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spacecoyote

spacecoyote's November challenge

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Fitness--

1) Strength training. I'm going to continue with the same as I did last challenge, doing a few circuits at home 3x a week, as that's easiest for me to accomplish. I think it's about time to get out the few free weights I have at home this challenge to add more weight. Ultimately the goal I'm shooting for is:

pull-ups: 3 sets of 10, with 25 lbs

squats: 3 sets of 15, with 40 lbs

push-ups: 3 sets of 15, each set unique (incline, decline, plyometric, etc)

lunges: 3 sets of 20 (10/leg)

dips: 3 sets of 10

deadlifts: 3 sets of 10, with 40 lbs

This is a good deal more variety than my last challenge and maybe a little ambitious but I feel like last month got me primed to hit the ground running.

2) Daily tai chi practice. Every day for 28 days, no excuses.

3) Eat more, but still healthy. I took a lot of grains out of my diet last challenge and I liked it. My weight has stayed about the same through last month, but if I start harder workouts I think I'm going to dropping (which I don't want). I don't want to count calories or track my food intake (yet) but I will start by making healthy snacks a regular thing 2-3 times a day and see what that does.

Life--

4) Write something daily. Doesn't matter if it's 20 words or 2000, public or private, good or bad; I just want to get in the habit of writing something down on a daily basis.

5) Procrastinate less. I do a lot of this at home as it's so much easier to fire up a video game or something similar than it is to wash dishes or take care of yard work. It's gotten to the point where it even bothers me, so it must be pretty bad. I feel like I could be using my time for much nobler pursuits, so I'm really gonna work on this one during this challenge.

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3) Eat more, but still healthy. I took a lot of grains out of my diet last challenge and I liked it. My weight has stayed about the same through last month, but if I start harder workouts I think I'm going to dropping (which I don't want). I don't want to count calories or track my food intake (yet) but I will start by making healthy snacks a regular thing 2-3 times a day and see what that does.

Life--

4) Write something daily. Doesn't matter if it's 20 words or 2000, public or private, good or bad; I just want to get in the habit of writing something down on a daily basis.

5) Procrastinate less. I do a lot of this at home as it's so much easier to fire up a video game or something similar than it is to wash dishes or take care of yard work. It's gotten to the point where it even bothers me, so it must be pretty bad. I feel like I could be using my time for much nobler pursuits, so I'm really gonna work on this one during this challenge.

3) i've been able to gain weight on paleo just by eating enough and snacking a lot. eat a lot of nuts. oh, and bacon. :)

5) hide the video game system.

seriously. i had the same goal a few years back, so i packed mine up and put it away for an entire month, and now i'm not nearly as addicted. if i wanted to play during that month, i'd have to go get it, unpack it, hook it up... and then repack it when i was done. it eventually became way more of a pain to do that than it was worth to play it :)

oh, and i'm actually going to get around to trying tai chi this month and let you know what i think, i promise :)

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3) i've been able to gain weight on paleo just by eating enough and snacking a lot. eat a lot of nuts. oh, and bacon. :)

mmmmm.....bacon drooling-homer-simpson.jpg[/attachment:273fe249]

5) hide the video game system.

If it continues to be a problem I might have to...problem is my wife and I use Netflix on the system when we get a chance to watch a movie together. Maybe I'll just tell her to hide the controller like my mom used to do when I was 7. History tends to repeat itself after all. :)

11/15/10 Updates:

1) Strength training.

Completed 3 circuits but wasn't entirely please with it. I got really light-headed afterward, which I think was due to me trying to rush through it and not breathing properly. Details:

pull-ups: 2x10, 1x6 >> seem to be backsliding a little from end of last challenge...maybe just a bad day

squats: 2x10x20#, 1x20 >> not used to holding weights (dumbbells) with my squats == awkward

push-ups: 3x10 >> 1 set each of decline, plyometric, and regular

lunges: 2x20x20#, 1x20 >> need to work on form, so switching to just bodyweight for a bit

dips: 2x10, 1x7 >> been a while since I did dips...but glad I'm starting :)

2) Daily tai chi practice.

Done. Made for a good way to wind down before going to bed.

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

3 snacks today: fruit and almonds for mid-morning and mid-afternoon, yogurt w/ pecans at night. Not sure how big/small I need to make these snacks but I like the size of these ones.

4) Write something daily.

Nothing grand here, but I wrote a little personal journal-type entry...bonus goal: improve my cursive handwriting (which has become terrible due to negligence). As I stated initially though something is better than nothing.

5) Procrastinate less.

Did a little cleaning of my home office - organizing paperwork and putting things away (not just shoving them out of sight). Still more to do there, but I was running low on time.

Sweet merciful crap, I've set myself a lot of daily-type goals...they're good goals, so I hope I don't get overwhelmed.

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On the plus side, once you get into the routine of it, you'll be set. I find daily goals easier to maintain in the long run than twice-weekly that you can put off and forget.

