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Follow these tips to succeed in the Fall 5% challenge

Monday, October 13, 2014

In my last blog post I asked about suggestions for the 5% challenge.

Thanks a lot for the answers!

Here are the key ideas from you:

1. Keep a copy of your goals where you can see them every day.
2. Change your start page to reflect your daily mini goals. Check it every day and be accountable.
3. Make a note when you are tempted, and when you failed, and when you overcame it. What worked?

4.Follow simple strategies: Keep moving, eat healthy, drink water.
5. Simply participate in the challenge to be hold accountable. A leadership role is especially helpful!
6. Be consistent - team participation helps with that!

7. Stay present in the challenge. Do it on purpose vs. just coast through it.
8. Do something every day that relaxes you. (Even things like Sudoku!)
9. Put your all into each LTGL challenge.

10. Post every single day.
11. Use the nutrition tracker consistently.
12. Encourage others, checking their blogs, and pages to keep it fun.

13. Learn those who have succeeded in their pursuits.

My own advice, after many years in the 5% challenges:
Chose ONE small goal that you focus on throughout the two months, no matter what.

Make it public, put it on your front page, blog about it, ask feedback about it.

Make a wall calendar where you can make a big green tick for every successful day.

Why's this?
My experience was that when I focused on one single thing, it worked, and I managed to do it. When I had a long list of goals, I didn't finish them. Less is more. BE BRAVE to focus on something small. Others might think it's stupid to focus on just one thing, especially if it is a small action. But in the end, your takeaway can be that finally you managed to focus on this thing for two month, no matter what. And then they won't say that you are stupid. They will be amazed how disciplined you are, how consistent you are, and wish they could do the same.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 10/16/2014 1:25AM

    I just love you, Oliver! Of all the tips you posted, my favorite was YOURS!!!

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INGMARIE 10/14/2014 9:15AM

    emoticon Thanks for all the tips. they are great

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DEBSZOO74 10/14/2014 12:27AM

    Great blog with some great tips! emoticon

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BLUEJAY1969 10/13/2014 9:01PM

    You are so right in your advice to focus on just one thing at a time to change! If I try to change too many at once, I get all discombobulated and end up going back to my old habits! This challenge I decided to increase my water intake to beyond the 8 recommended daily glasses. I didn't blog about it or put it on my main page but perhaps that is what I will do tomorrow!

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SAPHRAEL 10/13/2014 4:27PM

    Great tips! Awesome pic!

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DDOORN 10/13/2014 3:20PM

    Wonderful tips! Thx for sharing your wisdom from experience...the best kind! 😃


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KRISZTA11 10/13/2014 2:39PM

    Great tips, thank you for sharing!
This is a very nice picture of you and this little river.

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TERI-RIFIC 10/13/2014 1:38PM

    emoticon Thanks for the tips!

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COOP9002 10/13/2014 1:06PM

    good advice

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MISSLORI5 10/13/2014 12:48PM

    It's great to see you on your bike, Oliver!! Thanks for this post! It was fun reading! I appreciate, too, your tip as it is something I need to work on. I tend to spread my goals a bit too thin sometimes!! Take care, have a beautiful fall, or whatever season you are in!! Most of all, have a great day!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Fall 5% - how to make the best of it? TIPS NEEDED!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hi 5% challengers, Daisy team, and all,

So on Saturday we start again the 5% challenge, for two months.

Now I'm in maintenance mode, but still I like to be part of it, as it helps me stay on track.

I would like this time to make the best of the challenge.

I have my own strategies, but I thought to try something new this time.

This is a castle I have seen in France this summer, during one of our fitness walks:

Any tips, suggestions on how to use the challenge to the fullest potential?
I'll make a summary post from the responses!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Hello Oliver! emoticon
This 5% challenge is my first challenge on here.. I am down in weight since starting SP in July! What has been working for me is using the nutrition tracker, to keep moving, eating healthy and drinking water, oh and getting enough sheep! I love a good challenge and will ALWAYS give 100% to that challenge. Keep a copy of all your goals where you can see them every day! Strive for those goals. When you are tempted, make note of it! What you were tempted with, how you were able to not be tempted.
I have lost weight before, but it all came back on. I know that losing the weight is a walk in the park compared to KEEPING IT OFF! You are a Spark inspiration to all of us.

