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Reflections at the Two Year Mark

Last challenge held a lot of NF milestones for me: One year soda free, 100 days of SISU, and my second Nerdthday. I've spent quite a bit of time reflecting on what I've accomplished so far and where I want to go next on my Epic Quest. From that, I have identified a number of things that I want to address and distilled a few lessons from the last two years that I want to emphasize in this challenge.

 

The "wisdom of experience" is gained from being too stupid/stubborn/impatient/arrogant to listen to good advice!

What I know now - from such experience - is that I need to focus on small, simple, steady and slow. My biggest mistakes in getting fitter have centered on trying to do too much, too soon. Inevitably, I would end up injured. My will was strong, but my body was weak. The SISU experiment of the last three challenges has taught me to go slower to move ahead faster, to listen more closely to my wise body and pay less attention to my impatient mind. This challenge will be quite challenging in that I will need to apply my experience and not fall back into old habits now that I am returning to a more usual structure of goals and activities.

 

What Works for Me

In reviewing my fourteen (!) challenges thus far, what has worked best for me has been:

  • Gamification (Oh, NerdHammer, how I miss thee...and Hello, HabitRPG!) for motivation and building habits
  • Acronyms as easy reminders, keeping me focused and aware of opportunities to improve
  • An overarching vision that each challenge fit into, providing more motivation and context
  • Being social, something that has suffered some the last few challenges
  • Hard limits on things like bedtime; consistent logging of things like food and exercise.

 

So, this challenge, ShadowLIon SWEATS the "small stuff."

Study

Writing

Eating

Art of Relaxization

Training

Startup Grind

 

The following areas continue to address my SISU goals, but change up the time expectations and the absolute "daily" requirement as needed for the next phase of my plan. They also include some remedial work needed on eating habits and sleep.

 

The "Daily" Show - ShadowLion's Six Days a Week, No Double Misses, Moderation in All Things Plan

I've sorted my goal activities into daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and midpoint/end of challenge categories to better allocate my time and energy.

Dailies - 6x per week, with no double misses at the rollover.

Weeklies - one or more times per week with a minimum time quota.

Other Checkpoints - I have a number of project milestones set at the 2, 3, 4, and 6 week marks. I am limiting myself to those goals, even though there are a lot of other things I want to accomplish. If I get things done early, then I can dip into my Grab Bag of extra things to do, but not before. This may seem really restrictive (it is!) but it is a necessary curb on my Ranger Do All the Things! mentality.

 

THE PROGRAM

Study (CHA - 2)

Weekly - 3x per week, 10 hours weekly total, minimum. If I am smart, I will make those sessions shorter and more frequent than that. This is to move forward on my programming knowledge and skills for my startup.

Other checkpoints - Course deadlines and portfolio project completions will be added to the "Project Portfolio" post below as they occur.

 

Writing (CHA - 2)

Daily - 15+ minutes of morning pages or blogging.

Weekly - Novel quota - Minimum 2,500 words.

Mid-challenge checkpoint - At least 10,000 words.

End of challenge checkpoint - At least 20,000 words.

 

Eating (CON - 2)

Daily - Food log. Maximum 1800 calories on non-cheat days.

Weekly - Three cheat meals allowed. Batch cook, 1x per week.

 

Art of Relaxization (CON - 2, WIS - 2)

Daily - 7+ hours of sleep, with a strict 1:00 AM curfew. (Bonus - HabitRPG points/reward for getting to bed by midnight.) At least 20 minutes of leisure time for hobbies, fun, general relaxation. Meditate a minimum of 9 minutes per day for greater self-awareness and realization of what makes me tick.

End of challenge checkpoint - Get out of Dodge! At least 1 day trip and one longer trip out of town. Preferably to the mountains where it is cooler... Phoenix, AZ. Summer. :devilish:

 

 

Insert gratuitous cute kitten here:


gallery_17054_1393_16613.jpeg

 

 

Training (STR - 1, STA - 1, DEX - 1)

Fire Fit has not been forgotten. It was strategically delayed while I dealt with my disappointment of not meeting my goal last fall and decided how to move forward. As above, I determined that I needed to move slower. Smaller, sImpler, steadier, slower. I don't know if I will make it to AZ Wildfire Academy next spring (fall app deadline) or not, but I am going to move in that direction and see where my habits take me.

 

Daily - 15 minutes of stretching, prehab, rehab, and stabilization a la Kelly Starett. Body tuneup and maintenance.

