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  1. Howdy! Kishi here. It's the start of a new challenge, and I really only have one goal: show up here. I'm sure I could really put together a bunch of stuff for a challenge thread, but truthfully, everything's kind of set as well as I can expect it to be for now. A lot of life at this point is really just about showing up and doing the work. But that part's easy. The hard part's showing up here. And while I'd be the first to say that challenges are "done" rather than "talked about," at the end of the day, I'm still part of a community. I don't feel like I've engaged enough for my own sake, and I'd like to change that. Now, it might sound too easy and too self-serving to set up a "show up and blog" challenge for myself, but the thing is, y'all are awesome, and being here reminds me of that. It pushes me to show up for others, and I'd hate to put a number on something like that and turn it into an obligation. So, with that being said: GOAL: 1/4 I had a bjj tournament this past Saturday. Not my first. Best showing, though: 1 round, 1:33. Yeah, it's not great. But the odds say that most of us what show up to do this have to lose, so it's not like I was unusual or something. Also, my dad showed up to watch, and while I hated losing in front of him, I actually felt overall positive on account of being able to explain what I did and how I lost. Sunday I went to open mat with video of my failure. They were cool about it and they've since decided to make me their pet project by fixing my two deficit areas - takedowns and pressure response. Which means I'm going to get chucked around like a ragdoll and have the life crushed out of me for the next x amount of weeks until I have demonstrated sufficient improvement. But honestly? It's damn decent of my friends to want to help me get better at something I care a lot about, and I really appreciate them for it. So, I'm going to keep working on these places and we'll see what happens. FWIW, I've reaped benefits almost immediately. Beyond that, the past few days have been relatively inconvenient, but not eventful per se. Landlord's putting new siding on the apartment and the contractors knocked out our Internet. So that took a couple of days to deal with. Had to go to the office on my out days (booooooo) but my boss decided to let me count Monday and Tuesday as my two days in and to work the rest of the week from home (YUSSS). Meditation and breathing have been good. Haven't been about my writing so much as I'd like, which is a shame because I'm at a really exciting part in the plan. I have a crazy notion that I could finish my plan in time to NaNo this thing in a couple months, which would be fun. You know, have an actual project to do instead of farting around and proving to myself again that I'm a writer. And, uh, yeah. I'll get around to y'all as I can. Because
  2. So, I’ve tried a lot of things and tried to develop habits. Sometimes it seems like none of my attempts have worked. But the fatigue is somewhat under control at the moment (for reasons I don’t even understand—maybe the pacing and improvements in sleep?), I currently have nothing much in the way of depression, and I have also created some breathing space for myself by limiting my internet use. I seem to have trouble creating (good) habits. The usual recommendation is to start with small steps, but for me this is not rewarding enough to be reinforcing. And because I am mostly out of work, the sheer amount of time I have to fill is overwhelming and encourages bad habits. So I want to try a routine that is designed to create larger blocks in which I can accomplish flow states, which is also what Hari recommended as the antidote to distraction addiction in his book Stolen Focus. Recently, apart from a few days off, I’ve been doing two hours of art per day. I have experienced flow states, and it’s most definitely the direction I want to be going in. I want to add two hours of writing in the afternoons, which are otherwise empty. I’ve also filled in the rest of the schedule with things like journalling, meditation, meal planning and grocery shopping, gym, chores, etc. It should stay flexible—I may be required to do other things. But I should try not to take off more than one day in a row, because when you put two indolent days together, they breed with ironic industry and birth resistance, distraction, fear, and further indolence. Lastly, I am feeling humiliated by my terrible German listening skills, which for some reason didn’t improve as much as I wanted just by reading German (?!?). So I’m going to listen to something German (podcast, audiobook) in the afternoon for 30-60 minutes. Knitting encouraged. !!!WARPLAN!!! Art (10am-12pm) Writing (2-4pm) Doitsh (4-5pm) Have at thee!!!!!
  3. Hi. I'm Stronkey Kong. I've been on NF for 9 years now. I am still fat big. I will probably always be big... but I think I can choose what kind of big I am. I tried a bit of running this summer... it didn't really work out. Walking was good, but I kept hurt my calf the more I tried to run. I'm just too heavy for my leg muscles at the moment. I need to get some daily cardio in though. I am actually 290 lbs. right now. I'd be freaking out a little bit, but I've been lifting weights and following Greyskull LP. I shot up about 5-10 lbs since I started that. I haven't really changed the way I've been eating, as far as I can tell, so I'm thinking it's because of 'da pump.' My muscles should be retaining more glycogen and water at they repair and grow. For a variety of reasons, I've been eating a mostly vegan or 'bad vegan' diet. That is, mostly plants and almost no meat or dairy, though, I let myself indulge in cravings a couple times a week, and don't nitpick minor animal based ingredients... hence 'bad vegan.' Most of the time it's because I didn't prep, and I went for convenient options. It's hard to go over on calories when I plan ahead and keep it healthy, but when I get lost in the mid-week chaos, and/or have available junk food, I can go off the rails and undo any calorie deficits fast. I've also been spending a lot of time thinking about the next move(s) in my career. I have a good, well paying job, and am staged to be out of (extraneous) debt within 3 years. Though I still need to work about 45 hours/week on average to meet those goals. And, when that 3 years is up, I want to be moving on to something new. Preferably something where I can be my own boss, and do something creative... don't we all... I've been thinking a lot about writing again, or failing that web development... but since I prefer writing and have three years to go, I might as well see if I can start getting words down and get a novel out. Goals: Daily Cardio -- walking, stationary bike, heavy bag, jogging (if/when that becomes possible) GreySkull LP -- stick to the program ( 'plug-ins' optional) Bad Vegan Meal Prep -- buy/prep meals for the work week and avoid snack/junk food Write a Novel -- Write daily I have everything I need in order to get these goals done. Including a power cage and workout buddy: I also live near a bike path for walking/biking/jogging. I have the stat. bike in the living room, and a heavy bag in the basement. Meal prep just takes some time on Sunday, and organized grocery shopping. All I need to write is a computer, a desk, and some time. That is a lot, though, and as I mentioned I work 45 hours a week -- Noon-10 pm (ish) M-R, Noon-(as late as 8pm) F How will I do it all? Get organized and follow through with my plans. Plans: Daily Cardio -- first thing in the morning (fasted even) (about 10 am) GreySkull LP -- Lift M, W, F, every evening when I get home from work. T,R are for stretching and ab work. Sunday is rest. Bad Vegan Meal Prep -- Get a hold of that vegan casserole recipe list and make one every Sunday. Make a grocery list every week and stick to it. Meal prep every Sunday. Write a Novel -- Write every evening from 1-2 am. Sit at the computer, open my novel, and type away. (not sure which novel yet ) Preliminary stuff: Yes, I saw the mini-challenge... I'll be doing the walking, but I saw some things posted about other stuff involving posting things somewhere, and was like meh, I'm not gonna bother. On Wed. Sept 13, I'm taking the day off of work to attend an online writing class with my local writing center (meet some local writers, connect, get advice). After that I will definitely be hacking away at writing and tracking word count. Until then I'll mostly be plotting, outlining, and sketching scenes. Reviewing old material. Etc. But I'm gonna put an hour or so into that every night until the class. The following weekend, Fri-Sun, I'm going up to Wisconsin to visit friends, eat cheese, and drink beer. So I'll miss those days on the schedule but whatever. It's fine. After that weekend, I will be back on the mostly straight and mostly narrow path of walking, lifting, eating plants, and writing.
