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  1. A little on the late side (I wanted to make this a five week challenge), but present nonetheless! 2018 in brief: Not good, bad headspace, poor race performance, injury, frustration. This will NOT be 2019. I'm putting my foot down right now. I refuse to have yet another year like that. I think I've organised myself into a good starting point for it all. I've broken open a new battle log to keep track of the bulk of my physical and nutritional endeavours, and I'm keeping my challenges specific to skill work, mental health related goals, and trying brand new things. (...I suspect the two logs will blur together from time to time because that's just how life is, really) January has dawned and somehow everything seems a lot bigger and more challenging this side of the barrier. There's a part of me that wants to do the grand resolution thing, and I guess in a way I already have kind of done that in my battle log, but I know that's not how I'm going to bring myself success this year. I have my big goals and then I have my smaller goals, and it's the latter I need to focus on first. Little goals broken down further into bite-sized chunks. Easy to digest, easy to implement change. That's what this challenge is, and that's what my remaining winter challenges will likely be. A return to a tried and tested format. Nothing exciting, hopefully nothing too dramatic, just a few small steps in the right direction. Goal One: Structure I'm keeping my workout schedule of M/W/F strength/bodyweight and T/T running as right now it feels good. This can and probably will change later down the line, but while I'm re-establishing my baseline I don't see any reason to get rid of what is currently working. Added into this is a daily calorie goal of 2000. This is as much to prevent under-eating as anything else, something which I'm prone to of late, and is a reasonably flexible target depending on just how much I'm doing on any given day. For example, any heavy activity days (an eight hour shift plus a run, or a cycle commute, a six hour shift, and a strength workout) are going to require more in the tank. This is also a call for me to log everything so I can get a clearer picture of just what is going on in my diet right now. I'm not going to make any major changes this month, this is going to be an observational period. Aims Workouts to take place before work/early morning whenever possible Daily intake is to be logged and NOT obsessed over Apply the 'never miss two in a row' principle to both food and exercise Goal Two: Pull-ups I for sure won't be able to do one this month, but why should I let that stop me putting the work in? I have a number of sources giving me a wide variety of ways to work up build up exercises, so there's no excuse here. Aims Daily deadhang practice. Bonus goal: find a new max hang time by the end of the challenge Add pull-up skill work to two workouts weekly Goal Three: Positivity I am a master of self-sabotage. Fortunately I am also a master of recognising my own bullshit, if not so great at putting a stop to it. This is a step to do just that which requires only two things. Aims AM meditation, preferably after I've and a coffee otherwise it will be mostly morning snark. Just a short period, under five minutes, with a focus on how I want the day to pan out Daily mantra. Until now my daily mantras have been things like 'today will be crappy' or 'I can't wait for this to be over so I can go back to bed'. That doesn't help anyone. Not me, not the people who have to listen to me whinge and moan. These negative mantras will be replaced with positive ones, and I will say them until I believe them. 'Today will be crappy' could easily turn into 'today I have an opportunity to prove myself at/with/to X' or something along those lines. Bonus task: Positive self talk. Like the mantras, I'm very good at putting myself down and casting a negative light on myself and my performance. That has to stop. It isn't just messing with my mind, it's messing with my training. So, like the above, I will turn all negatives into positives. And, uh, that's it. I'm keeping it as simple as I can because I don't want to overwhelm myself, especially not on the first challenge of the year, especially not during the dead of winter. This time of year is never a good time for me, so it makes perfect sense (to me) to be focusing more on the mental health side of things. I am also making as much of an effort as I can to be more present and not isolate (which I absolutely did over the festive period and that didn't go so well), so am committing myself to daily updates no matter what.