Weekly - Gradual ramp up to regular strength workouts and cardio within the bounds of what joints and connective tissue will handle. This is a moving target with a lot of unknowns right now. My main criteria is that I do something in each category 2-3 times per week at my current level, whatever that is. Logging is a must. My current expectation is that I will be doing modified pushups, ring rows, grip hangs, isometric strength work, some kettlebell and dumbbell work, along with brisk walking and exercise biking for now. I will keep my expectations and efforts in check and be cautious. In this area at this point, less in more.

 

 

med_gallery_17054_1285_79426.jpg

 

Startup Grind (WIS - 2)

Move Existing Sites to Cloud Hosting

Weekly checkpoints

End of Week 1 - Complete research on cloud hosting solutions for SAS and have plan in place to move the site.

End of Week 2 - Testing of development site. Complete final transfer to production by middle of the following week.

End of Week 3 - Have checklist and plan of how transfer remaining sites.

End of Week 6 - Have all site transfers done.

 

Creating CS & AS/C3SG sites

Weekly checkpoints

End of week 1 - Define requirements, user stories, site structure. Detailed project schedule in place.

End of week 2 - Card sort of information architecture, outlining of text, color palette generation and mood board, thumbnails and roughs of graphic elements.

End of week 3 - First major round of user testing of several rough prototypes using basic graphical elements and text.

End of Week 4 - Production of final versions of artwork and text. Refine prototype.

End of week 5 - Ready for beta testing - User results incorporated into a fully functional prototype.

End of Week 6 - Final testing and debugging. Deployment.

 

Grading of my goals will be judged by my percentages of days, words, and times completed as outlined above, using the standard letter grade system.

 

Additional ungraded goals:

Spend an average of at least 20 minutes per day on Nerd Fitness following fellow rangers and potential rangers threads and commenting, more than that when I can.

 

In addition to the 20 minutes of MANDATORY :playful: recreation per day, I want to make having fun and enjoying life a priority this time. There were too many days last challenge where I worked very long days and about the only thing that got done outside of work was my SISU "MEWS", basic cat care, and to take a shower! Oh, and get a little bit of sleep. I basically broke all of my good sleep habits from previous challenges...

 

The pace of my life last challenge was pretty brutal and it is ultimately unsustainable and counterproductive to keep that going for very long. I figure I've earned a little break, though am not sure how to achieve it except in small chunks spaced throughout the six weeks. For now, my solution will be to take more breaks throughout the day, especially ones that involve the "exercise cubicle" we have in the back room, plus to be more aware of when I enter into "diminishing returns" and to do something about that.

 

Experiment to find the optimal time spent or number of "Toads" to tackle per day or week. See the "Grab Bag" post below. "Tackling Toads" is aimed at creating less stress and more freedom in my life by taking decisive action on things I don't like to do, as opposed to procrastinating, wasting time, and prolonging the misery.

 

If I finish early on a project, or otherwise carve out some extra time, I can visit the Grab Bag and do something from that list just for fun. I may also experiment with rewarding toad tackling with an equal measure of fun.

 

 

TL:DR;

 

All of the above is just a plan to get stronger, be BOLDER, and accomplish my life goal of being a Belly-dancing Amazon Pirate (who codes and fights fires!) :)

 

med_gallery_17054_1458_16002.jpg

 

med_gallery_17054_1458_119556.jpg

 

 

med_gallery_17054_1045_218490.png

  • Like 5

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

Toads

 

med_gallery_17054_1458_79003.jpg

 

Those things I really need to do that I avoid and actively procrastinate on.

 

1) Collect that money a client owes me

2) Go through the 6 totes of clothes, linens, yardage, and yarn that are sitting on the back porch. Get rid of at least half of it and make room for what I keep within my current household storage capacity. That means going through closets and drawers and getting rid of excess stuff there.

3) Write that thank you note

4) Revise my daily routines and schedule to better accommodate D's summer schedule.

5) Decide how much I want to reduce my possessions over the summer and make a workable plan to do that. Commit to it and begin...

6) Complete time estimate for MQ project. Determine where that fits within my business plan.

 

 

Grab Bag Goals

 

Some things I want to do that I struggle to find time, money and/or space for, in large part because I haven't taken care of the above toads. Finish off a toad, get to do one of these...

 

1) Take a few days off for a "staycation" devoted to writing, art, and music projects.

2) Sew a couple of nice things for my summer wardrobe.

3) A "goof off" day. No plans, goals, interruptions or expectations - a real day off.

4) Day (or even a weekend?) "retreat" to relax, dream, write life goals and epic quest.

5) Spruce up the nest with a fun interior change/ Possibilities - some new window treatments, upgrade a piece of furniture or an accessory, repaint a room.

