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Ballad's Challenge: Light the Way


Ballad

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Ballad's Challenge [#1]

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“There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don't you?â€

Rumi

 

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2016 Epic Quest: Develop mental fortitude, discipline, and kindness.

 

My first challenge is dedicated to building a solid foundation of small, but extraordinarily important, habits that will support both my mental and physical health. Two quests (sleep and water) will be ongoing throughout the challenge. The third quest is a one-time achievement.

 

Quest #1: Sleep for 7-8 hours per night.

 

I need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night to be fully functional, thoughtful, and kind at work. Getting enough sleep gives me energy, is great for my skin, and allows me to exercise the willpower and discipline to make good, healthy decisions. It allows me maintain my perspective, particularly when stress rears its head, and helps me to be fully present in my relationships.

 

A+: 26 days

A: 22-25 days

B: 18-21 days

C: 14-17 days

D: 13 days

F: Less than 13 days

 

Quest #2: Drink 1 glass of water each morning.

 

The body is, what, 60% water? This shiz is clearly important. This is quest is intended to test (1) the effects of having a morning ritual, and (2) the energizing effects of drinking water right when I wake up. Future quests will include drinking 5-8 glasses of water per day, but I'm starting small for this challenge. Quick wins lead to momentum!

 

A+: 26 days

A: 22-25 days

B: 18-21 days

C: 14-17 days

D: 13 days

F: Less than 13 days

 

Bonus: Bring a reusable water bottle to work. I don't drink enough water at work, so tearing down one of the barriers & bringing a water bottle to the office will make developing this habit much easier.

 

Quest #3: Book a doctor's appointment.

 

I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't seen my family doctor in almost 2 years. I feel & look healthy, but two years is much too long. I want to baseline my physical health for this challenge and make sure everything is good to go.

 

Pass: Book an appointment.

Fail: Don't book an appointment.

 

Bonus: Book an appointment with a physiotherapist. I want to practice prevention, rather than rehabilitation. I'm a bit concerned about the future state of my knees, so I'd like to get a baseline from a physiotherapist to identify any problem areas & solutions.

 

I've also included one life quest, based on my Goodreads goal of reading 35 books in 2016. (As a side note, please feel free to connect with me on GR!)

 

Life Quest: Read 2 books between Jan. 4th - Jan. 29th.

 

Pass: Read 2 books

Fail: Read less than 2 books

 

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So, what happens when I succeed? I get access to the treasure pile, where treasures stack.

 

Complete all 4 quests: Get a facial or sign up for a class (singing, improv, yoga, wine), + bragging rights

Complete 3 quests: Buy a new workout top

Complete 2 quests: Cook (and eat!) a delicious meal with friends, complete with wine

Complete 1 quest: Guilt-free "me time" day

 

Please feel free to follow along, cheer me on, and ask about my progress!

 

Cheers,

Meaghan

  • Like 6

Ballad


Level | Water Nymph | Druid


 


Current Challenge | Battle Log | Epic Quest


Past Challenges: I


 


"The first and best victory is to conquer self." 

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Challenge Tracker

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Quest #1: Sleep for 7-8 hours per night [26/26 Days]

100%
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Jan. 4th - 7 hours

Jan. 5th - 7 hours, 15 mins

Jan. 6th - 7 hours

Jan. 7th - 7 hours

Jan. 8th - 7 hours

Jan. 9th - 8 hours, 30 mins

Jan. 10th - 8 hours 30 mins

Jan. 11th - 7 hours, 30 mins

Jan. 12th - 7 hours, 30 mins

Jan. 13th - 7 hours

Jan. 14th - 7 hours, 30 mins

Jan. 15th - 7 hours, 30 mins

Jan. 16th - 8 hours

Jan. 17th - 7 hours

Jan. 18th - 7 hours, 50 mins

Jan. 19th - 8 hours

Jan. 20th - 7 hours

Jan. 21st - 7 hours

Jan. 22nd - 7 hours

Jan. 23rd - 8 hours, 30 mins

Jan. 24th - 8 hours

Jan. 25th - 7 hours

Jan. 26th - 7 hours, 30 mins

Jan. 27th - 8 hours

Jan. 28th - 7 hours

Jan. 29th - 7 hours

 

