Setting a Wellness Challenge for Yourself and a Personal Update

I’ve been talking about creating my own challenge and here it is, my challenge. I think it’s important to challenge ourselves to do better and to be the best we can be. The good thing about challenging yourself is that you can make it what you want and need it to be. Several of us have joined others challenges and that is a good thing too if you find one that fits your needs and goals.

How do you set a challenge for self?

Determine what your needs, desires, and goals are and what steps it will take to move toward them. I started by making a list of what it was I needed to improve myself and then put it all under categories. For me it was those items listed in the picture above: more water intake, better nutrition, more movement, spiritual alignment, and reaching toward personal goals. Some call these “pillars” of improvement. They are the basics or foundation of your challenge. And of course you will need to break down and bullet point for yourself what each of those pillars will entail. And then for fun – give it a name. I chose to call mine “The Nudge”. I’m starting it March 1. I’ll explain below.

I wrote a goal statement for my challenge that says: “I want to be the best me I can be, with focus on wellness, well-being, stride improvement toward goals, and last but certainly not least, spiritual alignment.

Defining the challenge.

As mentioned above, you really need to define your challenge by asking yourself if you could change yourself, what would you change? Go across your whole self. Mind, body, goals, dreams, spirituality, happiness. Set your pillars for your challenge in what you want of those things. And do things every day toward them.

Here’s how I defined my Nudge Challenge:

Water – Drinking 75 oz per day (I’m including coffee and tea and any non-sugar drinks as a part of this, but not alcohol)

Nutrition – Less sugar*, Increase protein, decrease starch, increase greens, increase veggies, maintain fruits and grains per day.

Movement – 100 movement exercises per day, 10 min of walking or heart rate exercise** per day, 20 minute of exercise on weekend days.

Personal – Requirement to do something every day toward a personal goal or hobby or toward “my happy”. For this it is: Learning Final Cut Pro, learning my camera, learning to vlog better, video creation improvement, watching videos for inspiration and ideas. For me this is on top of the regular blogging and vlogging. I have decided that there are two levels to this Personal category. I will also include reading, resting, shopping, watching a show, or doing just about anything to up the Happy Level. ;-). So a win-win category.

Spiritual – I already do a Prayer Journal and Bible Reading every day. I don’t have a lot of time to add in extra Bible study, but I’ve decided for a period of time, that I will do a trade-off or a mix up and will do a Bible study during my prayer/journal time and I will do prayer time on the way to work. My goal is to realign my goals with God’s goals for me, and to accept his guidance on the issues I struggle with the most.

*Still working and researching the sugar part. I won’t be able to cut all of it out but need to determine a gram level per day that works for me. For now, it will be a conscious effort to reduce the intake until determined.

**I have trouble fitting exercise in my day – I’d rather be geeky and do other things. So for me to get 10 min in a day is a big deal. I will never get 20 in, if I can’t get 10 in first.

Choosing the name of the challenge.

I chose to call mine “The Nudge Challenge”. I am having a tough time right now and trying to figure out a few things with my time, schedule, and routine. This is not a new problem with me. I had to go through similar adjustments when I became married, became a mother and was working full time, and I have had recent big changes that really has taken most of my spare time. I’m adjusting slowly. But the reason for naming this challenge “The Nudge” is because I don’t have time for a full blown challenge where I’m tracking, detailing, and analyzing every move. It would send me over the edge right now to go to that degree. There is a time and place for that. It’s not now for me. I just need a nudge in the right direction. I need positive motion toward goals. So “The Nudge” it is.

Tracking the challenge.

Yes, measurable are important in most cases and in most challenges. If you can do this, by all means define your measurables. For me, my measure this time is very simple. Did you do it? Yes or No. I want to be better. I’ll never be perfect. I’m trying to create ongoing lifestyle habits in which I’m not going to be measuring every single day from now on. I’m not going to punish myself nor reward myself for this challenge. I just need to be a better self, move forward, and be physically, mentally, and spiritually better as I go along in the rest of my life. At the end of the day The Nudge Challenge simply will ask, Did you do better today? Yes or No.

Length of the challenge.

So, it takes, supposedly 14 days to develop a habit. And so my mind is thinking 21 days for my personal Nudge Challenge. Fourteen days of VERY strong alignment of a daily push toward the things, with an extra seven days of what I’ll call a “transition week”. Do I really know what that means? All I can say is that I want the habits to stick but I’m not going to be hyping over these things every day like I will the first two weeks. I guess that third week will be a transition week to being able to figure out how to maintain these things without having to put a lot of focus and effort to it – how will I maintain these habits for the long haul. So yeah, my challenge will be 21 days with the first 14 being focused and the last 7 being a transition focus on how to maintain these things ongoing.

Over all setting your own challenge can be exciting and purposeful and fulfilling. Even if you are not perfect, you are making strides to goals that you have for your life. I challenge you to set your own challenge, with your own pillars.

If you were to do one, what would your goals be?

Personal Updates: Riding the Waves

Photo by Ben Mack on

So I’m doing better today. I woke up this morning with my thoughts going alive, and God said, “let’s get this challenge going Sonya”. He didn’t really, but I speak often with God and he often sends me little ideas and thoughts and He sent his spiritual buddy “the spirit, the comforter, the nudger” to be with me and He is. So I began thinking of things again instead of just “trying to get through the day”. It’s just been a tough week. Work has been – well, let’s just say – “not so good” with so many things outside my own control having been a factor. Personal life has been dull. Rain and rain and rain and horrible grey days with no sun have greatly impacted the mood. Lack of eating nutritiously have obviously played a huge role in how I have felt. I haven’t wanted to do anything. Even the joys that I normally get from video creation and blogging have been downers. Final Cut Pro, as I start this next video, is not doing what I wanted – at every turn (everything I do) it won’t do what I want and requires another video. I thought I had learned a lot but can’t even get started on the next video without having to watch other videos to get me started. I’m discouraged about so many things at once so life has really taken me down a dumpy road across most portions of my life. This challenge should help and I feel better already. I still am having moments of heading toward depression though – like I don’t want to do anything or think about anything. I don’t want to make decisions, I don’t want to clean. I don’t want to organize, analyze. I just want to sit, stare, drink coffee and let the thoughts come and go. But today is better as I woke up with this challenge worked out in my head. It had been plaguing me for days. I haven’t been able to make lists or think much about anything until today. So that is a good sign. This post is a good sign.

I appreciate your comments recently and worries over my well being. I’ve been a little worried too. I have days where I have down days like everyone else but this one has been going strong for probably a couple of weeks. I’m sure if I go back to other years of blogs I will see similar happening in the last couple of weeks of February. I’ll have to see. Maybe not to this extent. I said before that I think it’s been the perfect storm of so many things catching up to me at once across many portions of my life. But I think we are on the mend. One can only hope.

I talked with God for a long while about my schedule and routine and time. We didn’t really come up with many answers. I can’t quit my job right now. I can’t really lose any more sleep. I don’t want to give up my hobbies as they are what brings me joy. The only answers I can come up with are doing my hobbies less often, not giving work anything over a certain amount of hours, coming up with a more set routine with Mom. I’ve even asked myself if I needed to have a different job where I could work from home or have less hours and less of an issue at year end. And I’m posting that here for all to read, simply because I decided it’s easier at my age to stick with something you love and enjoy with a commute (it’s not really all that bad but it does take up to 45 min extra from door to door) than to have to learn something new just to be able to work from home. I have always had the power to stick through with most jobs even when they frustrated the hell out of me. Overall though, this job is perfect for me. And God keeps saying “you are the one I’ve chosen to do this job – it’s you that can keep track of this and do these things in the order they should be done and in how you do them”. So I don’t want to let Him down.

The other thing we (God and I) looked at was to change my view or acceptance of what is. There will never be more than 24 hours a day. But to do that, I have to accept that I have very little free time to self care and I’m not sure I’m ok with that. I need to have some built in down time – not just blog time but time to decompress, work toward goals, get our own housework done and so forth, to see progress, to see a reason for living, to see that my life is worth something and has value to God, to others and myself.

I think the problems lie usually in that I’m a planner and there are so many things that are throwing me off unexpectedly. I never like elements of surprises on my time. I mean basically we have adopted another member of the family into our own with special needs if you want to think of it that way, and so I’m just trying to figure out how to balance my time on top of being in an apparent state of depression.

I’m a piece of work right now. There are so many things at so many levels I’m working through but God is there and I’m just having to work through it all with Him by my side. When a couple of things go awry, it makes you want to look at everything that is awry, too. It’s all good. I’m fine. It’ll be ok. Feeling much much more like myself today. Well not spot on, but getting there. Yes, We’ll get there. Just Lord, send some sunshine. Puhhhhleaase! Oh and while you are at it, send me to the beach and give me a dog.

Photo by Pixabay on
Photo by Christian Domingues on

Have a good weekend ya’ll.

Coffee Date with Myself, An Array of Emotions, and a Vent Session

I threw some green things up on the mantle since Valentine’s is over and spring and St Patrick’s is the next holiday. Yeah I know one side is heavier stacked than the other. I needed to have bought two of the “ferns” and I’ll get another when I go back to Hobby Lobby.