6) Complete biz incubator application.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

Geek Girl, Code Sister Placeholder

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

Project Portfolio Placeholder

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

Game On Placeholder

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

Follow this topic placeholder

 

Haha! First, again...

  • Like 1

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

"Trying to think of something intelligent to write tonight" placeholder

 

I don't feel much more intelligent tonight, but I am cheering you on like always.

 

I should follow your sleep goal, I just haven't been able to figure out how to stop practising my insomnia.

 

And I really have to work on the programming bit. I just don't get round to doing it.

 

I don't want to say good luck, since I am sure you are busy making your own good luck.

 

 
  • Like 1

Level 8 : Wizard Blacksmith 

[ STR 6 | DEX 6 | STA 5 | CON 5 | WIS 10 | CHA 4 ]

Jakkals, 2019 nommer 3

 

Spoiler

 

Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast

and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has

ordained that you shall live.

-Marcus Aurelius

 

 

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I want gratuities! Also love the ShadowLion. =D

  • Like 1

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to post

EEEE Shadowlion is back!  

 

As always, I bow to your wisdom, determination, creativity, and general awesomeness.  

 

ALSO HIGH FIVE! 

 

hi-five-cat.jpg

 

RESPECT THE ROUTINE!

  • Like 3

LEVEL ONE APPRENTICE WIZARD RANGER: HUMAN UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE

 

Achievements Unlocked:  Breakfast Warrior, Pushupapalooza, Quadruple Nanomaster, Return From the Dead, Gainful Employment, Leap of Faith, Minimalism Game, Get Thee Behind Me, Coffee, Camp Nerd Fitness 2015, Return From the Dead 2: The Undeadening, Gainful Employment 2: Boss Edition, Fancy Comics Person, Rogue Hair

 

Tumblr of VERY INTERESTING ART: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/radicalwizardtimes

Link to post

Oooh. Slow start to this one. Wanted to front load the writing and studying early in the week as I know I will be on a "Get out of Dodge" mission this weekend. Hasn't happened yet... Tick, tick, tick.

 

Study, yes (but only an hour so far).

Writing (morning pages), yes both days. Noveling, not yet...

Eating - Logging, yes. Cals good.

Art of Relaxization - Squeaker. Just made 7 hours and curfew. 30 minutes of fun - reading. Meditation, yes.

Training - 15 minutes each day, yes. Other workouts, not yet...

Sites - Haven't started yet! Tick, tick, tick...

 

HabitRPG good.

30 minutes of NF for week thus far

Need to finish my challenge thread and my reserved posts in the next day or so...

 

My victory of the last two days was to say "No" to continuing to run a meetup group that I started three years ago which, while successful enough, no longer suits my career direction. I am proud to say that I handed it off to someone else. Tough to do, but necessary to free up time to other things. I am actively looking for other things to cut back on after reading the book "Essentialim" by Greg McKeown. Less to do is good.

 

I'm really feeling tired and low energy. I may give myself a little leeway this week, until I can figure out what is going on. Heading to bed early tonight with plans for an earlier start to the day. I'll see if that helps the energy levels.

  • Like 1

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

For once I made it to your thread before it became so huge that I was confused. :) Glad to see you still trucking along!

 

What I know now - from such experience - is that I need to focus on small, simple, steady and slow. My biggest mistakes in getting fitter have centered on trying to do too much, too soon. Inevitably, I would end up injured. My will was strong, but my body was weak. The SISU experiment of the last three challenges has taught me to go slower to move ahead faster, to listen more closely to my wise body and pay less attention to my impatient mind. This challenge will be quite challenging in that I will need to apply my experience and not fall back into old habits now that I am returning to a more usual structure of goals and activities.

 

 

This is wonderful. I was reading somewhere else tonight (about non-fitness related) and saw the whole idea of slow is fast. I think moving to fast is something a lot of us struggle with.

 

My victory of the last two days was to say "No" to continuing to run a meetup group that I started three years ago which, while successful enough, no longer suits my career direction. I am proud to say that I handed it off to someone else. Tough to do, but necessary to free up time to other things. I am actively looking for other things to cut back on after reading the book "Essentialim" by Greg McKeown. Less to do is good.

 

It's really hard to give up a project once it's no longer the right fit for you. I'm proud of you too!

  • Like 1

Pixie Warrior 

I aim to misbehave

 

My NF Character, My Current Challenge

 

Link to post

 

It's really hard to give up a project once it's no longer the right fit for you. I'm proud of you too!

 Agreed. That is hard, especially when you made it.