Awesome no-procrastination goal. I started that a few months ago and realized if you do things when you think "Oh, I should..." that you feel so much better about your life. Bit more effort, but much more happiness.

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That's a good idea, for the writing. It's something I've been meanignt o do myself, and might well be a part of my next challenge, to just get something down on paper, even if it's a hundred words.

Good luck!

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11/16/10:

1) Strength training.

Resting

2) Daily tai chi practice.

Almost forgot to do this, but got it in just before bed.

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

Had mid-morning snack of raisins and almonds and some cottage cheese at night. I planned on eating something around mid-afternoon but was stuck in a meeting for forever, and then it was time to go home.

4) Write something daily.

Missed the mark on this one. Guess I got caught up in stuff for goal #5 and it slipped my mind.

5) Procrastinate less.

Finally got around to using up the leftover tomatoes and peppers from my garden that were in the fridge - I made some sauce and froze it so now there's a little more room in there. Also re-arranged some furniture to put a pair of nightstands - that I think were my wife's great-grandparents - in our bedroom. You gotta love hand-me-down antiques.

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I started that a few months ago and realized if you do things when you think "Oh, I should..." that you feel so much better about your life. Bit more effort, but much more happiness.

That's what I'm hoping for...I want to start being more proactive and less reactive in the long run.

That's a good idea, for the writing. It's something I've been meanignt o do myself, and might well be a part of my next challenge, to just get something down on paper, even if it's a hundred words.

Thanks. After not doing nearly as well as I had hoped during my writing challenge last month, I figured this would be a good way to force a little more effort. My theme for this challenge seems to focus around "just DO something, instead of just thinking about doing it" which is foreign territory for me with a lot of things.

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11/17/10:

1) Strength training.

Pushing this to tomorrow to focus on some other things.

2) Daily tai chi practice.

Yep.

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

3 snacks: fruit and almonds for mid-morning and mid-afternoon, yogurt w/ pecans at night.

4) Write something daily.

Done. I've been preferring to write a lot of stuff on paper lately. My penmanship (cursive writing, at least) has become atrocious due to lack of practice so that's something that I've been working on while writing. Bonus sub-goal, ftw!

5) Procrastinate less.

Got a little bit of cleaning done around the house. I finally got my desk situated how I want it in my office, with all the cables and wires neatly hidden or corralled - a little OCDish I know but I feel NF readers would appreciate it. "Normal" folks just look at me like I'm crazy when I say "check out that cable management!"...I wonder why that is...

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11/18/10:

1) Strength training.

pull-ups: 2x10, 1x8 neutral grip

squats: 3x10x20

push-ups: 1x10 plyometric, 2x10 decline

lunges: 3x10/leg (i.e. 3x20)

dips: 3x10

2) Daily tai chi practice.

Nada. Ran out of time working on #5.

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

Ate 2 snacks today: banana and almonds mid-morning, pecans and some milk at night.

4) Write something daily.

Negative. Also because of time spent on #5.

5) Procrastinate less.

I got a decent amount of decluttering/cleaning done around the house. I even got around to ironing some very wrinkly shirts, which I've been putting off for a while because I hate ironing. Shame that I let it get in the way of 2 other goals, but I'll just have to be more aware in the future.

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Okay, so...not much to report lately but I'm gonna report anyway.

11/19/10:

Not much time to do things today as my wife and I had plans with friends for right after work. Basically shoots goals #2, 4, and 5 in the foot.

1) Strength training.

Rest day

2) Daily tai chi practice.

nope

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

Had a mid-morning and nighttime snack of fruit and nuts. Nothing mid-afternoon though because I ate a ridiculously filling salad at lunch (note: 4 hard-boiled eggs is a lot for one salad).

4) Write something daily.

nope

5) Procrastinate less.

nope

11/20/10:

I crushed goal #5 today...unfortunately at the expense of a few others.

1) Strength training.

Late night last night and didn't sleep well, so I'm pushing this til tomorrow. Slacker, I know...

2) Daily tai chi practice.

nope - forgot

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

Meh, yes and no. Weekends put my eating schedule off, so I ate healthy but not necessarily more.

4) Write something daily.

nope - forgot

5) Procrastinate less.

I got lots of stuff done today: laundry, dishes, cleaning, ironing, yardwork and a few other miscellaneous little tasks. The bad news is that I completely forgot about my other goals. Methinks I need to balance things a little better.

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11/21/10:

1) Strength training.

Pretty good workout for me overall, and surprisingly not as beat afterward as I expected.

squats: 3x10x20

push-ups: 2x10 (inclined), 1x20 (one-legged, 10/leg)

lunges: 3x20 (10/leg)

pull-ups: 1x10, 1x9x10, 1x8

deadlifts: 3x10x20

dips: 1x15

2) Daily tai chi practice.

Able to do this in the evening before getting ready to call it a night; makes for a good stretch after the muscles tighten up after a workout too.

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

Better than Saturday, but weekends are still weird because I break out of my M-F routine a bit. I did get a few healthy snacks in though so I'm pleased.

4) Write something daily.