  4. Well, howdy there, folks! I'm Kishi, an inconveniently itinerant monk. Good to see you again or for the first time, as it applies. I was scrolling through Facebook one night and I came across a piece about Felipe Costa, who's a BJJ black belt of some renown. I read something that struck me: apparently, he was a competitor who never won a "major" tournament up until he hit his black belt. I was struck by that - black belt takes a long time to get in this art, and to go that long and fight that hard without getting anywhere... well, maybe that sounds crazy, but I found some inspiration in that. Like a release from pressure. So when the word came down that there was a tournament up in September, I took 20 seconds of courage and applied for it. (and then thought about how, just because he didn't win a "major" tournament didn't mean he didn't win a "minor" tournament, or didn't medal or otherwise outperform a lot of people that I might not necessarily do, but we're past that point now). Now, you might think that I was getting ready to do a lot of crazy shit for training to get ready for this thing. I will be doing no such thing. For one thing, the new demands on the body would detract from training for the tournament. And for another, the last time I went out for tournament, I didn't even make it past the first fights in my divisions. I have no reason to believe that any particularly exotic training will get me where I need to go. Instead, I want to focus on my mind. Because I know that's where I tend to fail the most. The tournament's going to present a twofold problem - one, the weight of public performance, and two, my lack of intelligent aggression. The second of these is actually going to be easier to deal with than the first. Knowing that it's something to work on, I've gone out and rolled and started fighting better, at least with folk around my weight class who are similarly skilled. That can fly out the window at any time for a bunch of reasons, but the general trend is better and I believe it will only improve with practice. That means dealing more with the first. Which is more of a mindset confidence thing than anything else. I've picked up some resources about that which I'll be studying over the course of the next five weeks leading up, but it doesn't track neatly onto the challenge, and I'd rather it have room/time to work and be effective. But there is a challengeable way to approach this too: Goal 1: Meditation Keep that up. My blood pressure's gone way down thanks to this and I want to keep that going. Anything goes; regular practice is 10 minutes, but if I can only manage a few deep breaths before sleep, that's okay too. Ideally, I'd carve out another minute, just because I want to. Goal 2: WHM Breathing helps. Keep doing that. Goal 3: Writing Writing also helps. I'm not going to journal or anything so much as just keep showing up to write. Participation in any part of that process sets my mind at ease, and I want that. Beyond that, my training isn't going to change much. I've added a third day of skipping rope, but that's only for a minute. Not a lot of conditioning yet; this is going to be about building my connective tissues instead. I've also added suitcase and farmer's carries specifically to help with my lower back. This is a method that is apparently endorsed by Dr. John Rusin, who I'm inclined to trust given @Shotokan's past endorsement. I've also adjusted my stretching regimen to be a bit more challenging, which is helping me feel better. I'll also be going for the bamboo brush after all, but even then, I'm not going to be doing that much in terms of qigong this time. I'll be working on the first movement of that routine, but that shouldn't really constitute a strenuous load on top of the other stuff. I guess if I wanted to, I could make a fourth goal of sticking to my training and not changing anything, because that would be the hard part, but this mix honestly feels dialed in enough that I'm not going to have a compliance issue. Anyway. T-minus a few days until the challenge. Let's go to work.
  5. Vetinari sighed, and put down his pen. "Drumknott," he called towards the outer chamber. The clerk entered noiselessly. "Yes, my lord?" he said. The Patrician waved at the papers on his desk. "Take these away. I'm..." He trailed off, and rubbed his goatee distractedly. Drumknott cleared his throat. "Bored, sir?" He gathered up the papers on the desk into a neat sheaf. "One does not get bored of ruling a city like Ankh-Morpork, Drumknott," said Vetinari in a tone that would, in other men, be described as slightly peevish. No one ever described the patrician of Ankh-Morpork as peevish. At least, not if they valued a scorpion-free existence on the outside of the dungeon walls. It was, however, the time of year when a certain... restlessness set in. It was the same every May. One would have to be fairly close to the Patrician to notice this shift in mood, and that was precisely where most people strove not to be. Drumknott noticed. "I have taken the liberty, my lord," said Drumknott. He placed a thin file folder in front of Vetinari, and carefully squared it up. "I thought one of these might amuse." Vetinari opened the folder. He flipped past the first sheet, plucked out the second sheet for further perusal, then the third, flipped past the fourth, and paused on the fifth. "Interesting," he said. "She has been away quite some time, has she not?" "Indeed, sir," said Drumknott. "I understand she will be reporting back to work soon. The Dark Clerks have cleared a desk for her. Do you wish to send down an assignment?" "Oh, I think we should have a very special assignment waiting for Sara Kingdom," said Vetinari. He smiled thinly. A Challynge yn Foure Partes Parte I: Clerking "As a wizard, I must tell you, Havelock, that words have power." "As a politician, I must tell you I already know." I'm reading two books that talk about writing as a mental transformation habit, which I was surprised to find, cuz I've been toying with the idea of "write it down or it didn't happen" as a core principle of thinking through plans and problems - basically, the idea that if you don't make it tangible, you're probably kidding yourself on how clearly and well you really thought it through - and writing as a way of finding out what you're not aware you think, the act of recording as a necessary part of the thinking process itself. The first is inspired by Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way", but brings in more research-based stuff, and the second is one of the researchy books it's based on. So I will be hauling out the notebooks and doing a lot of writing. There will be some basic journalling to clear my head and figure out what I'm interested in these days. There will be weekly (and possibly daily) planning and review writing on sets of questions and stuff, to make myself do the job clearly and fully, and bypass the lack of focus going on. There may even be an experiment with expressive writing as a way of processing and clearing the head of various bits of negative flotsam and jetsam it stalls out on, or has to keep handling. (Doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, but the science is good.) Basically, a lot of writing. A ton of writing. Parte II: Monking "Time has stopped for everyone but you," said Sweeper patiently. "Actually, that sentence is wrong in every particular, but it’s quite a useful lie." Lately, I've been managing to sleep purely by doing very deliberate physical and mental stillness meditations in bed. It's ridiculously hard. This is not normal for me, at least in recent years, so it's a big sign that my meditation habit needs to come back in a big way. If my brain is buzzing that hard when I'm trying to sleep, it's probably jangling that hard all the time, and that can't be helping anything. So I'm gonna learn how to stop time and get some stillness back with meditation. Parte III: Patrolling Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. This part is simple. Walking. I will patrol my city. Parte IV: Assassining The Assassin moved quietly from roof to roof until he was well away from the excitement around the Watch House. His movements could be called catlike, except that he did not stop to spray urine up against things. Strength and mobility training, for scaling rooftops and things. The strength training will start with a continuation of the previous challenge's isometric stuff: horse stance (static squat), planks, ITWY exercises, and some bridge. When my schedule gets wrangled into shape, I will try to get some daily yoga before bed, but it's not gonna be a week 1 kinda goal. It was a Guild of Assassins, after all. Black was what you wore. The night was black and so were you. And black had such style, and an Assassin without style, everyone agreed, was just a highly paid arrogant thug. Pure bonus material, but I think some wearing of black and stylishness should get points. A lot of aikido teachers will tell you to focus on elegance, and putting the focus on the process rather than the goal tends to improve the efficacy. I've noticed this with writing, too; a focus on elegant handwriting tends to slow down and smooth the jangly bits in the brain and the content becomes better. Ye Planne The plan is not to jump into doing all of this at once, because I'm currently at very low capacity for getting things done and adding things to my list, but to step up how much I'm doing during the challenge. Some goals aren't even on my list for the initial week or two, and the rest, for the first couple of weeks, I'll be fine with hitting them half the days. Doing something half the days is better than zero of the days, and I'm going to need some time to try to find a good schedule time for them. Wrangling my schedule, especially when it comes to sleep, is turning out to be a big obstacle, so I'm starting by doing just what helps get that stabilized better. Template: Week 0 Day 1 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Meditation Journal Written Plans & Reviews Emotive Writing Exercise Walking Strength Yoga Assassin Style Bonus
