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  1. Mistr just keeps swimming I made it through the first 11 months of the pandemic in pretty good emotional shape. We'll just ignore the stress eating for the moment. Now things are piling up and I am not coping as well. The main problem is that work is crazy busy. This is not just me, I've heard the same comment from several other people on my team. We are trying to fill an open position, but that is not really the problem. Our staffing level is decent because no one is on vacation this time of year. The cause seems to be that our customers
  2. I want to take this challenge to set up improved habits for the year. The world is going to change a lot this year, and I want to be in a good place to adapt to those changes. I was thinking I was coming up with new goals, but here is what I wrote in January last year: My goals for this year are more for fine tuning and continuous improvement rather than major changes. I want to improve in aikido and zen. I’m always going to want to keep moving up along those paths. I want to include more strength training and cardio in my exercise program because I’m at the age where decline
  3. Mistr does just one thing - Festivus 2020 I am late to the party because my work has been insanely busy. I've been composing this in my head for weeks and just now am sneaking in some time to write it down. In November I went on a 16 day road trip. Definitely an adventure rather than a vacation. However, it did give me a lot of time away from my usual responsibilities to think about things. I think I may have found a clue. Just One Thing My ongoing challenge is having too many things I want or need to do, and not enough time to do them. This is not n
  4. Mistr tries something different I was tempted to say completely different, but actually most of my goals are the same. The different part is my exercise plan. Goals: 1) Go to bed on time. I am struggling to go to bed on days when I have to work late or do time consuming chores. I want to have more time for fun and relaxation in the evening. Which I would have if I got exercise and zen done before work. My evening brain says "it will be fine, we can get up with just 7.5 hours of sleep". My morning brain says "sleep is key to productivity. Where is
  5. 2020 Hindsight Challenge The start of a new decade is just the impetus I need to look back and see how well I’ve been meeting my goals. I’m going back to my first NF challenge and each new year since then. I feel like I’m in much better shape, but let’s see what the evidence really shows. Then: (cut for length) Now: I’ve been doing mostly the same range of things for the last seven years with gradual improvements in my approach and implementation. The major big new thing was becoming the parent of a young adult (Elf). I also started doing zen about th
  6. Mistr gets more creative (part two) In an earlier challenge I worked on foresight and making better choices. That went reasonably well. I've been much less stressed about getting ALL THE THINGS done. I want to keep working on the balance of doing useful things and creative things. Since the useful things have guilt attached already, I'm concentrating my goals on doing creative things. I'm also going to need to get creative to work out at home the last week of the challenge. Main goal: work on creative projects at least 3 times a week Bonus points for finishin
  7. Mistr gets creative Last challenge I worked on foresight and making better choices. That went reasonably well. I've been much less stressed about getting ALL THE THINGS done. I want to keep working on this. I had an interesting week doing zen and not needing to worry about doing anything. The thing I missed most while I was away from normal life was working on creative projects. I want to maintain the good habits that I've been working to establish over the last year, but with a bit more flexibility. Main goal: work on creative projects at least 3 time
  8. Mistr works on foresight My last challenge focused on looking at my choices. Looking back over the past challenges gives me plenty of hindsight. Now I need to put that to use to make better choices moving forward. There are two forces at work here: I have a pretty good idea of how my common actions are likely to pan out. I also know that things are going to happen unexpectedly. I know that I'm happier when I have a plan and when I'm not too attached to the plan. Overall my goal is to make good choices and pay attentio
  9. Starting with Sundays My main challenge goal is to make good choices for how I use my time. I want to make good choices all the time of course. I'm starting with Sundays because over the last several months I've been dreading Sundays. I feel like I always run out of time and am disappointed that I didn't meet my goals for the weekend. I have complete control over what I do on Sundays, so there is no external reason for me to have issues. The underlying problem is that I want to do more things than there are hours to do them. I've been like this since I was a
  10. Summer 2019 After five years in NF I have a solid foundation, but my base still needs some work. Maintain: Good eating habits. I am at my goal weight. I could stand to lose a few pounds but not more than 5. Eat mostly veggies and protein. Make good desserts so that I can avoid the junk candy at work. Do fun things instead of eating sugar for happy brain chemicals. No caffeine. Drink tea in social situations where coffee is tempting. No caffeinated soft drinks. Aikido 2-3 times a week. Work on ukemi - keep connection with my partner and keep
  11. Mistr