Quest #2: Drink 1 glass of water each morning [26/26 Days]

100%
100%

 

Jan. 4th - Complete

Jan. 5th - Complete

Jan. 6th - Complete

Jan. 7th - Complete

Jan. 8th - Complete

Jan. 9th - Complete

Jan. 10th - Complete

Jan. 11th - Complete

Jan 12th - Complete

Jan. 13th - Complete

Jan. 14th - Complete

Jan. 15th - Complete

Jan. 16th - Complete

Jan. 17th - Complete

Jan. 18th - Complete

Jan. 19th - Complete

Jan. 20th - Complete

Jan. 21st - Complete

Jan. 22nd - Complete

Jan. 23rd - Complete

Jan. 24th - Complete

Jan. 25th - Complete

Jan. 26th - Complete

Jan. 27th - Complete

Jan. 28th - Complete

Jan. 29th - Complete

 

Quest #3: Book a doctor's appointment [incomplete/Complete]

 

Life Quest: Read 2 books between Jan. 4th - Jan. 29th [2/2 Books]

100%
100%

 

Book #1: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

 

Book #2: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

Ballad


Level | Water Nymph | Druid


 


Current Challenge | Battle Log | Epic Quest


Past Challenges: I


 


"The first and best victory is to conquer self." 

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I like that treasure pile! :) I also appreciate that your water quest is dual-purpose. Like Alton Brown said, the only single-purpose quest in your kitchen should be your fire extinguisher. Or something like that.

  • Like 2

RMDC | Chaser Druid 2
STR 2 | DEX 1 | STA 3 | CON 3 | WIS 3 | CHA 2
NF Character Profile: RMDC
Challenge: Current - PKMN Journey, Part 1

Previous: 1

Write 6 pages per week

24%
24%
Water only
40%
40%
Wheat products restricted to 3/wk (this week's slots: {*} - {*} - { } )
27%
27%
Daily meditation
36%
36%
Interval walking, four total hours

36%
36%

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Welcome to the rebellion Ballad!

 

You have clear and simple to grade goals this challenge, a solid foundation to build upon.

 

I as well have issues with my knees, (I was too heavy for too many years) so I understand your concern.

 

I encourage you to seek out and follow other newbies here on the forums, having a strong group of friends behind you, checking up on you will make all the difference (believe me).

 

Have a great challenge!

  • Like 1

Race: Halfling     Class: Rebel

 

Recruit 1st 2nd 3rd 4th  5th 6th  7th  8th 9th 10th  11th 12th 13th  14th  15th

Current Challenge

Writer's Guild

 

Fictionfirst Used Books (Feel free to like my page!)

 

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You've definitely got a solid start and you've coherently presented that in your quest layout; wonderful!  

 

I also like the way you have your quest achievements at the end there.  It makes me wanna join in with you :)

 

Good luck.  We are all here backing you up!

  • Like 1

Minalo Stoutarm

My Rebel Intro

Base Character: Deep Halfling

Desired Class: Druid

Level: 0 I STR 0 I DEX 0 I STA 0 I CON 0 I WIS 0 I CHA 0 I

My Battle Log

Challenges: 1  

Weight Loss

206--->145 (At 197 as of 1/28/2016)

13.5%
13.5%
 
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@RMDC - Thank you! I think I'm most excited about bragging rights, haha.

 

@petefeet - Thank you for the warm welcome! Really appreciate the support. :)

 

@Kath - Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it. In terms of books, I've just started reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, which is pretty clever. My next choice may be World War Z (it's been sitting on my shelf for a while), but it really depends on my mood! Do you have any recommendations?

 

@maegs - Thanks! And I'm so glad you added me on Goodreads. Turns out we have a lot of awesome books in common, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you're reading!

 

@CajunHufflepuff - Thank you for your support! I'm really glad everything makes sense (this means it should still make sense when I look back in 2 weeks!). Looking forward to seeing you in the Druid guild for the next challenge.

 

----

 

Day One Update:

 

Success! I got 7 hours of sleep last night, and drank a nice cold glass of water in the morning. I started reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman last night, so I'm also on the path to completing my first book.

 

Interestingly, drinking a glass of water this morning made me think more about it, and I consciously drank a lot of water at work today. I'm hoping to continue that habit, as there's a good chance I live in a constant state of dehydration.

 

Also! I've updated my "Challenge Tracker" post (post #2 on this topic) so that I can see all of my quest progress at a glance. Not gonna lie, I'm loving those progress bars.

 

I hope you all had an awesome Day One!

  • Like 4

Ballad


Level | Water Nymph | Druid


 


Current Challenge | Battle Log | Epic Quest


Past Challenges: I


 


"The first and best victory is to conquer self." 

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@Kath - Thank you!! Ooh, I just got Big Magic for Christmas. Your review is making me excited to read it!

 

& please feel free to steal the progress bars, haha. They are super helpful, and I like seeing them increase.

 

----

 

Day Three Update:

 

All right! So it's day three, and I'm batting 3/3. Woohoo!

 

A few interesting things I've noticed:

 

1. This challenge has been very helpful in keeping me from self-sabotaging. Last night, I stayed up too late - but would have stayed up even longer if I hadn't made made a promise to myself to slot in 7 hours of sleep so I could stay on track with my challenge. Work has had a lot going on lately, and in the past I've stayed up late (and later and later) because of stress. Unfortunately, that turns into a vicious cycle and ultimately increases the stress. I could have fallen into that bad pattern last night, but instead I got 7 hours of sleep, felt alert & functional at work today, worked a 10.5 hour day, and still went to the gym after. That feels amazing.

 

2. Drinking water in the mornings has made me want to drink more water throughout the day. In the past, I've had trouble drinking enough water at work, so this has had really positive effects on my energy (especially when combined with sleep). It's also been a boon for my digestive system.

 

3. I really like the accountability and support that this community offers. Thank you to everyone who's checking in on my challenge, and to everyone who has posted a challenge that I can be inspired by! This is a lovely place, and I'm so happy to be here.

 

So far, I'm very pleased with this challenge and I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the month brings!

 

Final note: I read the Get Healthy Like Mr. Spock article this week and am posting one of the images here for continued motivation.

 

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Cheers,

Meaghan

  • Like 4

Ballad


Level | Water Nymph | Druid


 


Current Challenge | Battle Log | Epic Quest


Past Challenges: I


 


"The first and best victory is to conquer self." 

Link to comment

 

 

Final note: I read the Get Healthy Like Mr. Spock article this week and am posting one of the images here for continued motivation.

 

gallery_33449_1455_23406.png

 

Cheers,

Meaghan

 

I LOVE that image. I might print that out and put it on the wall of my bedroom :P

  • Like 1

Halfling Assassin

 

Current challenge:  Tei acquires manly virtues

Previous challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,  13, 14, 15, 16

"Our opponent is an alien starship packed with atomic bombs. We have a protractor." -- Fraa Erasmas

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@maegs - Thank you! It's always nice to talk myself out of the negative-habit-spiral.

 

-----

 

Day Six Update:

 

I'm off to the gym shortly, so this will be a quick one.

 

1. Need a morning playlist? This is what I'm listening to right now. It's pretty fantastic.

 

2. I was in a pretty terrible mood yesterday, BUT still managed to get (just) enough sleep and drink water in the morning. So that's a win. Small steps, amirite. The good news is this morning is much, much better.

 

3. 6/26 days down, baby. We're getting there.

  • Like 5

Ballad


Level | Water Nymph | Druid


 


Current Challenge | Battle Log | Epic Quest


Past Challenges: I


 


"The first and best victory is to conquer self." 

Link to comment

Get that check-up and maybe some blood work done! I want to see you able to cross that off your list! And a physio sends like a good idea...I'm big into posture. Good posture just makes moving about so much more enjoyable.

  • Like 1

Werewolf Druid | Lvl 2


STR 2 | DEX 2 | STA 1 | CON 1 | WIS 4 | CHA 3


Character Sheet (work in progress)


My Current Challenge


Dovie'andi se tovya sagain.


