SLEEP: Day 25-27 of 30 – Too Excited to Sleep

Too Excited to Sleep

Since I started the 30 Day Sleep Challenge I’ve been shocked at how I’ve been able to fall asleep so quickly by simply putting my tempting phone far away from me.  I notoriously had trouble falling asleep, and my solution before used to be sleeping in the opposite direction (head where my feet are) or in a different place altogether (usually the basement because it’s pitch dark).

On Days 4-6 I spoke about being stressed and using the emotional exhaustion to fall asleep. On Day 25, 26 and 27 these stress factors still exist, but the reason I couldn’t fall asleep is because I was excited. After a year on the journey to get myself back on the career track, I got the phone call I’ve been waiting for.  The interview was scheduled rather quickly, which is probably better because I had less days to ponder what to say and how to say it, what to ask and how not too seem too excited.  This is not a bad reason not to be able to fall asleep.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Sleep

Day 25
12:30am – 7:15am (6 hours, 45 minutes), Snooze: 0x

Got into bed at 12:00am but didn’t fall asleep right away.

Day 26
12:30am – 7:15am (6 hours, 45 minutes), Snooze: 0x

Got into bed at 12:00am but didn’t fall asleep right away, again.

Day 27
1:00am – 8:30am (7 hours, 30 minutes), Snooze: 1x

Knocked out and only snoozed because I forgot to turn off my 7:15am alarm

I didn’t completely bomb the interview, by the way. There’s still a long road ahead for me, but it was a proud moment because I felt like the chances I have been taking with my career lead me to this.  It was the first time I mentioned the creation of this blog to an interviewer, taking it back my initial purpose of starting this project and one of my goals – to be able to put this on my resume.  It was a great feeling.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

SLEEP: Day 0 of 30 – Need Sleep

Need Sleep

Choosing this next challenge was actually a last minute decision. I had another challenge I really wanted to do, the Spending-Hiatus Challenge, but since the money I spend is usually essentials for my children – the only personal sacrifice I would be making would be my Dunkin Donuts trips. And taking my iced caramel lattes away can prove to be dangerous.

As I spent late hours trying to find a saving/spending/money challenge that made sense, I found myself scouring Google and Pinterest with heavy eyelids.  Which made me think – I really need to sleep.

30DayChallengeAccepted Sleep

We’ve all heard of the benefits of a full, good night’s rest, but how many of us adults, specifically parents, actually get the recommended 7-9hours? I assure you that this will be a huge challenge for me. I’m a night owl. I get a surge of energy after the kids are settled in for the night, so their after-hours are usually when I take care of tasks I don’t do during the day, like this blog.

 

3Day Challenge Accepted SleepThe Sleep Challenge post that kept popping up was by OurHeritageOfHealth.com.  There isn’t a calendar with daily tasks to fulfill like the previous challenges I’ve done, but it had three simple rules that I can work with: 1) set reasonable goals, 2) reward yourself and 3) do what you need to do to reach those goals.

Before I list my goals, let’s first state my Status Quo:

  • My current bedtime is ~1:30am and I’m up and struggling by 7:30am.
  • I have a very difficult time falling asleep, unlike my husband who snoozes as soon as his head hits the pillow
  • I’m not a morning person. I hit snooze a few times before I finally roll out of bed.
  • I usually (accidentally) take power nap when I’m putting my younger one down for his nap
  • On weekends, my family let’s me sleep in and I don’t wake up until almost 11:00am
  • I love my bed

I have to be aware not to make potential results my goals (like ‘have more energy’, ‘be more focused’, or ‘get better skin’). So My Goals are:

  • sleep at least 7hours a night for 30days, with the ultimate goal to get 8 hours
  • finish this challenge as close to 30days as possible
  • eliminate sleep distractions for good
  • find ways to induce sleep
  • become a better morning person

Watch this challenge reduce my trips to Dunkin Donuts anyways! How ironic would that be.