    Mistr catches up

    Mistr catches up My challenge goals are pretty much the same as last time, so I'm putting those below. I'll start with catching up. Week 1 What I did on my summer vacation by Mistr age (old enough to know better) I took week one off from work because I had friends visiting. I knew Dumbledore would be busy with the first week of summer session. That was a good decision on my part. I thought I would have lots of time to get things done on my task list from last time. Hahahahahahahahahaha It was a fond hope. So what did I really do?
  12. Reinforcing better patterns Last challenge I made some progress on setting up better patterns at work and at home. My goal for this time is to keep up the momentum on those things. Work habits: Get emails done right away No social media Project work first thing in the morning No caffeine No snacks between breakfast and lunch Go exercise right away at lunch time. No "just this one thing" first. Leave on time - I can read the internet at home if I really want to. Home habits: Take time after work to do someth
  13. Mistr wrangles weasels My last challenge was about establishing a new sense of normal. I am happy with my progress so far. I have been getting more sleep, sitting zen more often and doing more spinning. Other things need more work. Having a checklist here worked well last challenge so I’m doing that again. The main thing I’m adding this time is dealing with brain weasels. Mine and my family’s. Cast of characters Starting with my own issues, I’m feeling a lot of imposter syndrome at work. Most days I am just getting the immediate pre
  14. New Year - New Attitude Looking at the last year, some things have gone well and others are stubbornly the same. Time to look at root causes for the difficult parts. My initial thoughts on this were almost identical to last year. Been there, tried that. Secret of the Samurai #8: More of what's not working does not work. Change it up. Starting from the positive side: Exercise and training are going well. I started weight training last challenge and am enjoying it. Core yoga is still making my abs cry for mercy. Continue with the current mix of aikido, s
  15. Setting up the new Normal The groundwork has been laid but there are lots of things to be done to get my life looking as I imagine it. There is always a lot of talk in January about setting your goals and steps to reach them. Dumbledore and I talked about this and agreed that for the most part we have a good life. We both want to rush less and have more time for creative projects. Foundations to maintain: Exercise routine of lifting Tues/Fri, aikido study Mon/Wed, Thursday open for yoga or make-up lifting, core yoga on weekend days when I don't do
  16. I just started throwing pebbles in the ocean of life to see how far the ripples reach. I have an idea of where I'd like to be, but don't really have a clue or care how I get there. I am a blank slate. Deconstructed and abstract. My stats: 5'2" Female Medium build 155lbs No major known detrimental health problems/limitations No prescriptions Time wasting at work. Summer is so quiet. Quite nice. Let's me think and focus on me. The days are as slow as molasses but I don't care. Let's me practice living in the present and be alone with my thou
  17. Winter Solstice Reset I have been working on leveling up for the last several challenges, without much progress. Instead of trying harder, I am going to take this challenge to reflect. Observations from last challenge: Elf noted that I am more stressed than I was a year ago, and Dumbledore confirmed it. I have been struggling to keep up with things at work I have been eating comfort food I slept 9 hours a night over Thanksgiving weekend I have not been sitting zen regularly Signs point to my routine needing adjustment so that I c
  18. Step 2.5 In step 1 I made some progress on moving to the next level, which will require getting into really good shape, having good knees, good meditation habits and pursuing internal power in aikido. Last challenge I made only a little progress, so I'm going to keep working on most of the same things. Sustain success: No caffeinated beverages. I'm extending this to include decaf coffee. Apparently the residual caffeine is still enough to mess with my sleep. 1) Deal with my mess (updated) In the last challenge I actually did get the house clea
  19. Mistr

    Mistr takes step 2

    Step 2 Last time I made some progress on moving to the next level, which will require getting into really good shape, having good knees, good meditation habits and pursuing internal power in aikido. Sustain success: No caffeinated beverages Clean eating at work 1) Deal with my mess (continued) Plenty of mess still remains to be dealt with. Primary objective is to get my house clean enough for guests by September 24. My spinning group will be meeting at my house that evening. Secondary goal is to clean up the bedroom in anticipation
  20. Mistr attacks step 1 This challenge marks my 5-year anniversary in NF (and @Teirin's)! Many things in my life are better, but I still have a long way to go. The next level includes getting into really good shape, having good knees, good meditation habits and pursuing internal power in aikido. I might test again. Dumbledore is pressing me to test. Sensei is not. I need to get to a much better level of aerobic endurance AND aikido skill before I would consider it. Leaving off the scary long-term goals, here are some nice clear short-term goals. 1) Clean eating at work.
  21. Challenge ? - Mistr figures things out I was on the right track last challenge. This one is mostly the same with a few tweaks. I need to get a bunch of interlocking things to work together. And get some things done before May 24, which lines up nicely with the end of zero week after this challenge. A) Fit in my clothes. My weight has crept up alarmingly. I have made some progress on cutting back on snacking. That helped a little but not enough. No white sugar, no white flour for the first two weeks. Exceptions allowed for special occasions
  22. Mistr's Spring Cleaning Challenge Several things need to get cleaned up in my life. Thankfully I'm not facing as daunting a task as pictured above, but it will take some work. A) Clean up my eating habits. My weight has crept up alarmingly. The odd part is that I don't think I've been eating much more than I need. Certainly there has been more pizza and chocolate than strictly necessary. The free cappuccinos from the machine at work may be contributing. I know I've been eating a lot of chocolate at work. The other thing I changed this year was taking s
  23. Mistr follows the light challenge 35 The last two challenges got me back on the path. I just need to keep following it. My new people start doing real work at the end of this week. There is light at the end of the tunnel for work being insanely busy. 1) A detour into the brush last challenge showed that I need to do more aikido. My first goal is to do three classes a week (counting the one I teach). More is okay but not necessarily better. There are no seminars coming up in the next four weeks to throw off this schedule. 2) Cook good food. I
  24. Mistr tries something completely different My New Year's resolution for the last few years has been the same: get more sleep. My success has been mixed at best. My sensei says "secret of the samurai: more of what's not working does not work". So for the next two challenges I'm going to change my focus. 1) Do fun things. I have a lot of internalized guilt (in my grandmothers' voices) about not getting all the things done. My family would be happier if I let that go and relaxed more. I don't need a goal to tell me to do the essential things, I already have an internal nag
  25. Challenge 34 (continued from zero week) I know the path I want to be on. I was following it for a bit, then had to take a detour. I can see it over there on the other side of the gorge. Right now that looks a long way from here. I still think I picked the right goals in my last challenge. This challenge will be looking at strategies to reach them. Goals: 1. Sleep 8 hours a night 2. Exercise every day 3. Zen at least 10 minutes every day 4. Do the Right things, not All The Things. Over the last couple weeks I
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