  2. “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill “Ends and beginnings - there are no such things. There are only middles.” In the Home Stretch - Robert Frost ================= This year I’m fully embracing the battlemage archetype in order to better pursue my two main quests: Re-enter university, and this time be fully prepared for it. Build race fitness, create a body that can handle anything thrown at it. But we can’t just leap right in and start swinging swords and throwing fire about the place. No, this battlemage is tired and beaten and completely out of motivation. I’ve been working to build discipline, and so far progress has been questionable as during the last challenge I didn’t have a clear idea of just what it was I was striving towards. I haven’t really had any clear idea of where I was going for a while now. But that has changed. I know where I’m going. I may not know quite how to get there, but I know how to start, and I know that as I go on the next step of my path will become clearer to me. I am a person who has a routine to improve her mental health and help build discipline. I am a person who tracks her food intake so as to get a better understanding of how to fuel herself. I am a person who runs come rain or shine. I am a person who is the master of her own body. [sidequest] I am a person who walks daily for physical and mental benefit. With that, I enter a whole new stage of my life. Chapter three. Nowhere near the end, but definitely not the beginning, not anymore. There is solid ground beneath my feet, the fog on the path ahead has lifted a little, and I find I can move forwards with a confidence I haven’t felt in a long time. [Edit for zero week] Funnily enough, I didn’t intend to start this challenge until the 1st, but the build up to Christmas was fairly horrific. Retail Christmas is not a fun time to the year. As a result I’m feeling fairly beaten down and will need all the accountability I can get to stay on track with my prep work for kicking off the challenge properly. Mostly this involves cleaning up and organising my flat. Again. I find it very difficult to actually maintain this, especially when my mood dips. My work schedule for zero week is as follows: Monday and Tuesday: off Wednesday: Midshift Thursday: Backshift Friday: off Saturday: Backshift Sunday: Open This means I have three full days to dedicate to the task, two days where I can put in at least a couple of hours (mid/open days), and two days where work consumes all and the aim will be to take care of myself first and foremost. I’m not setting specific goals for zero week, but I will post daily updates to track my domestic rangering progress.
  3. Ever the fearless, but never the fearful fares the better in a fight; 'tis better to be glad than in gloomy mood whether all is fair or foul. Fáfnismál, verse 29 To his friend a man should bear him as friend, and gift for gift bestow, laughter for laughter let him exchange, but leasing pay for a lie. Hávamál, verse 42 ================================================================================================= Courage and truth, the first two of the Nine Noble Virtues (not a bad set of things to aspire to, all in all). I stumbled across these a long while back and they rooted themselves in my mind, though until now I’ve never really paid them much attention. Now seems like an appropriate time to start moulding my life into what I want it to be, and it lines up with the Nine Noble Virtues quite well. To start, I’ll need courage. Maybe I won’t quite be ‘ever the fearless’, but if I don’t let go of some of the fear I’ve been hanging on to then I’ll never fare well in my fight. And what better partner for courage than truth? Uncomfortable though it might be, if I don’t start being honest with myself about how much I go off the rails during my downswings then I’ll never be able to move forward. So here we go. Courage Goals Physical: Get weird with training. Actually running an OCR drummed it in better than reading about it did: regular training ain’t gonna cut it. So out I go to run in the rain, to pick up suitable looking rocks and logs, to do burpees in the middle of a burn, to make use of the playpark in the early hours of the morning. No need to be afraid at what passersby might think. Aim: 2x weird training sessions weekly, 10 in total Reward: An increased ability to deal with adverse conditions. Mental: Cold adaption. Yes, it’s a handy thing for someone planning two winter OCRs, but my body could use some toughening up in general when it comes to the cold. So it’s time to enforce cold showers. Aim: Daily cold showers. Reward: If six consecutive days of cold showers are completed, day seven can be a warm shower day. Social: Daily check ins. Not just here. I’ve gotten very good at hiding away again, and that’s never a good thing. Time to break that habit. Aim: Daily check in wherever I have any kind of social presence. ***I didn’t count on the NF forums updating the format and it being so… painful. The lack of contrast between background and type in some parts physically hurts to read and while I have been trying to ignore it, the longer I spend on the site the more pronounced the nausea gets. I’m sure (I hope) they’re either still in the middle of updating or there’s a way for me to alter the colour scheme myself. If not (or if this is just my admittedly less perfect eyesight giving me more grief) this is definitely going to impact how much time I spend here.