Jotted some quick thoughts down into a notebook. I find this helps get some of the thoughts out of my head that tend to linger and occupy space...It's like I'm defragging my brain!

5) Procrastinate less.

I got a decent amount of fall yard clean-up done and even got some minor cleaning done inside as well. Not looking forward to the large-scale cleaning we're going to have to do in preparation for holiday visitors, but that will be a good test of me getting things done.

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Hey, I know I'm a bit late, but I'm also a proud cable-arranger. Extra bonus points if you label the cables for easy reference.

I've only done tai chi a few times, and in a gym setting so I dunno how true to form it was, but I adored it. More than any other excercise I've tried, you really.. I dunno.. own your space? The energy and mindset is amazing to me. I'd love to learn it properly someday.

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Ha, yeah I'm definitely guilty of labeling cables, but only in the living room though, not my office. Maybe on my next phase of office organization...

I agree with the sentiment of "owning your space" in tai chi. It really gives you a sense of your own body and movement, which is weird to try and describe. Plus all the alignment and posture elements help out a lot. I first started when I took a week-long class in the evening a few years ago and after that bought a DVD, so that's what I've been going off of since then. There's not a whole lot of options in my neck of the woods for classes and such like that but it would be nice to find one and, like you said, learn it properly.

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11/22/10:

1) Strength training.

Technically a rest day...but I got curious and couldn't help myself from testing out some (wall-assisted) handstand push-ups. Expecting utter failure, but I did 5 consecutive before my head felt like it would pop from the blood rushing.

2) Daily tai chi practice.

yep

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

I had some fruit and almonds at both mid-morning and mid-afternoon, but didn't eat anything at night.

4) Write something daily.

I got the chance to do a substantial amount of writing done. Hopefully I don't look back on it with disgust, but that's why pencils have erasers...or rather why keyboards have a backspace key.

5) Procrastinate less.

Didn't do so hot with this, as I had the opportunity to do some small tasks - order a gift online, write a complaint letter about our broken mixer - but just passed on it. I've noticed that I've been doing better with keeping on top of the regular tasks like dishes and laundry though, so I'm happy with that much at least.

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11/23/10:

1) Strength training.

Completed my 3 circuits with the following results--

pull-ups: 1x10, 1x8x10#, 1x6x10#

squats: 3x10x30#

push-ups: 1x15 plyometric, 1x15 inclined, 1x15 wide

lunges: 3x20

dips: 3x10

deadlift: 3x10x30#

I think my upper back is disliking the pull-up strain so I'm gonna try backing off a bit, probably by dropping the reps but keeping the extra weight. This doesn't bode well for my goal of completing 3 sets of 10 with 25#, but I'd rather miss a goal than screw up my back.

2) Daily tai chi practice.

yep

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

Didn't do so well here. I had a handful of almonds in the morning, but other than that nothing.

4) Write something daily.

Did pretty well with this...better than I expected anyway because my mind was a little frazzled last night.

5) Procrastinate less.

Got some holiday shopping done (online) and got some household things in order. I'm starting to miss the "oh screw it, I can do that later" attitude but I really enjoy not seeing a pile of stuff and realize I've been putting off dealing with it.

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Yikes, I apologize for being so absent here and elsewhere the last two weeks or so. No excuses really...just slipped my mind after Thanksgiving. On the plus side, I've been continuing on my goals; this guy's not throwing in the towel! I'll have more elaborate updates coming, but just wanted to let it be known I'm neither down nor out.

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Time for my final results, I guess. Here goes...

Fitness--

1) Strength training. Doing a few circuits at home 3x a week, with some free weights to add more weight.

I reached most of my goals (all except pull-ups actually) but found out I'm not a big fan of the free weights. I think I'm gonna stick with bodyweight for a while and look for more difficult exercises. Grade: A

2) Daily tai chi practice. Every day for 28 days, no excuses.

I started out really awesome at this but got a little lackadaisical as the challenge progressed, somewhere around week 3. Grade: B-

3) Eat more, but still healthy.

I did really well with this one and I thoroughly enjoyed it. No change in my weight, for better or worse, but eating more throughout the day definitely helps my overall energy levels. Especially eating things like fruit and nuts...I've been packing away almonds like nobody's business. Grade: A

Life--

4) Write something daily, to get in the habit.

Meh. Just like the tai chi goal I started out really strong then it was sporadic. I think to make this work I need to set more concrete goals so at least I learned that much. Grade: C-

5) Procrastinate less.

I nailed this one pretty well. There was definitely some weekend time that I could've put to better use but I crushed on weekday evenings. I still see room for improvement but this taught me a lot. Of course, I neglected my NF group and the forum for the last few weeks to stay on top of other things which I didn't anticipate. Grade: B

I'm gonna say for Fitness goals overall I earned an A- and for Life goals a B-. I guess total overall: B+.

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Nice work!

I'm almost done reading This Book. It's fantastic and I've already started applying some of his methods into my BW program. Based on your comments I think you'd make good use of it too.

Pistols... are friggin HARD to do.

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