Panera Soup and Salad

Of course Friday I did all things Mom, Saturday we had our company and dinner party, so Sunday was the day to get anything done that I needed to get done for us. I didn’t get through with everything of course, as it was too packed. I got up and washed all of our fine glasses and cleaned on the kitchen a bit. I went for a walk Saturday morning which was lovely before the south winds started to blow. But I did get my glasses adjusted which with these pair I have to do about every six months. She told me they are about to fall apart and when they do I’ll just get another kind. I also got gas so I didn’t have to try to fit that in during the work week when I’m already in a hurry. I went to Panera and got a salad and soup while doing some planning for the blog, and vlog. I got the car washed and then also went to the grocery to get some items I needed for work and some fresh items for home that we needed. At home, I tried to finish up the laundry but still have one final load to do and will have to do my ironing this week. We had leftovers and watched Manifest and I headed for bed. I had slept until 7 the day before (must have been tired) and then didn’t want to go to sleep last night. Then I overslept this morning and George had to wake me up. ::sigh::

Signs of spring during my walk.
Little Bit in My Lap

Someone requested to see the gifts I received from friends this weekend. And here they are. We laughed and said that the longer after Christmas it was, the more we added to the gift pile that we gave to each other. We did the same. It’s quite the loot there! ;-). I love it all. Lisa is good to me. This was our final Christmas celebration. And it’s awful that we had to wait til February. Between life and work…oh my gosh, as you know if you have read my blog you know how busy it’s been. It was so good to see them though.

Coffee Date with Myself

So I went to Panera and actually had not only coffee but lunch since it was lunch time and I was craving a salad. The 1/2 and 1/2 deal sounded good to me and their tomato soup is divine. I enjoyed the meal so much as I looked over notes I’d taken in the past couple of years on blog and vlog goals. I really wanted to brain storm and turns out, most of that had already been done. I couldn’t think of anything to add, so I basically consolidated my notes. The restaurant began to get crowded, which around 3:30 kindof surprised me. It was hard to concentrate and I felt I needed to leave and let someone else have my table for four (I needed the room to spread out my notes and things). So my idea of having a brain storm and planning session wasn’t all I had hoped. I was hoping for an epiphany – a grand idea(s) – but it was not to be had. All I really did was confirm that I was doing what I set out to do and what I’ve laid out before me that has not been done was mainly because I’d not had time to do it. It’s all there waiting for me to do it.

I left Panera feeling an array of emotions over my VIDEOS/GOALS:

  • Confirmed – that I already had the plans and to do’s laid out and I was headed in the right directions
  • Sad – that I hadn’t had time to get a lot of my plans that I laid out done
  • Disappointed – that I’m not further along and that I’ve not had time in the past year to be more intentional with my videos (using my camera more, going on excursions, telling a better story, filming ourselves). And disappointed that I’m having to learn so many things all over again with Final Cut Pro.
  • Mad – that I have to almost verbally fight with others to get time to myself (not George he’s very supportive). If I have a day off, there is always someone or something wanting a piece of it.
  • Discouraged – about a lot of things – the INTRO I’m not happy with, we have not filmed much of ourselves in the last six months – just things! And I’m disappointed with my work of late because I’ve not had time to do things like I’d want them. And discouraged that Final Cut Pro is taking some time to learn. The audio sucked on the last video. Quite frankly a lot of that video sucked. I just had the footage and used it to learn the new software.
  • Happy – I do have an underlying happiness that I have decided to do the videos and it brings me joy to work on them, to plan them, and work at it and have goals with it. And I’m overjoyed when you all like them and I get a good positive response.
  • Hope – Because I do enjoy doing them, I know that there is hope of improvement and that one day I’ll get more time to work on them again and get on track.

I’m not really ready to share all my goals yet, but mainly it’s BLOG and VLOG growth. I’ve consolidated all my notes and will slowly be able to work on them over time. I looked and the next video is on the flooring. There is hardly any footage of us, so I’ll probably do a little filming of myself walking through the house in current time and introduce it and talk about the flooring a bit and the experience and why we chose those floors.

Growth and improvement are painful. So I have to look at it in that way. I haven’t had time to be intentional with things especially last year while packing and moving Mom twice and trying to meet all her needs as she lived with us and all the doc appointments and care. I let my work on all this slide and it shows. But it’s ok. I’ll doctor it up and patch it up and get up on the horse and ride again.

Everything takes so much time. Here I sit now having overslept, trying to do my normal morning and I’m likely to be late. Life slings us around and I feel like I’m on the end of a whiplash lol.


And if one more person asked me if I have done something yet when they know I have zero time to do it I’m likely gonna bite their head off. :-O I’m not into manipulation tactics and can see it a mile away when people try to make me rush to do something. ::sigh:: George says I don’t owe anyone a response for what I do with my time. Even though people may sit in judgment of it. He’s right, but if someone is too pushy with my time, they WILL hear my response, and I will call them out on it for not being considerate and will start to set some boundaries. Let’s just say that the tribe has spoken. I mean if you ask someone to do something for you, one can at least expect to give the person time to do it before they ask if you have done it yet. (Insert eye roll here).

I really need a break ya’ll b/c I’m about to lose my freaking mind. Life is too much. Somedays, I want to get in the car, drive west and never look back. Thank God for sleep because I think I’d totally loose my marbles. And this is where forgiveness becomes key for me every day because others shirk their God given responsibilities and I’m reminded of it nearly every day. I realize I can’t be everyone’s everything. You can’t please certain people. I’m not even going to try. I’m also not going to be manipulated. I have a new rule. The more I’m pushed the longer it’s going to take! I don’t do manipulation and guilt tactics too well. I’m on it like a fly on trash. I’ve had to put up with it most of my life and it doesn’t sit well with me. Tribe speaks again. The tribe is smart. lol

Off to work.

No, You are NOT a Failure, If You have Made Improvements

Photo by Temo Berishvili on

Weekend Accomplishments

I’m feeling accomplished this morning. I finished a big huge project, worked on the house a bit, did most of the laundry, worked on Christmas orders, bought dry ingredients for Thanksgiving, and ordered things for Mom that she needed, and did great with the challenge. When can I ever say that? Mainly on weekends where we are not gone. I did have say “no” to a last minute invite to the Titan’s game. I wish I could have done both. But with so much on my shoulders right now, saying “yes” would not have been the right answer. Now I have had sleep, and have gotten things in order and prepared for some of the things that lie ahead.

Each night I have slept 9 to 11 hours. That should tell you how exhausted I have been. Most work nights average 6.5 hours and my body needs about 7.5 to function at best. By weekend, I’m usually pretty exhausted and if I have missed any hours of sleep around 1:30 a.m. (often up for an hour or two) that just exacerbates the problem.

This Week’s Goals

The focus this week is on getting quarter end done. I still have several unemployment returns to do on the plant side, numerous tax filings for Oregon which is so “high maintenance”. We all have rolled our eyes at the amount of time it takes with all the various Oregon taxes. I also have a federal tax return and also have all the transport company’s unemployment returns. Most of it not too difficult but takes time to do them and tick off the boxes on top of payroll. So my plan is to not take lunches away but work at my desk while eating. I also plan on working til 5 or later (depending on if I’m the only one there or not). Five is safe. Wednesday after work I have a hair appt and I’m not changing it. So that will be my mid-week reprieve. But at last resort, if I feel I need to, I’ll go in early on Wed, Thurs and Friday as well. The goal being not to have to work on Saturday. I really don’t want to give up my personal time when life is already lopsided, and with so much going on. So I’ll be trying to get all that done. I just absolutely detest the last week in a quarter. I don’t like the stress you go through. I often don’t have the data I need until the last 10 days of the month and usually it’s Thursday and Friday and a part of Monday when I can work on things because of payroll. Anyway, it is what it is, and I will be what I will be, and I will either get it done, or not. But here’s to trying. One thing is for sure. I’ll not be living there. I don’t mind working a little longer on an already long enough day, but I don’t want to give up my weekend especially when so much is on our shoulders right now.

The TRIBE has spoken. lol. Hopefully my tribe doesn’t look like that. But I couldn’t find any pixel pics with a survivor tiki torch, lol. So here ya go! If we get through this week alive, we will have SURVIVED for sure.

Photo by Jess Loiterton on

Projects and Challenges

I also was able to work on the next video and it’s coming along good. I’m about half way through editing I think. I have a LOT to cut out though as it’s too long. Need to add some graphics and fun stuff. The next video is when we moved a lot of things with the cargo van on Memorial Day weekend. So I am pleased we have a lot of footage. I am enjoying the time I get to work on it. It seems to be good for me to blog once on a weekend and have the next day to work on videos, so basically I think I have decided to blog or edit – every other day. It’s a good mix. I don’t get to do any of it on Tuesday’s due to having to go in early to cover for the eye appointment days, but oh well, it’s for a good cause. That automatically checks off “doing something for someone” for that day, lol.

The challenge. Yes it is going about 3/4 to plan. Last week, when not getting enough sleep, and running on edge, I was in survivor mode and I tend to eat horribly and don’t have time to think about what good things I need to be doing. I am simply in survivor mode. Then when people say things like “oh you can’t have that you are on a diet”, it makes you feel even worse – because they are trying to remind you of your failure – whether intended or not – I take it as sort of a mocking of you. And that is why they say “just don’t tell anyone” so you don’t have THAT mess going on. So I was feeling unaccomplished and like a failure last week having woofed down a greasy burger and fries on a hungry whim. And then feeling guilty. But after sitting back and thinking about it, here’s my thoughts.

No I’m Not a Failure if I’m Improving

This is in regards to a challenge I set for myself to drink more water, do something for others each day, read and improve myself, move more, and eat more whole foods. While I’ve not met every goal perfectly, I can see I’ve made improvements and hitting at least 3/4 of the goals if not higher. I can’t allow myself to feel bad for that.

  1. I’m trying to improve myself. A lot of people don’t even try. Or if they do it’s half-ass done with no commitment. I’m committed at least to trying.
  2. I’ve installed a 5 column improvement plan all at once in my life, of which most will be able to stick. Most folks have a hard time with one thing, but five? I need to be proud of that.
  3. If am only 3/4 of improved then that is better than sliding backwards and only being 1/2 improved.
  4. The being aware of water intake, what works, what doesn’t – is something that is working well. While I may not hit 94 oz I can see now that with minimal effort, I can hit 75 with ease. And on the days I don’t half try I’m in the 60’s. I know the containers to use to easily establish how many oz. I’ve learned the various containers and ounces they are. I can look at something and tell. That is worth a lot. I’m getting to the point where I don’t have to calculate it as much.
  5. The doing things for others. I realized I did more for others than I thought. And while I still could do more calculated efforts at helping others, the underlying current to do more for others has developed under my scalp (noggin) to stick in the days ongoing after the challenge. So the 55 days is doing what it should. All the days of my life now I will be thinking when I get up and go to bed – “did I do something for someone today?”.
  6. The reading. I’ve developed within me that it is ok to read – for pleasure and for improvement. Even if it’s just a chapter. I mean 5 pages a day. I do it easily now! It helps with insanity too, lol. You know you are doing something for yourself. And in my pillar or column, spiritual guidance was a part of that reading. The other part of the reading could be learning instead – like YouTube subjects, or for pleasure, b/c happiness and contentment is a goal and pleasure reading is ok.
  7. The nutritional part. The one dessert a week has saved me many moons of calories (I know that is not correct grammar wise but it sounded good didn’t it?). I’m doing great at adding my greens and much better at the fruits. Most days I’ve hit the goal for those two. Imagine if I had eaten all the dessert I wanted. I’d have have a full dessert every night because it’s in the house. I’ve saved myself 6 desserts but instead can have a small bit of chocolate (two bites is better than a whole dessert).
  8. The hardest part is “embracing the Whole Foods”, being around others who don’t. It’s a huge temptation. And going into the challenge I had said “I’ll not be giving up the western diet as a whole, but I’ll be trying to embrace as much Whole Foods as I can for the long haul”. This is the hardest part, but at least I’m improving. I know what my weaknesses are and need to develop plans for those – like having to go foods in the car or purse for those insanely times I’m caught out w/o food and end up doing drive thru’s.
  9. The movement. I’ve not been at 80 movements EVERY day. But I have most days. And I think of moving quite a bit now during the day. And try to move – even at odd times – while changing clothes, while waiting on the microwave, and even while in bed. I can do leg lifts and arm punches! lol. I may not have had perfect days every day but I’ve moved lots more. And the walking 20 min each week I’ve met. I’m due though for that and may try to get a walk in after work if not for lunch today but I’m trying not to take lunch so that is a goal conflict right there. But we’ll see. At least I’ve been mostly perfect with that goal too. I chose not to walk yesterday to push through a different goal that I needed to do and was not going to get done if I didn’t finish so I think I made the choice I needed.

So yeah, to be 3/4 improved is very good! I’m moving in the right direction. I shall not let myself or other’s take that away from me. Isn’t it horrible that you have people in your life that thrive at your failures, people that don’t support you in your goals, or never say how proud of you they are, never cheer you on, never think of good things you do, never brag on you, those that are negative and only have mostly ugly things to say about others, that can’t think of any good anyone does. We need to be sure and surround ourselves with the right people in our lives. Those that support you and what you do and those that cheerlead and want to see you succeed, not gloat at your missing of the marks. And if not, at least I have ya’ll and myself!

The Tribe has Once Again, Spoken. 😉