*** Reward: Feeling a little less lonely and isolated is the a reward in itself. Truth Goals Budget: This kind of got away from me. Now, after a fairly sharp shock from actually checking my bank statement, I’m reigning it back in and calling on my years of surviving on next to nothing to give me a little help these next few months. I learned how to track down the best bargains and how to make things last, and as soon as I found myself in a better financial situation I let that go a little. As soon as the stress hit I let that go completely. Aim: I have a weekly food budget (and multiple supermarkets to pick from helps massively here), a weekly household goods budget, a weekly ‘other’ budget, and my monthly expenses (things like bills, rent, and repayments) to stick to. No exceptions. Reward: This time around there will be no tangible reward, but the knowledge that I’ve begun to build a savings buffer will provide some comfort. Diet: I’ve gone in two different directions at once here. On one hand, when I have late shifts I’ll come home and cook up some chicken and veg. On the other hand, I’ll buy crap with the intention to make it last and devour it in one sitting. Guess what? Not good. Aim: Stick to the food plan I’ve created for myself day in and day out. Again, no exceptions. Reward: ...eventually the cravings will go away? ================================================================================================= There’s no disguising that this is essentially a cold turkey, health by brute force kind of approach. It’ll be hard. But if I don’t go all in then I’ll never make lasting changes. I can do it, and I will do it. Like I said before: shit is going down, but I am not.
  4. ...finally made it. I said once that shit is going down, but I am not, but I’ve got to be honest, I’m fairly close to sinking. Things got bad, and the situation was completely beyond my control, and that stress and upset and helplessness hit hard. But things are better, and I’m using the knowledge to try and recover as best I can before the Spartan Sprint at the end of the month, perhaps the most difficult physical feat I’ll have undertaken to date. Shouldn’t be that bad, I mean, in the past three weeks I haven’t gone on a run, haven’t worked out properly, and have eaten like absolute crap… I am so unprepared for this it’s almost funny, but that doesn’t mean I won’t put my all into it when the time comes. Despite the race, what’s most important right now is remembering how to function. My flat is disgusting, my sleep schedule is non-existent, and I haven’t left home for anything but work and the odd bit of food shopping in far longer than is healthy. Sadly, not an uncommon occurrence in my life, but recognising I’ve fallen back into it is a good sign. So I've got a few simple things I want to start with before even beginning to think about anything else. The Fix-Up i. the fifteen minute method Spend at least fifteen minutes every day on household tasks. Could be washing dishes, cleaning down appliances, washing the floor, or a bite-sized clear out, just as long as something is done. After fifteen minutes, take a break. If it was a struggle to get through those fifteen minutes then go on to do something enjoyable. If not, take another fifteen minutes for more housework. scoring 0-10 sets of 15: Utter failure 11-20 sets of 15: Regular failure 21-27 sets of fifteen: Barely a pass - No reward 28 sets of 15: Target - Reward TBD 28+ sets of 15: Success - Extra reward(s) TBD Tally: 3/28 ii. wakey wakey Getting the right amount of sleep has become complicated due to the vodka-pickled party pensioner downstairs (it is being dealt with, just excruciatingly slowly). However, on weekdays there is no reason I should be relinquishing forever more in bed. If I’m not working, or working a back shift, I should be out of bed by 8am sharp. scoring ...to be done retroactively, I think. I don’t know how many days off I’ll have or how many weekends I’ll have no sleep. iii. escape the hidey-hole Go outside. Go for a walk. Get on a bus and go somewhere new. Do something that is not sitting on the sofa wallowing in self-pity. Once a week at the very least. scoring 0-3: Failure 4+: Pass - Reward TBD iv. unfinished business I’ve always enjoyed art, I have a lot of plans for this little flat of mine, and my memory appears to be disintegrating. All of these things have resulted in me beginning to draw out said plans, and the results are better than I would have thought. So by the end of this challenge cycle I’d like to have every room planned out. Aside from allowing me to get a better visual and not forget which ideas I’ve had, it gives me something to work towards. scoring The flat really only has three rooms, but they can be split into seven zones. 0-5: Failure 6-7: Pass - Reward TBD v. fun fun fun Fun is not mindlessly surfing the internet for something to occupy my time. Fun is picking up my guitar or a book, fun is gardening or knitting, fun is something that will actually make me smile, and that’s been in short order recently. scoring Might work this as a ‘no fun = penalty’ kind of thing, not sure yet. bonus no vi. socialise Imposed self-isolation is no fun, and is incredibly damaging. I’m not doing myself any favours, and despite what my insecurities would have me believe, I’m not doing anyone else any favours by shutting myself away. So I’ll talk to people. Every day. bonus no vii. smoothies My diet has consisted of crap, and that’s when I actually eat. While I’ve managed to get myself back into eating food with proper nutritional value, I’m still struggling to adjust to eating enough to fuel myself. It’s amazing just how quickly the stomach adapts to eating next to nothing… Drinking is a lot easier, therefore if I find myself having a day where I’m on the low end of the calorie consumption scale then all I need to do is blend up a smoothie and have at it. There we have it. I was considering pushing forwards with the challenge I’d originally planned, but it didn’t fit with what I know really needs to get done. Yeah, regular workouts, running, and on point nutrition will benefit me massively, but I can’t do that if I can’t figure out how to go about my day to day life. So I’m trying to figure it out and not vanish off the face of the earth in the process.
  5. earth: build something Shit is going down, but I am not. I have just started a new chapter of my life and even though I’ve been hit with a bit of an emotional sledgehammer, it’s a stumble, not a fall, and as long as I keep moving I will get through it. So I devised a plan that would keep me moving, and from that plan I cobbled together a challenge. Admittedly most of what I’m doing will be tracked using my battlelog, but there were a few things that I picked out as especially important that I achieve ASAP for one reason or another, and that’s where the challenge has come from. One: Snack Prep This is for work, mainly. For the moment, the variation of this challenge at least, I don’t have a shift over seven hours, which means I don’t have a break over fifteen minutes, which means I cannot follow my original plan of having lunch/dinner during work hours if needed. I can’t eat fast enough for that! But neither do I want to be going out onto the shop floor and making impulse buys, no matter how healthy they may be. So the solution is to prep something that can be quickly and easily consumed and is not a pile of crap, basically. And maybe not just a piece of fruit either, because I want to be more creative than that. Success will be defined as a snack for every shift. Two: Zombies, Run! I mean, it’s not that long until the Spartan Sprint, and like the name implies, there will be some running required. It does mean I do need to be able to run a little. So, twice a week, I will do just that. Why only twice instead of three times like the app recommends? Illness, basically. Thank you stress for letting that one in… Should I regain full function of my respiratory system, I may considering upping the running days. Success will be defined as two running days per week, eight total. Three: Meditation I need to get control over my mindset, now more than ever. Meditation is one of the things that I have found that genuinely helps, so I need to utilise it far more than I have been. Every day, in fact. Success will be defined as at least ten minutes of meditation daily. Four: Days Out Things seem to be working a little differently with shifts at the new store. Instead of five sets of five hours to make up twenty five hours, I’m getting four sets of six or seven hours until they adjust the rota (there was a little confusion as to what my base contract hours were). This means three days off per week. That’s three opportunities to do something. I have no idea what at this point. I’ll make my plans at the beginning of each week. Success will be defined as three sets of plans made each week, followed by adhering as closely to those plans as circumstance will allow. Five: Green Fingers Not only do I have my small collection of cacti and succulents, but I have developed a very tiny herb and veg garden. I want to keep these plants alive, and I would love it if I could persuade my chilli plants to produce edible chillies within the next couple of months. I am, however, out of practice. Success will be defined as following a daily maintenance schedule (also, making said schedule). Overall These are not SMART goals. These are ‘do something I can cope with’ goals. But I’m still going to throw in some rewards should I pull off a successful challenge. Three goals aced? I get to make an addition to my herb garden. Four goals aced? I get to make an addition to my herb garden and my veg garden. Five goals aced? The above, plus something. I don’t know what that something will be yet. Let’s see what happens.
  6. “Fustercluck Noun A fucked up clusterfuck.” Sometimes you just have to embrace the bad situation and run with it. Enemy sets your legs on fire? Awesome, time to kick him in the head and knock seven shades of shit out of him. Sure, it’s gonna sting a little and your trousers will be pretty much ruined, but can your opponent stand against you and your fiery legs? Nope. Well, my legs are on fire and I’m ready to fight back. I have no solid plan and that’s why I’ve come back to the Rangers. This is not going to be peaceful, this is not going to be stress free, this is going to be erratic and stressful and ultimately rewarding. The situation is this: It’s three weeks and a day until I have to be out of this current flat. I have no permanent accommodation lined up. Except. I have applied for three additional flats after my last viewing trip, and according to the agent who showed me around I should know within a week whether or not I’ve been successful on any of them. We’ll say a week on Monday given that it’s a weekend. So my plan is to play the short game. One week segments, each week based entirely on how the last worked out. I’m giving myself a health meter [+-------------------] (currently sitting at 5%) A social meter [++------------------] (currently sitting at 10%) And a stress meter [++++++++++----------] (currently sitting at 50%) And hoping that the visual aid will provide even the tiniest kick up the ass. Do I know what counts as stress/health/social added or taken away? Nope. Just gonna wing it. Do I know what happens if I hit zero health/social or max stress? Nope. It probably won’t be a good thing. Do I know what happens if I max out health? Well, I’ll probably be happier. Do I know what happens if I max out social? Oversocialisation, most likely. Do I know what happens if my stress hits zero? ...it won’t, but we’ll see. And now for the important part. The goals. Or more accurately, my one goal: to undo the damage my intense stressing is doing to me. And that brings me to week one (which is technically 23rd-1st). My waiting period. I have only three guidelines: Sleep between the hours of 10pm and 7am (variable with morning shifts) Eat. Stress belly has made me lose my appetite and that has an impact on everything Socialise. Do not drift away. This is pretty much the only social outlet I have right now and I sorely need it (plus you guys are amazing and when I drift away I do miss you all) I’m taking each day as it comes, and when I have my answer about my applications I’ll know how to structure week number two, and so on and so forth. In case it isn’t blindingly obvious, this is me flailing. Normal service should resume next challenge…
  7. Maybe referring to the upcoming move as a cataclysm isn’t the best of starts, after all there is no Deathwing coming to tear my world apart, but right now that’s how it feels. My life will be upended, and I will have to build anew. And that’s great, but the build up to it is so far more stress than I’m able to properly handle, and trying to tell myself that it’s ok, that it’ll be fine, is not making things any better. Stress is my dragon, it is having an increasingly negative impact on my life, and I need to get it under control before it gets any worse. And that’s what brings me to the druids. For this challenge I’m keeping things as simple as I can in an effort to regain my calm. The Goals 1. Meditation - Daily. I’d like to figure out a time that works best, and I’d like to try out a few different variations. 2. Declutter - Also daily. No matter how big or small, some part of the mountain of stuff I’ve accumulated has to vanish daily. Ditch or donate, it doesn’t matter. Apart from anything else, it will make moving across the country easier. 3. Sleep - Eight hours per night. The only exception is to be when I’m scheduled to work an opening shift after a back shift, an unfair and underhand tactic work uses which leaves me roughly nine hours between the end of one shift and the start of the next. 4. Stretching and burpees - Another daily one. Stretching is to be done on rising and right before bed. Burpees are to be done throughout the day, and the amount of burpees done must always exceed the number of burpees done the previous day. 5. Walk - My current mileage is between 11 and 16 miles a week, depending on how many days I’m scheduled to work. My aim is to bring this up to 20 miles per week. >>> Sidequest: Stress Relief - Anything that takes my fancy, really. However anything I pick up must be continued for the duration of the challenge, otherwise I’m not really going to get much of an idea at how good it is for relieving said stress. >>> Sidequest: Socialise - Post daily, no matter how small the update. I’m going to utilise a technique I found particularly effective during the last challenge, and that is that I will post by 8:30am every morning (on my days off and when I’m working back shifts, that is). I’m not sure what the penalty for not doing so will be yet, but last time just saying I’d do it provided sufficient motivation to get me out of bed on time. And that’s it. Simple, fairly loosely structured, and hopefully effective.
  8. Last month was bumpy, but this battlemage isn’t going down without a fight. I spent a little too much time drifting in and out looking for motivation, and that was not time well spent. It’s a waste, just waiting around wondering when I’ll feel like doing x, y, or z, or wondering when I’ll find the time to do a, b, or c whilst actively wasting said time doing nothing. And I know that unless I give myself a major kick up the ass it will never be properly fixed. So we’re bringing back intense scheduling, otherwise I am going to do nothing. That is the sad and uncomfortable truth. Sure, stubbornness and determination have kept me alive and have kept a roof over my head, but motivation comes and goes as it will, and to fix that I need to convert a part of that stubbornness and determination into discipline. I need it. And here’s the thing: I’m working on a very real timeline. In just over a month from now, on March 14th, I will be turning in my notice on my flat. That gives me two months. May 14th will be the day I leave Fort William. At this point I don’t know if I’ll be leaving to a new permanent residence, or if I’ll be leaving to face temporary homelessness, crashing on sofas and living in hostels until I find something. I don’t know. And that means so much has the potential to go tits up. How do I counter this? Discipline. So let’s go. Goals Quest line: Spartan > Becoming the most physically fit and healthy version of myself in an effort to conquer the Spartan Sprint Stage One: Mobility > Daily. End of. > I have time slots for three yoga sessions per week. However, things do not always go to plan, therefore the goal is to do at least one every week. Three per would would be fantastic, but I’m not about to beat myself up if it doesn’t go to plan. Distance > Daily walks. Alternate distances depending on weather and time constraints. Alteration Quest line: Spartan Stage One: Basics > Three meals daily (meat and two veg, potato or pasta if needed to fill out calorific requirements) > No chocolate/cake/sweets > One protein shake daily > One litre of water daily > One cup of coffee on waking/one cup of decaf before bed > Tea limited to no more than three cups per day Mercantile Quest line: Move > Prepping the flat to be ready for a move whenever it may come. The packrat beast needs to be banished once and for all, which means I need to be ruthless Stage Two: Crackdown > It’s last call and everything must go, or something like that… Time to bring that ruthlessness into the picture and really, truly strip myself of everything I don’t need. > Packing up a few boxes is probably going to be beneficial. I’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that the amount of books I’ll get rid of is minimal, so I can start there. Restoration Quest line: Rock solid mental health > Becoming an actual person again, one who can adapt to anything Stage Two: Regimentation > Weekly schedules created and stuck to, end of. > Keep in with the practices established during the January challenge Zero Week Survival Here I was expecting to be on for a week or more of long, long days of jury duty, and it turns out it got cancelled (not gonna lie, I was so happy when I found out. I'd had anxiety belly for a good few days leading up to making that phone call and this has cleared it right up). While this is great in that I can actually enjoy my week off work, it also means I need to scramble a new plan of action to ensure I don’t end up sitting around doing nothing. MONDAY Planning day (100% complete) > Create this plan > Select a physical skill to be the focus of the challenge as a whole (pull ups, which means it’s time to step my game up majorly) > Make a menu/shopping plan > Shore up self-care checklists TUESDAY Clearing day > Every single bin emptied, every scrap of rubbish and recycling to exterior bins > Electrical items to be ditched sorted into one place > Go through paperwork, sort into file or burn pile > Clean out fireplace WEDNESDAY Shopping day > Get food and household goods. Price is key. I have all day so it doesn’t matter if it’s multiple trips in and out. THURSDAY Shopping day two > Inverness trip for work essentials. Must check on weather forecast and traffic reports and allow myself plenty of time as conditions on that road have been bad recently and the last thing I want is to be marooned. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY Specific schedules to be created by Thursday evening, Week One schedule to be amended to include the Sunday that will no longer be taken up by jury duty. There’s a fair amount going on behind the scenes in regards to how I’m planning to fill my time. I’ve got language practice goals that I want to hit, I’ve got a rough estimate of the amount of time I’d like to spend on honing my lock picking skills, and a few others thing that I’d like to submerge myself in once again, but I don’t want to make goals out of them purely because I don’t want to feel like I’m forcing myself into enjoyment. ...unlike forcing myself to build discipline with my eating and exercise habits! Maybe this works, maybe this doesn’t. The thing to remember is that I’m doing this for my own good, and should I power through and make it work, future me will be so much happier, and present me will even feel that too.
