Week 12: Off Course But Still Improving

At the start of the year I set a number of challenges for myself. Each challenge would last 1 month after which I would describe how I planned to sustain the improvements made throughout the challenge. Unfortunately, I have failed to hold up my end of the bargain – both with the challenges and the follow-up.

Fortunately, despite not 100% following the challenges I laid out at the beginning of the year, I have continued to improve myself. In January, my challenge was to close all 3 of my Apple Watch Activity Rings every day of the month – I accomplished this and have since closed all three rings everyday of 2019. Originally, I was supposed to earn my CAPM certificate in February, but failed to even start studying the PMBOK in any serious way.

This month, March, the original challenge was to not watch TV for the entire month. Well, technically, I haven’t watched TV per se but I have watched a lot of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on my iPad. Does that count as watching TV? I think it does therefore that challenge has been abandoned. In its place, I can fairly put the Bataan Memorial Death March attempt as a worthy challenge. Granted, I failed to complete the course, but it was definitely a challenge and one that I continue to strive to complete.

With three months of 2019 coming to a close, what’s next?

April 2019: The challenge I am laying down at my feet is studying the PMBOK to a point that I can take the CAPM exam in May. I have some blockers that could interfere with accomplishing this such as workload, household requirements, and fitness goals, but becoming a CAPM is vitally important to my long-term future thus needs to be prioritized. I think the timeframe is much more reasonable than the original challenge from February which lends itself to success.

May 2019: I’m not ready to announce my challenge for May quite yet. I anticipate I will settle on a fitness goal, but need to work through some preliminary preparation work to see at what level that goal will be. Being purposefully vague is not my usual approach, but in this case I feel it is necessary.

While I have new challenges to identify and focus my attention on, I will continue to close all my Activity Rings in an attempt to surpass my previous Move Streak of 192 days. I am 14 days away from getting my “500 Move Goals” award and recently got my first “Move Goal 400%” award for clearing 3,000 calories in a day. Keeping myself moving and avoiding the sedentary lifestyle that office jobs usually bring is an ongoing challenge that will always be in the background.

How are you doing with your goals/challenges for 2019? Knocking them out of the park or thinking about an in-flight reset? Share your experience in the comments! Don’t forget to like, follow, and share on Facebook and Twitter!

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Week 2, 2019: Still On Target

Two weeks complete in Apple Activity.

I am happy to report that I am still on target for accomplishing my January Challenge. Thirteen days in a row my Activity Rings on my Apple Watch have been fully closed. I’d be lying if I said it has been easy – yesterday, I had to do a semi-intense 45-minute workout throughout my house at 10:45 at night to close them all. Lazy days lounging around the house don’t contribute to success in this Challenge.

My energy levels continue to be higher than what I have become accustomed to over the years. I still don’t know if this is attributable to the increased activity related to the Challenge or the increase in water consumption or decrease in fast food/restaurant food or a combination of all three. On the one hand, I am a bit disappointed that I have made so many changes at the same time that it is impossible to narrow down which of the changes have had the greatest impact. On the other hand, I am happy that I have made the changes because I haven’t felt this good in years.

With nearly half the month in the past, I am keeping my focus on finishing this Challenge but not losing sight of what’s coming up next month. In preparation for a 28-day sprint to becoming a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), I ordered the hardcopy Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) today. I already have the kindle version, but for this Challenge, I think a physical copy will be much better for me. I have always retained information and generally learned better in the real world.

Becoming a CAPM is important for my professional development but will also have positive effects on my personal life. Learning new ways to look at, evaluate, and solve problems will always be a universally applicable skill. I wish more people would take different approaches to the same old problems, but that is a post for another time.

As a disclaimer, I have read most of the PMBOK already, but not in a way designed to set me up for success to take the CAPM exam. My focus on the first read through was immediate application of certain principles and process into my day-to-day work. February’s Challenge is to end the month with a passing score on the CAPM exam. This will not be easy, some people study for months in order to pass the CAPM exam – I will be relying on in-depth study sessions on my own as well as with my husband to achieve success in the shortest month of the year.

I look forward to completing my January Challenge successfully and determining how I will maintain my gains throughout the year. Check back regularly to see how it’s going!

How are you doing with your Challenges? Any unexpected benefits? Use the comments to share your own experience in 2019 so far!