Reflection on May challenges and looking ahead to June

Well, here we are. Almost the last day of May! A month ago, I challenged myself to learn one new thing about JavaScript each week this month and post about it, as well as to do something creative each week and post about it as well. Finally, I challenged myself to attend Bar Method classes at least 4 days a week this month and post a summary at the end of the month. And of course, continue with Project 365 – 1 photo a day, 365 days in a year. Whew!

So how’d I do? Let’s take a look!

Javascript Challenge – Learn something new each week and post a summary on Friday

I did a total of 2 posts this month toward this challenge. I was aiming for 4, but fell short. The problem was that I’d actually forget about this challenge…and only remember near the end of the week. I’m happy with what I did learn. It’s super important to me to level up in Javascript, so I’m going to give it another go in June. What I find helps me stick with a challenge is having a scheduled time each day to do it, with a reminder. For example, I do my Bar Method classes and dragon boat paddling at the same times on certain days. So I’ll try that approach with this and see if it helps. With Javascript, I need to study it in the morning when I’m fresh! For the month of June, I designate 8-8:30am each morning as “JS Level Up” time. Nothing else! Just half an hour to start, and thanks to the nature of my job, I can do it in my pajamas if I want. 😛 Anyway normally during that time of day I’m browsing Facebook and Instagram, so why not use that time for JS instead? With this new plan, I’ll post the summary for the week on Friday mornings.

Revised challenge for June: JS Level Up sessions M-Th 8-8:30am, with weekly summary posted during Friday’s session. 

Creativity Challenge – do something creative each week and post a summary on Sundays

I also did 2 simple home projects this month. I wanted to do more, but hey, once again I would forget to do something until the end of the week, or think about doing it but be unable to make time. What to do? This is also important to me because I was really happy after I did those two projects, even if they were quick and simple. Like with JS, I’m going to experiment with setting a specific time for this challenge. I see creativity as a time to unwind, so I can do it in the evenings after I’m done with work. I’m going to designate 9PM – 10PM on Mondays-Thursdays as the “Creativity Hour”. Most weeks, I’m home during this time block. This also frees me up to hang out with family and friends on Fridays and weekends without feeling guilty (which has been happening more lately).

Revised challenge for June: Creativity Hour M-Th 9-10PM, summaries posted Thursday nights during this time.

Fitness challenge – Attend Bar Method classes 4x a week

So back in mid-April I started the Bar Method classes. The Bar Method is a combination of yoga, Pilates, and ballet. It’s an hour-long, low-impact exercise which uses mostly body weight (with some light hand-weights). There’s a lot of emphasis on smaller moves, breathing, posture, and stretching. I’m happy to report that I have attended classes 4 times a week for most of this month. I look forward to the classes, it’s my happy place. For each move in the workout, there are always advanced options, which keeps it interesting and provides room to grow. The classes work every muscle group, but the exercises vary so you don’t get the same exact workout each day.

My plan for June is to continue taking the classes, and adding to them with other things. My brother is really into health and fitness, and he’s kindly agreed to make me a workout routine after I asked him! Here are some of the changes I’m introducing (after talking to my brother):

  1. Foundation Training first thing in the morning – a new exercise each day. I’m hoping this will be especially good for my back (I have scoliosis). Some take 10 minutes, some take 20 minutes, it depends. Most mornings I spend 1.5 hours browsing social media on my phone before getting up, so why not repurpose some of that time?
  2. New fitness routine – my brother is designing me a routine to supplement my Bar Method classes. Many of the workouts I can do at home or at the gym.
  3. Experimenting with a Rotation diet – I’m also making changes with my diet this month. I tend to not get enough proteins, vitamins, and overall variety. I don’t want to be very strict though, since that takes all the fun out of eating. My new plan will be to:
    1. Start the morning off with a protein/vitamin smoothie. The smoothies can have fruit and/or veggies for added flavor varieties.
    2. Experiment with a rotation diet. It seems like every other day I have brain fog, bloating, and general fatigue/mental slowness, and I’m hoping this, along with the vitamin smoothies, will help uncover hidden allergies or intolerances I never knew about. This is going to be a major lifestyle change for me, so I’m starting small. My brother said he started it a little at a time until he was comfortable. So I’m going to take a similar approach. Take it slow, still have my regular foods on hand for when I want a break, and gradually incorporate the changes.
    3. Have the smoothie from #1 as a post-workout “meal” whenever possible.
    4. Incorporate more cardio. In May I didn’t do much cardiovascular exercise except for dragon boats, and of course walking (since I don’t have a car, I get around by walking and public transit). I’d like to get back into running, even if it’s just once a week. Also, there are plenty of hills around here that would be great to just do a quick walk up and down, just to get the heart pumping!
    5. Less sitting, more standing – One thing I noticed in May is that I tend to come back from my Bar Method classes and sit for the rest of the day. I’m still sitting the majority of the day, actually. I have a wonderful standing desk from work, so time to put it to use. A large part of the problem is that Harmony loves to sit in my lap when I’m working, and when I stand, she always stares at me with those big green eyes and seems confused as to why I’m not sitting down so she can join me. I always feel so guilty that I give in. I let that cat control me too much! 😀 😀 I’m sure she’ll get used to the idea of me standing, and maybe I can set up her kitty bed on my chair, and fill it with things that have my scent on it. Might be time to take out the fitbit again to track progress on this! if I can stand up to work at least 1 hour a day this month, I’ll be happy.
    6. More stretching! It feels good to stretch but I don’t do enough of it. I’m scheduling a time do so every night before bed (how about right after the Creativity Hour?).

Whew! Lots of changes fitness-wise, but they will be gradual. My brother is so awesome and willing to help me incorporate these new things, and I’m so grateful. He’s an inspiration to me and I love his approaches to health and fitness. At the end of June I’ll post a summary on how everything went. 🙂

Revised fitness goals for June: Continue Bar Method classes 4x a week; add daily Foundation Training first thing in the morning, add new fitness routine to supplement Bar classes; have protein/vitamin shake in the mornings and post-workout; stand up to work at least one hour a day; experiment with rotation diet; stretch each M-Thu night, right after Creativity Hour.

Project 365

I’m still taking a photo each day (but I missed one day in May). I tend to be lazy about posting them every day, though. Oh well. As long as I continue to take photos each day and post them here at some point, I’ll be happy! Carry on.

And that’s it. Whew again! Looking forward to seeing how all this goes this month. 🙂

3 Comments

  1. Well you still seem to be setting the bar very high but good to see the reassessment and adjustments you have made. Do you have a big calendar on the wall somewhere with your schedule or are you an electronic calendar sort of person? I’d think you’d be electronic but I’d need a permanent visual reminder for all you have planned. Hope it’s all going well.

    1. Thanks! I’ve been setting reminders on my phone, but I do have a wall calendar. I’ve been making use of it more, especially when it comes to planning out meals! 🙂

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