I committed to blog my progress each quarter-term during this 500-Day Course.
I tracked nutrition and exercise every day for this 30-day period. I did have one binge and one binge-ette, but I still put everything on my nutrition tracker. I averaged 1530 calories per day, staying in my range of 1310 - 1660 every day but two. By God's grace I averaged well over an hour of exercise per day. Five pounds left my frame in that interval; I credit that mostly to the motivation and support of my remarkable Spark friends.
I committed to blog twice a week during the "Blossom" theme focus; I posted eight blogs during the 30 days, so that is close enough.
I wrote this at the beginning of the quarter-term: "My assignment is to do 3 things each day to blossom....something to express myself, to let myself flower or open up, to let my life unfold." I grade myself at C+ or B- on this specific task. I did a couple of things every day, and I stayed aware of the quest, but I did not accomplish 3 conscious choices to that end, each and every day. In this new quarter term, I will read my assignment over daily to keep it fresh in my focus.
My Spark friends were generous with my request for suggestions of how to bloom, and here are some of the things I did repeatedly during the last 30 days, mostly from friends' creative encouragement:
-Much laughter. We even tell jokes in the brief moments of breath-catching during family workout class at the church. At home I keep collecting cartoons and funny photos, and we pass them around.
-Step out of my comfort zone, do something different. I did stay pretty conscious of this and kept nudging myself to expand my horizons. It wasn't as scary as I expected. I liked it.
-I took on an intimidating sewing project, instead of procrastinating out of perfectionist-paralysis. Guess what....it wasn't perfect. But it was successful and loads of fun!
-Pray a new prayer. As suggested I found some very meaningful ones online.
-Take a online class in a subject that interests you . I began a review of New Testament Greek online. I really enjoyed it in college, but have gotten really rusty. I'm loving it...and this is a brand new, techno-savvy approach that tickles my brain cells even more!
-Try a different way to clean: all sorts of ideas (again on the web). Well, this was an excellent suggestion, but I ended up watching an episode of "Hoarders" one evening at a friend's house who has cable. When I got home, my own house didn't look so bad. [Just kidding....I saw that joke in an online cartoon]
-Actually I did try several new things from this smart lady:
- Pamper yourself - I took more time to moisturize and attend to "details"
-Starting a conversation with a store clerk or performing a "random act of kindness" -- maybe letting someone with a few items go ahead of me at the grocery. I did pursue this daily, with God's help. Great mood lifter.
Wow, don't I have insightful friends!!
I had listed some things originally: Wear a colorful item, Try a new foods or a new recipe, Sing around the house or in the car, Research blossom theme in Spark blogs, Dance whether alone or not, Express more personal preferences.
I did all of these many times in the focus interval, so I give myself a grade of A on that.
One assignment bears a poor score or at least an "incomplete." I had listed, Get my bike fixed, and also my husband's bike. I did not get that done. I have to make a plan to find a reasonable repair source and JUST DO IT.
My evaluation is that this quarter-term of the 500-Day program was successful. I feel very good about the concept of just proceeding step by step, quarter-term by quarter-term, until my course is done, and see where I end up.
For reference, here are the two original blogs detailing my 500 DAYS course: