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NeverThatBored: Operation STOBAL


NeverThatBored

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In which NTB reveals how obsessive she can be! I could probably also call this Operation Rangerbrain. A year or two ago, back before I joined NF, I filled out a spiral-bound notebook with an elaborate plan to better myself that I called Operation STOBAL, or Stop Being a Loser. At that point in my life, I really did feel down about where I was in a billion different areas of basic humaning. 

 

I have come a very long way since then. I can say pretty confidently that I have indeed stopped being / feeling like a loser. I went back several months ago and I was REALLY PLEASED at how much I'd done in every category, even though I was no longer filling out the log pages I'd set up. But there are still some pieces of the plan for me to tackle, and I've been wanting to close them out for a few challenges now.

 

I REALLY liked my last challenge where I focused on just one goal, and I'm going to keep doing that for most challenges from now on, but I'm going to do this first. Once I've made enough headway into each category (and I don't expect to do EVERYTHING during this next month), I can officially close out Operation STOBAL and advance to my next self-improvement project (Project BEC - Be Even Cooler). 

____

 

There were a bunch of categories in the original STOBAL plan, including exercise. I've got that one under control so I didn't include it here. 

 

1. Driving

I was a very late bloomer with learning to drive and being comfortable on the road. I've mastered most of my STOBAL driving goals (highways, driving at night, fear of parking garages, etc.), but I still need to learn how to parallel park. It's not even that I was BAD at it when I was learning to drive. It just wasn't on the CA test so I practiced it like twice and never did it again, so I need to figure out how to practice. I don't really want to practice on real cars?? 

 

Goal: Just figure out HOW to practice parallel parking. I don't even have to actually do it.

 

2. Cooking

I can cook fairly well but I'm a big recipe follower. I really like the idea of learning more meals by heart. I've made some progress on this - I cook a MEAN chicken breast and can make a few things from memory, but I'd like to expand my list. 

 

Goal: Make sure I have a few things I know by heart (esp. a few things that don't require any special tools, so that I can cook them at my parents' when I'm there for 2 weeks in December)

 

3. Friends

I suck at making friends as an adult. BUT I sort of made friends with someone in my aikido class, and I get out and socialize more than I used to. I make efforts to visit my college friends even though they rarely visit me. I've also gone to a bunch of different meetups this year. 

 

I've identified a few guidelines to stick to 

  • Don't approach encounters with new people too eager to make friends, just enjoy them for what they are
  • Keep going to nerd meetups and especially game meetups
  • Contact / text friends and family more often

 

Goal: Contact friends I may be able to see in CA EARLY on the trip for once

 

4. Grooming

I've always been kind of bad at / inattentive to looking nice, and it never bothered me much, but it's something I started to care about more a few years ago. I've made big strides - konmari'd my wardrobe, read some fashion blogs and started strategizing about what looks good on me, gotten in better shape, started going to a curly hair stylist and learned to manage my hair better, and gotten very slightly better at nail care. Slightly. 

 

So, I have two goals here. 

Goal: Learn 2 simple hairstyles that I can use for when my hair is messy (at least one for work)

Goal: Just figure out how often people actually need to file their nails and then start doing it at that frequency. I have no idea??

 

5. Reading

It ebbs and flows, but I've been doing pretty well in past months. I hit my goodreads goal with flying colors! I still don't read as voraciously as I used to and I'd still like to make more headway on my unread books, but I'm pretty good about reading most nights. 

 

Goal: Read as many of those friggin' library books as a I can before I leave for CA, and then read regularly while I'm in CA

 

6. Writing

I really enjoyed NaNoWriMo the few times I've participated, but I've also realized writing stories isn't my strength or my passion the way I kind of wish it were. I love reading, and writing can be fun sometimes, but I don't actually have the desire or a reason to try to write regularly. I did start journaling a while back, though I lost the habit (and a few months of entries) when my hard drive failed. So I didn't really achieve anything with this category, but I realized that it didn't need to be a category?

 

Goal: journal at least 1x/week during challenge

 

7. Education

I set this goal with career-related stuff and general ed-style stuff in mind. I took a Coursera MOOC and an online course I got my work to pay for, but that's about all. I've gotten less interested in reading career-related stuff. I realized I didn't actually want to do a lot of the things on my list for this category. But there are plenty of things I want to learn. I took an online cooking course! I am looking into swimming (running into schedule issues with travel). I study Aikido. I read nonfiction way more often than I used to (which was never). I've been studying French on Duolingo very consistently.

