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Darciana: Diary of Life


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Darci here. Been around these parts since December 2021, though I really never kept up with much. 

I've been a part of Nerd Fitness Academy since August of 2017 and NF Prime since November 2021. 

 

And I've fallen of the wagon many times. I've been off the wagon far far far more often than I've been on it. So I decided wagons aren't my thing. 

 

Since I'm not on a wagon, I'm left with whatever is on hand. Which, honestly, is my own two feet. Fortunately my feet aren't located on my hands or I'd be in some real trouble here. 

 

I digress. Going on foot is slow, but it's movement and I've found slow is best. The reason I fell of the damn wagon is because it was simply going too fast. Why not slow it down a bit and get my bearings? 

 

Things I want to focus on in 2023:

1. Journaling

I have 3 journals, each providing something different:

  • A Mystic's Guide To 2023: This journal allows me to write one thing I'm grateful for, check in with my mood, check off (yes or no) on food, workout, sleep, water, and nutrition (food = calories, nutrition = was it healthy), a daily mantra, sleep journal, ritual/meditation time, scripting my day, 3-6-9 manifestation, and a check in for the day using "one thing did I do to move forward today"
  • The Witches Planner 2023: A daily check in with a spot to write things out (I usually write down what's heavy on my mind to get it on paper and out of my head), notes, to-do, and something I'm happy about that day. It also has a spot to write out weekly goals, positive thoughts, notes, budget, and main focus of the week with a spot at the end of the week to reflect. This planner provides a spot to reflect on each of the seasonal "holidays" or sabbats (Imbolc/midwinter, Ostara/spring equinox, Beltane/May day, Litha/Summer Solstice, Lughnasadh/First harvest, Mabon/Autumn Equinox, Samhain/Halloween/New year, Yule/Winter Solstice). I like this to help me reconnect with the seasons
  • The Sisters Enchanted Lunar Planner 2023: This is where I write my current mantra/lunar intention daily. It provides a spot for tarot/oracle pulls or just writing out lunar intentions and sun goals for each full and new moon. 

I've spent the money already. I need  to get my money's worth by actually using these planners. I'm a little over one month in of using them and so it's time to put it out into the universe that I shall continue for the next 10+ months left of the year. 

 

2. Nutrition

I have MyFitnessPal and use it often. I need to keep checking in on calories to be sure I stay in deficit. I don't typically control my dinner options so I need to track those ASAP so I may adjust my lunches and occasional breakfasts accordingly. 

I also loved fasting. Having an intense (to me) workout before work in the morning but trying to fast until lunch, 4-5 hours later doesn't always work out. Again, dinner is not in my control and happens after I'm off work anyway. So the goal is to fast whenever possible and be kind to myself when I'm simply too hungry to keep fasting on. When I need to eat after a workout, I will focus on protein (my current go-to is hard boiled eggs)

I also want to become re-aquainted with my body. Years of not listening to it has caused me to no longer understand what it is telling me. I need to learn my hunger cues vs cravings/boredom/emotions/stress. I need to eat slower so I can give my body a chance to tell me I'm satisfied, not full or overstuffed. I also need to be able to recognize that signal and not be confused or miss it entirely.

 

3. Workouts

I need movement. I need to be consistent with getting my butt out of bed so I can get some type of workout in. Currently working on The FeelGood Plan by Dalton Wong & Kate Faithfull-Williams. I'm in the market for a kettlebell and have printed out the NF Kettlebell Workout. I have the NF Bodyweight Workout. I have a rowing machine and a stationary bike. I have 2 pups that love walks. I have a yoga mat and youtube at my disposal. I have more than enough resources to get in a decent workout one way or another. 3 days a week is my minimum goal though my current workout schedule from The FeelGood Plan has me doing 4 days a week of workouts with Saturday being a "fun activity". 

 

4. PE Licensure

I am due to take my PE Exam this year, pass it, and get licensed as a Professional Engineer. I cannot get promoted nor can I get a significant raise until I do so or I'll max out my current level's pay range. I also am not eligible for annual bonuses for the company until I get promoted at least 1 more level up so that's a pretty good motivator. In addition, my company is offering a nice little bonus for taking, passing, and getting licensed as a PE while employed with them. I'll take that! Many financial motivators. 