  6. Well, okay, see, look. After the last challenge, things were good. Things were really good. So I just shifted gears and got onto the next thing that I wanted to work on like it was nothing. And it was so smooth that I pretty much just blended into it without ever really coming back here. I kept telling myself I would, but part of blending into things has been staying busy, so I kept breaking my word to myself that I would come back, and then a whole week was gone. It's been eventful! Among other things: I finally read all of Berserk. For those who don't know, Berserk is the quintessential dark fantasy and has been a major influence on a lot of games and media, most recently Elden Ring. It is a deeply dark and disturbing story, and it's not for everybody, but it's not cheap or schlocky in being so and I find it to be a genuinely profound and moving story. Had my job performance review for the last quarter and I've basically made huge improvements all over the place. In fact, I did so well that I've been removed from remedial supervision and, if I keep this up, I'll be on track for a promotion in the next year. My boss is super-proud of me; I think she wanted me to be surprised and pleased, but I'd kept such close track of my stats that when she said she was proud of me, I thought, "Damn right you are." Still not good enough for me to return to work from home, though. Like I said, I'm out from remedial supervision, but my improvement in my stats happened after the quarter numbers were in. So me being released from supervision was actually my boss going out on a limb for me (although I know she doesn't care for the paperwork, so it's not like she didn't want me out from under her thumb either); I won't be under consideration for working from home until the end of this quarter, and that assumes I stay on top of things. The future is not set in stone. Managed to finish building a magic system and now know it well enough to know what is and isn't a good idea at a given time. Sweet. Now I have to do it again for another system, because. So. At this point, with all cylinders firing, the goal is to make sure they keep doing so. That's going to mean self care, which means meditation and sleep. Meditation is the one I have the more direct control over ATM, so that's what I'll be focusing. I'm up to 14 minutes at a stretch, and I'm finding so far that weekdays are easy. Weekends are hard. No particular reason for it. I've been tracking the number all along as if I was in challenge mode, so I'll just jump in if that's cool with you. Goal: 6/9 As to a reward, I actually think I'm looking at some tube-style exercises bands for grappling work. Need to look into that more, but that's what I find compelling at this point, so. Sorry for being late! I'll be around to y'all just as quick as I can. Hope you've been well.
  7. So sorry for the delay! I've been doing my homework. And I'll be going back to it just as soon as I'm done here. Took all week to figure out what my challenge was going to be. I knew it was going to be a writing challenge, but I didn't know how precisely. Then I knew it was going to be related to doing homework of some kind, like what my brother advised, but I didn't know what that looked like either. And to TBF? I still don't! But I'm not going to let this challenge pass me by. We're back on the Doing One Thing and Seeing What Happens part of the show. That one thing is study. My brother gave me a bunch of things to study over and to work out, and so every day I'm going to do at least one study activity. This study activity may lead to world building and it may not. Doing the One Thing has all manner of strange effects; who knows where I'll wind up? As to rewards? Hmm, I dunno yet. I think this time I might be content with a Job Well Done, although I think for the moment I'll leave open the possibility that something come along that I want to earn. Anyway, on that note: Goal: 1/2
  8. Overview of the Battle The objective: to gain the mountain and obtain the precious treasures of lifting, writing, painting, walking, cooking and spirit work The enemies: fatigue, emotional resistance, distraction addiction, hopelessness The weapons: axe of strength, sword of courage, staff of clarity, reflective shield Second Skirmish: Invading the Foothills of Figure Sketching The main new habit this challenge will be doing a little work on my art, whether it's sketching or watching lessons. As with the writing, I should start with small, low stakes practices to sidestep the emotional resistance. I want to focus on figures for several months. Reflective Shield Journalling and reflecting on what works -I need to recommit to daily morning journalling, since I have neglected it -I should set a calendar reminder to reflect on Sundays, since I neglected this, too -I should continue noting how I feel after lifting (fatigue, mental fatigue, joint pain) Sword of Courage Overcoming emotional blocks to the creative work I want to do -I am increasing the writing to 20 minutes -I will add 10-20 minutes of art after dinner Staff of Clarity Getting freedom from distraction addiction and negative emotions -I will continue meditating each morning, and may experiment with a short second session at night -I will renew the internet block but update it to support journalling in the mornings and Sunday -I will continue doing 20 minutes of cleaning per day. It's not exactly one of the mountain treasures but it is good to have, and a clean house promotes an uncluttered mood Axe of Strength Strength through food, iron, and rest -I just have to keep going with my high meat keto without getting sidetracked or shamed -I will continue pacing. It's really helping -I will continue lifting: I will design a deload & strength block
  9. [Preamble] Welcome to Owlshire, a beautiful woodland property in the Forest of Dean, England. I’m a 42 year old American woman living here with my British husband (Mr) and pre-school son (Enting). I work in gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, writing, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands. [Goals] My fitness goals are thus: Reach Mordor Finally finish my (tracked) journey to Mordor. I’m 889 miles away! I’ve been wanting to complete this challenge since the early 00s (when it was called the Eowyn Challenge), and I’m sure I’ve been “there and back again” several times over, but I’ve never managed to track the whole thing. I want to finish my walking route to Mordor by November 2022. My goal for this challenge is 150 miles (which is an average of 25 miles a week). I will do this in a combination of longer walks but also just getting up and moving around more during the day. I can settle into my chair in my office in the morning and not get up again until lunchtime. I think it would be better to get up do shorter walks and activities on days I can’t do a longer one. More PAI Continue with PAI. For this challenge, I want to build up to an average score of 75 (and actually maintain it). I hope to do this both with my more exerting walks, but also by doing short impact cardio like burpees and jumping jacks when I can’t get out for one of those hilly walks. Less BMI (Updated Week Zero) I want to continue to reduce my BMI/weight. This will be done with increased activity and continuing to watch my portion sizes/limited snacking. I’m currently at 22.8 BMI, and I will count this goal successful if my BMI is less than it was before, or if my weight is less than it was the beginning of the challenge. (This is because BMI is a different measurement that may not “tick over” even if I’m still making progress.) Tracking will be done with a minimum of weekly updates, and of course will include plenty of Owlshire photospam. Level Up My Life: Driving Practice A non-fitness goal that I’m adding partially because it impacts my time for fitness, but also because it’s really important: practicing for my driving test. Here in the UK, Covid has caused understandable but huge delays—at the moment scheduling a practical driving test is around 6-10 months of lead time and if you fail or have to reschedule? You can wait that length of time again. My test is scheduled for 28 March and because of these ongoing delays, I’m under a lot of pressure to “one and done” that test. We live out in the country now, and being able to drive is critical, especially now that the Mr is going to start traveling for work again. So, my goal here is to minimum 2 (3 is better) practice drives a week, which is about what we can usually fit in. There is one week where Mr will be away for work that’ll impact that, but I’ll note that when we get to that week. Tracking will be done with a minimum of weekly updates, and of course will include plenty of Owlshire photospam. [Challenges] It’s likely that my husband will soon need to start commuting part of the week to his studio and I’ll be regularly solo-parenting which will require some routine adjustments. My household has a tendency to catch every germ (except, so far, Covid) that comes through the Enting’s preschool. I do not exaggerate when I say this happens about every other week. This tends to knock down my fitness goals since I become housebound looking after people even if I’m not sick myself. I’d really like to work on alternatives for when I can’t go for long hikes in the woods—which is my preference, but can’t always happen. Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday.
  10. Ahhhh how I love new beginnings! The start of a challenge is the best part for me: you get to dream up your ideal day and there is always the hope of coming out on the other side having magically lost all the weight and built all the muscle and flexibility! CONSTRUCTION SITE! my body is stiff and brittle and Im old. thats the starting point. Sadly being stiff in my case means my achilles tendons are chronically inflamed and hurt. A lot! so after a year of pain Im trying different orthopedic soles, new advice from my PT and YOGA! certain holy beings among us have finished a 30 day program. So Im doing that too. I chose a yoga teacher with the cool name Fightmaster ,who sadly passed away, leaving me a 30 day beginners course to try out in her honor. I was tempted to go for Adrienne, but I can always do that afterwards. This course starts with 15 minute classes and works up to 30 minutes. I even splurged and ordered two yoga blocks and a yoga belt (??) thingy to pull your body parts in certain directions. they will arrive tomorrow. GOAL do a class daily. you may repeat or adjust classes. main thing is to move about in weird ways every day. HEADBANGERS KITCHEN I have jumped on the keto train a couple of years ago. during the first 2 years I was super diligent and my ass melted down to an acceptable size. Then I proceeded to order pizza during hard times and having croissants with jam as often as I fucking wanted. Those breaks have had my weight exploding and if I ever want be able to run a 5k or fit into my nice clothes again, I will need to change! Last challenge I managed to get back to orderly eating and lost 3kg. Now I want more! While browsing the interwebs for cheap keto recipes I found this hilarious Indian guy ( a death metal musician, thus his title!) whose kitchen equipment looks like mine. No fancy stuff there. The good dude presents keto for people who dont have money for steak every night and makes it fun and accessible. I have his book now and the latest weightloss is due to his no nonsense recipes. I want more of that during this challenge. ( why on earth did I start taking about buttery croissants? now I want one!) GOAL eat cheap and tasty keto foods, prep when necessary. have a tiny cute ass when finished! TALES OF A LOUSY WEEKEND WRITER After publishing a terribly written book in 2019 I have proceeded to call myself a writer without, well erm, writing anything. I have been avoiding writing by planning a podcast, doing other stuff and basically feeling smug about having a book out. To be honest, I like the process of being in the midst of typing down a pice of world literature. I just haven't found what I want to write about next. So during this challenge, my job is to sit down at my desk every weekend and find a topic first, then begin writing a shitty first draft of basically anything. My goal is to get back into the habit and being able to say I used the pandemic to write a bestseller. GOAL find a topic to write about and start a first draft. You must sit down every Saturday and Sunday for at least 30 minutes and stare at your dirty screen. Apart from those 3 goals you will read about the dog child, hiking at the beach, me feeling important by being involved in local politics and tales of a woman with a non existent financial budget.
  11. New challenge greetings to all the Rebellion! Your friendly neighborhood mythologist/Adventurer/Tolkien scholar here, back with another attempt to actually complete a full NF challenge. Due to a profusion of pre- and post-holiday adventures at the end of last year I turned up very late to the last challenge, and previously I rarely managed more than a week or two of focused effort before the hordes of Orcs frothing at the walls overran me yet again and oopsie doodles there goes another challenge off the face of the earth Still, since the end of January I have managed to sort out a few things, and I used the last two weeks of the last challenge to test-drive some ideas for this one. I'm afraid I don't have the energy to come up with a full-on challenge theme at the moment, so we'll just make do with a random a scattering of vaguely-appropriate Tolkien quotes here and there to keep in the spirit of things. I'm starting with Bilbo's pensive reflections right before he returned from his adventures to discover his lovely hobbit hole in an uproar. There is some, ah, applicability for me here Spoiler for the list of things I want to accomplish this challenge: OK, so that's the challenge. It looks like a lot, but much of it -- the morning and evening routines especially -- are already pretty solidly-established habits. It's the (big, important) stuff in the middle that's giving me trouble Here's wishing all of us the best of luck. New challenge - GO! PS - Please to be enjoying the official recording of Billy Boyd's absolutely lovely song inspired by Bilbo's poem above
  12. This is my first challenge back after a much longer than expected hiatus, so I am keeping it Super Super Simple. Work out at least 6 days/week - mix of GMB Elements, GMB Recovery, and NF Prime Push-Up Challenge Achieve my "frog" goal in Hero's Journal at least 6 days/ week Walk my new doggie every day That's it. That seems enough. Push-Ups I used to do push-ups all the time. I served for 15 years in the U.S. Navy, and I survived it by being so good at push-ups and crunches that it didn't matter that I am terrible at running. That was our semi-annual fitness test. Straight up just push-ups, crunches, and running. I converted to civilianism in 2000 and had not done a push-up since. I just recently learned that I no longer have that level of bent-arm strength. I want it back. Eat the Frog One feature of The Hero's Journal is the setting of three goals every day "To seize the day." The first goal is marked with a little froggie icon, per Mark Twain (allegedly) “If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." I think this was the premise for the book Eat that Frog! by Brian Tracy (which I have not yet read.) My frog goal for every day is one that will actually move the needle, and the one that I am most tempted to procrastinate. My current Hero's Journal quest revolves around creativity, specifically outlining the novel that I plan to write starting in November (NaNoWriMo nerds FTW!) so my frog goals are currently things like "write 500 words of mentor's backstory" or "create list of protagonist's limitations," etc. Doggie A recent addition to our family is a three year old mixed breed girl that #2 son found as an emaciated and sickly stray a couple of years ago. Son recently had to re-home her because of his job's travel requirements, so Cassiopeia is now my companion and walkies accountabilibuddy, in addition to being Apollo's new BFF. She is a really good dog, great cuddler and generally well behaved, but she is overly reactive to other dogs, cars, and bicycles when she is on a leash so we are executing some very specific training protocols. The more we walk, the better. This is as good for me as it is for her. Somewhat sad/depressing additional pet information behind spoiler Cassie Apollo