 

Goal: Identify things I am actually interested in learning and read / plan to learn about them - fitness and food, Spanish/French/Japanese, fermenting food, chi running workshop, Adobe illustrator, etc. 

 

8. Hobbies

I started whittling but haven't spend a whole lot of time on it.

 

Goal: Finish or make progress on a whittling project before going to CA (since I can't exactly bring knives on the plane)

 

9. Finances

I'm doing awesome on financial goals and paying off my student loans / paying myself first, but I'm also getting too spendy with leftover funds and food. I stuck to a grocery budget better than usual as part of a recent challenge, but I did not do so well this past month.

 

Goal: Try to get food costs under control - eat out of my freezer, buy cheap meats, etc. I'll be in CA for two weeks, which means fewer groceries but more eating out. So I'd like to just try to keep that balanced. 

 

 

Challenge Schedule

Spoiler

Week 1
Figure out how to learn parallel parking 

Recipe/cooking stuff

Whittling project 

 

Week 2

Anything leftover from Week 1

Hair 

Whittling project

 

Week 3

Education

Anything left over 

Friends

 

Week 4 

Anything left over

Friends

 

Ongoing

Read 

Finances (food budget)

Journal 1x/week

Nails 1x/week

Maintain workouts/sleep/meditation

 

 

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Gargoyle Ranger | Level 47

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My epic quest | MEATBALL WARS

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Loving the title. 

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agh fuck I hit submit too soon and now you've already liked that post. Anyway. Parallel parking is DUMB. It was on my test but I never needed it after that because my family had a 3-car driveway that my parents never used so I just backed into the middle of the driveway and called it a day. And then I moved here. And you saw the streets around my house. u.u I don't have suggestions for practicing that don't involve real cars but I DO have faith in you. I found it less terrifying once my roommate stopped yelling at me and now it's still not my favorite thing to do but I'm more or less comfortable with it.

 

Does anyone else remember the episode of Doug where his sister learned how to drive? That's all I can think of right now.

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Level 69 Battle Kitten

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Following along again, I love the idea of you moving on to Operation BEC :D .

 

For the parking, there are online/mobile phone games which are literally parking challenges. Don't know how much they'd help, but if the physics are right it might give you a different perspective on it?

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Level 15 Wood Elf Ranger

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I love this challenge, especially the challenge schedule so you can work out when you're actually going to do this stuff. Too often I make challenges with loads to do on it and then say I have to do something towards each goal every day and wonder why I crash and burn. You're a very smart lady. Also, before I found NF I started a blog on how to suck less. I am pretty sure this is still in the bio of my pinterest! 

 

I hate parallel parking too. It was on my test, and our roads in England are super narrow, often with only street parking. If I cannot find a space I can drive in forwards, I keep on driving. But don't be a fraidy cat like me, you can do it! (I also passed my driving test six years ago and I still haven't been on a motorway because I am a ridiculous human being) 

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I'm more than adequate. Leave Kanye out of this. 

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Wow, that's a LOT of work to do. Many different areas. Good luck!

 

I must be the only one here that can't relate to the general parallel parking hate? I don't find it specially tricky. What's the problem you have with it?

 

9 hours ago, NeverThatBored said:

I started whittling but haven't spend a whole lot of time on it.

I'd love to see more of it. I remember your cute whale.

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The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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10 hours ago, NeverThatBored said:

Goal: Just figure out how often people actually need to file their nails and then start doing it at that frequency. I have no idea??

There are so many grooming things that I have absolutely no idea how to do, if you need to do them and how often. It might show up in a future challenge.

 

10 hours ago, NeverThatBored said:

Coursera

Thanks for reminding me of this place (because that was totally your intent). I've now bookmarked it, so I can potentially join a course later.

 

Also, love the STOPAL and BEC concepts. 

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Introduction (where I started, May 2016) ~*~ NF Character (dormant)

 

 Progress as a Nomad: Battle log where I do my own challenges

Useful posts on my battle log: Useful Links and Travel Schedule, Future Challenge IdeasGoals for 2017 as a whole, Assorted Goals (not on rotation), Elements W1D1, Last Quarter Goals

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3 hours ago, zenLara said:

What's the problem you have with it?

 

I don't have a problem with it! I just need to learn how to do it. 

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Gargoyle Ranger | Level 47

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My epic quest | MEATBALL WARS

You don't get better at anything unless you start doing it.