Good Luck... Keep Sparkin!


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KMICHA 9/26/2014 6:51AM

    Hey Oliver! Great to see you! For me, just being in the challenge help hold me accountable, especially filling in a leadership spot! I look forward to your blog!

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ZELLAZM 9/23/2014 4:24AM

    Nice to see a post from you -- it's been awhile! I'm doing the 5% challenge, too, as a Firecracker again. Even though I have a lot of the good habits in place, I still need to develop consistence and the team participation helps with that. Nothing like the mutual support of a bunch of motivated Sparkers! Have a great challenge round!

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KALISWALKER 9/21/2014 1:06AM

    Learn those who have succeeded in their pursuits. (you)

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KANOE10 9/20/2014 7:17AM

    Change your start page to reflect your daily mini goals of the challenge. Check in every day and be accountable. I know you are exercising and cycling. You will be a success. I love that castle.

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MISSLORI5 9/19/2014 11:00PM

    Hey, Oliver, oh that's a beautiful castle!! You know all the steps regarding calories, exercise, water and sleep. I also try to take into account some me time everyday-a time when I can do something I want to do that relaxes me. Right now I spend my down time doing suduko or crocheting. Just an activity that lowers my blood pressure! It helps me have a better outlook on so many things! I wish you good times on your maintenance, and a terrific challenge ahead!! Thanks for your inspiration along the way!!! emoticon

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INGMARIE 9/19/2014 7:39PM

    Nice castle.
Have a great weekend. emoticon

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BEATLETOT 9/19/2014 1:21PM

    Oliver! Happy to see you! I look forward to the suggestions your blog inspires!

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OHANAMAMA 9/19/2014 12:57PM

    btw... that castle is beautiful!

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OHANAMAMA 9/19/2014 12:56PM

    Hi Oliver!
I've been in several of these challenges and by far the best results I got were when I stayed present in the challenge... meaning, to really do it "on purpose" and not try to just coast through it... which I did on some and yielded not so great results. Put your all into each LTGL challenge and post every single day... also encouraging others, checking out their blogs and pages keep it fun.

Good luck! You have done really well, yourself!

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Rain & Cycling - How do YOU cope?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

We're having a wet summer here in Austria. As a consequence, more often than not, I get wet when I go for a ride. It used to be that rainy weather meant that I skipped exercise on that day. Not any more! Now I have a strategy to 'rain-proof' my exercise routine.

Depending on the distance I have to cover and on what I am doing that day, such as work, commuting or leisure, I use different strategies. I have expanded on that in the post on my website here.

Last week I had a great cycle ride of 3 hours during which I covered 70 km (44 miles)…....... and some of that was in rain!

On that occasion, I took shelter under a nearby roof for the first few minutes and waited for the heaviest part to pass. After that I put on my rain jacket and continued. A few months ago this felt like a huge challenge. Now, I don’t worry.

What are your best strategies for coping with rain?

If it's raining already, before you start..... does that put you off, or have you a 'can do' attitude and the right clothes?

What do you wear?

Any tips, suggestions, ideas, welcome!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 8/25/2014 6:12AM

    If you always stayed inside in Germany when it rained, you'd miss out on a lot of exercise! Good suggestions!

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SHOOPETTE 8/7/2014 5:21AM

    I am moving to the North East of France where it rains a lot, your blog couldn't help me more !

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HAKAPES 8/1/2014 1:14AM

    @ONEKIDSMOM - This is why I bring dry clothes with me, so I look "as new" when arriving. :-)

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/31/2014 8:06PM

    Oh, I am the worst about this... going to have to work on it. On triathlon day, if it's raining, you swim, bike and run anyway. I run in rain. Why would I not cycle? Because usually I'm cycling to work and then I care about arriving looking/feeling like a drowned rat. But you are so right... commitment is commitment.

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PMRUNNER 7/31/2014 4:00PM

    It is great that you adjust for the rain and weather rather than cancelling because of it. Sounds like a great ride!

I have a short commute that I do rain or shine. I try to get in 3-4 road rides a month and have to admit I have been a fair weather rider. With the roads, shoulders, and traffic here, I feel safer running in the rain than riding in the rain.

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Bike tour in Slovenia (pictures) - burn calories like a train...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Last weekend we had a 4 day holiday in Austria, and we visited a friend in Prevalje, Slovenia, near the Drava river. We had been there last year with the bikes, so it was an easy decision to go by bike again.

It's surprising, how much easier is to ride a road that we already know. We look forward to the nice views, remember where we stopped last year, recognize small details that I never thought I would remember again. It also felt easier, because we knew what is ahead of us, and we could dose our energy easier.

We followed the following path, first the river Mur, then the river Drava:
Gleisdorf - Graz - Leibnitz - Spielfeld - Maribor - Dravograd - Prevalje.

On the way we stopped in Maribor, to have a look at the city center. Everbody was watching the soccer world championship, big huuuu-haaaa from every corner when there was an action. On the picture, you can see our favourite ice cream shop in Maribor (well, we don't know any other place). They give a huge portion, which is a good indulgence on a bike tour, where calories burn fast.

Our friends were very happy to host us. They live in a beautiful region up in the mountains, our days there felt like therapy both for the eyes and the body. And, we enjoyed lots of fresh and healthy food from their garden. All produced organically, without pesticides.

Altogether we rode three days to go, had a rest (with other exercise) on Saturday, and came back partially by train on Sunday.

I like so much bike touring, it feels so free, easy, we can meet so many people, see the country very differently vs. traveling by car or plane. Everything is close, around us, and it takes just a sec to stop and enjoy the view, smell the air, or talk to the sheep. :-)

Do you think that you need some fancy gear and bikes for bike touring?!

Well, my wife has a simple city bike with 7 gears (hub gears), while I have a city bike with 8 gears. We were complaining on the hills, and had to get off on 10% slopes, but it didn't stop us from touring.

If you want to get off some pounds, this is a great way to do it. As we rode 3 hours every day (which doesn't feel much at all), 2000 kcal flies off so easily. Which is a LOT! Otherwise, when doing exercise at home, it takes so much effort to go to run for an hour, burning 7-800 kcals. Here, we have lots of fun, enjoy every minute, and don't even notice the "workout" part.

If you need any advice on how to start with bike touring, drop me a message!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIE9404 6/29/2014 1:13PM

    Beautiful Trip!! Looks like you had a great time!

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GLORIAMAJDI 6/27/2014 9:39AM

    Beautiful pictures Oliver, and what a great way to stay fit and have fun!

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BARB4RICK 6/26/2014 11:35PM

    All sounds great, but talking to the sheep!! Ha! Ha!

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ZELLAZM 6/26/2014 6:27PM

    If it weren't midnight, I might just be inspired to hop on my bike right now! Thanks for the tour!

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NOTSPEEDY 6/26/2014 10:28AM

    Lovely pictures. It looks so peaceful.

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KANOE10 6/26/2014 9:36AM

    That looks like a lovely bike tour. The pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. You are right about burning off lots of calories with biking!


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JSPIN74 6/26/2014 9:34AM

    Wonderful pictures & method of travel (for the sights & the burning with ease). I would love to have the time for this! Someday I will be able to make it (the time). For now please keep sharing your travels...


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 6/26/2014 8:29AM

    Wow, such a wonderful, beautiful way to enjoy a vacation (and burn calories too)! Thank you for sharing your adventure with us!