  13. Hello, 2022! [Preamble] 2021 was quite the year. We spent our first full year in the Forest which has been an experience! I also (unexpectedly) went back to full time work for the first time in nearly 10 years, and for the first time at all since I became a mother. I changed my eating habits and lost extra 10lbs that had been following me around since before the pandemic started. In many ways 2022 will be about continuing and carrying on, but instead of just finding my feet in my new reality, I want to get some forward movement, too. [About Me] I’m a 42 year old American woman living in the forests of England with my British husband (Mr) and pre-school son (Enting). I work in gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands. [Goals] My fitness goals are pretty simple: Reach Mordor Finally finish my (tracked) journey to Mordor. I’m 1000 miles away! I’ve been wanting to complete this challenge since the early 00s (when it was called the Eowyn Challenge), and I’m sure I’ve been “there and back again” several times over, but I’ve never managed to track the whole thing. I want to finish my walking route to Mordor by November 2022. My goal for this challenge is 25 miles a week. Eat PAI Continue with PAI. For this challenge, I want to build up to an average score of 75 (and actually maintain it). Eventually, I’d like to get up to 100, but I’m building up to it. Maybe next challenge… Down Another 5 I’d like to trim down another 5lbs, although not necessarily all of it during this challenge. This will be done with increased activity and continuing to watch my portion sizes/limited snacking. It doesn’t sound like a lot, I know, but I’m now in the range where I find losing weight (let alone keeping it off) to be really difficult! My goal is to weigh less than I did at the start of the challenge. Tracking will be done with a minimum of weekly updates, and of course will include plenty of Owlshire photospam. [Challenges] It’s likely that my husband will soon need to start commuting part of the week to his studio and I’ll be regularly solo-parenting which will require some routine adjustments. My household has a tendency to catch every germ (except, so far, Covid) that comes through the Enting’s preschool. I do not exaggerate when I say this happens about every other week. This tends to knock down my fitness goals since I become housebound looking after people even if I’m not sick myself. I’d really like to work on alternatives for when I can’t go for long hikes in the woods—which is my preference, but can’t always happen. Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday.
  14. Happy New Year, y'all! Wishing you and yours peace and prosperity in the coming year. For those of you who are new to the Monastery, hi! I'm Kishi, your humble GL. Glad you decided to stop on by. I'm a martial artist with ~13 years of harder contact practice: mostly striking via karate as done in a K1-kickboxing style with some relatively recent forays into standing and ground-based grappling, as well as Dutch-style kickboxing. I've tried a bunch of different training modes and methods, most recently landing on a mix of calisthenics and kettlebell work because, hey! We're in the middle of a pandemic! Staying away from people is kind of my jam these days, inasmuch as I can (especially since I caught the thing the last challenge. Don't worry, I was lucky; I came through it fine and I was incredibly well-cared for). Since my life is pretty great and I'm not big on challenges and novelty for their own sake, I've taken to focusing on just one thing, because I find that earnest focus on one thing has a ripple effect, both as you work to accommodate it and as it in turn changes you. Last challenge was about getting rest, which meant managing time and productive output, and this was very good. My one thing for this challenge, then, is going to be my writing. The situation right now is as follows: I work an office job that isn't letting me work from home for a whole host of bad reasons that I have no power to do anything about. This presents many problems and inconveniences, not the least of which is that I have a novel that I'm honestly pretty obsessed with. I've done a lot in terms of documenting its structure and planning it out in a way that works for me, but one of the downsides then is that I'm reliant on these documents to actually get the job done. I can't access them at work, and I've been using that as an excuse to not write. But, just because it's been that way, that doesn't mean it has to keep being that way. So, what is the one thing I'm going to change? Well, the thing that's been holding me back the most from writing is lack of access to my documents. But in truth, there's nothing saying that I can't just transcribe the relevant bits onto notecards or something and then carry them with me so that I know where I am. The goal, then, is to return to a daily writing habit. One page per day. I'll be going out tonight to pick up some note cards and jot down the relevant bits I need for tomorrow. And, uh, I guess we'll see what happens. Day 1 of this challenge, in the meantime, is already marked by some complications. I went to do New Year's Eve at my sci-fi friend's house, where I normally go on Tuesday nights. His wife had a head cold out of nowhere, and she got back to me on Saturday saying she tested positive for COVID. This is a whole can of worms. Maybe she had it and maybe she didn't since she apparently took a home test and my understanding is that they're prone to false positives in the event of a regular head cold. CDC guidelines say I need to quarantine for 5 days and then get tested, but the language has recently been adjusted so that if I "can't quarantine," that I can continue to go to work and just be really strict with wearing my mask. Either way, I'm going to have to bring it up with the boss and see what she says; my pessimistic streak is telling me that she'll want me to come to work, so I'll be free to work but not to engage in recreation like I wish and that just sucks. But tomorrow is sufficient for its own troubles. I still have work to do today; I'll update again when I get it done.
  15. Okay, so, uh. First off: Happy Holidays y'all! Whatever it is you celebrate this time of year, I hope it rocks socks. Y'all probably noticed I disappeared from the forums for a while. Kind of related to the heart thing, but not on account of anything that actually happened. Kind of got in my head about it for a while, and the last month's been a pretty transitionary period with return to the office and new school and... just a lot. With everything going on I found myself just rolling with it; I didn't make a conscious decision to step away, but it happened anyway. OTOH, I got stress-tested. (it was stressful! But I passed! Cardiologist isn't worried about me and I'm due for another appointment in April). I've had to return to the office, where I found that I can really neatly do all the things I struggled to do at home in terms of writing and napping and meditating. All that time spent out there, however, has made balancing all the disparate elements of my training a little hairy. That's not anything new. It's been a lot, really. And taking care of all that caused me to neglect the forums here instead. I don't think that's fair of me to have done, but I also think it's arrogant of me to assume that I'm really that necessary to the goings-on around here. Either way, done is done. I'm back. I'll try not to drift again. As far as goals go, a lot of it is down to schedule and time-management. Stuff I tried to work on but didn't stick. I'm paying a price for that now. I'm also trying to figure out what effective balance looks like, mostly because I don't want to fall into that martial artist's trap where I live to train and neglect everything else that needs to be done. So, in the spirit of the holidays, just gonna take it easy and make a goal of getting down to bed by midnight. That's it. That's my one goal. I'm not saying that everything else will manage itself necessarily, but I feel like the earlier I get to bed, the more time I have, and the more time I have, the more opportunities I can take to get done what I want to. It's also the one thing that's really challenging me right now. Like I said, the office structure takes all the challenge out of the other stuff. It presents its own challenges in turn, but an early-to-bed, early-to-rise challenge probably will do more to address that than anything else. And if it won't, well, the only I know to find that out is to try. I'll be around to y'all as I can. Wish you well.
