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  1. SYRRAN: [My name is] Arev. T'POL: That means 'desert wind'. SYRRAN: Does it. Why are you here? ARCHER: We could ask you the same thing. SYRRAN: I follow the path of Surak in meditation and study. Challenge goals: Walk Meditate Study Bonus: Do logical things when there is emotional resistance. Just three goals this time, but my head is feeling in need of a clear-out and my physical conditioning is feeling blah, so I want to hit those three hard, to see where I feel health improvement
  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. Hi, I'm RisenPhoenix. I'm going to try and be normal here (*snort*) , in an attempt to be somewhat accessible to people who might drop into my thread now that we have merged the guilds. I've been around the block here in some form or another since 2012, so I've gotten lax with how I do challenges. For me, this challenge is definitely about becoming more Normal. Or at least MY normal. Which besides 2020 being 2020 I also mostly had upended in the tail end of the last year after almost nearly keeping it together. Almost very nearly practically together. So, here's to getting ba
  4. Hello and welcome to my battle log, est. 2016! I've been doing challenges for over a year straight and I decided to experiment with an alternative style that gets away from the feeling of being perpetually "on" and one step away from the pointy end of the spear that is the 4WC format while not losing the structure that said 4WC format provides. Kinda strike a balance, like? This will be an ongoing experiment, with some room to adjust. This will be accomplished by a month-to-month formal re-evaluation of goals, without grading per say, and the freedom to change things up at any poin
  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. It's been a long while since I've had a gif-laden challenge. Or a themed challenge. And everyone can always use more Avatar in their life. And the new year seems a good time to do that. In a way, the limited challenges have been my vague attempts at keeping myself moving forward in some way, while dealing with a whole lot of other crap. There's been a lot of upheaval, a lot of change, a lot of drama, and a whole bunch of RP sitting in the corner rocking back and forth with anxiety. I think a majority of these things are ultimately one-off things (shodan exams, company reorgs, house buyin
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Tsune is a Japanese term which roughly translates as "Everyday habits." I read about it first in a martial arts/Budo book by Dave Lowrey, and kind of glossed over it for a bit. I re-read the essay recently, and felt a great deal more attached to it than I initially felt. The basic idea presented is that when trying to follow Budo, a practitioner will eventually reach a point where it has permeated their life so much, it becomes almost mundane. Something you don't think about. Something that even when you don't want to perform it, you do so anyway, because you almost feel lost without its
  13. 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?
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. And so it Begins. The countdown to Shodan, that I have probably been trying to avoid for the better part of a year now. I didn't want to test in April (I had other fitness goals/baselines I'm trying to return to before the exam), but with Sensei apparently being okay with me teaching without a blackbelt and many, many, many people ganging up on me to test, I pretty much have no choice outside of a massive injury. And so here we are. My approach to my beginning degree. And as is typical, my body is still kind of a mess, so this challenge is all about prepar
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. Lately, I've had energy?? For the longest time, I was tired and foggy daily. I've been the type of person who can easily take 3 naps a day. But lately, if I take a nap it's out of habit (or procrastination) rather than any actual need for a nap?? I have no idea what's going on, but I'm ON FIRE these days. So I'm going to run with that. Last challenge, I restarted aikido AND started doing crossfit. I also signed up for a Japanese class that starts in 2 weeks or so. ALL THE THINGS. Regular fitness: 7 mobility mornings/week (20 sessions over the challenge earns me s
  24. Hi So there were some setbacks. I'm trying to deal with them and get back on track. 1. Selfcare - Try talking to friends and not try to handle everything alone - take breaks - DON'T blame yourself 2. Exercise - 3 workouts a week - go to Aikido on Fridays - everything else is a bonus 3. Study - do a little every day - 20 hours a week would be a nice - 5 pages a week would be ideal 4. Snacks no snacks didn't work. I'll try once a week this time 5. Art at least one piece
  25. 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
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