Chapter 2 & 3 Goal Review

For the uninitiated, I was calling my 4 week themed chunks… chunks. Now I am calling them chapters! I realised yesterday that I never reviewed Chapter 2 (exercise), and Chapter 3 (work) has just ended!

To backtrack if you missed out, an explanation of my year goals and Chapter 1 (Food).

Chapter 2 – Exercise

I haven’t been good at keeping up with exercise habits in the past. I kept it small to make it harder to stop and to create a foundation of habits I can build on.

I use the Lift app to keep track of these weekly goals. It highlights when you’re on a streak which I find motivating as the longer the streak, the less I want to break the chain.

Walking

I own a Fitbit and it highlights how little I move each day. It suggests 10,000 steps as a goal, but unless I go on a big adventure that rarely happens. If I have to go to the supermarket, it usually hits around 4k. I wanted to increase this, but to start with I just wanted to make sure I was walking every single day, even if it was only to the post box.

So far we’re on 41 out of a possible 53. I’m pleased with this. Days missed have been due to illness, or my Sunday laziness. We’re on a 8 day streak now and I don’t want to break that chain!

Yesterday I started to ramp up the distance walked. I’m trying to find a route I like, but for now I have one that’s just shy of 3 miles. Any further and I run out of time anyway. I hope that in time I will get quicker and can increase the distance again.

Alternate Yoga/Strength

In the spirit of keeping things small, I only do around 5 minutes of these activities.

Yoga is performing the sun salutation a few times, wondering why I can’t touch my toes and considering how nice it feels to stretch in the morning.

For strength I’ve been doing kettlebell swings.

This hasn’t been happening every day, but my Lift stats are still promising. Next week I want to increase these activities with my mindful yoga CD, and a few other strength exercises I’ve used in the past.

Mindful Exercise

Coupled with the previous goal, this is a case of paying attention to what you’re doing and being in the moment. I find it easier with yoga than with strength as often I am trying to ignore my discomfort. This will go well with the mindful yoga CD.

Failure = Learning

Not physacal exercise as such, but mental exercise. This has been one of my most successful habits, as I am already working on changing my automatic thoughts. Looking at your mistakes and failures and seeing what lessons come from them is positive. We are only human, all we can do is keep trying!

Chapter 3 – Work

Unprocrastinate

I like this one. When you don’t want to do something, try doing it for only five minutes. Tell yourself that’s all you have to do. Often once I start I keep going, so it has upped my productivity!

MITs

Setting 3 most important tasks a day is a great way to keep focussed. I tend to overestimate what I can get done in a day, so having 3 musts and a bunch of would-be-nices takes the pressure off.

I discovered Brian’s “Cascading To-Do List” article a few weeks ago and ended up setting up a few 6 month plans for things. One of my favourite take aways from the article is the Clear app.

Sadly I don’t have a Mac so I can only use it on my phone. As someone who is very into notebooks and paper lists, I wasn’t sure how well this would fit with my routine. It’s been a few weeks now and I use it every day, all the time.

The interface is simple and beautiful, with extra colour themes available. The gestures are logical, although it is worth reading the short user guide as there are some useful ones that are less obvious. The noises are fun, I like hearing them when I check items off. That’s the key thing, and an example of great design. The extra layers of delight in the app make it a joy to use, and handy for this goal.

Explore Work you Love

I am fortunate that my job is already something I love—design. I came up with art, design, photography and music plans and have been putting them into action each evening. Just half an hour of each a day. That’s two hours. This is one of those times I am grateful I don’t watch television! I don’t know where people find the time.

Less Busywork, More Impact

This goes well with the “3 most important tasks” goal. I switched my routine around for it. Instead of starting my day with emails, I moved my walk to the middle of the day so I could start work at 8am. This gives me an hour before I must check emails. That hour is golden, and I get so much done. Realising I am more productive in the earlier hours of my day has improved how I do things.

Conclusion

I’ve learnt a lot from these goals. I’m still learning and practicing as I go along. Seeing my side projects grow is bringing me a lot of joy. I want to expand on exercise as I’ve said, this will be easier now the weather is improving. I have to say I think taking one thing at a time is working well for me, like building solid steps instead of jumping into everything at once.