  16. I find myself in a bit of a weird place as the year winds down, and if anyone understands longing for the past and mourning what is gone, it's the elves. So I'm going to spend Christmas with them. And of course, Rivendell is renowned for stories and songs, so that's what I'm going to focus on this challenge. Stories: Reading: My sister and I have come up with a Christmas reading list. Not sure we're going to get to all 8, but we're extending it to 12th Night and some of them are children's books: The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand The Holiday Switch/The Holiday Swap by Tif Marcelo and Maggie Knox (these are rom-coms, and the waiting list at the library is ridiculous. So probably going to replace these with whatever rom-com we can get our hands on.) The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict Hogfather by Terry Pratchett Christmas Dinner of Souls by Ross Montgomery A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig The Christmas Pig by J K Rowling Writing: Just write. I know vague goals aren't SMART, but I've discovered the more parameters I put on this, the less I actually do it. Songs: Listening: Organize my playlists on Spotify. I've already got a bit of a jump on this, but there's lots more songs to sift through and place. Making: Play Christmas carols on my trombone. I've barely touched my trombone this year, and that needs to change. My Christmas book is pretty beginner level, which should be a good thing to use to get my lips back in shape. I'm going to let my garden lie a bit dormant for this challenge, but there are a few things I want to work on Athelas: I have an advent Bible reading plan, so I'm going to add this to my morning routine. Old Man Willow: My evening routine has gone out the window, so I want to work on having the teeth brushed and be in bed between 10 and 11. Party Tree: Get into the Christmas spirit with my mom. Play some Christmas duets, watch holiday movies, decorate, all that good stuff. My poor mom is a night owl in a houseful of early birds. Going to make more of an effort to hang with her in the evenings instead of passing out on the couch, which should help with the bedtime routine as well.
  17. ...on Asgard Yes it’s another Loki themed challenge. I have so many gifs I didn’t get to use lol. Last challenge I didn’t do so great in some of my goals, and even the one that I smashed, I’m not content to let it stagnate. So much of this challenge will be carried over, with adjustments to my methods. 1. Training grounds Loki isn’t only proficient in daggers. I'm itching to get back to some staff work, but I also haven’t lost a microt of my love for knives, and I’m stoked about my new bow. Having goals in all of these areas would be too much to focus on, so I’m making one simple overarching goal that contains them all. Goal: a collective three hours per week weapons/props work 2. Learning halls This is a two parter. For the first week of the challenge I’ll be attending an intensive 6 day course. Zero week I’ll be studying for it, and although I usually don’t count zero week, I’ll be tracking how much I study to keep me on track. Then week one, the class itself is going to count for this. I have lots of books that have been sitting on my shelf begging for my attention and I’ve been neglecting them due to making myself too busy. I know I’ll be a happier person if I get reading back in my regular habits. Also, NaNoWriMo will be starting and I’ll be half-heartedly participating in that (not pushing for the 1200/day, but ramping up the volume and putting some effort into it) After the class is over, the goal will be: read or write 1 thing per day. I’ll post a snipit of what I wrote, and try to share something I learned from what I read, if I learned something. 3. Harness my powers I will do the friggin mindfulness!! I remain dedicated to making this a daily habit. If I have NOT done it when I post my daily update, I will take ten minutes to do it BEFORE I post. This is the new rule. Everyone is allowed one free swing at me if I don't do this. Pinned to the first page for easy location, the table of code names for the people in my life: That being said,
  18. This is part three of a year that I am setting aside to try to heal from chronic exhaustion and demotivation. There are four aspects to lifestyle healing magic: food, stress, movement, and sleep. This module is for fine tuning the food aspect. Last challenge I started keto, and saw a massive reduction in anxiety, and some other mental benefits. This challenge I will experiment with different variations on the ketogenic diet to increase my knowledge about what works. I have some improved mental energy, and hope to spend it on writing and painting. But I won’t push it if I don’t feel like it. Motivation must come from an un-inflamed and adequately fuelled mind, not from desperate attempts to whip up willpower out of the watery gruel of fatigue. A loose sort of schedule does seem to be developing on its own, so I’m just going to let that continue. I haven’t really recovered my physical strength and energy since the last trip to Munich (now some weeks ago damnit) so exercise will be advised but optional. (We have proven to our satisfaction the inefficacy of forcing the lab mouse to run when exhausted). Lifestyle Healing Magic: Ketonics Module I Potions (food) Lesson One: Do Not Ingest Poison: no sugar, caffeine, or alcohol (Ke)Tonics general instructions: eat at or under 20g net carbohydrates per day. (Ke)tonics specific experiments: Zero week will be no chocolate and no live sauerkraut, to see if this helps with my current heartburn. I must also undergo the trial of the Silberhochzeit, in which I must endure some periods of foodlessness on the train, and evade all attempts to poison me with celebratory food. Weeks 1-5 I will adjust other parameters. Possible experiments could be increasing and decreasing the plant content of my diet, which will probably mean decreasing and increasing the dairy content, since those are my two sources of carbs, and they compete for space. I might also try cutting eggs and processed meats and really going all in on fresh meat, green things, and water. I might add fasting or save it for next challenge. Or maybe I will devise a diet inspired by Artio the bear goddess and eat salmon, berries, meat, and (*googles bears*) herbs, pine cones, hikers, and 20 000 calories worth of moths??? (*note to self: check carbs in moths*). Defence Against the Dark Arts (stress) Occlumency (meditation) is suspended so that its anxiety-lowering effects may be trialled separately from the ketonics. It shall be reintroduced next challenge. Enspiriting Runes: I shall aim to do a little art every other day. Sparking Sigils: I shall aim to write a little every other day. Transfiguration (movement) Hypertrophy Charm: any form of strength training, if energy allows. I seem to be losing weight from the keto, and I don’t really like what I see—my weightlifting over the last few years has added thickness to my legs, arms, and waist, but not to my chest, upper back, or glutes. I seem to be in a slightly longer term tired phase, so I will simply do some exercises for these areas whenever possible, until moderately tired, at home or at the gym. Recommendations for isolating the glutes without the hamstrings welcome. Current ideas include swings and single legged glute bridges. Recommendations for hitting the chest without the arms also welcome. So far, the barbell bench has added weight to my arms only. Spell of Ambulancy: at least one short walk daily. Charms (sleep) Somnolence Ritual: screens off at 9:30 Hmmm. This entry looks kind of dry without any gifs or pictures. Here, have an experimental scribble. And share gifs of mead, honey, and other beautiful liquids, please.
