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It's been....a year since I last checked in on my long-term goals here. Sooooo I have this super detailed system for tracking my life goals, which involves determining what areas of my life are most important to me, making sure my goals fit into those areas, breaking the goals down into actionable steps....it's a lot, but it works for me.  These are the 6 categories I have in 2018, and here's a check-in on how the year is going. 

 

Here are my goals/plans for 2018, in order of priority:


Healthy body

* Complete 120 workouts (up from 104 last year)

* Complete a nutrition quest in all challenges.

* Find a mid-to-long term goal that motivates me (e.g. a skill to learn, a milestone to achieve, whatever it is I need)

* Lose 10 pounds.  (I'm super skeptical about this goal; more later.)

Be happy

* Keep reading lots of books! Let's read 30 this year! 

* Bike once a week

* Reduce the number of old projects I have sitting around. 

Increased financial stability

* Fully fund my IRA & 401(k).

* Save as much as possible for a house. 

* Don't spend in any of my restricted categories (beauty, clothing, online writing classes, jewelry, decor).
Community

* Say yes to opportunities to meet new people.

* Find ways to do what I like *with* other people, not just alone.

* Set up the internship with Outreachy.

Writing Community

* Attend three local writing groups or classes. 

* Finish the cross-stitch projects for my Kickstarter.

Work Life
* Get comfortable at work. 

 

---


My current focus: Healthy Body / Be Happy 

 

1. Go for a walk two nights a week. 

Why it's great: This quest hits a couple different goals. The only time I really lost weight was when I was walking a ton.  My family frequently goes for walks in the evenings and I almost never join them, so this action will help me be closer to them as well.  

Why it's hard: I frequently am doing something when my family goes for a walk. I will need to make time in my schedule to accommodate these.

 

2. Salad lunch 3 days a week. 

Why it's great: As I realized when I was traveling this week, even though I often struggle to make exercise work when traveling, I could do a much better job of eating well when traveling (and, y'know, all the time).  And we all know you can't outrun the fork (though lord, I am trying).  Plus, eating better = feeling better. 

Why it's hard: Specifically, with the salad quest, I have struggled with eating out. I'm going to be home this whole month (not traveling yay!) so I should be able to prepare and keep the ingredients around for this.

 

3. Finish one of my cross-stitch projects. EDITED TO ADD BONUS QUEST: Design a second project.

Why it's great: I will feel so happy when these are finished; they weigh on me constantly. It will feel amazing to send them to people and hear their reactions, plus it means I can do something productive while watching TV. 

Why it's hard: I'm not sure, but it's been a huge pain! I have really struggled to get started, though once I get started it's quick and easy to finish. 

 

4. Work out twice this week; ride my bike once.

Why it's great: I feel better when I work out more--less stiff, stronger, happier. And being on my bike makes me happy.

Why it's hard: I'm out of practice on this--I've kept up the habit in terms of setting aside the time, though, so I think it'll be okay.  

 

BONUS: Take one fitness/exercise class. 

Why it's great: My job pays for it! I can try whatever I want! It will be great to try some new things and see if I'm inspired toward a more long-term goal.  I am thinking of trying rock climbing, a ninja gym, dance classes, yoga, Feldenkrais, aerial classes....over time, of course. Not all of 'em right now. Just one for now. 

Why it's hard: I don't always like to leave my house. I am always late...and I hate being late.  It's hard to choose which one to try. I want to keep the focus on finding things that make me happy. 

 

I always have other stuff going on aside from what's here, like a writing goal, or whatever--but I really want to focus on this challenge over my other goals this month.  If I have spare time, I want to turn to this list and not my general list of goals. I want to interact with the forums more.

 

I've lost a little faith in myself over the last few months because I haven't been able to keep up with my own goals. I've been setting goals that weren't honest or achievable, I failed to hit them, and then I felt bad about myself.  It's time to build a strong foundation. 

 

I'm feeling pretty good about this quest. I like that it's small. I need to remember not to ask so much of myself that I can't complete it.  I need to look at every goal I set and say to myself: If you take this challenge, you MUST succeed. Are you ready to do what it takes to get it done? And to honestly say yes or no. The only changes that matter are the ones I'm actually able to make, not the ones I wish I could make.

 

EDITED TO ADD: I added workout twice/ride once as a quest and bumped the class down to a bonus class.  I realized that I need to keep up on my workouts, but not having it in my challenge was feeling weird and off-kilter.  