It's time to toss the dice.


 

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@maegs - Woohoo! I'm glad you enjoyed the playlist.

 

@Rihor - Thanks for keeping me accountable! I keep putting this one off, which makes no sense. I'll get that scheduled (along with the blood work - great idea).

 

I've never done physio before, so that's all going to be completely new to me. Better posture does sound nice!

  • Like 2

Ballad


Level | Water Nymph | Druid


 


Current Challenge | Battle Log | Epic Quest


Past Challenges: I


 


"The first and best victory is to conquer self." 

Link to comment

So, I'll start by saying I am getting progressively worse at updating this thread as the challenge goes on. BUT, I'm still 100% in it to win it.

 

1. No, I have not scheduled that doctor's appointment yet. What is my life. But also, thank you maegs and Rihor for continuing to ask and press me on this! My new strategy is to schedule an appointment to schedule the appointment, because thank god for calendar reminders.

 

2. Quest #1 (sleep) and #2 (water) are 100% on track! I've been progressively getting more sleep as this challenge goes on, which is awesome. And it feels much more natural to wake up in the morning and drink a glass of water. I've been forgetting that I started doing drinking water for this challenge, which is an excellent sign that the habit is becoming more ingrained.

 

3. Quest #3 & #4 are behind schedule (see #1 re: the doctor's appointment). I'm not prioritizing reading as much as I want to be, and I suspect the next few challenge days will be a bit of a reading sprint. On the plus side, I'm thoroughly enjoying Neverwhere in spite of my extraordinarily slow pace.

 

4. Stress and lack of focus are tricky beasts. I've realized that even if I try to do all the right things (sleeping 7-8 hours, drinking more water), some days will still feel harder than others. What I've noticed in January, however, is that my ability to recover/bounce back has improved and I've avoided the negative habit spiral by continuing to push forward with this challenge. I feel less overwhelmed by previous stressors, and far more optimistic.

 

5. My favourite moment last week? One of the students in the JA program I volunteer for told me that I reminded them of Felicity Smoak from Arrow. AWESOME.

 

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  • Like 3

Ballad


Level | Water Nymph | Druid


 


Current Challenge | Battle Log | Epic Quest


Past Challenges: I


 


"The first and best victory is to conquer self." 

Link to comment

Annnnnd I've booked a doctor's appointment & blood work session for next week. Huzzah!

 

Quest #3 is complete.

Owl_-_Ball_So_Hard-6752.jpg?rect=224,0,5

Good. I was just about to bug you about it some more. Maybe some arm twisting.

 

And I've noticed too that you can be doing everything right and sometimes it's just not enough. But also I've been bouncing back quicker too...maybe being more mindful of it helps?

Werewolf Druid | Lvl 2


STR 2 | DEX 2 | STA 1 | CON 1 | WIS 4 | CHA 3


Character Sheet (work in progress)


My Current Challenge


Dovie'andi se tovya sagain.


It's time to toss the dice.


 

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@Rihor - Oh man, that owl is perfect. And thanks for the continuing support! I'm glad we didn't need to resort to arm twisting (ouch!).

 

I'm also really glad you've been bouncing back quicker, too. I think mindfulness is definitely part of it! & maybe better self-management? Or even feeling like the overall effort is resulting in forward momentum in spite of the off days.

  • Like 2

Ballad


Level | Water Nymph | Druid


 


Current Challenge | Battle Log | Epic Quest


Past Challenges: I


 


"The first and best victory is to conquer self." 

Link to comment

Casually dropping this here as a "completely unrelated to the challenge" update.

 

I've been listening to the CreativeMornings podcast recently, and it is lovely. If you have some time, or are at the gym, or are doing a task where you can let your mind wander, I highly recommend giving it a listen. Start with episode 1, and work your way up. You can also view the video of these talks, and others, on their website.

 

PS. Please do let me know if you have any podcast recommendations! My favourites right now are CreativeMornings (of course) and StartUp Podcast.

  • Like 1

Ballad


Level | Water Nymph | Druid


 


Current Challenge | Battle Log | Epic Quest


Past Challenges: I


 


"The first and best victory is to conquer self." 

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