It is Friday, February 1.
The time is 6:07 a.m.
I just sat down in my chair and got my iPad and keyboard out. It is time to buckle down and work on this weekends blog post.
Before I get started I sip my “water.” It is an experimental concoction of water, lemon juice, stevia and apple cider vinegar. It’s not horrible, but it really isn’t that good. I should have stopped with the lemon juice and stevia. I need the electrolytes, but I could have just swallowed a pinch of salt instead of mixing it in my cocktail.
I’m also not 100% convinced that I need apple cider vinegar in the morning.
It feels like a lot of what I’m eating or drinking (or not eating/drinking) is an experiment these days.
In fact it feels like a lot of my life is an experiment right now.
One Month Down
For those of you who hadn’t realized, the month of February is here.
I don’t know what the first thought is that crosses your mind when you think of a new month beginning. My first thought is usually something like, “uhm… didn’t we just start January?” Wasn’t Christmas just a few days ago?
I hate to be the one who has to break it to you but we are about 326 days away from Christmas. Just googling that and writing it makes me think, “now, what am I going to do in the next 326 days that I’ll be stoked about when Christmas 2019 arrives.”
Perhaps I’m a bit weird like that.
Or maybe it’s this personal focus on trying do my part in making 2019 a year of growth.
I thought it might be good to look at a few of the goals that I’ve been working on. This is more for me than it is for you, but if you want to read over them feel free to do so. 🙂
A Brief Update on Goal Progress
I won’t be talking about all of the goals that I’ve been working on. Some of them are more “long term” than others. I’ll pick a few of the main ones that have been a regular part of my January tell you how its going.
Review goals weekly – So, I actually forgot to do this for the first two weeks of the year. Why did I forget? Because I failed create a recurring task in Asana. Since I’ve put the task in Asana I’m now 2 for 2. It is so easy to let the day to day things overtake and squash out the things I want to be working towards. Having a simple reminder is super helpful for me.
If you’re curious how I’m reviewing these goals, the simple version is that I have a document with a list of my yearly goals in it. I duplicate that document, add the date to the title, and then go through each one and write a few words about how that particular goal is going.
Publish 1 video per week – This goal has been happening, but so far I’ve been low on time (when is that not the case) so mostly I’ve been learning more about editing video than shooting new footage. Although I want to learn more about editing, I also want to work on the story telling aspect of this medium. So… I don’t know where that leaves me, but technically I have published a video each week of this year so far. Here is a link to last weeks video – A Frosty Morning
Publish one blog post per week – This has been both a positive thing and a negative thing. Going in to it I figured I’d be able to write at least a couple of hours spread over the week and then Friday evening all I would need to do would be tidy things up, set up the blog post to publish at 7 a.m. on Saturday and the email campaign to send at 7:05 a.m., and then go about my life on Saturday. That hasn’t quite worked out.
My biggest issue is not making the writing happen during the week. Instead I spend my “free time” doing other things that aren’t really tied to this goal. A lot of those things are important, but not all of them. If I really wanted to write a couple hours each week I can carve that time out… so this is me calling myself out on that. I need to write more during the week, specifically so I can be ready to post everything Friday evening.
Health and weight loss – I’m not going to go too far into this at this point, I’ll probably do a full post on it at some point. Let’s just say that this particular goal isn’t a load of fun, but that the effort one puts into it generally is a good indication of how the results will be. I’ve been putting in more effort throughout January than I ever have in a concentrated period of time in the past.
Read 1 book each month – This has been fun. I am trying to unplug from the digital realm more quickly in the evenings. Since I’ve started getting up earlier, I try to get to bed fairly early. I’ve found that to be a good time to read as my brain finishes calming down.
A couple of days ago I finished Freelance to Freedom, a book that was recommended on the ChooseFI podcast. I’m going to work on a full post about the financial side of life, but if you’re interested in getting out of debt or working towards financial independence I’d highly recommend both this book and the podcast.
The book I’m working on now is a bit less “meta” and shorter, but I’m about half way through it and so far have really been enjoying it. I’ll tell you more about this one once I’ve finished it. 🙂
Becoming a morning person – This has been a struggle. Towards the end of last year I was going to bed at 11 p.m. or midnight and getting up at 6:30 or 7. I found that the hours between supper and going to bed tend to be much less productive than if I just go to bed and then get myself out of bed at a decent hour in the morning.
Now, I’m probably not normal, but I figured why get up just an hour earlier… why not start getting up at 4:30 (yes in the a.m.). I’ve been doing pretty well at it for the last couple of weeks, but I have slept in till 6 a few times as well. Usually that happens when I don’t get to bed early enough, or I don’t sleep well.
Has getting up at 4:30 every day changed my life? Yes… well, maybe… here are a few positives.
- Working out at the gym is a much better experience at 5 a.m. than at any other time of the day. There are just far fewer people there.
- It is really nice to get to 7 a.m. and feel like I’ve already done a number of profitable things.
- I’ve been reading some in the mornings. Especially the mornings that I don’t go to the gym.
- The quiet of the day is a good time to get some writing done if I actually pull out my iPad or laptop and make it happen.
Those are some of the positives… are there negatives? Yep.
- It makes going out in the evening (even just to church) more difficult. When 8 p.m. rolls around I need to start thinking about my end game for the day.
- People will think you’re at least a bit crazy. For me that’s probably true anyway, so it doesn’t really bother me.
Creating more than I consume – This goal was largely in response to my ability to spend more time watching YouTube videos and scrolling through Instagram and twitter than I should. Although my consumption of these kinds of things has gone down pretty dramatically (I no longer have Facebook, Instagram or Twitter installed on my phone), my creativity hasn’t been increased too much. Well, probably more than I realize… so, I don’t know if I’ve been creating more than consuming, but I am confident that I’ve been consuming less, and I’m happy about that.
Well… one month is in the books for 2019. I hope your January has been a good one. If you failed at some of the things that you started on, don’t beat yourself up. In fact I’d recommend starting again now!
I’ve heard a lot lately about starting with smaller things. Make your goals super attainable (a no brainer if you will). Want to lose 80lbs? Why not set your goal at 5 or 10. That is much more manageable than feeling like you’ve got to do all 80 at once.
A couple of years ago I decided to publish a blog post every day for 30 days. That was a really rough month. A lot of the posts that I published just weren’t that good. That experience is a big reason why I’m publishing a blog post every week this year. Once a week is the “no brainer” version of publishing three posts each week.
Anyway… that is it for this week.
Have a great week!