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

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RESULTS POST

 

Week 1

1. Go for a walk two nights a week. 1/2

2. Salad lunch 3 days a week. 3/3

3. Finish one of my cross-stitch projects. 0/1, Days stitched: M, W, Th, F, Su

4. Work out twice this week; ride my bike once. 3/2, 0/1

 

Week 2

1. Go for a walk two nights a week. 1/2

2. Salad lunch 3 days a week. 4/3

3. Finish one of my cross-stitch projects. 0/1, Days stitched: M, W, Th, F

4. Work out twice this week; ride my bike once. 2/2, 2/1

 

Week 3

1. Go for a walk two nights a week. 2/2

2. Salad lunch 3 days a week. 3/3

3. Finish one of my cross-stitch projects. 1/1, Days stitched: M, Tu, W, Th, F

4. Work out twice this week; ride my bike once. 2/2, 1/1

 

Week 4 (revised)

1. Go for a walk two nights a week. 2/2 (Assuming success in Germany)

2. Salad lunch 2 days a week. 0/2

3. Finish cross-stitch design #2. 1/1 Days worked on: M, T, W, Th

4. Work out twice this week. 2/2

 

BONUS: Take one fitness/exercise class. 0/1

Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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Two things for today: 

 

a) I fired up 8fit after a long time away. I tried the very easiest level, and it also reminded me there are meal plans on there. I didn't use the meal plans when I had 8fit pro, so I'm not sure it's a good fit, but I'm thinking I may spend my job $$ on a subscription to the app and see how it goes. ANYWAY, the point is I did a bodyweight workout today for the first time....probably since I sprained my ankle. So THAT is a win.

 

b) I'm gonna try keeping my results consolidated in one post--last challenge things got so loosey goosey I didn't even know what my goals were half the time. I want to keep them all in one spot so I have a clear sense of what's happening. 

 

c) Weighed myself today and had the highest weight *ever*. As I mentioned in the original post, I have some super skepticism about this goal but I will say it was motivating to see the number even higher than it was a few weeks ago, which had been my previous high point. Yikes. What is going on?!

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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1 hour ago, traaki said:

c) Weighed myself today and had the highest weight *ever*. As I mentioned in the original post, I have some super skepticism about this goal but I will say it was motivating to see the number even higher than it was a few weeks ago, which had been my previous high point. Yikes. What is going on?!

 

May I recommend also taking other measurements? Weight can fluctuate for things like the position of the closest armadillo, whether the stock market believes in fairies, and what you had to eat 16 years ago. It can be useful, but it can also be a bugger. 

Manarelle the Level 55 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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4 hours ago, Manarelle said:

 

May I recommend also taking other measurements? Weight can fluctuate for things like the position of the closest armadillo, whether the stock market believes in fairies, and what you had to eat 16 years ago. It can be useful, but it can also be a bugger. 

You know, I do live a lot closer to armadillos than I used to...

giphy.gif


It's a good point, though. I hate taking measurements so much. It's so boring. Does clothing size count? Otherwise, maybe I'll stick with a single waist measurement or something super boring.

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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15 hours ago, traaki said:

It's a good point, though. I hate taking measurements so much. It's so boring. Does clothing size count? Otherwise, maybe I'll stick with a single waist measurement or something super boring.

 

As long as it's consistent, however you want to track, works. Just be aware you don't necessarily lose overall in all places at the same time (which is really frustrating). 

 

Also, I love that gif. So fantastic. 

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Manarelle the Level 55 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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21 hours ago, Bob the Bard said:

If you're going to try a fitness class, I can't recommend parkour enough.  We're still into the end of summer, so there's gotta be some outdoor classes where you live.  Best of all, first one's usually free.

Awesome, thank you. I've been thinking about it and will give it a try. So far the two things I'm most excited about are parkour and rock climbing.  I've never tried parkour though, so maybe that should be first. :)

 

8 hours ago, Manarelle said:

 

As long as it's consistent, however you want to track, works. Just be aware you don't necessarily lose overall in all places at the same time (which is really frustrating). 

  

Also, I love that gif. So fantastic. 

Good point about the overall weight loss. I'll stick with weight + clothing sizes for the next couple months and see how it goes. 

 

YES WALRUS GIF FOREVER.

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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Things soooorta fell apart today, so I didn't get to go on my bike ride. BUT I did a bunch of push-ups instead throughout the day so I still got in a workout.  I also failed to eat lunch today, and it's unlikely I'll get salads either weekend day (I'm camping and not in charge of food).  I'm hoping to get in my last walk sometime this weekend.


That said, I killed it on the cross-stitch this week. I ACTUALLY STARTED STITCHING YOU GUYS. If you don't cross-stitch you may not be familiar with the terrible awkwardness of getting started, but I finished my design and got started. 