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Sleep Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

 

KINDNESS: 30Day Challenge Review – Five Takeways

KINDNESS: 30Day Challenge Review – Five Takeaways

At the beginning of the holiday season I wanted to embrace the magic of the time of year where we talk about the importance of giving.  A reader left a comment in one of earlier blogs about the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, by Cami Walker.

30DayChallengeAccepted 29GiftsBook

Her memoir inspired me to seek a challenge that had the same intention: do something for someone else every day for 30Days.  That’s how I came across PopSugar’s Challenge.

 

Here are MY GOALS that I listed on Day 0:

  • to complete this in 30days flat 👍🏼

Ended up at doing and extra day of kindness and took this challenge for 31Days! 

  • to find out-of-the-box acts of kindness 👌🏼

I found that some of the tasks were giveaways because as I mom, part of the role requires you to be kind by default. But there were definitely some things that were out of the box, like leaving a note in a library book.

 

Five Takeaways From This Challenge:

1. It’s a relief that I’m not the witch I make myself out to be.

There were many things on PopSugar’s list that I do regularly, like running errands for others, babysitting, or letting cars merge in front of me.  Having common courtesy is not as common as I thought. 

2. An act of kindness does not need to be a grand gesture

Sometimes the most simple thing makes the biggest impact, the smallest being – a smile.  I have a resting-bitch-face, but when I see someone else smile at me it dissolves quickly.

3. You shouldn’t be kind to only those you assume are less fortunate

Everyone, even that person who seems to have it all together, is fighting a battle you don’t know about.  Everyone could use a pick-me-up whether that’s in the form of a genuine smile or small gift.

4. Accepting kindness is also a form of kindness

How often does someone offer something to you and you say “Ohhhh nooo, it’s ok” in an attempt to be gracious. Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin.  So when someone is being kind to you, try to accept it gratefully. Genuinely say “Thank You” and let them know how much you appreciate their offer.

5. Kindness is contagious

Try it and see for yourself.  

Want to read all 30 Days of the Kindness Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

KINDNESS: Day 28-30/30 – Plus Bonus Day31!

Plus Bonus Day31

I almost didn’t reach my goal to complete this 30Day Challenge in exactly 30Days.  But I surprised myself and went for an extra day of kindness.

30DayChallengeAccepted Kindness

Day28
“Ask someone how they are and really listen when they answer.”

I thought this would be easy because I consider myself a good listener.  But I didn’t have the chance to talk to anyone face-to-face today, unless you count my kids. I asked them how they are, but have you tried to have the conversation with a kid? It’s very short.  A conversation with my husband, even shorter.

So, I texted my closest girlfriends, but they were all normal every-day conversation. When I tried to make them deeper, it felt too forced and disingenuous so I stopped.  Then when the day was almost over, a friend texted me and we got into an effortless deep and personal conversation .  I’m not going into detail about who it was and what we talked about, but these moments make me grateful that I have amazing girlfriends who willingly share their ups and downs with me.

Day29
“Give encouragement to someone who is working hard.”

I crap on him all the time. It’s easy.  But without a doubt, I will be the first person to tell you how hard my husband works.  He has his 9-5, but he also has an internet business he maintains on the side. Basically he works 24/7 to support our family and allow me to be a stay-at-home mom.

He probably thought I had more than one glass of wine at dinner, but I let him know how awesome I think he is at what he does.  That even though he’s on a device all the time, and his phone is always ringing at odd hours… that I am in awe of how he handles all the technical tasks, deals with people from across the globe, and makes it look easy.

Day30
“Spend a day saying only nice things about – and to- other people.”

TAKE 1 – I can’t even fudge it, I completely failed this today. It was the first day back to the grind – husband back to work / kids back to school.  After over a week off, everyone was out of wack, including myself.  With the Kindness Challenge on my mind, I was already more patient than I normally would be, but the two adorable beings I gave birth to pushed me beyond my limits and it put me in a funk for the rest of the day.

TAKE 2 – right before I went to bed, I was having conversations with mommy friends and by the end of it I had ended up volunteering for a position that unexpectedly opened on the executive board of the PTA.  I was ready to call it quits on kindness for Day30, then this happened and I think it totally counts.

BONUS – Day 31

I could’ve ended the challenge yesterday, but after such a rough day I wanted a Day30-do-over.  I woke up with a fresh mind and a fresh heart.  I think my kids did too because whatever demons possessed them were gone and we had a picture-perfect morning.  I went into the office and had a productive day and lots of laughs with my co-workers. Ended my day with a relaxing family dinner at my in-laws and an easy night-routine with my kids. I spent the day genuinely saying and doing nice things, and it was the perfect way to end this challenge.

CHALLENGE: KINDNESS – ✔️ COMPLETED

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Kindness Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

Random Ramble: 2017 Word of the Year – COMMIT

2017: Word of the Year – COMMIT

Recently I joined a Facebook group: Blogging 101, and the admin, Nicole Floss of UniquelyWomen.net, asked “Today is the last day of 2016! Have you chosen a word for 2017? Mine was: COMMIT

30DayChallengeAccepted

I didn’t start this project to make money, but obviously I would love for it to be successful. But what is my measurement for success? I’m not really sure. At first it was simply to do it. To blog. Literally, the idea (to blog about doing 30Day Challenges) came one night at the end of Aug2016 when I couldn’t go to sleep and the next day I pulled the trigger, because if I didn’t, then I never would. I had no idea what I was doing and I still don’t.

I’ve made goals for each of the 30Day Challenges I chose, and today I realize that I never made goals for this blog.  With the new year, I feel it’s the perfect time. If I’m going to commit my time, energy and heart into 30DayChallengeAccepted, I need milestones to work towards.

So here are 3 measureable goals.

  • Blog site – more consistent views per week and per month.  Since I don’t post daily, I’ll have to figure out the story behind my statistics, but it goes without saying that driving traffic requires me to posts regularly and market through networking.
  • Facebook – Have 200 followers by the end of the year.  Currently I’m at 34
  • Instagram – Have 200 followers by the end of the year.  Currently I’m at 28.

30DayChallengeAccepted Goals

 

 

KINDNESS: Day 16-18/30 – Stop Overthinking

Stop Overthinking

They didn’t seem so out-of-the-box, but they actually were.  I thought Day 16, 17 and 18 of the PopSugar 30Day Kindness Challenge were going to be a breeze.  I go into it oversimplifying the tasks then upon execution I start to overthink it, so instead of just enjoying it I’m making a bit of a mess.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Kindness

Day16
“Leave a funny note or a little bit of cash in your favorite library book.”

The note I left wasn’t that funny, but it was fitting.  I enjoy reading and am lucky enough to have a library that carries the latest releases in a section called Star Readers which only allows you to borrow a book for 7days.  Coincidentally today is the day so I’m supposed to return this book.

This week’s read is by my favorite author, Jodi Picoult – “Small Great Things”.

Here’s my review: Read It!

And here’s the non-funny post-it note message I left in the book for the next reader:

Loved this book’s message.
Sharing one of my favorite quotes:
“The one thing we all have in common is that we are all different.”
Enjoy the book!

Day17

“Put stray grocery carts back where they belong.”

I tried, but those Costco employees are so efficient!

Instead my act of kindness today was, again, through one of my kids.  My younger one has been doing soccer for a few seasons now. He’s still preschool age so I don’t expect much, but he loves this weekly intramural activity and his coaches do a great job with the crazy munchkins. As a gift for a holidays, we gave the coaches lottery tickets.  It took a lot of self-control for my little guy not to do all the scratch-offs himself!

Day18

“Let a car merge in front of you and give them a smile or a thumbs-up.”

Today I meant to complete Day13’s task – to bring treats to the office – since today is the last day I’m scheduled to go in this year, but I didn’t have a chance to get treats.  Ironically, when I walked into the office there were brownies, candies, nuts, cookies and more already laid out.

