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Mike Wazowski

Mike Wazowski tries some process goals

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Placeholder for now, will flesh out later this week when I've got more downtime at work.

 

But I'm admitting where I really probably belong guild-wise as a competitive ballroom dancer and doing an assassin challenge!

 

Update: Copying over process goals I fleshed out before the end of last challenge. It's gonna be a little qualitative, but my goal is to reflect on how I'm doing on all these things on a somewhat regular cadence. I don't think any of them are specific to this challenge, so does that make this a glorified battle log? Eh, probably, but *shrug*.

 

All the below are meant to address some areas of opportunity in my life in general and specifically as an athlete. But mostly just general life improvements.

 

  1. Be Present in the Present:
    • Basically, I find myself being distracted easily by chasing down the next shiny thing constantly - I'm often whipping my phone out at the first sign of boredom (sometimes to procrastinate) and not paying attention as much as I'd like to what's called for in the present moment - whether that's attention to my work, to a friend, or to just plain chilling by myself
    • Measuring will get tricky - screentime app might be a decent way to go about it? Along with blocking most social media and random other sites at work to force me to stay plugged in and engaged (if I go the nuclear option) or building better habits (to go a little less nuclear)
  2. Make the Plan, Follow the Plan (but make sane adjustments)
    • Couple facets to this guy - nutrition, finances, and time management; my sport, life, and career goals are AMBITIOUS and will require me to be pretty smart about how I spend my time, energy, money, and attention
    • Basically, have a plan for these things on a day-to-day / week-to-week / month-to-month basis, and follow through but ad lib as it makes sense (i.e. don't turn down a chance to socialize with work friends just because it's an unplanned expense and food consumption - adjust the plan as it makes sense); most obvious ad lib will be skipping or delaying a planned meal or snack if my hunger cues aren't saying that I want the food right at that moment
  3. Prioritize Rest and Recovery
    • I function well when I'm well-rested and don't when I'm not. This'll be all about making time for sleep above almost all else (8 hours almost every night, and only skimping for REAL good reasons)
    • Also making time to pray / meditate and recognizing when I haven't made time for something small every day to relax and restore (cause I can often skip past doing restorative, restful things for myself in the heat of trying to get things done)
  4. Set Intentions and Micro Goals for Progress
    • Stealing this one from an experiment @Mad Hatter had some success with recently - want to start every work day, every dance practice / lesson, and every gym session with a micro intention / goal for that time period; achieving that / staying focused on it will equal success, and lining up lots of little successes will ultimately be what gets me to my career, education, and sports goals
  5. Leave the Armor Off (as much as you can)
    • Pulling terminology from Brene Brown (ya, I'm maybe a little obsessed) - I need to stay mindful of when it'd be a good time to disclose a little more about myself (basically, be a little bit vulnerable) in order to foster deeper connections with people in my life

 

I'll also post occasionally how workouts are going and how my ongoing minimalism / cook through the pantry and freezer projects are progressing.

 

And a little about me for anyone who's thinking "who the heck is this guy and what's his deal?"

Spoiler

Hey y'all! I'm Mike, currently from Texas but originally from Chicago. I'm a full-time data nerd, but I spend most of my evenings and weekends training as a competitive Latin/Ballroom dancer - I started freshman year of college and have slowly gotten more serious over the years. I joined NerdFitness ~2 years ago, around the winter holidays in 2016 (I binge read the forums for a couple months before that). In addition to my own dance training, I teach a bunch of adorable wee little ones (and not so little, some of my students are taller than me). The long-term dance goal is to be a serious contender for a world championship in my division, but that's a long way off yet. I'm also in the process of working on a part-time graduate degree, because I'm maybe a masochist.

 

I mostly nerd out on politics, econ, statistics, and general science in terms of academic stuff, and Harry Potter, LotR, and Marvel movies are my main nerdy obsessions in pop culture. Back in the day, I was a fan of playing D&D and video games, but both have been crowded out a bit by other life priorities.