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SIRIUS2014 6/26/2014 8:26AM


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DONNABRIGHT 6/26/2014 8:23AM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I always love your pictures.

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INGMARIE 6/26/2014 7:54AM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing, seems you had a great time.
Beautiful area and great photos Thanks, Loved the tour. emoticon

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SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 6/26/2014 7:14AM

    Wonderful pictures! Thank you for sharing them with us!

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TERI-RIFIC 6/26/2014 7:08AM

    emoticon beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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DMEYER4 6/26/2014 6:29AM

  love the scenery. The pics are beautiful and it sounds like you had a great time. I would love to bike tour someday. Have a great day

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PICKIE98 6/26/2014 5:37AM

    Our friends live in Czech Republic and I wish they would bike and take pics. Now they are older and her vision is not so good. Thank you for the great views!

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I love to workout on Friday night, because...

Friday, May 30, 2014

... anyway I am just mentally tired after the week.

I used to wait for the Friday night: finally I'm free, I can do something, no work coming on Saturday, and so on.

However, over the years, I learned that it's not worth to plan high-value things, creative tasks, and very engaging "private-work" projects for Friday evening.

It turned out I was already too tired to study something new, plan big personal projects, or solve big problems.

So lately, I started to use this time for sports.

Today, I did a 1h bike ride to the nearby Weiz, then had Yoga for 1h 40 minutes, then rode back to Gleisdorf.

All the stress of the week was digested in my exercise. Clean head, re-energized mind!
And I look forward to the weekend refreshed, and I have this good feeling that I have accomplished something good already for the weekend.

The only thing about it that I have to plan ahead and organize my environment in a way that can easily start doing it.

Otherwise, my mental tiredness builds up an anti-motivational resistance, and I just wander around in the apartment, without doing anything sensible, I mean I don't really do anything, but I don't have a good rest either.

When is the best time to plan a Friday workout?
Monday of course, at the beginning of the week! When I don't plan it on Monday already, chances are on Friday I don't have enough energy to plan it in.

This picture is on the way to Weiz (from Gleisdorf).

It says "Vulgo", which means that before the family Färder was there, and people know it as "Bauernhof Färder" (Farm of family Färder). However, the family Schwarz bought the place and uses it now. But they continue to use the name "Färder", as this how everybody refers to it in the region.
It's kind of branding/franchise of local agriculture.

I learned this word last week in my German class, and was happy to see it immediately in real life! Funny! :-)


Do you exercise on Fridays?
If yes, what is your experience about it?
If no, why?
Any tips, ideas, suggestions welcome!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INGMARIE 5/31/2014 11:49AM

    Being a morning person ,not by choice at first(because my dear husband is)
we go to gym early before work and the weekends we sometimes go some not
If I run 5 k races ,they are usually on Saturday mornings.
But it is a great feeling no matter when you go ,you clear the head of all sorts of stuff.


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KANOE10 5/31/2014 10:39AM

    That is a great way to work off the stress of the week and to enter the weekend. I stopped in the gym on my way home on Friday. I felt better also.

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DONNABRIGHT 5/31/2014 9:59AM

    I am definitely a morning person so I have learned that intentional exercise must happen early in the day for me to stay consistent. That doesn't mean I sit the rest of the day but plan less strenuous activities for the afternoons. Right now I am refinishing two side chairs so have had fun sanding, painting, etc. I found some material yesterday so will begin re-covering them next week. For the weekend we plan to have fun with our granddaughter.

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ZELLAZM 5/30/2014 7:20PM

    Actually, my Saturdays are kind of like that too - I mean, that I'm too tired to do anything very mentally challenging! But I like that you are listening to your body's signals on Fridays and setting yourself up for success.

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DIANNEMT 5/30/2014 6:46PM

    You have the right idea! Just working out the stress of the week!! I am trying to finish up "stuff" that didn't get done this week but working out all evening would have been a great idea! I did my run this AM--felt good!

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