I have a copy of one of the practice tests. I have most of my college engineering books and notes to refer back to. I simply need to DO the thing. My goal is to spend about an hour each week studying. First, take the practice exam and grade myself. Then note down what concepts I need to re-learn and study. Then, create a study plan and actually follow it. Once I get to the study plan portion, I need to schedule the test (it is currently $375 to schedule so I don't want to set myself up for failure. Especially since I can only take it 4 times a year until I pass). 

One hour every week. That's it. Just do the thing. Take the thing. Pass the thing. License the self. 

 

5. Finances

I need to get my budget up to date and keep it up to date. I need to actually stick to my budget every month and not buy unnecessary items or think I have extra money to spend when that extra should be going towards a debt payment. I need to focus on paying off debt and maintain my debt payoff tracker to keep myself motivated on it. Simple as that. Budget. Don't spend what's not in budget (or update budget for unexpected, but necessary, expenses). Pay excess towards debt. 

 

To get started:

1. I've managed to journal for the month of January. One month down, 11 more to go. The habit has started, now I need to keep it. I also need to determine how I'm going to continue it when I'm traveling and don't want to pack 3 giant journals everywhere I go. I might just have to digitize them for those times. Look at that, already found a solution. 

2. I've been fairly good about keeping to my one NF Prime "Resolution Rescue" resolution I made: check in with myself before eating to ensure I'm truly hungry and not just bored/stressed/emotional or it's a habit to eat at that time. I've also been mindful about what I'm eating for the most part. Moreso than normal and that's a small step, but a step in the right direction nonetheless. 

3. I've only missed 1 workout prior to today due to just plain being a lazy bum. I've missed 2 overall, the second one being today (2/6/2023) as I did my scheduled workout Thursday and Friday followed by unscheduled "functional fitness" on Saturday and Sunday in the form of moving my friends from one house to another and all the heavy lifting that goes with moving. My schedule was to work out today and tomorrow but there's no way I could successfully do 5 days in a row at that intensity and not a) burn out and b) potentially injure myself. Tomorrow is cardio, which usually means the rower, and I'll likely knock that out before my scheduled rest day Wednesday. Overall, the longest I've been consistent with workouts. Ever. That's a win. 

4. I bought the practice test and it's sitting on my work desk. I've made a step-by-step guide and set out a goal to do it. 

5. I have a budget. I need to update it, but it's there. All my bills and debt are listed. Simply need to fill it in. 

 

Other random notes:

I'm on a Lara Croft kick, as in I'm idolizing her and wanting to play Tomb Raider (though I don't have my PS4 hooked up and I need to be spending my time more wisely than becoming addicted to video games again). Yet, today I'm feeling a little less Adventurer/Lara and a little more Ranger. I bounce between them daily. Maybe I'm both? Maybe I'll finally discover which I lean more towards this year? For now, I claim both. 

 

I also have a bit of Druid in me. I'm slowly introducing homesteading into my life. I need to plan my garden and start getting things prepared for this year. I love the idea of learning Herbalism. Nature is my best therapy. Yoga is something I don't particularly like, but I always come back to like a calling. And I have done a tiny bit of Tai Chi in the past and loved it. Once my current 2023 goals become a lifestyle that takes absolutely no thought, I might re-introduce Tai Chi to my life. We shall see. Baby steps here. Yoga will suffice. 

 

I have a goal of 12 books in 12 months. I'm behind right now in February's reading but I plan to spend this evening catching up while the man watches his show. I'm trying to make reading a before bed routine. It, unfortunately, hasn't helped with my budget as I've been purchasing books to keep up this goal. It all started as a way to get back to reading when I wanted to read, but felt I didn't have time combined with the goal of getting off electronics before bed to help me sleep better. Win win, except for my wallet. I prefer tangible books to ebooks, but man, ebooks are GREAT for the wallet. 

 

I'm a stepmom to 3 kids. One lives with us permanently and he turns 18 in March, graduates (hopefully) in May then he's living with us while he works and saves up to move out on his own. The other two, who are younger, come during the summer. Memorial day weekend until the first weekend in August. Those are the tough months. I have 2 additional kids I want to get as much possible quality time with and we definitely travel or get out of the house every possible second we can. Doesn't bode well for many of my goals. So here's to that challenge. Hopefully between the month already completed and the next 4-ish months before they arrive I've made these goals more of a lifestyle thing and they come naturally and easily rather than the current to-do list that makes it challenging at times to complete. 

 

If you've read this far, congratulations. Your reward is to stop "listening" to me babble on endlessly. Sorry 'bout that. Let's hope this is finally the year I keep up with things. If not, it's the year I've managed to keep up with something, anything, for a month at least. 

 

 

  • Like 2

You don't have to be perfect, you just have to be better than you were before. Do that every day and you will succeed.

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On 2/6/2023 at 3:55 PM, Darciana said:

If you've read this far, congratulations. Your reward is to stop "listening" to me babble on endlessly. Sorry 'bout that. Let's hope this is finally the year I keep up with things. If not, it's the year I've managed to keep up with something, anything, for a month at least. 

 

 

Welcome!  Here to cheer you on and listen to your babbles. 
 

Quote

I also have a bit of Druid in me. I'm slowly introducing homesteading into my life. I need to plan my garden and start getting things prepared for this year. I love the idea of learning Herbalism. Nature is my best therapy. Yoga is something I don't particularly like, but I always come back to like a calling. 

I totally relate to this. If I could live in a little hut with a garden, and room for yoga I think I would be totally happy. 

  • Like 1

“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy” -Nightbirde

 “Dreams do not come true all by themselves. They are nourished by the bounty of hard work”  -Unknown Disney Imagineer

 

2024 Word

Svastha: Standing in One’s Own Power

Current Challenge:

Sepherina Roams Among the Trees

Prior Challenges

Spoiler

Sepherina:

#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 , #6 , #7 , #8 , #9#10

 

Avery The Patient:

#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Sepherina said:

Welcome!  Here to cheer you on and listen to your babbles. 
 

I totally relate to this. If I could live in a little hut with a garden, and room for yoga I think I would be totally happy. 

 

The little hut. I call it cottage, but same idea. YES YES YES YES. 1000000% YES. 

Garden, indoor and outdoor yoga space, a library with a little nook. And a seemingly endless forest right outside to wander and get lost in while making friends with all the little cute animals 

You don't have to be perfect, you just have to be better than you were before. Do that every day and you will succeed.

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11 minutes ago, Darciana said:

 

The little hut. I call it cottage, but same idea. YES YES YES YES. 1000000% YES. 

Garden, indoor and outdoor yoga space, a library with a little nook. And a seemingly endless forest right outside to wander and get lost in while making friends with all the little cute animals 

Totally want that vibe!

 

 Snow White Hello GIF by Disney Princess

  • Like 1

“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy” -Nightbirde

 “Dreams do not come true all by themselves. They are nourished by the bounty of hard work”  -Unknown Disney Imagineer

 

2024 Word

Svastha: Standing in One’s Own Power

Current Challenge:

Sepherina Roams Among the Trees

Prior Challenges

Spoiler

Sepherina:

#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 , #6 , #7 , #8 , #9#10

 

Avery The Patient:

#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 

 

 

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Just found you here, you’re making great progress!

Past Challenges: #1, #2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16

Current Challenge: #17

 

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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image.png.2b385bdb094118342a62ef716ce287ca.png

Keeping a running list of my loot inspired by my No Spend Summer 😇

 

**1. Necklace replacement: https://www.etsy.com/listing/877569824/dainty-black-tourmaline-cresent-necklace?click_key=63ae6f64b0462983fdeefe3de6c245d689ad5786%3A877569824&click_sum=b4c7befa&ref=shop_home_active_8&pro=1&frs=1&sts=1 ** I miss mine, but I have a star necklace (no magical crystal powers, though) that is holding me over so it's a 2/3 priority.

*2. Matching earring set because I've never seen them before on their store: https://www.etsy.com/listing/902149231/tiny-black-tourmaline-moon-studs?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=tourmaline+earrings+stud&ref=sr_gallery-1-6&pro=1&frs=1&sts=1&organic_search_click=1 * I have other earrings I can wear.

*3. Conch stud: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1331154474/tiny-star-threadless-flat-back- earrings?click_key=93ca60f3e3fc9c03dde818ab9b61a8d4517f2e85%3A1331154474&click_sum=6795de7b&ref=user_profile&pro=1&frs=1 *I just changed out my original piercing jewelry for a smaller version that I'll accidentally get my hair caught on less. Unless I lose this one and have to wear my super long piercing one, I can wait.

**4. Pretty much everything from this seller, but specifically the Tarot deck which matches my Oracle deck: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1475848092/shadow-journey-tarot-deck-78-card-tarot?click_key=c61e0f9e6e1829b640faf929d38760197d688ea4%3A1475848092&click_sum=5f2d8efa&ref=shop_home_recs_2&frs=1&crt=1&sts=1 ** They sell out fast and sometimes do not continue to produce certain decks so I'd like this before it is gone forever.

*5a. Books and books and books and books (gift card/budget): https://www.barnesandnoble.com/ *Other than special editions and new releases of series I've already started, I have so many dang books I already own that need to be read.

*5b. (E-)Books and books and books and books (gift card/budget): https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Store/b?ie=UTF8&node=133140011 *See above.

***6. Thrift store shopping spree (specifically for sweaters/long sleeves, of which I'm severely lacking). Caveat: I must make room in my closet by going through my existing clothes and donating clothes I don't wear/don't fit/don't like first (the task and the loot are so interwoven, like the sweaters I prefer, that I cannot unlink them for fear of the whole ordeal unraveling.) I successfully cleaned out my closet AND dresser. I can now begin the task of saving up for thrift sweater shopping. *** Winter is coming. Silly to buy sweaters in spring/summer but not have any winter clothes in actual winter, right? I want to purchase at least a couple more long sleeves before winter kicks in fully, but I'm waiting for stores to begin putting out winter clothes. I did pick up 2 sweaters, though, so I'm crossing it off loot list.

***7. Chess set so the man can continue to teach me and I can practice: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BRJLB1J7/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?smid=A1BZXWEBKB6Q1K&psc=1 *** The man was looking at the thrift stores we stop at halfway to drop kids off and found 2 marble chess boards but no pieces. Priority so he can play (and before I forget what he's taught me so far) since he seems far more invested than I originally thought. I purchased a beautiful hand made/painted chess set from Turkey for Christmas for the Man. He loves it! He's now mad we don't have a nice place to display it

***8. Virtual walk - I think this is a challenge and reward all in one - no medal until I complete and I have to walk to complete. I lose money if I don't follow through: https://www.theconqueror.events/lotr/*** not sure how long this will be available and, well, it's going to get cold and I'll be less likely to walk soon I signed up for a 10k in April just to see if I can do it. It has a medal and shirt involved so this is getting me out and about while increasing my mileage. Same concept. I'll earn the medal once I finish the race!

**9. 15lb Kettebell - I will be needing to up the resistance in the coming weeks/months to maintain a progressive overload. Not highest priority as I'm still increasing sets/reps to the max recommended by the program, but I can't wait forever, either! https://www.walmart.com/ip/Weider-50lb-Cast-Iron-Hammertone-Finish-Kettlebell-Single/54929947 The Man and I are getting a gym membership to work out at which, even with travel to/from is cheaper than buying the equipment/weights to create a home gym. This also works since we'd like to downsize our living space in the coming years - I don't want to have to buy a bigger house just to accommodate all the workout equipment we spent hard-earned money on.

*10. New Helix Studs - I nearly lost one when it came unscrewed in my sleep. Luckily, I was able to find it in the bed and get it back in so the piercing didn't close. The only backup studs I have are the original ones which are super long to account for swelling and they get caught in my hair something awful. I'd like to earn a second pair of "backup" that are different and make me happy, but can also be used in the case of one coming out again (though now I'm paranoid and checking them more often to ensure they stay screwed in tightly)

*11. New Workout Clothes - I'm starting to lose inches and noticing on runs my leggings are starting to fall a bit. If I continue to lose inches, I'll need to invest in some workout clothes that will stay up without worry or having to constantly pull on them.

*12. New Closet - Along with the workout clothes, I may need some upgrades to my closet should I lose more inches/change body shape in a way that my clothes will no longer properly fit. I signed up for a Color Analysis in April so I can better understand what colors look good. Next year my friend (who introduced me to color analysis) wants to see if we can get in with the Color Analysis lady's assistant who is a stylist to see about what styles look best on each of us. Long game here but I want to be confident not just in my body, but in what I wear!

 

 

***High priority

**Medium priority

*Low priority

  • That's Metal 1

You don't have to be perfect, you just have to be better than you were before. Do that every day and you will succeed.

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  • Darciana changed the title to Darciana: Diary of Life

A summary of 2023:

On 2/9/2023 at 11:11 AM, Darciana said:

5 Week Challenge 1: 

Came in late but set the same goals as 1, 2, & 3 above. Stuck with them. All good! 

Missed 1 workout total, rescheduled 1 total. 

Logged food most days. Weekends weren't ideal. Made progress in being mindful during the week. 

Journaled daily. Even when I was away from home overnight and couldn't take my journals, I had a photo of it and I mentally took notes.

 

On 2/9/2023 at 11:16 AM, Darciana said:

5 Week Challenge 2: 

Goals are the same as 1, 2, 3, & 4 above.

 

Since they are the same overall goals as the first challenge, I'm keeping momentum during Zero Week by continuing to execute.

 

I've missed 1 workout thus far since Challenge 1 ended, but it was replaced by life. I spent 2 days moving boxes and furniture, helping friends move from rent house to purchased house, yay! This was after 2 days of scheduled workouts, meaning 4 straight days of physical activity. I took a rest day instead of doing 6 days straight of physical activity. Got back to it with regularly scheduled workout Tuesday feeling much better. 

 

On 3/21/2023 at 8:33 AM, Darciana said:

5 Week Challenge 3:

 

- Journaling went alright. Had a few minor slip ups, but overall stuck to this goal. Longest I've ever journaled in my life! 

- Workouts went okay. Had an adjustment that I ended up switching up schedules and methods. Added in 5k training and had to change around the workout schedule I already had planned out to make it all work. All good, though. Between cold (forecasted possible snow) and rain, I postponed running and have been doing cross training on the rower instead during the last week of the challenge. Postponing also helps me adjust schedule so I start Week 3 on a Monday rather than a Wednesday. No more app yelling at me about what is and isn't a training day because we are on the same page again!

- Nutrition has been both good and bad. Some days are amazing, others not so much. It is balancing out, though. I've been doing pretty good tracking and am within goals most days. All or nothing is still a battle I fight, but I'm winning more often than not.

 

So far this year I spent the first week gaining an extra lb from my previous highest weight ever. Then, from there, I ended up losing 7.7lbs. Habits are becoming actual habits now and I can almost mindlessly do them.

 

Next up, I want to focus on my self-love. A podcast made me realize that losing weight isn't automatically going to flip a switch and suddenly I love and appreciate myself. I need to love and appreciate myself as I lose the fat, grow the muscle, and gain the confidence. Because hitting a number on the scale (be that weight, BF% or muscle mass) won't just magically change my emotions. So going forward I continue with my habits while learning to love and appreciate who I am RIGHT NOW and all the amazing things I've accomplished along the way. 

 

I also want to note that the habits listed above are habits I established in addition to prior ones I had formed: 

1. 1/2 bodyweight in oz of water daily, minimum

2. Be in bed 8-9 hours (I have 2 sleep disorders so just being in bed and resting counts versus actual sleep. Though my actual sleep has improved since the above habits have become a regular occurance in my life)

 

On 5/1/2023 at 10:56 AM, Darciana said:

5 Week Challenge 4:

 

- Journaling went well! I even managed to travel (flying, even) with my giant Mystic's Guide journal to keep up with it.

 

-Workouts good. I didn't work out this past week as I was gone on business and sleep was more important and much harder to come by. Between lights, noises, and a not-as-comfy-as-I'd-like bed, it wasn't worth it. Otherwise, I began Week 6 of the C25K app (Just Run: Zero to 5K is actual free app) this week despite the week off running and am doing pretty okay so good there. Adjusting as necessary to meet goals without injury or burnout.

 

-Nutrition was a struggle this week as I was eating out from Tuesday until Saturday (lunch Saturday being my first meal home) but I still managed to lose weight. It was the body reset I was thinking of taking, I suppose, though I originally planned to take said reset eating plan in between Challenges. Alas, it worked and I the big drop despite the large food intake kickstarted me back to life. Otherwise, I had been pretty good at sticking to my goals and eating within reason. Been paying much better attention and recognizing my body's hunger cues of when to eat and when to stop, regardless of time (within reason, eating lunch an hour before dinner isn't the answer, for example) or how much food is left on my plate. Progress is slow, but it is being made here.

 

-Self love was pushed to the back burner this last week though I didn't completely ignore the goal entirely. I simply didn't take a large amount of time to really love and appreciate myself and my progress, it was more fleeting thoughts. Better than before when I'd only ever have a positive thought about myself if I did something super wonderful or amazing. Otherwise, I didn't struggle with this as much as I thought I would. Typing it out for the world to see really kept me going when I otherwise would've fallen off. I plan to continue this trend.

 

 

Obstacles this upcoming Challenge (5):

 

- Travel a full weekend to the man's family reunion mid-May (leave Friday, reunion Saturday, return Sunday, driving about 10-11 hours one way on the travel days)

- Wedding on the last Saturday of May, the day after the oldest graduates high school

- 5K race on the last day of the Challenge and leaving the following day for a week-long beach trip (this is more mental challenge-related. Anxiety and worry/confidence issues)

 

On 7/24/2023 at 7:19 AM, Darciana said:

5 Week Challenge 5

 

I realized I never posted a summary of this as it ended just as I left on a week vacation. Oops!

 

As far as I remember, there were no issues with this challenge. I don't remember my weight changes but I do remember I hit my goal of being between 150-155. This was what I weighed last year going to the beach and therefore I wanted to be at or below the same range. That's gotta be some credit to nutrition.

 

I also got a PR on my 5k! Taking the time to do a couch to 5k program and stick with the slow progress really did work wonders in that regard.

 

I do remember being very good about journaling and self-love so I'll give myself a virtual sticker for those on this challenge.

 

On 7/24/2023 at 7:29 AM, Darciana said:

5 Week Challenge 6

 

Considering Zero week was a vacation away and there was plenty of travel sprinkled throughout, it wasn't a total lost cause.

The point of this challenge, honestly, was to train myself to come back to my habits and reset myself after an event. In this, I was very successful!

 

Journaling: I didn't keep up with it like I had wanted to on that week long beach vacation but I did do SOME so it's not a total failure, all things considered. During all my other trips, I managed to do well with it, including the girls weekend I just wrapped up in the final days of this adventure. I even got compliments from everyone about my dedication to it. Yep! I sure am.

 

Nutrition: I could've used a little more effort, but overall not bad. My problem is when eating out - I get the FOMO bad. I think I'll need to make this a thing on my next challenge - being mindful eating outside my home (including at friend's houses because I'm nearly as guilty there as at a restaurant). I have some ideas on what I need to work on, I just need to figure out which to tackle first (which one will make the others easier to implement later/has the biggest impact on its own) and how to do so. Progress, not perfection.

 

Workout: Rough. It took me nearly 2 weeks after vacation to get in any kind of rhythm. Then I couldn't figure out what to do - I didn't have a specific goal to work towards like I did with training for the 5k. I still don't, but I'm doing the kettlebell workout on Journey and then I'll amp that up with the intermediate one that I saw in the emails last week. I'm hoping it'll cool off a bit so I can take the dogs for walks in the evening and I can start jogging in the mornings again. Maybe not next round but the round after it'll finally be cool enough. I'm also wanting to stay consistent with some kind of strength, be it bodyweight, kettlebell, or other.

 

Water: Not bad. Some days were issues but overall, I'm content with myself here.

 

Spiritual: I found a daily ritual that I've gotten pretty routine now. It's not perfect, but it's something!

 

Self-love: A work in progress, but there is progress. Every day I try to get better and better.

 

On 10/16/2023 at 9:13 AM, Darciana said:

5 Week Challenge 7

 

I swore I updated here for this challenge but I think I thought I did, but didn't actually, physically do it. Oh well. Quick summary of what I remember:

 

A success in creating a habit of my morning spiritual ritual. This includes grounding, setting an intention, and infusing that into my coffee as I stir it.

Had some work travel sprinkled in and managed to maintain my weight through that, despite gaining during previous work travel. This is a proud point here.

Good on workouts - no big snowballing failure. Adjustments being made and rhythms altered and changed to fit my schedule.

Made some good progress on self love though it's not quite established as a solid habit.

 

On 10/16/2023 at 10:02 AM, Darciana said:

5 Week Challenge 8

 

Alright, I actually remembered this one this time.

 

Water was good - I did have a few days when we were traveling or at events in which my hydration was not ideal but I was able to bounce back quickly from that. When at home (or at least local) I've been much better and have improved my hydration through this round. Still have some work to go as I navigate things such as Thirsty Thursday (I don't like having to buy water bottles and it creates so much waste) but I'm thinking of ways to overcome that. I'm planning on upping water goal again from this challenge to keep progressing. Especially important as it begins to cool off and water is not as appetizing (but tea is! Sometimes we have to compromise)

 

Workouts have been fairly good. I've fallen off the strength training wagon a bit, but I've started running again in preparation for the upcoming 5k at the end of next challenge. Not only is that 5k approaching entirely too quickly but it's finally cooled off enough to walk the dogs in the evening without burning paws or dying of heat stroke - this opens up my mornings for running. I'll need to pick back up on strength soon as my body is now adapting back into running and I can handle the extra load - before I would've been too sore/increased likelihood of injury if I tried to start running while maintaining strength. I'm not upset about the adjustment, though. It was a smart move on my part in hindsight, even if I felt like I was being lazy at the time.

 

Nutrition has been decent. It could be better but I've been working hard to pre-plan dinners. Not only does it help with nutrition (I can balance breakfast and lunch better when I know what I'm having for dinner) plus it has helped me save money on groceries each week. We are getting to the colder part of the year so there's a slow transition to soups and stews which, for me, is much easier to squeeze in veggies and high volume/low calorie meals. Meal-prepping a week's worth of lunches on Monday is also very helpful and has kept me on track a bit better with my goal of including a vegetable with at least one meal a day. Continuing that trend, not only for my health but my wallet.

 

Self love is still continuing. It has gotten a tad easier, but I still find myself in need of daily reminders to give myself some love so it's not a natural thing yet. Progress is slow, but it's still progress. Continuing this onward!

 

I've managed to pay off one credit card and am on track to pay off a little more than half of the other credit card by the end of the year (assuming nothing goes terribly wrong and I need to route that extra payoff money elsewhere). I'm not as on it as I was hoping, but I had a few unexpected expenses pop up and then a few extra celebrations/spend weekends that weren't on the calendar when this challenge/plan was made to pay off 2 credit cards. I'm still going to be content with my progress, though, since I'll be extremely close to paying it off by the end of the year and moving on to paying down other debt which is the whole goal. Progress, not perfection.

 

Finally, spiritual ritual. Other than when I'm traveling and not making my own coffee at home, I've gotten my daily intention coffee stirring down as a habit. My next goals were to find ways outside coffee to incorporate some witchery into the mundane. I decided during this challenge that may daily skin care routine would be a good place to try to start since I've already gotten so much better about actually doing it daily. I've only suceeded a handful of times so far which is better than none. It wasn't part of my original goal (just the stirring intentions into coffee was) so I'll use this idea on the next challenge to move forward. This will be helpful with any travel away from home when I maybe ordering coffee rather than making it at home - I forget to stir or am in a busy place that I cannot properly ground/focus intention. A daily ritual in any way shape or form will be a good reminder to ground myself and look inward to connect with my intuition.

 

Not a bad challenge overall so I'm looking forward to progressing with the next one!

 

On 12/27/2023 at 7:02 AM, Darciana said:

I have epically fallen off the wagon these last 2 months.

 

Challenge 9 ended around Thanksgiving, which I was out of state for. Then the following week, I was gone for my grandfather's funeral. A couple weeks later, the kids come down for Christmas for Challenge 10 to end.

That's alright, that's life. 

 

To sum up 2023. I've lost 9.9lbs since the beginning of the year and 10.2lbs since my highest weight ever (Jan 10th, 2023). I lost 2% body fat and gained 2% muscle mass! I got a PR on a 5k in June only to PR again on another 5k in November. I signed up for my first ever 10k in 2024.

The Man was inspired by my Dad and has started to incorporate a healthier lifestyle which helps keep me healthier, too.

I managed to keep up with a regular journal practice (daily, most of the time) through the year, a feat never before accomplished. I got deeper into my spiritual practice and have expanded and learned more, as well as connected with others with similar beliefs and views as well as those with different views/beliefs but an open mind and willingness to accept (and much love to both those types of people!! I'm so thankful for you)

 

 

You don't have to be perfect, you just have to be better than you were before. Do that every day and you will succeed.

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Ramblings and thoughts for 2024:

 

Pay Off Debt (don’t add to debt, either, if possible*)

Samsung Financing **

HEB/Imprint Credit Card

Capital One Credit Card***

USAA Credit Card

USAA Personal Loan

Discover Personal Loan

Update the paycheck budget as well as monthly budget to stay on track and ensure sufficient funds. Set aside some each month for savings to build the emergency fund to at least $1,000. 

*Loans to help remodel the house (bathroom specifically) are acceptable. Once the travel trailer is paid off by boys purchasing it, purchase of a smaller trailer is also acceptable, within reason. 

**Deferred interest. Must pay off before March 23rd to avoid any back interest charges.

*** First 3 in list to be paid off in that order, the last 3 may be paid down in any order

 

Increase Journaling

Use Silk+Sonder until my year subscription is completed and determine if financially worth continuing (next billing is $189.00 on May 10th)

Find a daily free prompt to practice getting into free-writing. Inserts for my binder have been purchased for the purpose of journaling.

Incorporate Shadow work journaling - Kindle book has prompts, use them!

 

Increase Spiritual/Nature Practices/Rituals

Ground in Nature daily - Sun salutation adaptation outside or at least step outside and take deep breaths of fresh air while grounding to greet the morning

Daily stirring in of intentions

Incorporate magic into the mundane whenever possible (showers, skin and hair care, hair styles such as braiding as protection or weaving in intentions for example)

Celebrate the Sabbats more in depth - research each Sabbat and find ways to celebrate with rituals which are meaningful to myself/the household

Set a reminder to blow cinnamon on the first of every month for abundance, wealth, and good luck. 

Light candles and incense to create ambiance and make the house smell good.

 

Read/Have Me-Time

Limit spending on books - read what I already have*

Read before bed rather than play on phone or watch TV

Don’t join TL Book Club - focus on personal books

 

*Buying sequels to books I already have is acceptable. Avoid purchase of new one-offs or new series until caught up on books already owned. Focus on physical copies, not e-books as “Stuff Your Kindle” has increased e-book ownership. Read e-books once caught up on physical books while saving for more books by setting aside money in budget each paycheck. 

 

Study for/take the PE Exam

Begin a studying routine and stick to it

Aim to take the exam by the end of the year

Reach out at work to find resources/guidance

 

Do Kitchen Witchery

Edible Alchemy: Get more comfortable and confident in the kitchen by experimentation with new recipes, both cooking and baking.

Inedible Alchemy: Try new non-food recipes such as making medicinal tinctures and teas, attempting salves, rubs, soaps, etc. 

Create skin or hair care products to incorporate into my beauty routine such as my own rosemary and peppermint scalp oil (it's expensive to buy!)

Continue with Simply Earth for essential oils and new recipes to try

 

Garden….For Real

Begin the year by planning the garden - what will I plant and where? Look into saving up for a small greenhouse for herbs and more fragile plants

Start seeds according to Farmer’s Almanac to ensure a long bountiful harvest or purchase sprouted plants for transplanting.

 

Make Health a Priority

Continue to work out regularly. Incorporate both running and strength. Use the Peloton we have arriving as a rental to gauge interest for remainder of the year. The rower is owned, use it.

Complete the April San Antonio River Walk Race (first ever 10K), Luckenbach 5K Trail Run with kids, and the Shiner Beer Run in November (distance of race pending earlier race successes)

Continue carb cycling to help ward of health issues (cough*diabetes*cough)

Eat mindfully and intuitively - listen to my body/tummy, not my brain/taste buds when it comes to food. Only eat when truly hungry. Mind portions, chew slowly and thoroughly, and pause between bites. Stop eating when satisfied not completely stuffed. Wait at least 15-20 minutes before going back for seconds and only if still truly hungry.

Add in veggies wherever possible.

 

  • That's Metal 1

You don't have to be perfect, you just have to be better than you were before. Do that every day and you will succeed.

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All of this looks super great. Thrilled to be coming along with you this year!! 💜

Past Challenges: #1, #2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16

Current Challenge: #17

 

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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