 

This past year, I've had some pretty big life changes:

  • Changed dance partners, not once but TWICE (for the better, but still stressful)
  • As a result of said changes in dance partner, have shifted from "normal" ballroom competitions to same-sex (i.e. my dance partner is a man who dances what would normally be the woman's part)
  • Changed jobs to a new company (for higher pay and similar work)
  • Started a micro-master's degree in data science (offered by MIT via EdX) and have started investigating additional online master's programs to look into once this one is complete
  • Switched how I was training from very PowerLifting / Bodybuilding oriented to a much more balanced approach; I've continued tweaking this over the months - I started in StrongLifts then dabbled with a bunch of different lifting programs before spending the last year doing almost exclusively bodyweight stuff; I recently picked up a workout book ("Core Performance") that I used as a young teenager and I'm test piloting it since it was written by a guy who did a lot of work with pro athletes in a wide-variety of non-strength sports that also aren't football (no offense to the powerlifting book writers out there, but most of them work primarily with athletes who rarely need to be active for more than ~12 seconds before resting - very different from 5 90-second dances back to back that's the standard for dance competitions)
  • Realized my sexual orientation wasn't what I thought for the first ~27 years of my life (note: switch to same sex dance competitions not directly related to this) - started dating in line with this
  • Started experimenting with minimalism as an approach to my material possessions - this one is more at the start of 2019; early experiments suggest that I'm genuinely happy with a pared-down apartment, though I'm by no means "finished" with minimalizing my things

 

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In! So glad you are in here, I have been a bit lazy about checking the other guilds out. But I know you are doing HANDSTANDS!! :ph34r:

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2 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Ha FINALLY you admit it. :P 

:P pssh there's still a little bit of denial going on!

 

1 hour ago, @mu said:

In! So glad you are in here, I have been a bit lazy about checking the other guilds out. But I know you are doing HANDSTANDS!! :ph34r:

Haha no worries, I'm guilt of that laziness myself quite often (including WHILE doing an assassin PvP :ph34r:).

 

So bad news on the handstand front: they're on hold while I test out a new strength / conditioning program BUT I think in a week or two I'll start experimenting with adding them back in or playing around with them on a rest day (using them as a warmup exercise every day was...not a great programming choice and that's what I was doing previously).

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4 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Ha FINALLY you admit it. :P 

 

2 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

:P pssh there's still a little bit of denial going on!

 

An assassin is simply a warrior who has chosen to specialize in dexterity and stealth. So regardless of what you chose to call yourself, you are still a Warrior. You even have a goal about your armor.

 

And I'm going to continue to stalk your challenge, since it's about sleep. :P

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Howdy ho neighbor, I've seen you around a lot but haven't ever followed one of your challenges. Seeing how you are over here this time, it seems like a good time to follow along :)

 

 

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15 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

An assassin is simply a warrior who has chosen to specialize in dexterity and stealth. So regardless of what you chose to call yourself, you are still a Warrior. You even have a goal about your armor.

Hmm....this reasoning checks out. Shame there aren't little multiclass icons that are half of each of two guilds or something.

 

15 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

And I'm going to continue to stalk your challenge, since it's about sleep. :P

Stalk....like an assassin?? :P

 

13 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Howdy ho neighbor, I've seen you around a lot but haven't ever followed one of your challenges. Seeing how you are over here this time, it seems like a good time to follow along :)

Howdy, and welcome aboard!

 

2 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

i was going to say something about our sleep goals and "let's sleep together!" but that seemed inappropriate somehow...

 

giphy.gif

:lol: Not with a wholesome gif like that accompanying it!

 

All the sleeeeeeps

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(I've used this gif in the past week, but hustlin' Tiana is my spirit animal and I will no shame keep using it)

 

1 hour ago, raptron said:

Oh hey, look at those shiny goals.

Yes indeed! Now here's hoping the shiny goals turn into shiny actions!

 

Week 0, Day1: 

Good thing it's zero week! I did good on keeping reasonably close to my food plan, but there were a lot of treats at the office and a tried one of everything plus some dark chocolate after dinner. I'm not mad about it, but it can't be my every day either. I did very not good on keeping myself present - distractions and social media and compulsively checking my phone took over my workday. I also did some mindless phone scrolling for at least a half hour more than I wanted to before going to bed, so today's a relatively low sleep day. But lessons have been learned and tweaks are being made to up the success (phone is going to be locked away for most of the day and social media use will be limited to 1/2 hour at work).

 

I'm experimenting with a new morning routine this week: roll out of bed, sip a protein shake, grab a water bottle (with some Gatorade in it) and head straight to the gym, THEN come back and get ready for work. Have a relaxed breakfast at home while working remotely for 1+ hours. So far, I'm a huge fan of this unofficial change to my working arrangement I've made (I plan to let my boss know of the approach I'm taking this week or next and ask him to let me know if it turns into a problem - I'm still in no later than 9:30 and at the office til 5:30, so that covers the bulk of all possible meeting times). Still running into some hiccups (my VPN didn't work yesterday morning), but cautiously optimistic that this could be a valuable part of my new work-life balance.

 

I did do well on micro intentions and vulnerability for dance practice yesterday - I was dancing through the kids' new routines with the other main ballroom teacher yesterday (who is much better at the ballroom genre than I am- I've specialized in Latin for ~5 years now) and I was able to just be very open with her about what I did and didn't know how to do and stayed open to her feedback and pointers on how to dance it better. There were a lot of "WHEEEEEEEE!!!!" moments in there too, where things just flowed and I was able to enjoy dancing with a super high-skilled ballroom lady.

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30 minutes ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Stalk....like an assassin?? :P

 

Like a ninja! :ph34r:

 

Who are great warriors, who just happened to specialize in a certain type of vaguely assassin-like tactics. :P

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23 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

But I'm admitting where I really probably belong guild-wise as a competitive ballroom dancer and doing an assassin challenge!

Go T Judging GIF - GoT Judging Wtf GIFs

But with love and support in your new traitorous, guild.

 

23 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

I function well when I'm well-rested and don't when I'm not. This'll be all about making time for sleep above almost all else (8 hours almost every night, and only skimping for REAL good reasons)

 

WHAAA?

Here for sleep solidarity.

 

23 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Measuring will get tricky - screentime app might be a decent way to go about it? Along with blocking most social media and random other sites at work to force me to stay plugged in and engaged (if I go the nuclear option) or building better habits (to go a little less nuclear)

I found a screen time app to be too restrictive and made me feel like I couldn't trust myself. I did have the advantage of having a partner at home to help call me out, but for the most part I built the discipline to put the phone down. Of course, i also rebel against being told I'm Not Allowed.

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16 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Howdy ho neighbor, I've seen you around a lot but haven't ever followed one of your challenges. Seeing how you are over here this time, it seems like a good time to follow along :)

 

 

Yeah. What he said. :)

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21 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Like a ninja! :ph34r:

 

Who are great warriors, who just happened to specialize in a certain type of vaguely assassin-like tactics. :P

20 hours ago, raptron said:

I feel like we definitely have plenty of ninjas under our umbrella. ;)

<ninja gifs pared down for quote brevity - MW>

PopularArtisticCobra-size_restricted.gif

18 hours ago, Grumble said:

Go T Judging GIF - GoT Judging Wtf GIFs

But with love and support in your new traitorous, guild.

18 hours ago, raptron said:

giphy.gif

 

I LOVE this little raptron vs. the warriors subthread :lol::P - sure makes me feel like a popular dancer!

giphy.gif

 

18 hours ago, Grumble said:

I found a screen time app to be too restrictive and made me feel like I couldn't trust myself. I did have the advantage of having a partner at home to help call me out, but for the most part I built the discipline to put the phone down. Of course, i also rebel against being told I'm Not Allowed.

Oh, probably fair - I bias towards quantifiable goals, but I suppose if I have a daily habit of reflection that could be a good substitute for trying to get too measurable with this (especially since some other goals I have aren't measurable, I may as well just lean into that full bore).

 

19 hours ago, JustCallMeAmber said:

giphy.gif

Also, hi

giphy.gif

 

18 hours ago, sylph said:

Yeah. What he said. :)

giphy.gif

 

14 hours ago, Gemma said:

Ha! Found you! You can dance, but you can't hide! 

 

giphy.gif

For some reason, thought of this song's lyrics as you say that lol:

Specifically, "you can run you can hide but you can't escape my love." Weird? Yes. But that's par for the course for me - so welcome!

 

18 hours ago, Grumble said:

WHAAA?

Here for sleep solidarity.

42 minutes ago, CourtnieMarie said:

that's what i meant

Are you sure you didn't mean "let's all sleep together," CM? :P

 

Week 0, Day 2: 

giphy.gif

 

Pretty vanilla day. Went to work, did some good work on my first analysis - though I'm still *definitely* learning the ropes here. And also attempted to set up python and made some slight progress there - I can now connect to one of our sql databases! Taught dance, where it was day 2 of harping on the kids for letting the basics of holding a frame up slip (we've been especially lax with the cohort of kids that I have), then kinda faffed around but claimed it was a practice - not my best showing there. I skipped the intramural soccer game I planned to go to due to feeling tired, then kinda mindlessly did nothing in my apartment while eating cookies - not an especially productive night.