  19. The focus for this challenge is to BELIEVE in myself and my place in the universe enough to take risks, and to embark on new journeys that previously may have appeared daunting. Not to be impulsive in my actions, to look before I leap, but also not be afraid of the gap. Relationships require flexibility, and I have the opportunity to use the balance insights from last challenge to increase my flexibility--of expectations and of myself-- and be more flexible with my relationships, letting them deepen by going wherever they need to go. The universe seeks to resolve anything that is in tension, because tension creates imbalance. Through being flexible and having faith, I can help release tension in body and in the relationships around me. How tensions find an outlet for expression often reveal hidden truths, like gold in a mine, treasures to be discovered from deep digging. I often feel pulled in different directions internally, and sometimes I struggle with what choices to make. There is also a stew of external conflict, competition, and often these conflicts mirror my inner dichotomies. Conflict is inevitable. Combat is a choice, and I have the opportunity to see what is being expressed in the tension, to mine for the gold of the universe and let the treasure come forth. Spring is often heralded as a time if new life, but the path I have walked so far leaves this autumn feeling potent for new beginnings. There is treasure in the short days, the deepening of darkness that reveals the subtle shimmer of the universe all around us. When I am flexible and balanced, I lay claim to my place in the universe. Truth can be uncomfortable. It requires courage and compassion to sit with discomfort and uncertainty. When I meet the universe where it is, with an open heart from where I am, insights are possible. Mind *Writing. The dissertation is at 15,726 words as the challenge opens. We’ll see how much gets written. *Classes and papers continue. I have a document analysis due in mid November, and it’s one of my favorite types of assignments. I then lead the class discussion, which I also usually like. *Statistics are real, despite what Mark Twain said about them. I have three quizzes and an exam this round. Body *Make something and eat it every day. *Supplements daily until November 11, review with acupuncturist *B12 shot 11/10 *Saturday vegetable pickup *Milk *Acupuncture or Massage *Maybe the gym especially for the sauna and the hot tub. Sometimes swimming. Heart *Time with Vivian *Outings with a friends *Virtual visits *Pinball Soul *Meditation. Five minutes? Fifty minutes? Whatever, it’s All good. Focus on #reasonsnottoquit and #HeidiKoans *Sleep. My Spirit requires a lot of rest. *Still water float October, November Significant dates: Stats Unit 3 (3 quizzes, 1 exam) due 11/5 Court 11/9 B12 11/10 Paper 4 due 11/11 History of Higher education discussion leader 11/15-22 Insights from last challenge: I am stronger than I know. My real strength comes from trusting myself and trusting the universe. There is nothing that I can't handle when I focus on being present and allow myself to breathe. As we head into the waning light of the year, I am learning to lean into uncertainty with faith, to be able to look at challenges with open mindedness, and to focus on the future instead of the past. Also, random #reasonsnottoquit, because I need them. Possible drops of a #HeidiKoan here and there, because I need to remember them.
  20. Sorry for the late arrival. I knew what I wanted to do, but I'm kind of having a hard time squaring it with the general mode of daily practice and new habit formation and stuff like that. But whatever. If I wind up in a better place because of what I do here, it almost seems like de facto I had to overcome something, right? So a challenge it is. For those of you who were around last time, hi! Welcome back! For those just tuning in for the first time, I'm Kishi, sole surviving Guild Leader of the Monks. We don't talk about what happened to the other two. Sadly, I'm not some sage figure, so I can't give you much in the way of answers, but I like to think I help with asking different questions. Things last challenge took a turn for the dramatic. I got diagnosed with heart disease, the striking program I was going to got shut down, I had some tumult occur at work, and the training program - so meticulously programmed - collapsed on contact with the real world. Much of last challenge was spent picking up the pieces and carrying on, and I'd like to think I did so relatively well. And the situation has changed. Since then, I've started on a low carb Mediterranean diet, but it's low carb enough to really be a Keto Mediterranean diet. Interesting results so far - my waistline is shrinking (probably water weight) and I've got a lot of slow burn energy as documented by rolling for about an hour and a half without any dip in energy or performance. Which is interesting, but for all I know could just as easily be chalked up to more technical rolling and generous rest. I have designs on veganizing this at some point, because it sounds like a challenge, and vegan diets are tied to good outcomes for the heart also, so this sounds like a real possibility, but given all the everything that's getting thrown at me this round, that's more likely something that's gonna phase in over time. Because a lot's happening, y'all! I'm going back to the office; I misspoke when I said last challenge it'd be 11/8; it's actually going to be 11/15. And it's a phased re-entry, so over the course of three weeks, I'll be adding a day, so first week will be one day, second week two, and so on until the 4th week, when I just go back to fulltime. Why's that complicated? Because one, the holidays will be starting around that time, and two, I'll be starting up at a new school, meaning new logistical challenges to overcome. The theme this time is about balancing the books, because I've decided I want to upgrade my computer. I took a look at the new school and I realized that there's only one no-gi day there, so I'm basically done as far as no-gi grappling attire is concerned. But before I start putting away for a new computer, I want to make sure that my finances are in good order. I think I've got some expenses coming out that I don't need to, and there's no reason to keep throwing money away. I also want to go further in my meditation and to make time/space for my writing - hence, balancing the books. Goal 1: Meditate Bumping up to 9 minutes. Goal 2: Balance the Books Might wind up being something of a gimme. Ideally, find one thing a day and do something about it in my finances, whether that's regular savings or finding and disposing of an extra bill I don't need to pay anymore. I really don't think I've got that much to do, but honestly, if this makes the challenge easier for once I'll take it. Goal 3: Write Gotta get back to butt in chair time. It's worth doing. Just gotta do it. At this point, just gonna focus on getting to my writing; no word count goals just yet, just carving out space. And, uh, yeah. That's really it this time. Let's get to work.
  21. Harriet's Written Year Chapter Four: Greer, Daly, and the job in front of me. Last challenge we established that doing the job in front of me does not mean attempting to operate at a level I feel I should ideally be able to operate at. Nor is it doing the work I would do if I had better energy and recovery. No. It means starting where I am, and taking the next small step only when my footing is secure. Warcraft: the GMB integral strength workouts are helping me to work on the weaknesses that were bothering me: shoulder stability, single leg stability, and pulling strength. The way they’re set up allows me to auto-regulate and to push a little without overdoing it. Yoga is pleasant. Walks are important, and stairs are good for conditioning. Weaving: the writing project continues apace. I must continue painting. I also wish to include some reading in the evenings instead of listlessly internetting when my work is finished. I will read Night Watch and share any snippets that strike me. I will also read other fiction, non fiction, and spiritual books. Witchery: I shall continue meditation, walks, invocations, and try to add some readings. I made a commitment to a goddess that I would stop harming my skin and treat my face with unconditional acceptance. That means no tormenting of innocent pores or invisibly tiny blemishes, and no makeup, in order to establish a foundation of self acceptance without disguise or apology. Willowy: I will continue eating at a moderate deficit, but Mr Harriet wants to eat dinners together again, and cooking without oil/eating 900g of produce per day was a bit too much. So I will try to be a little less strict and find some nice compromises. Breaks whenever I want them. But I want to quit sugar because I eat it out of compulsion, and I feel sad as soon as it’s gone. I think it may also worsen my energy. Writ: I will continue reporting here daily and tracking my food.
  22. Hello witches and wizards, and welcome back to Hogwarts this September! I'm Professor Annyshay, the current headmistress of Hogwarts. You've been sorted into your houses and are ready to tuck into a delicious feast. Now it's time for me to say a few brief words before we start the term. This year the houses will be working together to support general wellbeing. Gryffindor = Breathwork It takes courage for me to be present in my body without trying to change anything. Breathwork can be anywhere from 5-30 minutes. I'm aiming to do it most days of the week. Hufflepuff = Snacks I ten to skip snacks and go too long between meals and then get a bit shaky. I'm going to be more intentional about aiming to have a morning and afternoon snack. Ravenclaw = Writing I'm trying to get back into the habit of creative writing, but this will start with keeping my streak on 4thewords.com. That means writing 444 words a day. Slytherin = Decluttering Since I'm moving across country, I need to be ruthless with my possessions and get rid of the things that don't truly bring me joy. I'm going to try to do at least 15 minutes of decluttering each day. More details will come as you go through your time here, but for now... let's eat!