Being alive is heckn swell. 

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26 minutes ago, NeverThatBored said:

 

I don't have a problem with it! I just need to learn how to do it. 

Then I think the best you can do is spend some time parking again and again. It's nothing different from push-ups or pull-ups: practice!

You can start by parking in parallel with no cars around you (like in an empty parking lot) to practice the moves and calculate distances without the danger of damaging anything.

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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1 hour ago, zenLara said:

Then I think the best you can do is spend some time parking again and again. It's nothing different from push-ups or pull-ups: practice!

You can start by parking in parallel with no cars around you (like in an empty parking lot) to practice the moves and calculate distances without the danger of damaging anything.

Building on this, hopefully you can find some markers that you can pretend are the cars in front and back, but not anything close. Aka a tree beside the parking area is the end of the car in front and a light pole is the front of the car behind.

 

My dad taught me to park accurately by taking me to a parking lot without any lines. Pointing at a tree and saying, park right in front of that with the tree in the middle of the car front. (This was driving into a parking spot.) I learned when to turn the wheel while driving in a parking lot, so whether it was full or empty I knew I'd get into a parking place within the lines. There were no cars in the lot to help me decide when to turn.

 

So something similar to that should help you. :)

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Introduction (where I started, May 2016) ~*~ NF Character (dormant)

 

 Progress as a Nomad: Battle log where I do my own challenges

Useful posts on my battle log: Useful Links and Travel Schedule, Future Challenge IdeasGoals for 2017 as a whole, Assorted Goals (not on rotation), Elements W1D1, Last Quarter Goals

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Following! I love the idea of STOBAL. I'm kinda working on something similar where I've listed out all the daily habits I feel I should have (don't snooze, make the bed, get to work on time, etc) and am going to mark daily which ones I accomplish. I'll add in harder stuff like running and pushups as I get better at the easier stuff

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18 hours ago, fleaball said:

agh fuck I hit submit too soon and now you've already liked that post. Anyway. Parallel parking is DUMB. It was on my test but I never needed it after that because my family had a 3-car driveway that my parents never used so I just backed into the middle of the driveway and called it a day. And then I moved here. And you saw the streets around my house. u.u I don't have suggestions for practicing that don't involve real cars but I DO have faith in you. I found it less terrifying once my roommate stopped yelling at me and now it's still not my favorite thing to do but I'm more or less comfortable with it.

 

In on this page! I refuse to parallel park (and it was mandatory on my test - I did it just fine). I don't live in an area where I have to do this regularly and I will park and walk to not have to do it anywhere else (*cough* DC *cough*).  If you would like a suggestion - use folding chairs to be your guides. They won't ding up your car and you won't break them if you run in to them a little bit. OR you can steal traffic cones, but I don't recommend that.

 

19 hours ago, NeverThatBored said:

Goal: Just figure out how often people actually need to file their nails and then start doing it at that frequency. I have no idea??

 

I totally missed this until it got quoted above and I laughed really hard!  So, I'm a horrible person to take advice from, because I'm super low key. But, I've never had to file my nails. Mine generally seem to end up staying about the same length (I think it has something to do with use of my computer and typing). Every once in a while, I'll have one break, then I'll trim them all to that length and just be done with it. Unless you are talking about shaping nails, in which case, I am out (good nail genes maybe? Mine just usually match).

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1 minute ago, Sylvaa said:

I totally missed this until it got quoted above and I laughed really hard!  So, I'm a horrible person to take advice from, because I'm super low key. But, I've never had to file my nails. Mine generally seem to end up staying about the same length (I think it has something to do with use of my computer and typing). Every once in a while, I'll have one break, then I'll trim them all to that length and just be done with it. Unless you are talking about shaping nails, in which case, I am out (good nail genes maybe? Mine just usually match).

 

Well, you're probably magic?? 

 

I have a bad habit of tearing mine off if they get too long, so I'm trying to break the habit by keeping them from getting too long (or doing damage control when I do tear them!)

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Gargoyle Ranger | Level 47

2021 challenges:  46 | 4748 (current)

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My epic quest | MEATBALL WARS

You don't get better at anything unless you start doing it.

Being alive is heckn swell. 

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20 hours ago, NeverThatBored said:

I REALLY liked my last challenge where I focused on just one goal,

I'm just going to put this here, for now. :)

 

Can't wait to watch you go all ranger-y on AllTheThings!