 

Hi Shadow! I noticed we have some similar goals, the writing, stretching, and studying.

I have been feeling off this week too, perhaps the strangely hot and early Summer that is hitting the Northern Hemisphere?

  • Like 1
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Rangerbrain victory!  It's funny, I'm finding that a lot of us are currently trying to whittle down our projects, commitments, and endeavors - a noble quest indeed!  I'm glad you were able to feel good about handing off leadership for something you created - on to bigger and better things!

 

How's your sleep cycle been?

  • Like 1

LEVEL ONE APPRENTICE WIZARD RANGER: HUMAN UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE

 

Achievements Unlocked:  Breakfast Warrior, Pushupapalooza, Quadruple Nanomaster, Return From the Dead, Gainful Employment, Leap of Faith, Minimalism Game, Get Thee Behind Me, Coffee, Camp Nerd Fitness 2015, Return From the Dead 2: The Undeadening, Gainful Employment 2: Boss Edition, Fancy Comics Person, Rogue Hair

 

Tumblr of VERY INTERESTING ART: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/radicalwizardtimes

Link to post

WHERE DID YOU GO?

 

3007724.jpg

  • Like 1

LEVEL ONE APPRENTICE WIZARD RANGER: HUMAN UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE

 

Achievements Unlocked:  Breakfast Warrior, Pushupapalooza, Quadruple Nanomaster, Return From the Dead, Gainful Employment, Leap of Faith, Minimalism Game, Get Thee Behind Me, Coffee, Camp Nerd Fitness 2015, Return From the Dead 2: The Undeadening, Gainful Employment 2: Boss Edition, Fancy Comics Person, Rogue Hair

 

Tumblr of VERY INTERESTING ART: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/radicalwizardtimes

Link to post

I'm here! I'm here! Was in Flagstaff. Many adventures to be relayed soon. Leaving work now to go home and then get my exercise done, then catch up on thread.

  • Like 3

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

For once I made it to your thread before it became so huge that I was confused. :) Glad to see you still trucking along!

 

 

This is wonderful. I was reading somewhere else tonight (about non-fitness related) and saw the whole idea of slow is fast. I think moving to fast is something a lot of us struggle with.

 

 

It's really hard to give up a project once it's no longer the right fit for you. I'm proud of you too!

 

Hi, Vibrant! Good to hear from you. And to find out that the pixie assassin has run off to lift with the warriors - who'd have thought? Too cool.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

 Agreed. That is hard, especially when you made it.

 

Hi Shadow! I noticed we have some similar goals, the writing, stretching, and studying.

I have been feeling off this week too, perhaps the strangely hot and early Summer that is hitting the Northern Hemisphere?

 

Hi, Neva! That is sure one cute puppy...

 

Lots of similarities!

 

We've had a little bit of a break this summer with some unseasonable rains and slightly cooler temperatures the last few weeks, but I've known what was coming. It has hit full force the last few days. Near record temps predicted this week. 111 degrees F tomorrow. Summer in the southwest US desert... :(

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

Rangerbrain victory!  It's funny, I'm finding that a lot of us are currently trying to whittle down our projects, commitments, and endeavors - a noble quest indeed!  I'm glad you were able to feel good about handing off leadership for something you created - on to bigger and better things!

 

How's your sleep cycle been?

 

It was tough at the time, but has really been a relief since. I hadn't realized how much mental bandwidth it had been taking up. More energy and clarity now and looking for more things I can part with...

 

Sleep has been very good. 7+ hours every night and made curfew consistently, even early a few nights! That's a huge improvement over what I had been doing. Funny how challenges make me clean up my act on things. What gets tracked definitely improves. Which makes me ponder how to track ALL THE THINGS. SISU was great for habit building, but such narrow focus left room for other things to slip.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

Speaking of sleep, I need to be in bed soon. Will return tomorrow with Week 1 wrap-up and other news. You'll understand why I have been scarce here.

 

Thanks for checking on me, friends. I appreciate it.

  • Like 1

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to post

Near record temps predicted this week. 111 degrees F tomorrow. Summer in the southwest US desert... :(

Ew

 

I am wondering why I have a walking/get outside goal when I was already hiding inside (humid here, so even on cool rainy days it is still icky), but 44C (111F) ?!?!? ewwwwwww I have heard that crime increases with heat but I can't imagine 40+ (100+) not being too hot to do anything, although I can imagine shorter tempers.

 

 Which makes me ponder how to track ALL THE THINGS. 

resized_all-the-things-meme-generator-tr

 

Spreadsheets?

  • Like 1
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