May 5, 2020

Quarantine Goals, Take 2

Next week will mark two full months alone in quarantine for me… something I never imagined when this all began. And yet, I’m finding that I’m reasonably content. I miss my friends, and there are definitely bouts of loneliness. (As someone whose love language is touch, and who is always hugging friends, it’s nuts to me that I haven’t touched a single human in two months!) But I track my mood each day in the Daylio app on my phone, and I’m still rating most days as “pretty good” or “great” – which I guess proves the hedonic treadmill right.

While we’re not at two full months yet, it felt like a big quarantine transition as I said goodbye to Sesame and then brought Sugar home a week later. I established a lot of great routines for myself in that first month of quarantine, and made a list of quarantine health goals to go with them. But with Sesame’s departure, I saw an opportunity for me to reset some of those routines and do things a little different. Now that Sugar’s here to stay, it’s time for chapter 2 of my quarantine routine! I’ve been thinking about these for the last week, and tonight, I’m ready to commit to some new quarantine goals for the month of May (and beyond).

I originally set a goal to start every day with a 5 minute Peloton core workout. Now, I’d like to up that to a 10 minute Peloton core workout each morning. Sesame always took quite a lot of time and attention in the morning, and when she left, I realized that gave me several extra minutes… so why not roll that into a longer core workout? Once I brought Sugar home, I still stuck with that, and it’s been working so far, since she’s a lot easier than a puppy. For the last week, I’ve been working my way through all of Olivia’s core classes, and I definitely recommend them. They’re a fairly standard formula (90 second activation of planks / bird dogs, then two circuits where you’re doing each move for 20-30 seconds each, and then some type of finisher), but each one is slightly different, so I don’t feel like I’m always doing the same thing. Before I discovered Olivia’s core classes, I was taking Robin’s 2/5 class on repeat, and I swear I could recite some of it along with her! It’s nice to have some variety, and my core is definitely getting much stronger.

My neighbor Sandra posted on Facebook about doing the 75 hard challenge, and asking for others to join her. When I read through it, I realized it was actually pretty similar to what I already had as a routine.

Here’s the pic she posted of what the 75 hard challenge means – do these things for 75 days straight. If you miss a day, you start over.

I’m not following a really specific diet, but I’m forgoing dessert and alcohol. And honestly, that combined with getting to cook all my own meals rather than being stuck eating restaurant food has made the pounds melt off… I am currently maintaining a weight I haven’t seen since high school. I did break the rules on my COVID vacances to have half a glass of wine and a pastry, and I think that was perfect. Rather than going all-in on 75 hard, I’m going to say I can have dessert and alcohol once a month each (not necessarily on the same day). I like the hard and fast “only once a month” since it means I don’t have to question every night whether that should be the night I cheat (like I would if it were once a week), but it still allows me to treat myself on a special occasion.

I’m forcing myself to do at least 45 minutes outside every morning as either a walk or run with the dog, and even if we run, I don’t count that as my workout for the day and still do something else in my home gym. In the first round of my quarantine goals, I committed to doing an extra workout every night before dinner. These days, I’m usually working right up till dinner (and a bit after too), and while that has its own issues, I don’t want to commit to an evening workout. However, as I mentioned in my Meaningful Miles 5K race report, I have been slacking on speedwork, and now I’d like to commit to doing at least two treadmill classes per week to make sure I’m not just running easy but am pushing myself.

Going back to the 75 hard challenge, I am definitely reading at least 10 pages a day. And actually, usually much more; I’m averaging 3-4 books a week! However, one thing taking away from my reading is how much time I am spending on social media. I don’t think social media is necessarily bad – I love how it helps me connect with family and friends, as well as blog readers like you 🙂 Honestly, nothing makes my day more than when people comment on my blog or on Instagram and tell me they’ve been reading for years but haven’t commented before, but now have to chime in on a specific topic. To me, that is the biggest compliment!

But in the last few months, I’ve found myself idly opening Facebook whenever I have a short period of downtime, and just scrolling through it without getting any value from the activity. It would be different if I were seeing updates from my best friends / family, or even if I were commenting to people to connect… but it’s more of a habitual click and scroll that leaves me feeling restless, lazy, and annoyed with myself for wasting the time. (Oddly, I don’t do that with Instagram; I’m more intentional about the time I spend there.) I don’t want to give up Facebook entirely, but I want to be more intentional about the time I spend going on it, rather than clicking over to it and then clicking around aimlessly. So, today I blocked Facebook on my work laptop, and set an app limit on my phone for 10 minutes a day. I can still access Facebook as much as I want on my personal laptop, but I don’t use my personal laptop nearly as much as my work laptop, so it’s now an intentional act to open it up if I want to check something on Facebook. This is the one new quarantine goal I haven’t tested for very long before writing it down here, but so far I’m happy with this decision and thinking that limiting social media is a goal I can stick with!

Finally, the 75 hard challenge calls for drinking a gallon of water per day. I discovered that I could install the WaterLogger widget on my Garmin watch, which makes it really easy to quickly tally my water in 4 ounce increments. The widget doesn’t let you set a custom goal, but it’s pretty easy to remember my goal is 128 ounces (double the 64 ounce default goal), and at the end of each day, I’ve established a before-bed ritual of manually entering the number from the widget into the main Garmin hydration tracker on the app, so it’s saved for posterity. (Yes, I’m well aware I’m not going to be looking back at my water logs in the future, but knowing I’m tracking / saving it puts more pressure on me to do it.) I am not counting coffee, tea, or seltzer toward my goal; water only. While those other drinks certainly have water in them, this goal is helping me cut back on how much I’m drinking them, since I want my drinks to count! 128 ounces a day has been surprisingly doable, and I’m looking forward to keeping this up until it’s completely habitual to me to keep drinking.

The only part of the 75 hard challenge I’m not doing is the progress pic every day… but I’m still taking some random selfies of myself periodically, and I can say with certainty I’ve seen a dramatic change in my body since I started quarantining. My stomach has gotten so much flatter and whether that’s from weight loss or all those ab workouts, I love it! I’ll end this post with a quick full-body picture I snapped last week to show off some cute new leggings from Old Navy.

Florals for spring may not be groundbreaking (name that movie!) but I really love this print 🙂

I hope that we are able to get out of quarantine soon, but in the meantime, I’ll keep setting goals and trying my best to thrive in these odd circumstances. Hope you are doing the same!


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