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1 hour ago, NeverThatBored said:

Well, you're probably magic?? 

 

I have a bad habit of tearing mine off if they get too long, so I'm trying to break the habit by keeping them from getting too long (or doing damage control when I do tear them!)

Yes, she is magic.

 

And you just described me...

 

57 minutes ago, Bookish Badger said:

I find that filing once every one or two weeks keeps them from getting too long and keeps the inevitable ragged spots from tearing.

An answer! Thanks. I might have to sneak this into my routine without making a goal of it, because I already have too much to focus on challenge-wise.

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Introduction (where I started, May 2016) ~*~ NF Character (dormant)

 

 Progress as a Nomad: Battle log where I do my own challenges

Useful posts on my battle log: Useful Links and Travel Schedule, Future Challenge IdeasGoals for 2017 as a whole, Assorted Goals (not on rotation), Elements W1D1, Last Quarter Goals

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Week 0 Day 1 Update

  • Went on a run! It was a terrible run. My lower legs were STIFF and UNCOOPERATIVE. I did the first 1.5 miles straight through, but I had to stop constantly on the return half to stretch or walk until my legs cooled down. Booo. I'm pretty sure my calves were swollen for the rest of the day. 
  • I've been thinking about this for a while now, but I reaalllly want to add at least a second run day into my routine. My legs are barely cooperating with one run though. :/ I need to work on my aerobic capacity, and I think adding extra cardio would help. SO I think I'm going to experiment with splitting my 5K into two weekly runs - each ~1.5 miles, and then increase each one by ~.1 mile per week. That will be sort of hard to measure while I'm running outside, but I'll make it work somehow. 
  • I did get to test out my new cold weather running clothes, which was good! I needed some to train in for the winter Spartan in March, so I hit Underarmor on Black Friday. I still need to figure out what kind of gloves to buy to keep my poor fingers warm, though. 
  • On the bright side, I felt really good the rest of the day? My rolls in Aikido were perfect and fluid instead of bumpy and painful, and I felt generally kind of light on my feet. 
  • Got right back into good eating after the holidays with a perfect food day, so I guess emergency protocols are a-ok. Also realized that my perfect chicken method works for cooking pork chops, so now I have two perfect meats I can cook~
  • Got to bed on time too, continuing my sleep goal from last challenge. It'll take a few days to recover from sleep disruptions over the holidays though. 
  • Did FF, getting right back into it after the holidays. I've got one more day, and then I'll re-test and decide which stretches to do for the next two weeks.
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Gargoyle Ranger | Level 47

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My epic quest | MEATBALL WARS

You don't get better at anything unless you start doing it.

Being alive is heckn swell. 

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Following!

 

Hairstyles: One that I used to really like when I had long hair was to gather all my hair into a semi loose pony tail, then feed the end through the part between the elastic and my head. It basically made a roll of hair that was quite nice looking (similar to the photo below). There are loads of variations as well.

 

IMG_8222C.jpg

 

 

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I love this challenge set up and it's a great month to focus on some random things and finish up some old goals.  

 

You have curly hair like me right?  On messy days when I don't have time to wash it I use this big clip.  Then I just grab all my hair and give it a little twist, pull it up and clip it in.  The ends stick up or fall back down, depending on the length but I like how it works out.  Super simple. 

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56 minutes ago, LadyShello said:

You have curly hair like me right?  On messy days when I don't have time to wash it I use this big clip.  Then I just grab all my hair and give it a little twist, pull it up and clip it in.  The ends stick up or fall back down, depending on the length but I like how it works out.  Super simple. 

 

Magic. So much magic from you guys this challenge.

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Gargoyle Ranger | Level 47

2021 challenges:  46 | 4748 (current)

2015-2020 challenges: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 || 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 || 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 || 43 | 44 | 45 | |

 

My epic quest | MEATBALL WARS

You don't get better at anything unless you start doing it.

Being alive is heckn swell. 

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Another one with curly hair here. I swear by Redken's Full Swirl from their Curvaceous line. It is an anti-frizz serum combined with a light-hold gel. Scrunch a squirt through wet hair and either diffuse or let it air-dry (my hair is so fine that it will dry on its own pretty quickly so I don't bother blow drying). It gives just a little control to the curls without letting them get frizzy. It isn't strong enough to hold a really "done" hairstyle, but works perfectly for a wash-&-go style and never gets stiff or crunchy.

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"'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said." - Shawn Colvin

 

 

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