  23. Prelude: Summer came and went at Owlshire. We had a cool and often wet summer, sparked now and again by short heat waves. The garden didn’t fare well. Tomatoes in great promise, suddenly gone in their entirely in a few days after a blight hit. Anemic vegetables, little nibbling animals… There’s always next summer. At the beginning of the year, I started a full time “9-5” job for the first time in almost 10 years. Time slips away so much more quickly when one has a day job, even one they enjoy. Last week I turned 42. I’m an American word witch living in the forests of England with my British husband and pre-school son. I write, I game (mostly board games, TRPGs and LARP), garden, and spend a lot of time out in the woods looking for faeries. 42 is supposed to be the answer to everything, but I’m still searching… The Challenge: Less is More Eat Less - continue reduced portion sizes and snack avoidance. Move More - continue 100+ minutes of walks and garden labor each week. Continuing from the previous challenge, I’m 3lbs down on my 10lbs by the end of the year challenge, and if I can keep that kind of progress, I might actually make it. Rededication to Deep Work Over the past few weeks I’ve discovered Discord communities and other online distractions and I’m spending way too much time on them. I don’t want to drop it entirely, but I need to get a grip on my online time as it’s eating into other things I want to do. So I’m going to use my Less is More philosophy here—less distractions, more focus. Five 30 minute focus sessions on work on work days (average) One 30 minute focus session on personal time per day (average) Work focus session activities include doing the writing of course, but also on courses I’m starting on game design and other related topics to my career. Focus sessions are done around meetings, email, Slack, etc. Personal focus sessions include continuing my spiritual studies, non-work writing, personal admin, and similar activities. I plan to increase personal sessions over time. Extra Credit - Participate in the Class! - Get active on other NF threads again. Check and comment on one thread a day x5 week (average). Pass Conditions: Weigh less than when I started this challenge. Deep Work goals 80% met. Reward: New Clothes! Midterm Reward - 2 items I’ve been eyeing in the latest catalogues End term Reward - 3 items I’ve been eyeing in the latest catalogues
  24. Hello. I am Stronkey Kong. I've been on NF about eight years . I'm still fat and making the best of it. My NF Birthday is July 8, and I'm turning 8. Four days later is the closing date on the house (aka Wizard Tower) I'm trying to buy. Tho it's less of a tower and more of a single story bungalow. This challenge will revolve around surviving that while trying to do the basics here. I meditate and am for all intents and purposes a Tibetan Buddhist of the Gelug Lineage. I am have it in my head to hit the trails and do some camping this summer, tho I will be quite busy. Right now my fitness goals are basically: Stay functional and limber and don't throw out your back doing stupid shit. Eating so I can maybe drop a few pounds And get some movement in so I can push back some of the medical trauma that runs in my family. I am also writing my fantasy novel again, and reading for inspiration. And, yeah, here's that big list I keep bringing up at the beginning of these things. Frankly, buying a house is THE BIG ONE on the list so as long as I pull that off, this challenge and this year is a win no matter what. MEGA GOAL: BUY MY FREAKING WIZARD TOWER AND MOVE INTO IT This is just one big, pain in the ass TO-DO List that will, like a snake, slither left, right, turn, coil, snap, wrap, and constrict my life until the process is done. As of now: Inspection: June 19, 9:30 am. Decision: Jun 20, 11:59 pm -- make the final decision whether to buy and promptly notify my apt. complex I'm moving the fuck out. Buy Homeowner's Insurance Pay Appraisal and admin fees Closing: July 12 But, I don't want to forget about the little things. So I'm going to just keep nibbling daily. Goals: MEDITATION: do at least one session daily -- this is mostly solid habit now MOVEMENT: 15 min. of exercise: rucking, yoga, qigong, stretching, and dammit, packing counts. WRITING: 15 min. or one writing task including making a character profile, outline a scene, describing a place or thing in my novel. READING: a combination of reading for writing inspiration and studying Tibetan and Buddhist philosophy. I've been good at doing this before bed, but any 15 min or more of reading, any time of day will suffice. I'm good with that. If I can at least keep some regular momentum on all those things while buying a house and moving.
  25. A day late, but not a dollar short. Yet. Howdy, everyone, hope it's been well with you! I'm sorry I'm late coming in. I had a hard time coming up with a challenge because, well, if I'm honest, I'm content with where I am right now. I'm well-healed, back on the mats, I'm engaging with friends and asserting my boundaries when I need to, and... well, I mean. Life is pretty good! I mean, beyond all the ways in which it isn't, but, you know, that's life. Still, there are advancements to be made. I'm keeping some spaces clean, but I want to clean out more, and I know what I gotta do next from there. And, I need to get moving on my writing again. TBH, that was just two things, and I had a really hard time coming up with a third. And then my dear sweet sci-fi friend decided to fill the hole in his soul with a Tough Mudder in Baltimore in a few months. He needs a team, and I wasn't going to let him go alone. Or at least, that's how I'm operating right now, because he's not sounding too terribly committed to it right now. Either way, I figure if I'm careful about it, putting on some miles won't hurt me any. But that's something I have to do, which means I lose one of my days for rolling dice. Boooo. But OTOH, the dice-rolling mechanic is really nice for a way to randomize my off-days, and I've liked it a lot. So. I have three goals. Goal 1: Clean. Keep my sink clear and expand it to cleaning the sink surfaces themselves. They're kinda grody. Get 'em clean and keep 'em that way. Goal 2: Write. Surgery and recovery in the last month really knocked me off my course. I'm itching to get back to this. I'm cleaning up some planning stuff and restructuring the story a bit, which I think is going to clean things up rather nicely, actually. Goal 3: Train. Almost seems like a gimme, but, well, I got something on the horizon now, and that needs to be met. At this point, the constants are Quick and the Dead sessions 3 times a week, and on one day a week I'm going to go for a ruck. Tough Mudder recommends being able to run/walk 7 miles, so I figure if I can clear that under load, I'll be good to go. Truthfully, this goal could be called "Ruck," but I want to go keep it consistent in terms of scoring with the other goals. Why, you ask? Because I want to try my hand at rewarding myself again this time. I may have just cursed myself with this, but doggonnit, everyone else gets to have rewards and stuff, and I want some too. Since I'm not realistically going to get around to getting boxes moved any time soon (having to get my car troubles managed still, although they're coming along very well), I want to look into doing something else that'll help my training. Looking at my school's schedule, I see that they do no-gi training in addition to gi training for grappling. But in order to do that, you have to have a rash guard, for hygiene and safety purposes. So. If I manage an 80% success rate overall, I will reward myself with not one, but two freaking rash guards. Because that's what my schedule works out to having time for right now. So this means that out of a 105 total possible points, I need to score 84 or better. And how'd I start off? 1: 0/1 2: 0/1 3: 0/1 Yeah, it ain't exactly auspicious. I blame the holiday. Went home to see my folks and ate good food and spent the day chilling out rather than getting after my goals. Oh well. It's not about the start; it's about the finish.
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