Invitation to Join the Super Awesome Year of the Q

It’s official. Here’s the list of monthly goals for the Super Awesome Year of the Q:

And we have a list for the Super Awesome Year of the Q. April's gonna suck.

A post shared by Quisto Settle (@applications_of_randomness) on

To recap, each month, I will set a goal for something to do every day. Every single stupid day.

I finalized my list of goals and then put them on the calendar (and by calendar, I mean notebook paper that we’re going to pretend counts as a calendar).

The rule I set was that no similar goals could be back-to-back months. This was to space out things better to maintain a yearlong consistency (and to not make me punch people if I had all the food goals consecutively).

Before I go into this list any further, I would like a call to action for the 5 people reading this: join me for a month on a goal.

A friend of mine mentioned wanting to join me for the no refined grains month. I thought that sounded cool. I didn’t know if they would, but if nothing else, it’s someone to commiserate with and someone to keep me accountable (you know, aside from the 5 of you reading this).

And then I thought about it some more. Having people join you in an effort increases success because of the sense of community and accountability.

That gets us here. I’d like you to join one of my months. You can have a Super Awesome Year of You. It’s like those people who do relay runs with a person running a marathon. I won’t run a marathon, but I will torture myself (or in some cases just relax myself) for a solid year, and it would be cool to have some company for different legs.

So please, comment, message, send a carrier pigeon, whatever, just find a month that looks like it would be good for you, add it to your calendar, and then let me know how you’re doing.

I teach a planned change course, so it really shouldn’t take me so long to land on some of these epiphanies.

Now, back to the list at hand. All the goals are actually pretty attainable (and some are actually under recommended amounts for optimal health), but they’re all things I struggle with either because I make poor choices and take alternative routes, or I just struggle with my time and don’t do things I know I should do.

I divvied the goals into three categories: food, exercise, and mental health.

The largest was food. This is the most important and it’s the one I struggle the most with. These are

  • No sodas,
  • No refined grains,
  • 3 veggies servings (no juices),
  • At least 25g of fiber, and
  • No calories in drinks.

None of these goals are extreme, but they’re all going to be a pain in the ass. I’ve done no sodas for a month multiple times (3 months is my best), so that one is doable if I can avoid the headaches and the caffeine needs. No refined grains will be torture. My ability to eat out is pretty shot. I’ll have to plan my meals carefully or I’ll be that jerk who orders a burger without the bun. The veggie servings is well under recommended levels, and it’s also above my current record. If nothing else, it will make me conscious to get veggies daily. I made the qualification of no juice because I want to see the veggies I hate in front of me as I go after this goal.

This really is my favorite gif.

25g of fiber is also well under recommended levels (myfitness pal sets a goal of 38g, and the US government wants me to hit 30-35g at least), but I don’t do a great job of eating things I’m supposed to eat, so I typically fall in the 15g range. I needed to stretch myself without setting myself up for failure, and 25g will still be a vast improvement (and if that’s the minimum, hopefully I’m hitting higher more times than not). I envision a lot apples and beans in my future.

And last, no calories in drinks. In simpler terms, only drink water. I toyed with doing this for a week just to see if I could, but I decided to go all in. The scary part of this month will be my lack of OJ. I’ll have to be very careful to eat food to make up the missing Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin D, and Calcium.

The next group was exercise. This included

  • 10,000 steps,
  • Yoga, and
  • Foam rolling.

None of these are extremes, but they each have a good use. 10,000 steps will be a good introduction to the year, and will at least keep me active as I cycle out of the Super Awesome Year of the 5K. I’ve never averaged 10K daily for a month, much less actually hit it every single day. I think my best week was 4, maybe 5 days, so getting this every day will be a good deal of work (and probably a good deal of pacing at night to make sure I hit my limit). Did I mention I’m going to be doing this in January? Yeah, maybe I should think these things through.

Yoga is one I’ve actually done pretty much daily for a month before. But that was 6 and a half years ago. Now I’m not doing so bueno. I don’t have a set minimum time, but it’s basically at least some sort of full flow practice, which means at least 10 minutes. Ideally, I’ll be making it to my yoga classes regularly, but that will depend on my schedule and who’s teaching.

Lastly, we have foam rolling. This is probably the goal I was least sold on because it doesn’t involve as much work. Unfortunately, I deal with aches and pains a lot, and I’m hoping this can help mitigate some of this. I’ve only ever rolled related to exercise, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens when I’m hitting the foam daily.

That sounded weird.

The last group is mental health:

  • Draw something,
  • Play guitar for 20 minutes,
  • Meditate 10 minutes, and
  • Reading for 30 minutes for fun.

With the exception of meditating, there is not a single thing in this group I haven’t actually had happen on a daily basis for the span of months, much less a single month. Unfortunately, I’ve been busy adulting, so I haven’t been great at doing these things that are all pretty much considered fun (except meditating, though maybe some people have fun meditating).

Draw something comes from a jealous kick. I have a friend who can legit draw. And they’re a scientist (marine biologist is probably the proper term). It was also inspired by an art museum visit. I’m not great at drawing, but I used to do it anyway (and I did some things I didn’t really consider drawing, but in hindsight were). I’m actually hoping to track all of the drawings and frame them if possible, then hand off some or all of them to different people. Course, if they’re complete shit, then I’ll just keep them to myself.

Playing guitar for 20 minutes would seem like such a crap goal to teenage me. Unfortunately adult me only plays once or twice a week. This was the latest edition to the list. It seemed like a cop out, but I haven’t been playing, and I’d like to have that push to play every day. I miss not playing every day (he says as he types 20 steps from his guitar).

Meditating is a little bit of a double dip when you throw in yoga, which is first and foremost meditation, but this one is completely mental. 10 minutes was chosen because that’s the number I hear for health benefits. And it’s also low enough that I can suffer through anything for 10 minutes.

Lastly is reading for 30 minutes for fun. I don’t read like I used to. I also don’t like that. I’ve been better, but I haven’t been great. I haven’t been carving time to read for fun. To cap the year, I’m going to push to read every single day. This will involve travel days, so this could get tricky, but at least I should have a book read (if not 3 or 4).

Ok, that’s enough of this nonsense. Again, we’re shifting directions with the blog, but I’ll still be running, and I’ll still be hating it, so don’t feel like you’re not going to get your fix on complaining about running; it just won’t be the only attraction. Think when McDonald’s got chicken nuggets. The burger never went away; it just made room.



2 thoughts on “Invitation to Join the Super Awesome Year of the Q”

  1. Ok how about this. I will join you in June, Aug, Dec. I will take up the foam rolling challenge but I’ll do it in Jan that way I force myself to recover properly as I train for the marathon. I would take you up on the sodas thing too, but I drink like 1 a month anyhow, so it doesn’t seem like much of a challenge (and could risk pissing you off?)
    Also side note, one of our coaches was touting the benefits of Fiber and how we don’t get enough and how it can really change your life. I checked MFP and sure enough I was getting (on a good day) about 1/2 of the 25g intake….so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out!


  2. You would be correct on sodas. I mostly want people to suffer (or relax) more than usual along with me, so being out of sequence doesn’t bug me. Congrats on going after a marathon. My running goal will be to attempt a 10K this next year, but I haven’t targeted a race yet.


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