Well, it’s that time of year again (although, quite frankly, it’s ALWAYS that time of year for me): challenge time! July is coming up, and I’m thinking of making July a super-challenge month, wherein I undertake a bunch of challenges to see 1) how I fare, and 2) if the changes required by the challenges are worth incorporating into my life permanently.
If you have been following my blog over the past year, you might remember the other two challenges that I publicly tried (and failed) to complete: the Paleo challenge, and the no-technology challenge (which dates back to last summer). Well, guess what? Both challenges are coming back! In the month of July I will undertake the Paleo challenge, a slightly modified version of the no-technology challenge (I believe I called it the anti-21st century challenge, right?), and a new challenge that stems from my lack of employment and rapidly depleting funds.
So, without further adieu, I will try to list all the details of the three-part challenge as concisely as possible. Some of my terms will require further explanation, which they will receive in future posts (and I’ll be sure to link those posts back here). In the meantime, here is what I shall be undertaking as of the month of July:
Start date: 1 July
End date: 31 July
Part 1: Paleolithic Diet Challenge
You guys already more or less know the gist of this one (if not, take a peek at some of my earlier posts about it), but here’s a brief summary: no grains, legumes, dairy, sugars, processed oils, or anything else that has gone through some sort of modification before hitting grocery stores. Allowed: meat, fish, eggs, greens, vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts and seeds. Of course, preferably organic, but I’m kind of broke, so I’ll do my best, but no promises. Exceptions: Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I work with alcohol, and therefore have to frequently drink it; as such, the only time that I can consume alcohol is when I am at work. Otherwise, no.
Part 2: Reduction of Technology Use Challenge
This challenge is going to differ somewhat from the one I undertook last year. The main difference is going to be that I will be keeping my cellphone, although my use of it is going to be restricted. The specifics:
- No use of the Internet for ANYTHING other than checking email (this I can only do once a day), using Craigslist/Kijiji to search for jobs, and occasionally putting up new blog posts. The only exception: Google Maps for finding directions to new places. (Oh, and paying bills.)
- Cannot watch TV (whether on the TV or computer). I will give myself one movie per week; otherwise, I will have to find some other form of entertainment. (Not that that should be too hard; I’m not big on television, anyway.)
- Cannot use text-messaging feature on my cellphone. I can’t stop people from sending me messages, but I will not reply via the same medium. If I have to talk to someone, I will call them. (This, by the way, is coming on the heels of ten days of receiving non-stop text-messages meant to start and maintain conversations. Why? Why do you try to have conversations via text? If you’re that keen on writing instead of speaking, send me an email. Otherwise, if you’d like to talk to me, then call me so that you can actually talk to me! That way a three-minute conversation won’t take an entire day!) (Only exception: if the text I receive is from my boss.)
- I will give myself full use of my iPod.
This should be interesting, actually. Oh, Google…how I’ll miss you.
Part 3: Frugal Challenge
I go out a lot. It’s really stupid. And the problem is, the more I go out, the more I want to keep going out. This needs to stop, because I do not have the type of money this kind of excess requires. So, for the entire month of July, I cannot spend a single penny on going out. Not one. No going out to eat, no going to the movies, no traipsing from one cafe to another because I can’t sit still at home. I’m going to have to get to know the parks in my area really well, because that seems to be the only thing around here that’s free. Now, the two exceptions:
- If friends would like to take me out and treat me, that’s perfectly fine. Just be aware that this is not a “you-pay-now-I-pay-you-back-later” type of deal. If you’re paying for me, you’re paying for me, plain and simple. Otherwise, choose an activity that does not require spending money. (Shouldn’t be too hard.) (This will be great, actually: I’ve been going out so much lately, that it’s been downright exhausting. Maybe this way I can cut back on my socializing and get a little bit more me time.)
- Travelling costs are not considered money spent on going out. The cost of getting somewhere is money spent in a perfectly acceptable manner. It’s the money spent once at the location that’s the issue.
Well, those are the rules for my Super-challenge July. I wonder how long it will take until I break them. Unlike my other challenges, though, if I do go against the challenge at some point, I’m not going to quit and start over; instead, I will make a note of when, why, and in what way I disobeyed the guidelines, and then at the end I will report, and we will determine if toward the end I got better or worse.
If you’d like to join me in this challenge (or in just one of the three) let me know! It’s always great having challenge completion buddies. Makes things a little easier.
Hope you’re enjoying your summer!