So I decided to go with today’s assigned task, although it seemed so mundane.  I’m an aggressive driver, but I am also courteous. Today I didn’t have much of a drive – just the 1.3miles from my house to the train station, and back.  So, I let whoever needed to merge, merge. I pulled to the side to let cars coming the opposite way down our narrow streets pass. I let pedestrians cross.  All with a happy wave.

 

These past three day’s tasks seemed easy peezy, but they weren’t because I kept feeling like I waa going about them all wrong. I was scared to leave that note in the library book – worried the librarian would see it when I returned the book and scold me for “vandalizing” (it sounds silly now that I said it aloud).  I tried to put the grocery carts back, but I went at the wrong time (in the morning, when the carts aren’t hapharzardly scattered) and with my little guy in tow, chasing down stray carts in the cold didn’t seem as fun in real-life. And I thought I was a nice driver already, but purposely being extra-patient nice driver was actually difficult! I have places to be!

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Kindness Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

KINDNESS: Day 0/30 – Tis the Season

Tis the Season

Inspired by a comment left by Irene of http://artrenekoh.tumblr.com when I was finishing my first 30Day Challenge (Blogging) and was deciding on the next challenge to tackle, she mentioned a book, 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker.  Since then, I was looking forward to doing a challenge focused on giving to others in a non-monetary manner.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Kindness

However the book, narrated by a 31-year young women diagnosed with MS just one-month after her wedding who follows the advice to heal by focusing on other people instead of herself through the act of giving, is more of a memoir than a how-to. So, I needed to find myself a chart to use as a guideline.

When a Google search on “30 Days of Gifting” failed, I finally found this on Pinterest  – Popsugar’s 30 Day Kindness Challenge “designed to have you take time out of each day to do something for someone else — and hopefully they will pay it forward to the next person”. Perfect!

I read the daily tasks and was happily surprised to note that I already do many of the things listed.  I realize that perhaps I’m nicer than I give myself credit for!  Now, especially with the holiday season underway, I’m afraid this challenge might not be much of a challenge.  However, there’s always room for more kindness – particularly in this day and age – so I’m doing this!

My background
– I just figured out I’m already doing a lot of these “nice” things.
– Most of my routines involve just the kids and me with little contact with strangers, so finding people (aside from my kids) to be kind to might be difficult some days.
– I’m not a stranger to volunteering my time

My goals
– to complete this in 30days flat
– to find out-of-the-box acts of kindness

 

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Kindness Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

TREADMILL 28-30/30: Epic Fail (with Challenge Review)

… ONE MONTH LATER…

Epic Fail

I wish that was a joke. There I was after Day 27 of this 30 day challenge, one step away from the finish line… and I gave up. Embarrassingly, I’m not even bothering to finish up this 30 Day Treadmill Challenge.  Talk about a FAIL.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Treadmill

The obvious truth is that I plainly lost interest in this challenge.  I could easily blame that things at work and at home got busy (they did!), but that would be lame.  However, although I can’t claim that I’ve kept to an alternate regular exercise routine these past 4-5weeks, I have tried to be less lazy.  I’ve even used the treadmill, but didn’t follow the Refinery29 program. I was simply over this specific program.

Day28
“Hills: Run Flat (1) + Incline Run (1) + Walk Flat (1), x6”
NOPE!

Day29
“Walk (1) + Run (3), x5”
NADA!

Day30
“Pyramids: Brisk Walk, Increase Pace 0.2 Every Minute to Run (5), Then Reverse, x2”
BYE FELICIA.

 

Review of the Refinery 29’s 30 Day Treadmill Challenge

It’s doable but cumbersome

As mentioned at the half-way mark, the challenge itself is achievable regardless of what fitness level you are.  Whatever speed you consider is a “walk” vs a “run” is up to you.  So, you can challenge yourself further by pushing yourself to a fast speed.  In general, the daily routine was 20-30minutes max, and would get your heart moving. However, the adjustments with speed and/or incline with the short time durations were just annoying.  Having to keep track and manually change the settings messed with my groove.  It just added to my excuses for not wanting to do this challenge.