 

And with that, away with me to the nature! Have a great weekend, everybody!

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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On 8/17/2018 at 7:21 PM, Manarelle said:

Well begun is half done

I love this! I feel like I've been searching for something pithier than "starting is the hardest part".  Thanks! Hope you had a lovely weekend as well. 

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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Week 1 Final Results:

1. Go for a walk two nights a week. 1/2

2. Salad lunch 3 days a week. 3/3

3. Finish one of my cross-stitch projects. 0/1, Days stitched: M, W, Th, F, Su

4. Work out twice this week; ride my bike once. 3/2, 0/1

 

Our camping trip was cut short when a storm destroyed our tent....which meant I got an extra day at home! I'd hoped to get in both a bike ride AND a walk, but we are having some serious smoke from the CA wildfires so I stayed inside. I DID eat an extra salad though. 


This coming week I want to frontload the walking and biking to get that back on track. 

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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Nature has calmed down with the smokes and the fires and the wind storms, so this week has gone pretty well. 

 

I still have one more walk to go on this weekend, but I've talked to my partner and I'm pretty sure we're gonna make that happen.  I finally joined in the neighborhood walk-all-the-dogs evening walks, which was nice and full of silly dogs.  Not the best for *exercise* but still good to get out of the house.

 

I also went to some great effort to make sure my bike ride happened this week...and it did! I've actually gone for two rides just today.  

 

Y'know, this is one of the first challenges in a while that just feels...achievable. Boring. And I like boring.  It's feeling really good. 

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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Glad to hear the natural disasters are calming down; stay safe. Grats on the goal hitting and finding your challenge stride. May I ask about the "boring" comment? I'm not sure I understand the inflections there, but good to hear it's working out for you. 

Manarelle the Level 55 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Week 2 Final Report: 

1. Go for a walk two nights a week. 1/2

2. Salad lunch 3 days a week. 4/3

3. Finish one of my cross-stitch projects. 0.9/1, Days stitched: M, W, Th, F

4. Work out twice this week; ride my bike once. 2/2, 2/1

 

 

I overachieved on both salads and bike riding! I additionally finished all but a small amount of one of my cross-stitch projects, which has put quite a spring in my step. I think I'll finish the last bit tonight. I have to design the next one now, but I feel like my momentum is up and I'm ready to tackle it. I have a long flight in a couple weeks and really want to make sure that I have some stitching to do on the plane. 

 

I'm going to update quest 3 to be: Finish one cross-stitch & design another one. 

 

Bonus quest: I haven't taken a class and I don't really have the energy/attention to plan one. I'm not ready to take it off the challenge but it's not a priority right now as I'm just trying to keep up with the basics (which are all my challenge goals). 

 

 

Week 3 Challenges/Plans: 

I'm going on two walks today, because I want to get those in early and it works with my schedule right now.  I think this week should be easy to achieve and am looking forward to another Successful Week of Triumph! 

 

 

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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Grats on a solid week of successes. Do we get pictures of the cross stitching once finished? :) As far as the class goes... when the time is right, you'll find one that works for you. Keep up the good work on your main challenges. 

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Manarelle the Level 55 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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On 8/25/2018 at 5:59 AM, Manarelle said:

 May I ask about the "boring" comment? I'm not sure I understand the inflections there, but good to hear it's working out for you. 

 

Of course you may ask!  I find that I have the most success when things feel "boring"--e.g. not a lot of surprises. Like, "Yup, it's Monday, I know exactly what my workout is going to be" or "Here's the same delicious salad I had yesterday".  I find that in periods of transition or instability I get really wobbly on my goals, even if it's something I did on purpose. Like, when I did the GMB Elements program, it was frankly too interesting and threw me off my stride. 

 

Plus boring usually means I'm focused on the basics. Not trying to do anything to fancy, just keeping my eye on the things that matter and quietly achieving them. It's boring to go to bed on time every night. It's boring to eat a salad every day. But it works and I love it, so just trying to embrace that boring life.  


I don't know if that helps. 

 

On 8/28/2018 at 8:53 AM, Manarelle said:

Grats on a solid week of successes. Do we get pictures of the cross stitching once finished? :) As far as the class goes... when the time is right, you'll find one that works for you. Keep up the good work on your main challenges. 

 

Yes, I'll def share a pic when it's done! Probably tonight? Soon, in any case. 

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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Generally this week is still going well--I've got my workouts in, I've eaten my salads, my weight is slowly but steadily dropping. 

 

To expand on my cynicism re: weight loss from the original post....You know, there's a story I've always told myself: "I've never lost weight."  Part of that was due to not trying, and part of that (I'm realizing now) was because I never acknowledged the successes I *did* have.  Weight is so weird as far as a metric, and I'm so aware of the ways that it doesn't necessarily track with what's happening...that I refused to let myself acknowledge or accept any successes I managed to have.  This go-around, I'm celebrating any wins while still being non-judgmental and blame-free when things don't go as expected (at least, I'm trying).  I'm also actually embracing and accepting my weight loss goal as valid, which I have struggled to do in the past. 

 

I dunno, it may not work! But I'm trying it. 

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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16 hours ago, traaki said:

Of course you may ask!  I find that I have the most success when things feel "boring"--e.g. not a lot of surprises. Like, "Yup, it's Monday, I know exactly what my workout is going to be" or "Here's the same delicious salad I had yesterday".  I find that in periods of transition or instability I get really wobbly on my goals, even if it's something I did on purpose. Like, when I did the GMB Elements program, it was frankly too interesting and threw me off my stride. 

 

Plus boring usually means I'm focused on the basics. Not trying to do anything to fancy, just keeping my eye on the things that matter and quietly achieving them. It's boring to go to bed on time every night. It's boring to eat a salad every day. But it works and I love it, so just trying to embrace that boring life.  


I don't know if that helps. 

 

Yes, I'll def share a pic when it's done! Probably tonight? Soon, in any case. 

 

All good, and yes, it helps. I agree that a routine of "boring" helps focus on the little tweaks and not get overwhelmed. I'm reading a book called Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking; one of the things it covers is that some people notice things more, have a higher reaction (they call it sensitivity) to stimuli. So when too much is going on, it's hard to track it all and quiet/ downtime is needed to refocus and identify the important things from the noise. Really struck a chord with me, sounds like what you're describing with boring. 

 

Interesting insight on the weight loss. It is a weird metric and so very variable from person to person. I'm roughly 20 lbs heavier than my lightest, doing stupid amounts of cardio daily, but I feel so much better (and stronger) now with focusing on weights. Definitely worth a try on a different mental approach. You've got this. 

Manarelle the Level 55 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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IT'S DONE!!! One of the hand-stitched poems from my kickstarter: 

xstitch1.thumb.jpg.a9d7b41896201941bc683ccd9e43cf8a.jpg

I gotta iron & then mail it, but wow, do I feel better for having this done.

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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On 8/30/2018 at 9:22 AM, Manarelle said:

So when too much is going on, it's hard to track it all and quiet/ downtime is needed to refocus and identify the important things from the noise. Really struck a chord with me, sounds like what you're describing with boring. 

 

 

Yes, this feels very similar!  I get overwhelmed; I lose track of what I'm want to focus on and it all goes to hell. But with enough time to refocus and/or a simple enough plan, I keep myself on track.

 

On 8/31/2018 at 6:50 AM, Manarelle said:

Very nice, and congrats on being done. I love the question marks framing it, and it's a beautiful quote. 

Thanks! I wrote 100+ poems and allowed folks to choose which one they wanted stitched.  It came out pretty well, I think!

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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Week 3 Final Outcome:

1. Go for a walk two nights a week. 2/2

2. Salad lunch 3 days a week. 3/3

3. Finish one of my cross-stitch projects. 1/1, Days stitched: M, Tu, W, Th, F

4. Work out twice this week; ride my bike once. 2/2, 1/1

 

I totally killed it last week. Which is good, because this week ain't looking so great. Between taking yesterday off for labor day and flying internationally on Friday, things are looking a little cramped. 

 

Week 4 Revised Goals:

1. Go for a walk two nights a week. -- This should be easy, because I'm going to Europe which means WALKING. It's not the nightly walks I want to be part of my life, but it's still walking. 

2. Salad lunch 3 days a week. 0/2 -- Should be able to accomplish this tomorrow and Thursday; Friday-Sun are up in the air b/c travel. So I'm downgrading to two instead of three.

3. Finish one of my cross-stitch projects. This is done, but I'd like to have my next pattern ready to go before I fly so I can stitch it on the plane. 

4. Work out twice this week; ride my bike once. -- I still think I can get two workouts in. My bike is in the shop so no biking this week. 

 

I'm also postponing my bonus quest to take a fitness class for next challenge. 

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Traaki, Level 23 Half-Orc Assassin 

Current challenge: traaki gets some sun. Just a little. * Respawned on June 25, 2018

Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Epic QuestBattlelog

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