 

Did some more reading in the Laura Vanderkam book and I am a HUGE fan so far - she has a whole chapter on being gentle with our expectations of ourselves and a great case story of an artist who could never allocate a lot of time (20+ hours a week) in her studio, but who managed to become more prolific by embracing the time she did have available. And there was a great quote from Ovid - "Dripping water hollows out stone" - that she used as an allegory for patience in pursuits where a buildup of small efforts over time leads to good results. I definitely needed to read that as I approach my dancing (and my work life probably would benefit from this approach too).

 

Be present: I spent some time at work with my phone locked in a drawer, but I think my standards may be a bit high going in here - I need to crawl before I can walk before I can run. I'm going to make a goal to spend at least 2 hour-long chunks unplugged from social media and with my phone hidden away each work day for the rest of the week and see where that gets me (I'm also going to reinstitute putting my phone in airplane mode when I walk in the studio).

Follow the plan: I totally scrapped my dinner plan (protein smoothie with kale and fruit) for oreo slims slathered in peanut butter - my best guess is that this is emblematic of two problems: 1) I'm probably not getting quite enough fat day to day and my body's craving it and 2) my same protein smoothie every night for dinner might be getting a bit boring. I'm going to attempt to address problem 2 the rest of this week by heating up some super quick dinners from my pantry (plus sautéing the kale that would go into smoothies) for dinner the rest of this week to see if that addresses the boredom issue - I'll also start upping the peanut butter content of my breakfast to see if that addresses the fats issue in a slightly...less cookie dense way.

Prioritize rest: I need to relax my 8 hours goal here - that was very much a "let's go straight to sprinting" goal. I did manage not to turn my lights back on after they auto-faded out last night (huzzah, smart home!) and I think that may be the habit I aim for in the foreseeable future - if I get in bed immediately, that'll give me 7.5 hours of rest - which is an improvement over what I've been averaging, and all that WHILE waking up earlier for an early gym habit!

Set intentions: Whoops, totally skipped this one for the most part - I did have one overarching goal for my work day, but did not for dance teaching or practice and I think it showed with a relatively unfocused and unproductive practice

 Take the armor off: Managed to vocalize how much I liked harry potter with a coworker who had a wand at his desk - it was a good moment of geeking out over a shared interest and allowing a bit of my personality to show through

 

This morning was a solid training session (active recovery day):

- Joint warmup

- 20 minutes of rowing - moderate intensity, all aerobic

- "Movement prep" aka active stretching-ish stuff - hip crossovers, calf pulses, inch worms, forearm to instep lunges, side lunges, back lunges with a twist, toe touch to sumo squats

- 30 sec plank, 20 sec side plank (each side)

- Foam rolling - legs and lats

 

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50 minutes ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Are you sure you didn't mean "let's all sleep together," CM? :P

YOU DON'T KNOW ME

 

<.< ... >.>

 

nice job paring down your goals into manageable steps :encouragement:

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1 hour ago, Mike Wazowski said:

I LOVE this little raptron vs. the warriors subthread :lol::P - sure makes me feel like a popular dancer!

giphy.gif

I mean, yeah.

 

On 2/4/2019 at 5:37 PM, scalyfreak said:

An assassin is simply a warrior who has chosen to specialize in dexterity and stealth. So regardless of what you chose to call yourself, you are still a Warrior. You even have a goal about your armor.

Image result for D&D funny

 

9 minutes ago, CourtnieMarie said:
1 hour ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Are you sure you didn't mean "let's all sleep together," CM? :P

YOU DON'T KNOW ME

 

<.< ... >.>

 

I mean, Cal King would probably fit all three of us. But would it be III /// \/\ II. So many variations. hard to tell.

 

1 hour ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Oh, probably fair - I bias towards quantifiable goals, but I suppose if I have a daily habit of reflection that could be a good substitute for trying to get too measurable with this (especially since some other goals I have aren't measurable, I may as well just lean into that full bore).

This isn't really a quantifiable goal as you have presented though. Unless you plan on manually engaging the screen time app for a specified time period, it's really more about recognizing your distractions and building discipline against them. (Might be some personal bias going on here... but nah. >_>)

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5 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

 Weird? Yes. But that's par for the course for me - so welcome!

 

 

 

I'm sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear ... 'weird' is almost certainly a factor in why we are even friends :P

 

 

Brilliant job on the recognition that sometimes you want to walk a bit before you run! I have been known to struggle with that from time to time m'self.

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23 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

YOU DON'T KNOW ME

 

<.< ... >.>

giphy.gif

 

23 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

nice job paring down your goals into manageable steps :encouragement:

Thanks! Now I just need to stick to the manageable steps and not fall into "tightening" (slowly making the habit more and more restrictive over time).

 

23 hours ago, Grumble said:

Image result for D&D funny

You can't fool me, hide armor had an awful armor check penalty in D&D 3.0 - it'd be terrible for an assassin! :P

 

23 hours ago, Grumble said:

I mean, Cal King would probably fit all three of us. But would it be III /// \/\ II. So many variations. hard to tell.

I'm the approximate size of a hobbit, so yep. Haha.

 

23 hours ago, Grumble said:

This isn't really a quantifiable goal as you have presented though. Unless you plan on manually engaging the screen time app for a specified time period, it's really more about recognizing your distractions and building discipline against them. (Might be some personal bias going on here... but nah. >_>)

I mean, there were some vague plans to quantify it, but I think I'm setting them aside - I'll instead aim for some periods where my phone stays in airplane mode, locked in a desk drawer (and I don't have the forums or other non-work media pulled up) during the work day. Maybe 1 or more 1-hour+ periods to keep the goal gentle to start. Anecdotally, I'm not a big fan of the "D" word - my will power gets stretched pretty thin most of the time, so I find it easier to engineer systems that won't tax willpower wherever I can.

 

19 hours ago, Gemma said:

I'm sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear ... 'weird' is almost certainly a factor in why we are even friends :P

:P fair! We are a buncha odd specimens (meant with nothing but love).

 

19 hours ago, Gemma said:

Brilliant job on the recognition that sometimes you want to walk a bit before you run! I have been known to struggle with that from time to time m'self.

Perfectionist struggle is real, for sure!

 

1 hour ago, RogueLibrarian said:

choose-your-class-fighter-paladin-specia 

HAHA I forgot that bugs had all those costumes over the years - but I clearly spent a lot of time with cartoon network as a child, because all except the "specialist" look familiar (sadly, because that's closest to my IRL occupation, kind of - I'm one of many analysts / data scientists who struggled with setting up some python to database server connectivity lately).

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2 minutes ago, Mike Wazowski said:

HAHA I forgot that bugs had all those costumes over the years - but I clearly spent a lot of time with cartoon network as a child, because all except the "specialist" look familiar (sadly, because that's closest to my IRL occupation, kind of - I'm one of many analysts / data scientists who struggled with setting up some python to database server connectivity lately).

 

I won't tell you how many "multiclass/choose your class" images I pored over to pick my favorite.

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Week 0, Day 3: 

giphy.gif

Did good on most of the things:

  • Presence: Really good here - multiple spurts where my phone was away and my computer was work focused; but also started the day diving straight into the forums which was not an optimal use of my start of day energy (and is something I will aim *not* to do in the future)
  • Plan: Mostly good here, minus going back for a second round of dessert at a catered lunch plus eating the chips that came with our sandwiches (I didn't enjoy the desserts or the chips much at all) - choosing to just call this data to keep in mind in the future and not get worked up over it
  • Rest: I wound down BEFORE my lights went off yesterday - I felt myself getting tired and decided to just wind down early and curl up in bed rather than turning on some mindless TV or a podcast like I often would do in the past; there was a thunderstorm-induced wakeup in the middle of the night and it was pretty muggy (I REFUSE to run A/C in February) so I didn't sleep as well as I'd like, but still progress
  • Intentions: Did good on this front at dance, work intentions were overly ambitious and had to get scrapped (though on the plus side, I had a productive afternoon getting all my python to database connections set up) - going to attempt more realism in the future so I can get energized from exceeding work intentions
  • Armor: Mostly solid on this front - I reached out for help from a coworker who was farther along than I was in setting up connections for our new programming environment (we're embracing Python after being all SAS every day for a solid decade) - I was a little light on social interactions overall yesterday and want to do better on that front
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