 

In closing, here are the goals I listed when I started this challenge:

  • to complete this challenge as close to 30 days as possible
    • unmet
  • to feel comfortable in my clothes again
    • unmet
  • stop being so good at making excuses
    • unmet
  • be more active with my kids
    • partially met
      • I found myself being a bit less lazy with my kids.  This means little things like using our free time to run around at the park or simply walking to school instead of driving.  We do yoga and dance games together, and while the weather is still cooperative, we go for a easy hike.  They have so much energy, and I just try to steal some of it.
  • go beyond 30 days and make exercise part of my lifestyle
    • unmet.
      • Truth is, these daily challenges weren’t enough.  20minutes on a treadmill used to be my warm-up before using machines or  free weights and/or isometric exercises.  You could argue that I should’ve performed this current challenge by making it part of a larger routine, but I wanted to try this as a one-off. Also, its hard enough for me to find a way to steal 30minutes from may days, let alone a full-hour.

 

CHALLENGE: TREADMILL – ✖️ INCOMPLETE

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Treadmill Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

TREADMILL 22-24/30: Too Many Takes

Too Many Takes

30DayChallengeAccepted.com Treadmill

After a productive and proud few days at the Challenge, I struggled through the next few days.  With the previous Blogging Challenge I figured out that around the early 20’s is when I usually fail at 30Day Challenges; I called it The Hump.  Maybe because of this mental hurdle, I already prepared myself to give up.  I hate that I’m allowing myself so many “takes”.  But exercising really is a challenge for me. If it took me 7days to complete Day22+23+24, I’m not looking forward to calculating how many days it took me do the 30Day Challenge.

Day22
“Rest or Cross Training”
Since I went a few consecutive days at the Treadmill Challenge, my legs were pretty sore. So instead of taking a rest I felt I needed to focus on helping my muscles relax.  Before I started this blog, a 30Day Challenge I attempted was yoga and I found really enjoyed the instructor’s YouTube channel.  I went back to her and found a video she recently posted titled “Yoga for Tired Legs”. It’s like she made it just for me!

Day23
“Pyramids: Brisk Walk, Increase Pace 0.1 Every 30Seconds to Run (5), Then Reverse, x2”
take 1
I’d like to blame it on the flu shot, but I would be lying. 💉

take 2
Done! – I prefer to do it at night, but because I felt so guilty skipping yesterday, I shockingly completed this in the morning.

I wish I could input the daily Challenge into the treadmill because having to increase speed by 0.1 every 30seconds manually and keep track of my progress can get difficult especially when I’m at a higher speed and also watching Real Housewives to distract myself from the fact that I’m running .

Day24
“Walk Incline (2) + Run Incline (1), x5”
take1 and take2
lazy weekend 😴

take3
had a long day and called it a early night

take4
Yawned my way to the treadmill, but I did it.

Want to read all 30 Days of the Treadmill Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

TREADMILL 19-21/30: I Like Doing it at Night

I Like Doing it at Night

I’ve think I may have figured out how to hit this challenge head-on.  During the Blogging Challenge I scheduled a 1-hour time slot every night to write and post.  Now that my blog posts are simply recaps of 3-day period, I use that time to complete the daily Treadmill Challenge instead.

I’m sure there are studies out there that say exercising is better in the morning and not before going to sleep.  But I figure – a dedicated work out at least 1x a day, whenever you happen to fit it in, is better than none at all. Ends up, I like doing it at night.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Treadmill

Day19
“Hills: Brisk Walk, Increase Incline 1% Every Minute (5), Then Reverse to 0%, x2”
Done! – this one was fun

Day20
“Walk (2) + Run (2), x5”
Done! – hard for me, but I pushed through.

Day21
“Walk Flat (2) + Walk Incline (2), x5”
Done! – nice way to end this 3day jaunt.

Want to read all 30 Days of the Treadmill Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE