52 Week Challenge – Week 3 Update

So far so good!

I’ve already completed 2 challenges. I’ve handed over the handling of complaints (#36), so now I can focus on the more technical aspects of my job.

A bigger achievement for me is tracking my food for at least a week (#15). I am, in fact, continuing to track my food. What’s more, I’ve dropped 2.5 kg since the beginning of the month (#1). MyFitnessPal is amazing at motivating me to keep going, as with the barcode scanner, it’s too easy to NOT track my food. Plus, I can plan my day ahead and see what food freedom I have. For instance, I’ve kept to my plan while still treating myself to a Magnum Classic tonight!

Funnily, the Coursera course on nutrition I mentioned in my last post has released the first assignment early, and guess what it is? To track your food for three days, and they recommend MyFitnessPal. Homework has never been so easy!

52 Week Challenge – Week 1 Update

I’ve started Week 1 of the 52 Week Challenge trying to simultaneously not procrastinate and not get too overwhelmed.

I’ve already started on my goal of losing weight (Health #1) by tracking every single thing I eat, starting yesterday (Health #15). I’m also trying to limit my calorie intake to about 1,200 calories. I ate a total of 1,231 yesterday, and I’m at 657 so far today, with dinner left to go. It’s pretty difficult, as I’m almost always hungry. I’m using MyFitnessPal to track this, as it’s got a nifty barcode scanner and a pretty decent UK foods database. I also made a point to drink a big glass of water with a touch of squash this morning. So far so good!

To help with my health goals (and Personal Development #3), there’s a Coursera course titled ‘Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights‘. Maybe worth a look at?

I’ve also stumbled across a Coursera course on meditation – ‘Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World‘. If I complete this 6-week course, not only will I also be addressing my online course quota, but I’ll be learning evidence-based meditation, thus leading to more effective (hopefully) meditation. This will help with Health #5 (meditating every day for two weeks).

Finally, a big shout-out to Lady Kell and everyone else taking on the 52 in 52 Challenge. There even seems to be an image for it now!


To Do: 52 things in 52 weeks

The 52 Week Challenge, 2014 Edition

Inspired by Kincavel Korner and Lifehacker, I’ve compiled a list of 52 challenges for 2014. Initially, all I planned on really doing was taking a photo of myself every day for the year to see how my face changes and if I can correlate the changes to any life events, but then I thought I could expand on that following my online finds.

So behold, my list of challenges!

Turquoise – completed
Pink – in progress

Health (1-15)

  1. Lose 1kg each month (I’m currently overweight, and losing 12kg would take me to just around the top of the healthy BMI range. I know I should be aiming for within that range, not outside of it, but I also know from experience that trying for too much leads to the opposite results.)
  2. Go 1 week without snacking on anything in the office
  3. Buy a swimsuit I like and will actually wear
  4. Go swimming
  5. Meditate every day for two weeks
  6. Drink 1 glass of still water every day for a month – 11/31
  7. Try a new recipe every month
  8. Go to the dentist
  9. Get off the computer at least 30 minutes before going to bed for a month
  10. Include vegetables in every dinner for a week
  11. Go one week without any chocolate
  12. Go to the gym every day for a week
  13. Go to a Zumba class
  14. Learn a new kind of dancing, Latin or Ballroom
  15. Track my calories every day for a week with no exceptions – 7/7

Reading and Writing (16-19)

  1. Read 1 book a week – 2/52
  2. Read only the books I already have
  3. Read 1 non-fiction book a month
  4. Write 1 blog post a month – 1/12

Charity (20-22)

  1. Write 1 card a month to a Postpals kid
  2. Donate one item of clothing to charity each month
  3. Volunteer

Arts (23-31)

  1. Paint once a month
  2. Knit once a week – 2/52
  3. Knit a different stitch each month and make a swatch
  4. Fill a sketchbook
  5. Try a singing class
  6. Watch one movie a week – 2/52
  7. Go to the cinema once every two months
  8. Take a picture of myself every day – 15/365
  9. Make a time-lapse movie of my images

Work/Personal Development (32-37)

  1. Leave at 5:30pm every day for a week
  2. Go to bed before 10pm every day for a week
  3. Complete 3 online courses
  4. Write 3 blog posts about work-related topics
  5. Stop dealing with complaints
  6. Use Duolingo every day for a week to learn German

Travel/Outdoors (38-47)

  1. Go out of town once a month
  2. Visit 6 National Trust sites
  3. Go somewhere in Europe
  4. Go on a picnic
  5. Go to Scotland
  6. Go on an adventure with just my younger brother
  7. Go to a zoo
  8. Take a dog for a walk
  9. Go for a walk once a week – 1/52
  10. Go out on New Year’s Eve 2014 (I was in bed already when this New Year came around, and I was asleep ten minutes later. How dull for a 22-year-old!)

Home (48-52)

  1. Organise paperwork every week – 2/52
  2. Track finances every week in YNAB – 2/52
  3. Get rid of old university stuff that’s no longer relevant
  4. Get rid of old makeup/toiletries
  5. Put aside £1 for every day in the month for emergency savings