  9. Life on Jund is a never ending struggle of survival of the fittest… And I will survive. This is a harsh land. From the ecosystems created by the volcanoes and lava and hot, dry weather to the hardened creatures shaped by the landscape, forged into vicious survivors. As a training ground for a battle mage, well… It’s perfect. I took a long, hard look at my goals for this year and decided that the battlemage class from the Elder Scrolls games fitted quite aptly (and luckily for me, there’s such a card from the Shards of Alara expansion, and it’s a Jund one). Every battlemage has to start somewhere, and my beginnings will be modest, but the learning curve will be steep. I have a vast amount of uncertainty to survive and adapt to, I have a solid understanding of my quests and how to progress. All I need to do is adapt, and this is where my adaption begins. THE MISSIONS Carving out a home: Quest line: Move > Prepping the flat to be ready for a move whenever it may come. The packrat beast needs to be banished once and for all, which means I need to be ruthless. Stage One: Living Room Tidy Clean Organised Decorated All relatively self-explanatory. As for the decoration segment of the goal… Well, I’m not allowed painting the walls, and the creamy kind of beige colour gets so incredibly boring. It doesn’t matter how much time I have left here, I want to liven it up a little. > Must be worked on daily > Burpee penalties for inactive days. How many burpees depends on the date, for example if I miss a day on the tenth, I do ten burpees. If I miss a day on the twentieth, twenty burpees. > Photo or video confirmation (whether the goal is passed or failed) at the end of the challenge as an extra bit of motivation to succeed. Becoming battle ready: Quest line: Spartan > Becoming the most physically fit and healthy version of myself in an effort to conquer the Spartan Sprint Stage One: Mobility Wrist Stretching Toe touch Making use of NF Yoga and the mobility drills it includes to try, first and foremost, to undo the damage done to my wrists. The right one in particular only bends back to a roughly forty five degree angle, and that makes all manner of things difficult, including some yoga poses and push ups done with my hands flat on the floor. Distance Walk two short/one long weekly I’ve become a distinct homebody, leaving only to go to work or to do essential shopping trips. Time for that to end. A short walk will be classed as under half an hour, and a long walk is classed as over half an hour. Weather is not a valid excuse to stay in considering I walk to work in truly horrific conditions and come out unscathed. > Again, for both goals burpee penalties will be assigned for inactive days. The date determines the number of burpees done. If I miss both goals on one day, the number of burpees is the date doubled. > Photos from walks are encouraged. Honing the mind: Quest line: Rock Solid Mental Health > Becoming an actual person again, one who can adapt to anything Stage One: Routine Night before work prep Laptop off/read one hour before bed In addition to the self-care checklists I’m tracking in my battle log, I’m going to try and instill two habits I know have worked for me in the past. In the beginning there won’t be any penalties, but if I find it too difficult to stick to without the thought of multiple burpees awaiting failure then in come those burpees. There will be mandatory daily check-ins as the majority of these things are daily tasks. Weekly summaries also mandatory. As none of this is too far above and beyond what I was trying to do with my dailies, I think it makes a good starting point and a good foundation for introducing more ambitious goals next time around. I’m using Zero Week as a warmup of sorts, so I can get used to juggling a battle log and a challenge and working everything in around my job. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, the challenge officially starts during my January holidays, and I’ll be travelling to the other side of the country and back for the mandatory once-a-year family visit. I can’t think of a better way to start, given this challenge is all about adapting in the face of uncertainty and surprising conditions!
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