do it. I can, and I will. Goal 1: Declutter. I want my room to be a haven for myself, and at the moment I have too much stuff. I've divided it into sections, and for this challenge I'm focusing on the floor. I have two crates of stuff that I want to be gone so I can use the crates for different storage (Christmas stuff and craft stuff). If they're gone by the end of the challenge, it's a win. If I get my Christmas and/or craft stuff in one or both crates, it's extra credit. Goal 2: Yoga every day. I find a significant change in my mobility and joint health when I practice yoga regularly. I really find this is useful for my everyday life and my sanity. At least ten minutes of yoga every day. Goal 3: Eat a whole food based breakfast. Nutrition is the most difficult thing for me to change so I'm going to try to start the days well. Eggs and veggies, meat and veggies or a protein shake and veggies, and a green smoothie in the morning too if I can get my ass into gear. Goal 4: Get to the gym. My gym has a community building focus with lots of classes that are mostly high intensity aimed at losing fat. I want to eventually get back into lifting but for now I want to get back to the gym and start making more friends there. I want to go at least three times a week, and up to five, or work out at home three to five times a week. I have to have a caveat because I'm going to be away for the last week of the challenge. My main quest for this challenge is to lose 4% of my bodyweight, as I've also signed up for DietBet for this four weeks. I hope with my smart goals I can achieve this. I'll also be aiming to drink lots of water, get to sleep on time and write every day, as these are my goals for the year.
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